Zambia’s truly iconic off-the-beaten-track wildlife haven
Kafue National Park is Zambia’s largest wildlife reserve and one of the largest in Africa. It covers more than 22000km² (2500km2 more than South Africa’s Kruger National Park), and the terrain varies greatly from north to south. Seasonal floodplains and far-reaching, wildlife-rich wetlands dominate northern Kafue and as the Kafue River flows south, the surrounding area becomes increasingly drier.
The largest of Zambia’s conservation areas, Kafue National Park offers its visitors a rare and unusual safari experience: excellent big game viewing with barely another vehicle in sight. The sheer size of Kafue means that there are countless untouched wild forests, endless plains and lakes. Here you will find rich wildlife roaming the land in search of food, spectacular landscapes for as far as the eye can see, and safari experiences unlike anywhere else. Kafue National Park is Zambia’s wild and rugged hidden gem still protected from mass tourism. Come experience a luxury safari in Kafue for an authentic Zambian safari experience amongst some of the wildest animals in Africa.
Busanga Plains of Plenty: Misty Mornings and Huge Numbers of Antelope and Predators
In the far North of Kafue National Park, the Lufupa River flows into the Busanga Swamps. During the rains, this floods out over the adjacent Busanga Plains. Later, around May, when these waters recede, they leave behind a carpet of lush vegetation – which is irresistible to many herbivores.
The highlight of a Kafue safari, these grassy seasonal floodplains are the grazing grounds for huge numbers of red lechwe and puku antelope as well as herds of buffalo and wildebeest, all of which are preyed on by cheetah, wild dog, spotted hyena and lion. Along with great game viewing, part of the magic of Busanga lies in its scenery: expect spectacular pink sunrises punctuated by the silhouettes of antelope feeding in the early morning mist.
Excellent Game Viewing and Bird-Spotting from Land and Water
Activities in the park include game drives, guided walking safaris and night drives in search of leopards. Walking safaris are best during winter, while boat safaris are available along the Kafue River during the wet summer months. Lodges can also canoe trips to see hippos and crocodiles.
Birders will delight in the extreme northwest of the park where the Busanga Swamps, an official Ramsar site, attract close to 500 species, including large flocks of herons, egrets, and endangered wattle cranes.
Buffalo and elephant can be found in large herds further south. Lions are widespread and there is a particular pride in Busanga that’s known for climbing trees. Leopards are frequently spotted in forested areas, especially during night drives, though these are only permitted with certified guides, booked through a camp or lodge. Numerous antelope species are also common in the north, especially kudu, bushbuck, eland, reedbuck, duiker, grysbok, lechwe and waterbuck.
Fly to Kafue & Also Visit Zambia’s other Top Safari Attractions
The park is easily accessed from both cities of Lusaka and Livingstone with a 2–3-hour drive although many guests prefer to fly in with charter flights from these hubs. Kafue has a handful of luxury tented safari camps – most of them overlooking the vast Busanga Plains in the north-east corner of the reserve.
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