Kafue National Park
Zambia’s oldest national park, Kafue offers a huge range of safari types that can be combined to produce a one-of-a-kind experience for your safari holiday.
Covering an area larger than Wales, Kafue has spent the past couple of decades being overshadowed by South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi Valleys. However, this behemoth of a Park is making a long-overdue comeback.
Established in the early 1950s, Kafue offers an astonishing range of safari types including top-drawer walking safaris, boating, canoeing, day and night-drives and even a jaunt in a hot air balloon. It’s often dubbed a connoisseur’s choice, thanks to its perceived lack of game concentration and a healthy tsetse fly population, but Kafue offers visitors an extraordinary variety of flora, fauna, and habitat, that you won’t find anywhere else in Zambia.
With more species of antelope than anywhere else, a bird list of 492 (which is only beaten by the more thoroughly-recorded Kruger), and a wonderful spectrum of habitats, visiting Kafue is much like visiting several separate National Parks.
Traverse through plains, marsh, forest, hills, and lake for excellent game-viewing opportunities. Kafue is the best place in Zambia to see cheetah and sable, and is as good as anywhere else in the region to see star attractions like leopard, lion, wild dog, roan, and elephant. While the game isn’t as concentrated as other parks, what it lacks in numbers, it makes up for in spades with variety—it’s not unusual to sight around 40 species of mammal and over 150 species of birds during your trip.
Kafue National Park combines well with Zambia’s other top parks as well as the Victoria Falls, but it is possible to spend around a fortnight exploring the Kafue alone. During your stay, however long or short, you’ll experience a high-quality service to rival Africa’s best parks, staying in camps comparable in quality to anywhere in the Luangwa or Zambezi, exploring different areas, and seeing a range of species you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
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- Balloon safari across the Busanga Plains
- Vast, wildlife and remote park
- Good numbers of elephants
- Great for walking
Top Reasons To Visit Kafue National Park
Often the best safaris involve looking beyond the obvious highlights. It’s about the exhilarating encounters that will make your heart sing. These are encounters that nobody could ever predict, but that make your safari genuinely unique.
Best Time To Visit Kafue National Park
Animals are much easier to spot during Kafue’s dry season between May and October. Vegetation thins and as water supplies dry up, herds are forced together to drink around the remaining watering sources.
During this time, the days are long and sunny with very few, if any, rain showers, making it ideal weather for the walking safaris that Kafue is famous for. While the days will be warm, it’s important to note that these months are Zambia’s winter time, so it’s recommended to wrap up warm for the early morning drives when it’s going to be chilly.
As the season moves along, the days get warmer in preparation for the wet summer season. By the time summer arrives in November, the rain pours in, reviving the natural landscapes and turning Kafue into an emerald paradise. These summer months from November to April are when many birds migrate to the area, giving avid bird watchers the perfect opportunity to spot exotic species.
Best Time To Visit Kafue National Park
Kafue’s Top experiences
Walking Safari in Kafue National ParkOff the Busanga Plains, to the massive Kafue River, an area brimming with wildlife and few other human visitors to be found.
Our Favourite Camps & Lodges
Built entirely under a canopy of majestic fig and ebony trees and overlooking the Busanga Plains, a seasonally inundated grassland dotted with tree islands of which the camp is one.Learn More
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.Learn More
Mukambi Safari Lodge is located on the Kafue River overlooking the Park and just downstream of the “Hook” Bridge.Learn More
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.Learn More
Nanzhila Plains Safari Camp is located on the site of the old Nanzhila Rest Camp which was built in the late 1950’s set in an area of miombo woodland in the remote area of the southern part of the Kafue Park.Learn More
Kafue (FAQS) NEED TO KNOW
How many days do you need in Kafue National Park?
Making a full mega-transect of the Kafue, by track, on foot, hot air balloon, boat and canoe is one of the great safari journeys. The full trip North to South would take a fortnight – but it is possible to do a part of it. The shortest length of time we would recommend in the Kafue would be four days, focussing on one area only, sucks as the Busanga Plains in the far north of the Park, or Lake Itezhi Tezhi towards the South.
What is a typical day on safari in Kafue National Park like?
Any safari day starts early, giving you the chance to see the animals at sunrise as they prepare for the day ahead. You’ll enjoy a tasty, filling breakfast that will give you the energy needed for the day ahead, before heading out on your first game drive of the day.
After the morning game drives, you’ll return to camp to rest and relax after the early start. This is also the time you’ll be able to complete some of the other activities available, including canoeing, boating, or even a ride in a hot air balloon.
Afternoons and evenings are typically spent with a walk from camp as well as another game drive. Listen to stories from your tour guide over a freshly prepared dinner before settling down to gaze at the stars in the night time.
What is the accommodation at Kafue National Park like?
Whether you want a private luxury lodge or want a more rustic and authentic safari experience, Kafue has everything on offer. We’d recommend spending a night at least a couple of nights in a bushcamp, hidden amongst the trees and overlooking the vast plains such as Musekese Camp.
From our Travel Guides
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