By Lauren Jade Hill
Western Zambia may soon be the place those in the know head to for their luxury safari. Not only is this region witness to the world’s second largest wildebeest migration, it is also home to King Lewanika Lodge which recently opened in the wildlife rich Liuwa Plain Reserve, with the introduction of a new flight path providing a direct route from Zambia’s capital.
As one of the world’s great wildlife spectacles, the wildebeest migration is among the most coveted experiences for travelers to the continent. While many people travel to Kenya and Tanzania for this sight, Western Zambia’s migration attracts those in search of a lesser visited region.
Previously this would have been inaccessible to travelers but now King Lewanika Lodge—the first permanent lodge to have been constructed in Liuwa Plains National Park—provides a base for exploring the national park, while the new flight path from Lusaka enables people to travel here more easily.
From November to May, when the migration is passing through, around 20,000 wildebeest can be seen just a short distance from the lodge. And this isn’t the only wildlife experience the land affords. Owing to successful conservation of the park, the land has become known for its wildlife encounters with a growing cheetah population and famed lion prides.
Operated by Norman Carr Safaris and designed by Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens —of North Island, Chinzombo and Miavana fame—the lodge was established in collaboration with the conservation non-profit Africa Parks. Officially opened in April 2017, King Lewanika Lodge takes its name from King Lewanika of the Lozi tribe who named this land a protected area in the early 1880s, giving it one of the oldest conservation histories in Africa.
The integration of canvas, thatch and grass with decks overlooking the Liuwa Plain, both indoor and outdoor showers, and leather, cotton and canvas furnishings give the lodge a classic safari aesthetic while making the most of the surrounding wilderness and views. Safari excursions with experienced guides are then led from here, providing exclusive access to this unspoiled region.