The most important of Zambia’s conservation areas, Kafue National Park gives its guests uncommon safari expertise: wonderful large sport viewing with barely one other vehicle’s insight.
Kafue is the oldest park in Zambia and the second-largest national park in the world (it is approximately the size of Wales at 22400 square kilometers), yet it lacks a successful history. The park remained mostly unvisited for a long time, and only recently have campgrounds begun to sprout up. Because poachers are attracted to any undeveloped wildlife region, the game has decreased, but it is still exceptional—more so in diversity than in quantity—and includes the renowned tree-climbing lions and the cheetah, which is a rare sighting in Zambia.
This African grassland is dominated by the Kafue River, which supplies water to life there. Rich grassland and riverine woods that are home to teak trees can be found throughout much of the park thanks to the Lunga and Lufupa rivers. This entire region floods during the rainy season, making it impossible for tourists to visit.
Kafue National Park Zambia Travel & Safari Guide
The Kafue National Park is a vast area of wilderness in central Zambia that is roughly the size of Wales at 22,400 km2. It is Africa’s second-largest National Park, behind Namibia’s Namib-Naukluft National Park.
Despite its popularity, straightforward access from Lusaka (it is the only park in Zambia that can be reached by road from the capital), excellent game viewing, and abundance of top-notch camps and lodges, it still occupies a significant portion of Zambia’s “untouched” territory.
Instead, most tourists choose to travel east to South Luangwa and south to Lower Zambezi. This is regrettable in some ways, but it also means that those who do come here get to experience a really unique Kafue safari with very few other travelers sighted during their safari.
In this article, I am going to talk about Kafue National Park animals, weather, activities, location, fees, camping, lodges, Zambia, etc.
Actions within the park embody sport drives, guided strolling safaris, and evening drives in the hunt for leopards.
Established in 1950, Kafue is Zambia’s oldest nationwide park. It’s the second-largest wildlife sanctuary on the planet, spanning 22 400 sq. kilometers (8 650 sq. miles) of the spectacular African wilderness.
An enormous 22,500 sq. kilometers make up Zambia’s largest and oldest nationwide park, Kafue.
Regardless of being established in the 1950s and being simply 2 hours from Livingstone, the park stays largely unexplored and is much less visited than parks corresponding to South Luangwa and the Lower Zambezi, making it an ideal mixture with both of them.
Defending all kinds of various environments, the park is roughly cut up north to south by the Kafue River, a significant tributary of the Zambezi, which runs through rapids and calms earlier than hitting the Itezhi Tezhi Dam.
Kafue national park Fast Info
Measurement: Kafue National Park, Zambia is, without doubt, one of the largest parks in Africa, roughly the identical measurement of Wales at 22,500 km2.
The prominent British-Rhodesian environmentalist Norman Carr founded Kafue National Park, the largest national park in Zambia, in the 1950s. The native inhabitants of this region, the Nkoya people, were relocated by the British colonial administration from their hunting grounds to the eastern Mumbwa District.
Distinctive for: the Busunga Plains are house to one of many few identified breeding websites for endangered wattle cranes.
Distinctive for: being probably the greatest location in Africa to seek out leopards.
Wildlife-recognizing alternatives: cheetahs, wild dogs, hippos, and among the largest crocodiles in South Africa could be seen right here.
Unfold over such an enormous space, the African Kafue National Park gives guests wonderful sports viewing, birdwatching, and fishing adventures.
The attractive Busanga Plains, within the north, stretching so far as the attention can see and are one of Zambia’s most important wetland assets.
Fertile dambos located within the south are fed by the Lunga, Lufupa, and Kafue Rivers – prime places for viewing among the 500 species of birds discovered within the park.
Kafue National Park is situated 360km/223 mi from Lusaka. Self-drive to the park is comparatively simple on the Lusaka-Mongu Highway. Nonetheless, to enterprise any distance into the park itself, an excellent 4×4 is important.
Kafue Nationwide Park is a well-liked park due to its range; grasslands, forests, and floodplains. The Busanga Plains are an enormous floodplain, fed by the Lufupa River. When the floodwaters recede, tiny shoots of grass seem, to attract big herds of wildebeest, zebra, and antelope.
Kafue National Park is Zambia’s largest National Park and the 2nd largest on the planet. It covers a space of over 22,500 sq. kilometers in Western Zambia (concerning the measurement of Wales).
Busanga Plains and Kafue River
The Busanga Plains in the reserve’s north or the center region, where the Kafue River flows through the park, are where most tourists choose to spend their time because of how different the park is from north to south. There are several campgrounds in the less wildlife-rich, more open southern part of the park, which makes a suitable rest stop on the way from the park’s center down to Livingstone.
