One of the oldest national parks in Africa
A vast grassland in the north-west of Zambia in the ancient kingdom of Barotseland, Liuwa Plain National Park tells one of the most fascinating tales of conservation in all of Africa. Until the late 19th century, this park was the hunting ground of the Lozi people’s king, the Litunga. In the early 1880s, King Lewanika proclaimed it a protected area and in 1972 it was declared a national park by the Zambian government.
These golden, but lesser-known, plains are home to a migration that is second only to the Serengeti’s Great Migration. In early November, tens of thousands of wildebeest move northwards from Angola to this area chasing the rains. Like in the Serengeti, they are accompanied on this migration by trailing zebra.
The usual cast of predators await them: cheetah, African wild dog, hyena unusually in clans of up to 50 individuals – and lion. There is a pride of lions made famous by the documentary The Last Lioness. The pride's matriarch, known locally as Lady Liuwa, lived until she was an incredible 17 years old. She lead a growing pride that still roam this area.
Birdwatchers also love Liuwa Plain – there are 334 species of bird living here, including spoonbill, white-bellied buzzard and the rare and endangered wattle crane. Remote it may be but there is no doubt this is one of Africa’s most amazing wildlife reserves.