Walking Safari in
Kafue National Park

Off the Busanga Plains, to the massive Kafue River, an area brimming with wildlife and few other human visitors to be found.

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About Walking Safaris in Kafue National Park

Travelling through the Kafue is in large part about scale and diversity – very few parks anywhere are bigger or more biodiverse. But while contemplating the macro, be sure not to ignore the minutiae – and the best way to do this is definitely to get out on foot.

As with all of Zambia’s National Parks, it’s possible to undertake a walking safari here in the company of a highly-experienced guide and an armed ranger, a privilege not afforded to many wildlife-rich wildernesses on the continent. 

The Kafue is altitudinally higher than Zambia’s other two wildlife hotspots, the Luangwa Valley and Lower Zambezi. This means it is significantly cooler and never experiences the extreme (110+F /43+C) temperatures at the height of the dry season, consequently making it much more comfortable to walk in during September, October and November.

The lifeblood of the park is its eponymous river which, unlike the Luangwa and lower stretches of the Zambezi, is ever changing. Therefore a walking safari undertaken at Musekese, following old river courses and drying lagoons, is a totally different experience to climbing inselbergs and visiting the rapids at Kaingu, or walking along the lakeshore of Itezhi-Tezhi. Walking at three locations in the Kafue is akin to visiting three separate National Parks.

It’s fair to say that the Kafue has something of a reputation for the presence of tsetse flies, but these are far greater a nuisance in a vehicle than when you are on foot. This is because they are predisposed to follow large movement and the dust put up by a landcruiser is like that of a herd of buffalo – a great food source for this biting fly. Walk slowly and quietly through the beautiful riverine glades and you are unlikely to encounter any at all. Local knowledge is a great defence against the fly and walking guides hold local knowledge in spades.

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WHY WE LOVE WALKINGIN KAFUE

Walking in the Kafue you are unlikely to encounter another soul, which is perhaps the greatest luxury on any safari.

There is a timeless aspect to walking through the bush, stripping away any reliance on vehicles and radios and sallying forth to find one’s quarry. Given the size of the Kafue you are unlikely to encounter anyone else – and that ability to traverse proper wilderness is a rare and very special treat.

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BEST TIME FOR KAFUE WALKING SAFARIS

Walking in the Kafue is possible any time through the dry season which falls between May to November.

The wildlife does not migrate and so is always there, although your chance of seeing more of it increases as the foliage and long grass dies back through May and June. 

The Kafue arguably comes into its own from early September with the rising temperatures bringing the birds out of their winter stupor and out in full voice. November is an absolutely cracking month, all the vibrancy and atmosphere of the first rains breaking without the oppressive heat and humidity of lower altitudes. 

BEST TIME FOR KAFUE WALKING SAFARIS

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“We walk along golden grassy rides, past godlike baobab trees, in the company of birds, many of which can be seen in their names: swallow-tailed bee-eaters, red-billed wood hoopoes, crimson-breasted boubous, emerald-spotted wood doves. And I had never been on a safari where you slept out the heat of the day under a tree.
– Horatio Clare

Our Favourite Camps & Lodges

Local knowledge is absolutely key in getting the best out of any wilderness area and nowhere is this more true in the Kafue with its small bush camps – properly off the beaten track.
Musekese Safari Camp

If a camp could be cloned and replanted in every wild place worth visiting it would be Musekese as it’s everything that a safari camp should be.

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Kaingu Safari Lodge

Kaingu has an attention to detail and level of service that would put many more prominent establishments to shame, Kaingu is an excellent place to relax at the beginning or end of a Kafue-journey.

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Meet Our Travel Experts

It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary. The Natural High team have unrivalled experience and will take your ideas and turn them into your trip of a lifetime.

Into The Wild Brochure

Need some more inspiration? Request a copy of Into The Wild, our comprehensive anthology of safaris and wilderness travel.

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A print anthology of safari and wilderness travel with over 220 pages of travel inspiration.

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