Embarking on safari into Kafue National Park is like entering an untouched wilderness where only wild animals and diverse habitats thrive. Precisely! Kafue is one of the biggest parks in Africa, covering an awesome 22 400 square kilometers. Find very few people, plenty of mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, trees and other wonderful living things.
WHY SHOULD YOU VISIT KAFUE?
It has some of the most pristine wilderness in the region. Over the years, conservation efforts have doubled and dedicated, passionate staff have been trained to service the camps and park. In the north of Kafue is one of Zambia’s richest wetland resources, the Busanga Plains. It remains untouched by human interference. This awe-inspiring 750 square kilometers of wilderness is the best location to spot cheetah. The Kafue River starts in the Congo, joins the Zambezi and runs for about 960 kilometers through Africa to Zimbabwe.
This water source supports the enormous biodiversity in the park and is also used by farmers upstream for irrigation and hydro-electric power. The Lufupa river floods in summer, creating a large floodplain delta system that attracts thousands of water-birds. Very few tour operators are based in Kafue - so feel completely alone in a huge space where lodges are situated far away from one another.
Discover rare and elusive antelope - the Blue and Yellow-backed duiker occurring in thickets or Sitatunga and Lechwe in the swamps. Roan, Sable,Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, Defassa water buck and Oribi occur in the Miombo woodlands. Check out pods of hippo and daunting crocs in the Kafue River and its tributaries.
Find secretive and elusive leopard, especially on permitted night-drives and afternoon Kafue River boat cruises in the hotter months. Consider yourself lucky if you see the cheetah, a rarity for Zambia, but which do very well in Kafue’s mixed woodland and riverine areas. The park is brimming with mind-boggling diversity – 500 bird species, 20 different antelope, huge and small mammals, open plains,lush forests, lakes and dambos.
WILD DOGS AND ELEPHANTS
Track packs of the remarkable African wild dog on both sides of the Kafue River and in almost all habitats.
Watch elephant frolicking in the water and swimming from bank to bank, their trunks acting as snorkels or holding on to the tails of their friends in front.
WHEN TO VISIT
Only two hours’ drive from Livingstone, Kafue National Park offers luxury safari lodges and camps. There are no safaris mid-November to the end of May when it rains.
Visit the Busanga Floodplains from mid-July to end October. Kafue National Park is particularly cold at night from June.