Tailor-Made Holiday

Zambia - Liuwa Plains Safari

7 days

from £5,195pp

Lost amidst the forgotten grasslands of Zambia’s western expanses, the remote Liuwa Plains National Park is an ecosystem unique and complex. Explore this captivating park, rich with plains game and home to the largest wildebeest migration in Southern Africa.

  • Visit one of Africa’s most remote parks
  • Witness an ecosystem in recovery – now home to a reintroduced pride of lions
  • Explore a unique landscape, covered with endless grasslands
  • Track carnivores in the company of expert researchers from the Zambian Carnivore Program

LIUWA PLAINS

Spend four nights at the simple camp of Matamanene, located in the heart of the Liuwa Plains National Park. Originally built as a home for rangers and researchers, this revamped camp is perfectly positioned for exploring the remote landscape.

Drive and walk across the endless grasslands – an expanse that is only disturbed by wildlife and waterholes. Track the plains game that throngs to this fertile savannah, led by expert guides. Get close to zebras, red lechwes, elands and tsessebes. Also spot the blue wildebeests that swarm these plains, migrating in such numbers that the park can lay claim to the second largest wildebeest migration in Africa.

In the skies and besides the popular waterholes, catch sight of the numerous bird species that inhabit the intriguing landscape. Storks, cranes and other water birds flourish here, and those sighted include rare wattled and crowned cranes.

ZAMBIAN CARNIVORE PROGRAM

Besides the plains game, track an array of predators across the flat landscape. Set out in the company of researchers from the Zambian Carnivore Program, which focuses on conserving large carnivores and protecting the fragile ecosystem in which they reside. Follow the researchers – who have a permanent camp in the park – as they track predators such as wild dogs, lions, cheetahs and hyenas. Learn about animal behaviours within the park.

Whilst still recovering, the park can already be considered a success story. Once home to just a singular lonely lion – known as ‘Lady Liuwa’ – it now supports a small pride of reintroduced lions. Tracked and collared, these lions are carefully monitored. Hyenas also thrive here, with clans of up to 60 individuals frequently spotted.

WHY WE LIKE IT

Liuwa Plains does not offer the density of game that can be found in other parks in Africa, but it can offer a safari experience like no other. Its remote locale and wild feel make for a fantastic combination. Staying at a tiny camp amidst a vast expanse, the feeling of isolation and seclusion is addictive.

And with plains game, carnivores and birdlife all beginning to flourish, the wildlife – set against a fantastically empty landscape – is worth the journey. The chance to explore beside dedicated researchers not only provides a fascinating insight into carnivore conservation, but also guarantees up-close sightings of some of the park’s most fearsome predators.

Five-NIGHT Departures

In 2016, there will be a number of set-departure trips featuring five nights at Matamanene Camp, rather than the usual four. Prices start from £4,950 per person. The dates (departing the UK) are as follows:

  • 24th April, 2016
  • 29th April, 2016
  • 22nd November, 2016
  • 27th November, 2016

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation and meals as stated in the itinerary
  • All transfers

what is excluded

  • Gratuities

PLEASE NOTE THE COST SHOWN INCLUDES INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK, BASED ON AN APPROXIMATE AIR FARE. PLEASE ASK YOUR TRAVEL EXPERT FOR AN ACCURATE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT QUOTE. INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Nairobi overnight

Day 2

Fly Nairobi to Lusaka


Lusaka is a city best used as a gateway to the wilderness areas of Kafue National park, North and South Luangwa, the Lower Zambezi and the Victoria Falls at Livingstone. But there is plenty to while away the hours in Lusaka too - curio shopping in a Kabwata Cultural Village and a trip to Kalimba Reptile Park to name but two.


You will be staying at Latitude 15, Half board

Day 3

Travel from Lusaka to Liuwa Plains National Park (Air Transfer Journey)


One of Zambia's - if not Africa's - most remote parks, the Liuwa Plains National Park lies in the far west of Zambia, close to the Angolan border. Proclaimed a game reserve in the 1880s, by the king of the local Lozi people, it was once used as a royal hunting ground.