The most well-known and visually stunning area of the park is the Busanga Plains, which is made up of a vast area of Zambezi grassland that never completely drains, even during the dry winter months. Naturally, the floods prevent access for a large portion of the year; the bulk of the campers here are open from June to October.
Among other animals, it’s an excellent site to watch wild dogs, lions, and elephants. Busanga is also a great place to see semi-aquatic red lechwe antelope, which graze in enormous herds on the plains. The flat, wide ground here is perfect for ballooning, which some of the camps are able to provide. The morning mists here are truly a sight to behold.
Large stretches of miombo forest and open grasslands dominate the middle region along the Kafue River, making it a more “typical” safari environment. It has a higher concentration of camps, and because of the better circumstances, some of them, particularly those near the Kafue River, remain open all year.
Since guests who don’t want to fly in small planes may reach this region by road from Lusaka, it might be a relatively affordable destination to visit. Leopard sightings are more frequent here than in the wide Busanga Plains, where big cat sightings are quite excellent. Here, you may go on game drives, led walks, and even boat rides for a truly well-rounded safari experience.
Kafue National Park Wildlife and eco-systems
The south receives much less rain than the north and the sport could be a little patchy, it’s a fantastic place for many who have traveled to Africa earlier and are on the lookout for extra of a discovery journey than a wildlife one.
The north is named Busanga Plains, an undulating plateau, primarily consisting of miombo woodland veined by rivers and dotted with dambos.
The principal tree family listed below are Brachstegia and Julbernadia, which, because of bushfires, have constructed some form of fire-resistant bark.
Within the moist seasons, heavy downpours drown the realm, receding within the dry months to disclose lush inexperienced vegetation.
Within the very north, the Lufupa River flows into the everlasting Busanga Swamps.
The tropical rivers are fashionable with hippos and crocodiles, and elephants are recurrently seen on the sandy banks taking a drink, and it’s incredible to see them on the rise after they suffered so laborious from poaching.
Kafue National Park, Zambia is well-renowned as probably the greatest location to identify leopards, particularly in the evening using highlights.
Different predators embody lions hanging out in bushes, slender cheetahs, and elusive wild dogs. There are extra species of antelope right here than in another park, though it’ll take a little bit of a journey to see all of them.
There are about 158 mammal species recorded within the park, together with some extra uncommon species corresponding to pangolin, land monitor, and aardvark, in addition to two sorts of baboons, civets, noticed neck and clawless otters, and the infamous honey badger.
All through the park, the everlasting Kafue River follows a well-defined course and widens in a couple of locations that place limitations of more durable rocks close to the floor powering it into shallow, rocky rapids.
Bordering the Eastern facet of Southern Kafue is Lake Itezhi-Tezhi – a big, artificial lake that was created in 1977.
One of Africa’s best-undiscovered parks is the Kafue National Park. It is only a two-hour drive from Livingstone and offers breathtaking possibilities for wildlife viewing due to its immense size and variety.
Kafue is home to four of the Big 5, however, it does not have the same diversity of species as the South Luangwa or Lower Zambezi national parks. An exceptional variety of antelopes may be seen there, including sizable herds of red lechwe and puku as well as elusive species like the blue- and yellow-backed duiker.
The park is home to all of Africa’s big cats, including the cheetah, which cannot be found in South Luangwa or Lower Zambezi. Cheetahs are most usually seen in the park’s north, however, they are not regularly seen there. In the park, lions are rather common.
You could see them pursuing herds of puku and lechwe at night while using the natural drainage ditches as cover with lethal effectiveness. If leopards are your favorite big cats, Kafue could be the place for you. Experts consider the park to be one of the greatest locations in Africa for spotting the elusive cat.
Throughout the Northern half of the park, there’s an excellent variety of combined bush environments, and right here kudu, bushbuck, eland, reedbuck, frequent duiker, grysbok, and defassa waterbuck are all incessantly seen.
The lion is comparatively widespread all around the park, however, the bigger males are more and more unusual, with inevitable penalties for numbers as an entire. Leopards stay quite common all through the principal forested areas of the park, although they’re seldom seen on the open plains.
Noticed hyenas are seen recurrently, although not typically, all through the park. The cheetah should not frequent wherever, however, they’re most incessantly seen within the north of the park, the place they appear to be thriving. The birding in Kafue is superb.
There have been about 495 species recorded right here, suggesting that the park has in all probability the richest bird life of any Zambian park. The park is well accessed from each Lusaka and Livingstone with a 2-3 hour drive though many want to fly in with charter flights.
The birding is simply as prolific, with almost 500 species recorded, from African fin-foot and Pel’s fishing owl to wattled crane, goliath heron, and black-cheeked lovebirds. One of the most hazardous predator populations in all of Africa may be found in Kafue, which is particularly well-known for its leopard population.
