© Pete Oxford
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African Parks, a conservation non-profit, and Norman Carr Safaris are proud to announce details of the investment in, and construction of, a luxury camp in Liuwa Plain National Park, Zambia. Mambeti is being funded by African Parks donors with the design and construction being implemented by the award-winning Norman Carr Safaris group which will also manage and market the new offering. Construction on Mambeti will start in February 2016 and the camp is expected to open in early 2017. 

 

The name of the camp pays homage to two remarkable residents of the park – Mambeti and Lady Liuwa. Mambeti who lived, died, and is buried in Liuwa was a member of the Lozi tribe and a highly-revered grandmother to several existing park staff. Lady Liuwa is the world-famous matriarch around whom the park's lion pride has evolved. According to local folklore Mambeti, the grandmother, was reincarnated into Lady Liuwa, the lioness, and is the reason why the lioness spends so much time in the same woodlands area frequented by Mambeti in her twilight years and near to where she was buried.

Liuwa boasts the second biggest wildebeest migration in Africa © Burrard-Lucas

Liuwa Plain is situated on the upper Zambezi flood plains of western Zambia and is bounded by the Luambimba and Luanginga Rivers. Vast, remote and untamed, Liuwa is 365,000 hectares in size and characterised by seasonally-flooded grassy plains dotted with woodland islands. It has one of the oldest conservation histories in Africa having originally being proclaimed a protected area by the King of the Lozis in the early 1880s.  The Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) is the monarchy of the Lozi people who live in and around the park and is the official administrative entity of the region. Since 2003, the park has been managed by African Parks through a public-private partnership with the Zambian Government and the Barotse Royal Establishment.

 

In addition to its famed lions, Liuwa is home to the second biggest wildebeest migration in Africa, a recovering cheetah population, a burgeoning hyena population, wild dogs, abundant zebra, buffalo, red lechwe and tessebe herds and more than 300 bird species. It is not uncommon to see tens of thousands of pratincoles and spectacular kaleidoscopes of crowned cranes and endangered wattled cranes which start flocking at the onset of the rains.

 

Located on the upper Munde stream, a site chosen for its sweeping vistas and complete wildlife immersion, Mambeti Camp will comprise six luxury villas including a two bedroomed family villa, with 
the capacity to accommodate a total of 15 guests.  It has been designed by acclaimed lodge architects, Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens, who are also responsible for the design of Norman Carr Safaris͛ flagship camp, Chinzombo, in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park, and sister property, Miavana,  a new development in progress in Madagascar under the marketing umbrella of Time + Tide.

 

"We feel it is an honour to the people of Liuwa that a lodge of this status will help immortalise not only a resident of Liuwa but also a highly-respected member of the community who lived and was buried in this area. I am proud to be part of this process of development that will unlock tourism potential and economic growth in the area," said Induna Mundandwe, Area Chief of Mukola. 

 

"We are proud to be driving a venture of this calibre in one of the most beautiful wilderness areas on the continent, said Peter Fearnhead, African Parks CEO. "The construction and operation of Mambeti will benefit communities living in and around Liuwa and the conservation of its fauna and flora, both features that form the cornerstone of the African Parks model. We are also delighted to be teaming up with Norman Carr Safaris in this venture. Their experience and proven success in operating and marketing high-end camps and lodges is pivotal to the success of what is destined to be the jewel in the Liuwa Plain crown."

 

"We are honoured to have been selected by African Parks to build and run this new safari camp, said Thierry Dalais, Chairman, Norman Carr Safaris. "Over the years African Parks has shown true dedication and commitment to the development of Liuwa Plain National Park and we aim to match their passion for the area and deliver an outstanding safari experience. The wildlife viewing in this part of Africa is quite extraordinary; it's a completely stunning landscape and exceeds expectations of the most hardened safari goer. Mambeti is a name filled with meaning and spirit and a wonderful tribute to two icons of the park. What more can I say – you need to go there!"