Zambia :: Barotseland
Category: Protected Areas :: Protected Area
Home to the second-largest wildebeest migration in Africa, Liuwa Plain National Park is located in the remote western corner of Barotseland, west of the Zambezi Floodplains. Previously administered by DNPW (Department of National Parks and Wildlife), an agreement was signed with African Parks in 2004 to take over the park management. Together with the government and the local community, African Parks are working towards eradicating poaching and illegal fishing, creating employment for the community and improving education.
|Address :||Liuwa Plain National Park, Kalabo, Zambia|
|Postal :||P.O. Box 930094, Kalabo, Zambia|
|Contact :||African Parks|
|Cell :||+260(0)97 801 7372|
|Cell2 :||+260(0)96 416 8394|
|Email :||Click Here|
|Website :||Click Here|
|Cellphone Reception :||Nothing|
|Subject to Seasonal Operation. :||Open 1 April to 15 December. Closed 16 December to 31 March). Liuwa is open to visitors for most of the year (1 April to 15 December). Please note that accessing Liuwa during the dry season (June through December) requires 4x4 driving. Before June, Liuwa can only be accessed by plane. Note that the park opens only when roads are accessible after the floods have subsided so its best to call ahead to be sure. Access only from Kalabo side of the park. The park is open to visitors between 06:00 and 18:00.|
|Updated for :||2022|
|Comments :||Park Fees: USD20 (SADC Citizens); USD30 (Internationals); ZMW30 (Locals); USD15 per vehicle. (Updated Aug-2022).|
|Payment Methods Accepted :||Cash, Electronic Funds Transfer, Foreign Currency|
|Types of Foreign Currency Accepted :||USD|
|Fee/s :||Park Fees: USD20 (SADC Citizens); USD30 (Internationals); ZMW30 (Locals); USD15 per vehicle. (Updated Aug-2022).|
|Towing Service :||Yes||Towing Service Telephone :||+260(0)97 801 7372 / +260(0)96 416 8394|
|Facilities :||Lodging, Camping, Airstrip|
|Accommodation (Lodge), Camping, Child Friendly, Landing Strip|
|Day Visitors Allowed :||Yes|
|Frequented by Tour Groups :||Yes|
|Game Viewing, Guided Walks, Bird Watching, Photography|
|Game to View :||Cheetahs. Hyenas. Lions. Eland. Tsessebe.|
|Notes on Activities :||You do your own game viewing, there are no game drive facilities here. Birding is very good, large water birds are in great numbers at the water holes. Lots of hyena dens where you could spot cubs.|
You have to check if Liuwa Plain is open after the rainy season. This is around April/May, but it could be delayed if the water level is still too high.
Note you must have a proper offroad 4x4 to travel in this park. An all wheel drive without low range and good ground clearance will not be allowed in.
From Kalabo there is a pontoon taking you across the Luanginga river to enter the Game Management Area (GMA) on the other side (note that this area is not managed by African Parks). It is very sandy on the other side of the river, and you will only reach the actual park boundary after about 45 minutes of driving.
Flying in: The park has its own airstrip inside the park, but does not offer commercial flight services. Permission to use this airstrip must be obtained in writing from African Parks.
Caravans & Trailers: Only off-road trailers and off-road caravans under 2000kg are allowed in the park. You have to get permission before hand.
There are a variety of community campsites and an upmarket lodge, the King Lewanika Lodge.
From May/June to October it is very sunny and dry, but can be cold at night. October is usually the hottest month of the year. The first rains usually start November and December, and its usually more overcast then.
Visitors to Zambia are advised to have their own personal travel insurance. Local police, hospitals, clinics etc. cannot be relied upon.
Please note that any emergency numbers indicated on our data will be for the local police, hospital, clinic etc. and most of the times, don't work. Many tourism sites show the numbers like 999 for police, they often don’t work.
If you have a medical problem when in Zambia, Specialty Emergency Services has a Call Centre (24 hours). Phone them on 737. This company has offices in Livingstone, Lusaka and Kitwe. But they will fly anywhere to assist if visitors have the right insurance.
If you want to check your insurance, contact SES on [email protected] (http://ses-zambia.com/).
The campsites with staff attendants, do have radios in the case of emergency.
There is no fuel station in Kalabo which is the last town you pass through to reach the park from the south. Mongu is the nearest town to Kalabo, where you can purchase fuel.
Camps are rustic and basic but very nice. Liuwa is very well run by African Parks and their website is up to date with good information. Their booking staff are also very helpful with information about the park and current conditions.
Take your own water.
Fishing in the park is only allowed by local residents of the park.
North of the park, has little or no game.
The park does provide a road map upon entry into the park. African Parks do suggest a GPS as obligatory for navigation within the park.
There are tribal communities living in the park, they fish and tend to their animals in the park.
The Liuwa Plain National Park headquarters / African Parks offices, are in Kalabo. (2019). This means you are not allowed into the park coming from the north, but you can exit that way.
The road from Mongu to Kalabo is a brand new tar road and it takes about 45min to get to Kalabo. Be ready for very deep sand driving from Kalabo onwards to the park. As soon as you cross the pontoon at Kalabo you are in thick sand. So be sure to take enough fuel. Lukulu would have diesel, but don't count it. Mongu will always be stocked. There is also a very well stocked Shoprite in Mongu.
Northern parts of the park: To access the park from the north you would also need to cross at the Lukulu pontoon and hope its working. The river crossings up north all depend on the time of the year so it would be best to ask the park staff closer to the time. During July it could go either way. The rains start in October/November so September and October it is definitely possible.
You will only find basic supplies in Kalabo (eg. Tomatoes, onions etc), as well as a bakery. But you cannot depend on this.
The nearby town of Mongu is well stocked up. There is a well stocked Shoprite, bakeries, butcheries and stores selling camping, hardware and automotive supplies.
The park is sometimes frequented by large tour groups, mostly from September to December.
Spend around 3 nights in this park.
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“The pontoon has a ten tonne limit. So we could not use it and the river was to deep to ford :-(” - DavidQ , 2020/01/27
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