Monday 8, 2017

We had for long dreamt of going to Liuwa Plain National Park to experience remoteness, the open plains, and the world famous wildebeest migration. Everywhere, we read that a trip in Liuwa is tough, difficult to access, but a true African adventure. The park is ideal for self-catering and camping.

After a bit of research and talking to the park authorities, we headed off in October, 6 days, 5 people in 2 cars. The road from Lusaka to Mongu is easy driving, straight, and fast. We camped for the night in Mongu at the local mission near the town centre. Next morning we fueled up and shopped for the remaining items at the very well stocked Shoprite in town, before heading towards Kalabo.

At Kalabo we checked in with the park authorities before pulling ourselves across the river on a very home made pontoon. We were finally out of range and into the wilderness.

10 meters in and the first car got stuck in the heavy sand… They weren’t joking when they said bring winch and shovel. We quickly got the hang of how to drive – and never stop in the deep sand.

After staying the night at Katoyana Campsite, right next to a large hyena den, where we could hear them growling all night long, we headed out early in the morning to catch our first wildebeest sightings. The tales are true… There are wildebeest in just about any direction!

Soon enough, we had lost our track. Very few cars visit the park so the tracks are difficult to see. We now drove in the middle of the plains, navigating between shrubs and sand, using only our compass and an unsteady GPS to guide us. After a few hours, tensions started to build up, but finally we found tracks and were on our way to  the camp before nightfall.

The Sikale Campsite is very remote and there is no running water or flushing toilets. However, it offers great views of the plains, beautiful shade trees and space to enjoy the company of your friends.

The next few days we drove around from one camp site to the other, making sure to get out of the cars, turn the engines off to enjoy the
utter silence and sights of animals.

We crossed deep rivers, camped alone under the stars, skid around in the sand, told stories around the bonfire, and enjoyed the companionship of good friends, animals, and beautiful nature.

Don’t expect to see cats or large mammals in the park. However, you will definitely see lots of antelope and if you’re lucky the exceptional hyenas and wild dogs.

There are not many visitors in the park so you will enjoy space and remoteness. The campsites are all very basic, but the caretakers look well after you and bring firewood and water as you may need it. All the campsites, except for Sikale have showers.

Don’t leave home without:
• Tow ropes or winch
• Shovel
• GPS, compas or very good sense of direction
• Extra fuel
• Lots of water

Contact the park authorities to book your entry and campsites and get more information on the park: