TIME + TIDE : Spirit of the Liuwa Plain

As we unite our destinations under Time + Tide, we wanted to celebrate the unique spirit of each destination, from the wildlife that thrives there to the colours that paint the landscape. Our four designs complement each other while all being as wonderfully exceptional as the destinations themselves..


To capture the essence of the region, we selected a hero animal on which to centre the designs. We then filled out the design with other key animals, birds, flowers and insects from the area for a lush, wild feel. The end product is a design that gives an authentic sense of the ecosystem and the sights and sounds that you experience while there. When you look at the design, we want you to hear the snorts and bellows of the Lower Zambezi’s hippos, see the graceful wingbeats of a crane as it flies across the Liuwa Plain and imagine the agile antics of the lemurs in Nosy Ankao’s forests.


Through our Liuwa Plain pattern, we invite you to immerse into the magnificence of an endless landscape where space and time seemingly stand still. Step out onto the vastness of the Liuwa Plain and find yourself halfway between earth and sky. Peer into the eyes of a curious hyena pup as it cautiously approaches your vehicle, ears perked and nose surveying the air. Feel the wind on your face as it sweeps past from distant lands, sending the feathery tips of the grass dancing. Listen to a thunderstorm brewing on the horizon as wildebeest and zebra meander through a mosaic of wildflowers. Marvel at the dazzling speed of a cheetah as it pursues a tiny oribi. Sip on a gin and tonic as dragonflies mill about and a dozen crowned cranes fly overhead, moving like calligraphy silhouetted against the sunset.

We selected the lion to be our hero because of the central role they play in the richly intertwined natural and cultural heritage of Liuwa Plain. Due to poaching, the lion population once dwindled down to just one lone lioness – Lady Liuwa. In order to survive, she was cunning and strong, learning to live in mutual respect with humans on the periphery of villages, which hyenas avoided. She often rested in a grove of trees where Mambeti, the favourite daughter of the Litunga (king) was buried, leading many locals to believe Lady Liuwa was the reincarnated spirit of Mambeti. Since taking over the conservation management of the region, African Parks Network has worked diligently to rebuild the lion population. Several translocations of male and female adults from nearby Kafue National Park has led to a growing population that regularly produces new cubs. Still to this day the cubs and juveniles spend plenty of time around Time + Tide King Lewanika, preferring to rest in the shade of our forested grove. A few times the curious young males were comfortable enough to make a foray through the lodge’s main area, even stealing a toilet brush from the bathroom.

Alongside the lion, we incorporated wildebeest, zebra, hyenas, cheetah, waterlilies, wildflowers, a dung beetle and dragonflies. Liuwa Plain is home to Africa’s second biggest annual migration, with tens of thousands of wildebeest and zebra making their way through the park every year. As the apex predators of the ecosystem, and often in clans numbering up to 50 individuals, hyenas were a natural addition to the design. Cheetahs are celebrated as another success story from APN’s conservation efforts, with a steadily growing population that welcomed an impressive 22 new cubs last year. Every year when the rains arrive, wildflowers erupt across the plains creating a breath-taking backdrop for the arrival of Africa’s largest species of flying dung beetle and the migrating wildebeest. Following the rains, the seasonal floods arrive and turn the savannah into a wetland paradise that attracts thousands of different birds, including Africa’s densest concentrations of the endangered crowned and wattled cranes.


A vast and remote plain in the westernmost reaches of Zambia, Liuwa Plain’s beauty lies in its vast grandeur. When choosing colours, we opted for hues that celebrate the sense of immenseness that overcomes you when visiting Liuwa Plain. The pale blue hue represents the endless skies and flood plains. When water levels are at their highest, you can sit in a kayak and look around you in every direction and see hardly anything expect shades of blue. To complement this, we selected a sandy yellow to represent the grassy savannah that stretches to the horizons. Whether it’s high noon or sunset, the plains shift from one golden hue to another, always bringing a warmth to the land. Together, these tones capture the wild beauty of Liuwa Plain National Park.

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