Cheetahs, wild dogs, hippopotamuses, buffalo, and antelopes like sable, roan, and Lichtenstein’s hartebeest are among the lovely species that may be found all across this region.
Unlike other national parks in Africa, Kafue is reported to contain the biggest number of African wild dogs. The park is home to more than just cats. The wild dogs may be found practically anywhere, including deep woods, riverine habitats, and dambo areas, on both banks of the Kafue River.
More rare species including pangolin, bush pig, aardvark, wild cat, honey badger, and others are frequently spotted in Kafue.
Exotic Birdwatching claims that the birding in Kafue is extraordinary. With 497 species, Kafue likely has the most diverse bird population of any park in Zambia. This is almost equal to the number of species in all of Europe. The park is home to critically endangered and endangered species such the gray crowned crane, hottentot buttonquail, hooded vulture, and white-backed vulture.
Kafue is one of the best places to go birdwatching because of the variety of habitats there; 500 species have been identified there. These offer a habitat for ecosystems of many sizes and sorts to flourish, from riverine marshes to miombo woods.
There are countless varieties of birds in this region. Some of them include the African finfoot Böhm’s bee-eater, black-cheeked lovebird, wattled and crowned crane, Pel’s fishing owl, and one unique bird, the Chaplin Barbet.
The Northern part of Kafue National Park is a barely undulating plateau, veined by rivers – the Lufupa, the Lunga, the Ntemwa, the Mukombo, the Mukunashi, and the Lubuji – that are all tributaries of the principle Kafue, whose basin extends to the border with DRC.
Within the far North of Kafue National Park, Zambia, the Lufupa River flows into the Busanga Swamps. Through the rains, this floods out over the adjoining Busanga Plains. Later, round May, when these waters recede, they go away behind a carpet of lush vegetation – which is irresistible to many herbivores
Large and tiny open plains may be found all across Kafue. Miombo forests, which span much of central and southern Africa, are the predominant vegetation type. They offer food and protection to a wide variety of animals, such as antelopes, lions, and elephants.
The Zambezian flooded grasslands, including the perennially wet Busanga Swamps, are located to the park’s north. Large herds of herbivores and their predators may be seen in the marsh. perfect for watching sports.
Southern Kafue has been largely ignored for a few years. The truth is that the sport could be fairly patchy, clustered around areas the place it has traditionally been finest protected.
These areas have been increasing just lately, and it’s step by step changing into a space price visiting for extra outdated African palms who worth the exploration as a lot because of the game-sightings.
Activities in Kafue National Park
Overlaying such a big space, with a wide range of habitats, Zambia Kafue National Park is wealthy in wildlife and lots of its species appear to exhibit robust native variations of their distribution. It is a reflection of the big variety of habitats in such a big park.
Kafue National Park, Zambia has an outstanding variety of antelope and it’s attainable to go to and see giant herds of red lechwe and puku, with smaller teams of zebra and blue wildebeest within the Busanga Plains around June, when it begins to dry out.
Game drives: Kafue is home to several lodges and camps that provide a variety of activities, including game drives. Your drive will be accompanied by a guide who will point out any hazards. This is a terrific opportunity to learn more about the park because the guides are very educated. Kafue offers both daytime and nighttime driving opportunities.
Walking safaris: Getting up close to the African bush gives you a wonderful opportunity to explore the wilderness. In Kafue National Park, walking safaris can last all night, offering visitors the chance to set up tents in the wild.
Balloon flights: At specific seasons of the year, you may fly above the park and get a birds-eye perspective of the scenery and fauna.
Boat safaris: The Kafue River is home to several crocodiles and hippos, and a boat safari offers the chance to get up close to these reptiles as well as a unique opportunity to see wildlife approaching the water’s edge to drink.
Entry fees for Kafue National Park
Citizens (ZK): K33.60
Residents/SADC Nationals (USD): $15
Non-residents (USD): $20
Over 150 animal species may be found in Zambia’s largest national park, Kafue. The Kafue River, which flows through the park, is the source of its name. The astounding 22 400 km2 region is divided into three provinces: North Western, Central, and Southern.
Kafue might not be the best place for you if you want to see large animals everywhere you go. The scenery, isolation, and exclusivity of this park all contribute to its appeal. Kafue is the ideal park for you if you’re seeking an off-the-beaten-path location or a frequent traveler to the nation.
There are several “shuttle flights” to/from airstrips in the park, although the major area of the park is easily accessible from Lusaka via the Great West Road. Kafue National Park is a jewel that hasn’t yet been discovered. It makes sense that so many people dream of visiting this incredible location given the more than 500 bird species that call this vast savannah home.
One of the best things about a luxury Kafue safari is that, by combining the core region and Busanga Plains, you can enjoy two quite different experiences inside the same park. A unique chance that shouldn’t be passed up. If you want to maximize the enjoyment of your upcoming vacation, we can
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