Walking & Wildlife in Kafue National Park

NOT ONLY IS THE KAFUE MASSIVE - THE SIZE OF RWANDA, OR WALES - IT IS ALSO INCREDIBLY VARIED. FROM THE WIDE OPEN PLAINS OF THE BUSANGA PLAINS, TO THE MASSIVE KAFUE RIVER, RIVEN BY LAVA FLOWS AND BRIMMING WITH WILDLIFE AND ON TO THE REMARKABLE AND UNEXPECTED

Request a detailed itinerary
Where
ZAMBIA
When
JUNE TO NOVEMBER
How long
10 NIGHTS
How much
FROM £5,850 PP
why
SPECTACULAR WILDERNESS; VARIETY OF WILDLIFE; TERRAIN AND TRANSPORT; SPENDING 10 DAYS IN THE KAFUE IS AKIN TO FOUR SEPARATE NATIONAL PARKS
staying in
Owner-operated camps

UNDERSOLD, UNDER-APPRECIATED AND WONDERFULLY WILD THE KAFUE IS CURRENTLY ENJOYING A RENAISSANCE THROUGH A COLLECTION OF PARTICULARLY OWNER-OPERATED CAMPS

THIS EXPEDITION TAKES YOU BY FOOT, JEEP, BOAT, CANOE AND HOT AIR BALLOON THROUGH THE HEART OF ONE OF AFRICA'S GREATEST PARKS

Arriving in Zambia' capital Lusaka, you'll transfer to a six-seater Cessna for your charter flight to the Busanga Plains in the far north of Kafue National Park. Landing on the edge of the plain you'll be met by your guide and driven in open vehicle to Busanga Bush Camp, set in a palm and fig tree island, surrounded by herbivores feasting on the blonde grasses.

If I ever can, I will go back to the Busanga Plains, to the dreaming distances of the grasslands, the clusters of trees like islands and the hot east winds”

- Horatio Clare

Send me a detailed itinerary

Day 1-3

The Busanga Plains

Arriving by light aircaft is a great way to see that the 720 sq km Busanga Plains are an ancient lake bed, scattered with tree islands and seasonaly flooded by the Lufupa River leaving rich grazing through the dry season.

These plains attract buffalo, hartebeest, roan, sable, waterbuck, zebra, reedbuck, wildebeest, lechwe, oribi and puku who in turn attrcat the predators - large black-maned lions, leopard, cheetah, hunting dogs and hyeana.

Busanga is the Kafue's most conventional game-viewing area with most excursions being undertaken in an open vehicle. On one of the mornings there is the wonderful opportunity to float over the plains in Zambia's only hot-air balloon, followed by a champagne breakfast wherever you should land. 

Days 3-6

Musekese

From Busanga its a half-day drive through magnifcent mature Miombo woodland to Musekese. Along the way you'll have your first views of the Kafue River which will be a contant feature from here on, although dramatically changing character at each location - wide and meandering at Musekese; narrow, straight and fast at Kaingu and finally a large, flat lake at Konkamoya.

Musekese is a lovely little camp from which you can undertake walking safaris in the riverine woodland, boat on the river itself - which is particularly good for approaching elephant at close-quarters - as well as undertaking conventional game-drives. We particularly recommend the walking in this unusuallyfire-free area, expertly guided with both passion and substance this is arguably the most intense experience of the journey. 

Days 7 & 8

Kaingu

Another substantial drive through the middle of the park takes you to Kaingu and will take the best part of half a day. It's worth remembering that on all these drives that you are never leaving the park and all that you see en route is the exclusive preserve of the wildlife. Maps and flying don't do it justice and walking would take weeks.

Kaingu is set on a stunning stretch of the Kafue. A beautiful, unsusually private, owner-operated camp with a level of attention to detail second to none.

The river is the star here, splitting from a single course into multidudinous rocky streams it's a crazy wonderland of endless islands which are possible to explore via boat or canoe. Kaingu offers the best canoeing on the Kafue, good walking and an excellent chance to spot sable for those willing to work for them in the local forests.     

Days 9 & 10

Konkamoya

The final big intra-Kafue drives brings you down to Konkamoya Camp on the shores of Lake Itezhi Tezhi. Here the short green grass grazing plains sloping gently down to the lake are are magnet for both birds and beasts. Some people ponder whether to include Konkamoya but we'd absolutely encourage you to do so for the contrast, plus it's a great spot to reflect on what you've seen along the way. 

While having the facilities (large well-appointed tents) and aura of a conventional safari camp, Konkamoya is actually nothing of the sort, being wonderfully anomalous and eccentric - run with a charming mix of flair and chaos by its idiosyncratic Italian proprietor.

Day 11

HOMEWARD BOUND

After breakfast its the last long drive - this time out of thep park via the Itezhi Thezhi dam wall and back on to the bitumen, on to the airport for your flight home.

A NOTE FROM ROD

MISCONCEPTIONS AND MISINFORMATION

The Kafue has long had a reputation for fiercesome tsetse flies and scant wildlife - neither of which is deserved. This rumour was largely perpetuated by self-driving South Africans in the 1990s, who ventured in to the Kafue with little knowledge of what they were doing or where they were going - this being a land of few roads and fewer maps.

Local knowledge is absolutely key in getting the best out of any wilderness area and nowhere is this more true in the Kafue. There are tsetse in the Kafue and drive around blindly for hours and you are sure to find plenty. The park also contains more species of antelope than any other, although finding them all will require determination and yes, you guessed it, local knowledge.

If you are in search of the formulaic: the one-size-fits-all, lowest-common-demoniator, guaranteed sightings with automaton guides then steer well clear of the Kafue.

If however the lure of somewhere properly off-the-beaten-path, which will continually surprise you and where you'll be in the company of people who are genuinely passionate about the place in which they live and work appeals, then the Kafue could be for you.

For those fortunate enough to have experienced a few safaris an increasing fear that we hear is a gentrification of the genre - the smoothing-off of the rough edges   and the demise of the charachterful in favour of the formulaic. There may be some truth of this in some places, but certainly not the Kafue. This is old-style safari-ing taken back to its routes where a significant journey can be made and thoroughly enjoyed, with a lot of the pleasure derived from the travel itself. 

TALK TO ROD ABOUT THIS TRIP

Take the first step

Tell us where you'd like to go...

Please sign me up for your newsletter
Please post me your brochure
 

Talk to us

+44 (0) 1747 830950

Our experienced travellers include:

Andrea Hulme
Andrea Hulme
Olly Williams
Olly Williams
Vanessa Janion
Vanessa Janion

It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary.

All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.

Reviews

Another Perfect Trip

"Morocco was our fourth trip with Natural High and true to past trips, the itinerary was right on point for our interest and goals, all logistics went off without a hitch and the service throughout the trip was high end. Everyone we worked with were friendly and professional. We had a fantastic time...Thank you!"

Tom & Karen Holterhoff

Perfect holiday from start to finish.

"Absolutely excellent service. The itinerary was spot on and the whole holiday worked like clockwork. The pre holiday notes and briefing were most useful too. I would have no hesitation in recommending Natural High Safaris to others."

Angela R CR

Fabulous trip to Tanzania

"This is the second time we have used Natural High Safaris, and again they organised an outstanding holiday for us, this time in Tanzania, combining a safari and beach holiday that was top-notch. Highly recommend them, with huge range of experience and desire to really understand what it is their clients want - and then delivering! Thanks to Catherine Ronan."

Anonymous

An outstanding trip to the Himalayas superbly designed by Natural High.

"Natural High organised a 2 week family trip to Ladakh in August 2018. Andrea Hulme used her local knowledge to design an exciting trip that included a 5 day trek, white water rafting and numerous cultural visits and experiences. Their local partners Shakti were absolutely outstanding and we loved staying in the village houses as opposed to hotels. Their female Ladakhi guide Sonam was really one of the best we have every had on our travels."

Anonymous

Natural High

"Yet again another great holiday arranged by Natural High - Air France tried to ruin it but Natural High and their local agent were very helpful in resolving the problems caused. ."

James and Laura AH

RECENT UPDATES