Kafue National Park
The largest national park in Zambia, second largest in Africa and one of the largest in the world, the Kafue National Park covers an area of 22 400 km². As a general idea of what 22 400 km² looks like in real life, think of Wales (UK) or Massachusetts (USA).
- Size: 22 400 square kilometres
- Location: South-Western Zambia
- Rainfall: 1200mm
- Altitude: +- 1350m above sea level
- Lodges & accommodation: Kafue National Park
Where is Kafue National Park located?
Kafue is located in the centre of south-western Zambia, yes we know that sounds confusing, but there is no better way to describe the location. The best option for eyeballing the exact location of the national park is via google maps; click here for a link that will open in a new page - Google Maps - Kafue National Park
Information On Kafue National Park
Kafue National Park is Zambia's oldest park, and by far the largest, being proclaimed a national park in 1950 by the legendary Norman Carr.
Despite the park being within a days drive of Lusaka, Livingstone and the Zambian Copperbelt, the park has remained completely underdeveloped. Certain areas within the national park are as wild as the day it was proclaimed.
The most popular destination within the Kafue is the Basunga Plains, a raw and wild slice of the African bushveld that offers excellent wildlife viewing, birding excursions and a spot of fishing should one wish.
Further south within the park and the wildlife is just as good, highlighted wildlife within the park includes; Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs, Wild Dog, Side-Striped Jackal, Civet, Genet, Elephant, Hippo, Defassa Waterbuck, Tsessebe, Hartebeest, Zebra, Buffalo, Red Lechwe, Puku, Sable and Roan Antelopes, Oribi and Duiker to mention only but a few. And the list goes on with over 55 species of mammal.
From the astounding Busanga Plains in the North-western section of the Kafue to the tree-choked wilderness and the lush dambos of the south, fed by the emerald green Lunga, Lufupa and Kafue Rivers, the park sustains huge herds of a great diversity of wildlife. From the thousands of red lechwe on the Plains, the ubiquitous puku, the stately sable and roan antelopes in the woodland to the diminutive oribi and duiker.
One of our personal highlights of the Kafue national park is the birdlife on show, +500 species including; Pel’s Fishing Owl, Black-cheeked Lovebird, Chaplin’s Barbet, Wattled and Crowned Crane, African Fin-foot, Bohm’s Bee-eaters, Racket-tailed Rollers, Helmetshrikes, Sooty and Arnot’s Chat's, African Hawk-eagles, Black-chested Snake-eagles, Pallid and Montagu’s Harriers, Lesser Kestrels and European Hobby. Now just that listing alone will have most birders itching to get and experience that +500 species count.
For those interested in fishing, the Kafue and Lunga Rivers offer excellent opportunities, especially for bream, barbel and freshwater pike.
Best Time to Visit Kafue National Park
As a general rule, the Kafue National Park is accessible year-round. However, it is best in the dry winter months (June to October) for the more remote locations, such as the Basunga Plains.
In the wet summer months (November to April), areas like the Basunga Plains are completely inaccessible, while a few areas further south remain open.
All in all, when looking at a safari with the Kafue, winter is the best period for wildlife and accessing those remote regions, while the summer months are best for birding.
Main Attractions Of Kafue National Park
- Antelopes galore
- +500 species of birds
- +55 species of mammal
- Very remote African bushveld
- Hippos and crocodiles
- Walking, birding, wildlife safaris
- Kafue and Lunga River activities
- Basunga Plains
- Kapinga Camp
Kapinga Camp is situated in the extreme north of the Kafue National Park, and in the north-west corner of the Busanga Plains.
The camp has been designed to blend in with the environment and natural products have been used as much as possible in the construction of the camp.
- Nsolo Camp
Nsolo Camp is one of the more historic camps in Zambia. It was cited by Norman Carr in 1987 and Shaddy, the Camp Manager and guide has been studying the wildlife and conducting walking safaris from this camp for over 10 years.
One of the more remote camps in the South Luangwa.
- Mukambi Safari Lodge
Mukambi Safari Lodge offers guests a safari experience in the Kafue National Park's central region, a region famed for excellent wildlife and birdlife.
Located on the banks of the Kafue River, Mukambi offers game drives, walking safaris, fishing excursions, boat and sunset cruises.
- Shumba Camp
Shumba Camp is situated in the northern region of the Kafue National Park, in the famed Busanga Plains area.
The Plains, covering approximately 750 square kilometres, is considered one of Zambia's most important wetlands as well as a wildlife paradise with a wealth of plains game, predators and birds.
- Puku Ridge Camp
Puku Ridge Camp has a very intimate atmosphere and combines an authentic safari experience under canvas with panoramic views over the abundant South Luangwa floodplain below.
Each of the seven oversized tents has picture windows out onto the floodplain over a private viewing deck.
- Kaingu Lodge
Kaingu Lodge offers guests a choice of six tented suites and one family house, a small and intimate lodge that is owner run and managed that is perfect for couples, honeymoons and families alike.
The lodge is set in a pristine wilderness on the banks of the Kafue River with views into National park itself.