King Lewanika Lodge

King Lewanika Lodge: Our full report

Rooms
6 villas (including 1 2-bedroomed family villa)
Children
Best for adults
Open
21 Oct to 15 Jul

The extreme isolation and wilderness nature of Zambia’s Liuwa Plain National Park have always been major factors in its appeal – but these features have also made the logistics of visiting very challenging. With the construction of King Lewanika Lodge in the heart of the Liuwa Plains, the park’s first permanent safari camp, this situation has changed.

King Lewanika Lodge opened at the start of 2017. Although we at Expert Africa haven't yet had a chance to visit, we have a long history of working with owners Norman Carr Safaris, and have been hearing some very positive initial reports.

Following several name changes – including Kokomo Camp and Mambeti Camp – the lodge was finally named after King Lewanika, at the request of the king of Barotseland, the Litunga. The most famous paramount chief of the Lozi people, King Lewanika lived around the turn of the 20th century. It was he who, in the 1880s, designated Liuwa Plain as a royal hunting ground – and thus started the protection of this area. Later he petitioned Queen Victoria to make the whole of Barotseland (effectively the western side of present-day Zambia) a British Protectorate. Eventually, in 1902, he journeyed to London, seeking an audience with Edward VII to achieve his aim.

King Lewanika Lodge was designed by leading architects Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens, who were also responsible for Chinzombo in the South Luangwa, Mombo Camp in Botswana and North Island in the Seychelles.

The camp has the capacity to accommodate up to 15 guests in six ‘luxury’ villas – including a two-bedroom family villa. Each villa is raised on a platform with an open and airy feeling, designed to make the most of the location in the middle of the vast plains. After all, the main draw of Liuwa has always been the great expanse of the park itself.

The lodge offers guided walks as well as day and night game drives, with the possibility of boating and canoeing between December and March

Our view

King Lewanika Lodge opened to guests at the start of 2017. Although the team at Expert Africa hasn't yet had a chance to visit the property we have worked for years with the owners of the lodge, and have stayed at many properties designed by the same architects. Based on this personal experience, and early reports from the lodge itself, we are expecting a spectacular and modern camp in a truly amazing part of Africa.

Geographics

Location: Liuwa Plain National Park, Zambia

Ideal length of stay: The length of stay is largely governed by the flights, so is either four nights starting on a Saturday, or three nights starting on a Wednesday. Experienced lovers of the wilderness might opt for seven nights starting on a Wednesday or a Saturday.

Directions: There are seasonal flights to and from Lusaka on Wednesday and Saturday, when. These land at the outpost town of Kalabo, where there is a small airfield and a mission station with a hospital. Since January 2018, the lodge has transferred guests from Kalabo to the lodge via helicopter, taking around 15 minutes.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Key personnel

Owner: Norman Carr Safaris

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Full Board

Food quality: We haven’t yet had a chance to visit King Lewanika, but from our experiences at King Lewanika’s sister camps in the South Luangwa National Park, we are expecting high standards of the food here.

Dining style: Group Meals

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included

Special interests

Luxury: The only camp in the remote Liuwa Plain National Park, King Lewanika delivers traditional luxury in a remarkable location. Six large, tented villas open up to the vast wilderness around, whilst the real luxury of Liuwa is its exclusivity; so few visitors ever reach this park.

See more ideas for Luxury in Zambia

Children

Attitude towards children: The lodge and surrounding environment are better suited to older children and adults.

Property’s age restrictions: The lodge only accepts children over the age of twelve, and doesn't offer child discounts.

Infrastructure

Communications: We understand the lodge has limited WiFi.

TV & radio: Don't expect any TV or radio reception - this is the bush.

Water supply: Borehole

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: The nearest doctor is in Mongu, which is the best part of a day's drive away. In case of emergency an air evacuation to Lusaka, or even Johannesburg, would be arranged.

Dangerous animals: High Risk

Fire safety: There is a fire extinguisher in each villa and in the main communal area.

Extras

Disabled access: Not Possible

Laundry facilities: A daily laundry service is included.

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