One of largest national parks in the world and certainly Africa, Kafue covers a vast 22,400km² - around the size of Massachusetts or Wales. Naturally the landscape varies greatly across such a large area, although excellent game viewing and the permanent waters of the Kafue River remain constant features of the park.
Split by the Great West Road, striking through from Lusaka, Kafue is characterised by dambos wetlands and miombo woodlands, with plenty of plains game and superb leopard sightings on offer. The Busanga Plains is one of the best game viewing areas inside the park and a fantastic place to stay, with a number of excellent camps in the locale. From Busanga you can expect superb game viewing with blue wildebeest, large numbers of oribi, elephant, huge herds of red lechwe and lion.
One of the main attractions on a Kafue National Park safari is its incredible birdlife. Boasting almost 500 species, the rich variety of habitats found in the park ensure the chance to see anything from wattled crane to a yellow-throated leaflove.
Leopard, lion and spotted hyena are Kafue's dominant large predators, sightings of all three being quite common. The park's forested areas are the best place to spot leopard while lion are seen throughout the park. Hyena sightings can be somewhat more sporadic, something particularly true for Kafue's cheetah and wild dog populations. While both can be seen in the park, sightings are rare. However, Kafue is currently regarded as the main stronghold for the endangered wild dog, followed by the South Luangwa. Another endangered species, which is currently making a comeback is Kafue's elephant; they are making an excellent recovery with a number of areas in the park now home to large herds of the gentle giants.
The opportunity to glimpse into the life of nocturnal species is always a popular one and the likes of mongoose and porcupines can be seen while on exciting night drives. During the wetter months, and depending where you stay, boat trips are also on offer, although game drives remain the staple means of exploration. Hot air balloon safaris can also be enjoyed. Camps and lodges found in Kafue range considerably, owing to its large area, however a wide variety of luxury properties are on offer, ideally situated in some of the best game viewing areas in the park.
Our favourite itineraries, showcasing the best of Kafue National Park
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Found in the Busanga Plains - the centrepiece of Kafue's game viewing experience - Shumba Camp affords fantastic game viewing, with lion, cheetah and even wild dog joined by a variety of plains game. Accommodation is tented and very comfortable.
A rustic bush camp in the heart of the Busanga Plains, this island is surrounded by sycamore fig trees and affords incredible game viewing, especially of lion. Expect fantastic views of the plains and tasty al fresco meals.
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