Kafue National Park, a pristine wilderness
The vast Kafue National Park in western Zambia remains one of Africa's last true wilderness areas. Covering some 22,500 square kilometres, Kafue is comparable to the size of a small country! It makes Kafue Zambia's largest and oldest National Park, largely untouched by development.
Kafue National Park is largely untouched by development and therefore remains a unique and pristine wilderness with magnificent scenery, game viewing and bird watching. Still today some two thirds of the Park remains designated as Wilderness Area where only walking is allowed.
This pristine wilderness is made up of an incredible collection of diverse habitats. From the remote and seasonally inundated Busanga swamps in the north of the park, through the central miombo woodlands and dambos, to the more sandy southern plains. Not to mention the evergreen forested areas that line the banks of the mighty Kafue River and its tributaries.
More diverse than any park in Africa, the wildlife of the Kafue is as numerous as it is varied. There's an abundance of big game including elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard and even cheetah. The Kafue is also home to one of the last remaining viable populations of the rare and endangered African wild dog.
With 20 antelope species, the Kafue is also a great place to find some of the less common ungulates, including Lichtenstein's hartebeest, Defassa waterbuck and herds of red lechwe and puku. Other species such as eland, roan, sable, oribi and blue wildebeest are present, to name but a few.
In addition to the antelopes there is a wide variety of other unusual wildlife with pangolin, bushpig, side-striped jackal, honey badger and numerous species of the playful mongoose family making up megafaunal diversity unrivaled anywhere in Africa.
Although the mammalian diversity is impressive, it pales into insignificance when considering that the Kafue is home to 501 species of bird, a similar number of grass species and a whole host of smaller flora and fauna, including a number of endemic but rarely seen plants and animals.
Safari in Kafue National Park
A safari in Kafue National Park can be very rewarding. Not only because of the exciting sightings of wildlife, but also due to the absence of other tourists. You usually won't see other safari tourists apart from our camps.
To spot wildlife, you can choose from several activities. A game drive offers you the chance to cover larger distances and getting close to predators like lion or leopard. A walking safari in Kafue brings you as close as you can get to nature.
You should also include at least one boat ride on the mighty Kafue river during your safari in Kafue. Leopards like to rest on the banks of the river and you can watch them from a unique, low view level.
Best time to visit Kafue National Park
The pristine wilderness of Kafue National Park can be enjoyed between June and December. Due to the rains, the park gets inaccessible and camps are closed for a few months. The Busangs Plains area only becomes accessible from July and the camp stays open to November or December, depending on the weather.
The best time to visit Kafue National Park is from July to October. This is the best part of the dry season. The bush has dried up, vegetation becomes less and there are fewer resources for water. As a result wildlife movements are more predictable, which makes spotting easier.
However, the emerald season isn't to be overlooked. In June the bush is more green, there are lesser tourists around and you have the chance to spot some of the migratory birds as they arrive.
We run two Kafue camps where we are happy to welcome you as our guests. Our Musekese Camp is located at a dambo, a shallow wetland with plenty of wildlife around. Our second camp, Ntemwa-Busanga, is situated on the southern edge of the Busanga Plains.
How to get to Kafue National Park
Getting to Kafue National Park can be done in two ways: by car or by plane. Since it's Zambia's largest national park, travelling within the park can take up a large portion of the day as well.
Musekese can be reached by car, it's a 5 to 7 hour drive from Lusaka to Kafue. A faster option is to take a flight to the airstrip closeby. This takes about one hour from Lusaka.
Ntewma-Busanga however can't be reached by car in one day. Driving will require a one-night stay at Musekese and continuing the next day. An alternative would be flying in, which is a one hour flight from Lusaka.