The Liuwa Plain National Park management has disclosed that the park generated US$186,370 in revenues during the 2018 tourism year.

Liuwa Park Manager Deon Joubert mentioned this in an article dubbed “A gem among Africa’s wild landscapes” and published in African Parks’ 2018 Annual Report.

Mr Joubert said the revenue represents just over a five percent increase from 2017.

He attributed the increase to Public Private Partnerships, marketing and promotion of diversified tourism activities, products and services.

“Liuwa’s reputation as a safari destination grew in 2018 when top-tier publications featured the five-star, Time+Tide operated King Lewanika Lodge. Time Magazine called the lodge one of the worlds’ greatest places and the New York Times included Liuwa Plain in its “52 Places to Go,” he cited.

Mr Joubert further said during the year under review, African Parks worked towards improving the socio-economic lives of surrounding communities through education, job creation and health benefits.

He disclosed that through Liuwa Environmental Education Program (LEEP), 11,000 children in 28 schools were provided with access to education.

He further said the goal of African Parks is to inspire and support more than 100 local entrepreneurs in the next three years.

“12,500 people legally live within the boundaries and we are exploring honey production, fish farming and conservation agriculture with hopes of creating further trade, income and jobs. With people near and far benefitting from this well-managed landscape, value chains have become clear. Liuwa is the nucleus of a conservation-led economy and a remarkable wildlife haven,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Joubert observed that results of an aerial survey conducted during the year indicated consistent growth among the park’s key species.

“40,000 wildebeest, 5,000 plains zebra, 2,200 red lechwe, 230 tsessebe, and 152 Cape buffalo were recorded. All figures showed significant increases since 2017 except for tsessebe and Cape buffalo who were stable; and the wildebeest increase may be a result of the additional 556 square kilometers which was surveyed in 2018.

“Our partners at the Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP) continued to monitor the park’s predators, recording the births of three lions, 16 cheetahs, and 51 hyenas,” he said.

During the 2018 tourism year, Liuwa recorded a stable inflow of tourists with 1,069 having visited the park translating into 2,829 bed nights.

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