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