Seasonal flooding inundates these fertile grasslands, which are dotted with enclaves of native woodland. Plains game flourishes here, with red lechwes, zebras and wildebeests all seen in their thousands. Home to some 60,000 blue wildebeest, Liuwa is remarkable for the annual migration that occurs here, which is the second largest in Africa.

Although home to relatively few predators, the park is also famed for its clans of hyenas, which can contain up to 60 animals. And thanks to patient conservation and reintroduction work, the solitary life of the last remaining lion, Lady Liuwa, is no longer so solitary. The plains are now home to a small pride, consisting of two young females, two cubs and a resident male.

Birding in the park is outstanding, with over 300 species found, including rare and endangered wattled and crowned cranes.


Take a two-hour charter flight to Liuwa Plains.


On arrival, transfer to a 4x4 and take a game drive to camp, about two and a half hours away.


Afternoon game drive


You will be staying at Matamanene Camp, All inclusive

Day 4

Game Drives and Walks at Liuwa Plains
Leave camp after breakfast and set out in an open safari vehicle to explore this isolated national park. Led by an expert guide, get close to the plains game that grazes these fertile grasslands. Spot blue wildebeests, zebras, red lechwes, elands and tsessebes.

Also have the chance to explore on foot, accompanied by a guide and scout. This allows for a very different perspective and highlights the smaller intricacies of life on the plains. Depending on the schedule, there may be the chance to eat lunch overlooking one of the watering spots.

The birdlife is phenomenal here, with various species flocking to the area at different times of the year. Pelicans, wattled and crowned cranes, geese and smaller waterbirds can all be spotted - often coming to drink at the watering holes that dot the plains.

Finish the day with a sundowner beside another of the watering holes, before returning to the camp for dinner.


You will be staying at Matamanene Camp, All inclusive

Day 5

Spend a further day exploring the plains by 4x4 and on foot.


You will be staying at Matamanene Camp, All inclusive

Day 6

Day Spent with the Zambian Carnivore Program
Set out early, accompanied by researchers from the Zambian Carnivore Program. This not-for-profit organisation focuses on conserving large carnivores and protecting the fragile ecosystem in which they reside. Follow the team - who have a permanent camp in the park - as they track predators such as wild dogs, lions, cheetahs and hyenas.

Spend the entire morning with the researchers, learning about the behaviours of animals on the plains. Return to the camp for lunch and listen to a presentation by the ZCP team. Learn about the trends and patterns of behaviour of many of the animal species, and discover how this remarkable ecosystem is recovering.

Afterwards, relax for afternoon tea amidst the spectacular scenery of the park, before leaving for an evening game drive across the plains. Sip sundowners beside one of the many hyena dens within the park. The hyenas of Liuwa are remarkably inquisitive and often interested in visitors, with some individuals daring enough to leave the safety of the pack and get close to humans.


You will be staying at Matamanene Camp, All inclusive

Day 7

Drive back to the airstrip and take a charter flight back to Lusaka.

Travel from Liuwa Plains National Park to Lusaka (Air Transfer Journey)

Fly Lusaka to Nairobi

Fly Nairobi to London overnight

Day 8

Arrive into London Heathrow

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Latitude 15

Latitude 15

This eighteen-bedroom boutique hotel is the newest, sleekest, most exciting addition to hotels in Lusaka....

View Accommodation

Matamanene Camp

Matamanene Camp

A simple, isolated camp, Matamanene was originally built as a home for the researchers and rangers of Liuwa Plains National Park....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Zambia

Bridget Cohen, Travel Expert

"Bridget had a great knowledge of the areas being looked at and given I have spent time in both countries, it required someone who completely understood the type of camps preferred."

"Bridget's service was very personal and friendly whilst maintaining a professional manner. All my questions were dealt with promptly and efficiently."

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Jackie Devereux, Travel Expert

"Every part of our trip was the highlight and it is not possible for us to point out just one thing, event or place."

"However, we received a magnificent surprise of a helicopter ride between camps in Botswana which meant a flight over the delta and an opportunity to see the delta and how it is formed. It was a wonderful surprise organised by Jackie and we were both absolutely overjoyed with the opportunity. I do not believe that there was more that could have been done as we had a magnificent trip."

"Jackie was excellent- she listened and was very knowledgeable."

Read More

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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