Have you ever wanted to visit an African Game Reserve where you will see few if any other vehicles reminiscent of the raw, wild continent seen by the first European visitors and by myself on a first visit to Zambia in 1975?
Kafue National Park, was during the eighties and early nineties neglected, mismanaged and suffered from poaching. Most visitors to Zambia choosing to visit South Luangwa and the Lower Zambezi two other outstanding wilderness reserves but that is now changing.
For most of its length the Kafue River runs along the edge of the park with other major tributaries the Lunga and Lufupa Rivers also providing a lifeline for game. Lion, elephant, buffalo and leopard are found throughout the park and both wild dog and cheetah are also present in healthy numbers.
Following some major investment in the past ten years in anti-poaching and tourist facilities Kafue is now on course to be one of the finest and most varied destinations in Africa. An affordable destination for adventurous self-drivers, mobile camping expeditions and those who prefer to fly in and out.
Boat safaris on the rivers and lakes, canoe trips, night drives, guided walks and fly camping are all possible here meaning a trip to Kafue will be a true adventure.
Here is a brief introduction to a journey through Kafue from south to north.
The extreme south of the park is easily accessible from Livingstone by road or air but has only one six-tented camp Nanzhila Plains Camp and receives very few visitors. Nanzhila can be a short add on to a Victoria Falls trip or the start of a journey through the reserve.
The plains themselves have plentiful wildlife with a good chance of spotting as many as ten different antelope species in including both roan and sable antelope and are also an excellent place to find cheetah which are absent from Zambia’s other major parks. Birders will love this area with the black cheeked lovebird being a birders specialty.
Lake Itezhi Tezhi
Heading north through the park one comes to Lake Itezhi Tezhi, the lake was created by a dam in the 1970’s and is now reminiscent of Lake Kariba. The lakeshore is teaming with game and birdlife while traditional local fishermen, on the far lake buy aciclovir shore are a fascinating to observe going about their business. Game viewing along the lake shore by boat and road is very productive as wildlife comes down to the lake to drink. Wild dog are often spotted here as well as serval cat. The only accommodation in the vicinity is Konkamoya Lodge with just four very comfortable large guest tents. If you have never seen an aardvark this could be your chance as the lodge offers a special night safari aimed at finding these elusive creatures.
The area is close to the David Shepherd Elephant Orphanage which is an another interesting side trip at Konkamoya.
Kafue National Park is bisected by the main tarred road from Lusaka heading to the Western Province. Ease of access means this area is the most developed with a several good lodges. This is not a drawback however as the visitor density is miniscule compared to other reserves in Africa but with more vehicles around than other areas of the park, wildlife is more habituated to human presence and as such it is easier to get close.
The area north of the main road along the Kafue River and Lufupa River heading towards the Busanga Plains is home to several small, owner managed, safari lodges. The area has good game viewing with a number of game drive loops along the way making for an interesting journey, some very large lion prides are found here. Some of the camps here offer “catch and release” sport fishing in waters that have not been commercially fished since the park was created, making for some great sport. Most visitors spend a day or two here on route to Busanga Plains.
The Busanga Plains
Busanga is the Holy Grail for many safari buffs, fabled for its outstanding game viewing and extreme remoteness. The plains are a wetland area only accessible between June and October reminiscent of Botswana’s Okavango Delta and famous for tree climbing lions, the plains are also home to cheetah and wild dog and are one of the best places to see roan antelope and the secretive and rare, water loving, sitatunga.
Covering a large area, the plains are home to a few small upmarket safari camps which are seasonally open from June to October.
Guests interested in visiting Kafue either as a stand-alone destination or as part of a longer trip should call us to discuss and start planning a trip.
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