Kafue National Park in Zambia

The perennial Kafue River and seasonal Busanga floodplains are the star attractions in a varied national park

Kafue National Park is Zambia’s largest wildlife reserve and also one of the biggest in Africa. It covers more than 22000km² (2500km2 more than South Africa’s Kruger National Park), and the terrain varies significantly from north to south. The park’s top third is separated by the M9 highway and this northern section is defined by rivers, large and small. Seasonal floodplains and far-reaching, wildlife-rich wetlands dominate northern Kafue and as the Kafue River flows south, the surrounding area becomes increasingly drier. Large sections of Kalahari wood- and grassland make southern Kafue a perfect home to ever-growing populations of plains game as well as the park’s largest concentrations of elephant.

Highlights

martial eagle

Martial eagle in Kafue

Birders will delight in the extreme northwest of the park where the Busanga Swamps, an official Ramsar site, attract close to 500 species, including large flocks of herons, egrets, and endangered wattle cranes. Numerous antelope species are also common in the north, especially kudu, bushbuck, eland, reedbuck, duiker, grysbok, lechwe and waterbuck. Buffalo and elephant can be found in large herds further south. Lion are widespread and there’s a particular pride in Busanga that’s known for climbing trees. Leopards are frequently spotted in forested areas, especially during night drives, though these are only permitted with certified guides, booked through a camp or lodge. Walking safaris are best during winter, while boat safaris are available along the Kafue River during the wet summer months. Herds of buffalo congregate in Kafue NP

Travel tips

The tarred M9 (also known as the Mongu Road) provides year-round access to the north, and Kafue’s main gate, Hook Bridge, can be reached in a four-hour drive from Lusaka. The park’s extensive internal road network is 4x4 only, however, and much of it is totally inaccessible from late November through April, when heavy rains turn the dirt tracks to mud. Wildlife is generally more prolific in the north of the park and this is also where a number of luxury lodges provide all-inclusive safari packages. Many of them stay open all year, offering fly-in safaris to avoid the bad roads. Camps in the central and southern sections tend to be more affordable, but without access by air they usually close during the worst of the rains.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Grand Zambia Wildlife Safari (9 days)

day 1

Welcome to Zambia
  • Grand Zambia Wildlife Safari (9 days)
  • Grand Zambia Wildlife Safari (9 days)
  • Grand Zambia Wildlife Safari (9 days)
  • Grand Zambia Wildlife Safari (9 days)
  • Grand Zambia Wildlife Safari (9 days)
  • Grand Zambia Wildlife Safari (9 days)

day 2

Smoke that Thunders

day 3

Wild Kafue
  • Grand Zambia Wildlife Safari (9 days)
  • Grand Zambia Wildlife Safari (9 days)
  • Grand Zambia Wildlife Safari (9 days)
  • Grand Zambia Wildlife Safari (9 days)
  • Grand Zambia Wildlife Safari (9 days)
  • Grand Zambia Wildlife Safari (9 days)

day 4

Puku, lechwe and roan, to name a few

day 5

Tree-climbing lions

day 6

Living Luangwa
  • Grand Zambia Wildlife Safari (9 days)
  • Grand Zambia Wildlife Safari (9 days)
  • Grand Zambia Wildlife Safari (9 days)
  • Grand Zambia Wildlife Safari (9 days)
  • Grand Zambia Wildlife Safari (9 days)
  • Grand Zambia Wildlife Safari (9 days)

day 7

Elephants in reception...?

day 8

A walking safari is a must

day 9

Fly Home

View Full Itinerary

You might also like

Lower Zambezi National Park

Lower Zambezi National Park is one of Zambia’s premier wildlife destinations, certainly in the top three with South Luangwa and Kafue. Ravaged by poaching in the 1980s, the park has since recovered well, though tragically the rhino population was wiped out completely. Wildlife viewing is best along the rivers, which border the park on three sides. The Zambezi River itself is the…

Travel insurance for Zambia

Comprehensive medical insurance is essential for holidays to Zambia. It should include cover for emergency evacuation and private hospitalisation within Zambia, transfers for specialist treatment in neighbouring countries and, ultimately, repatriation. Make sure you’re covered for safari activities and close wildlife encounters, and any other adventure activities you plan on doing.…

Adventure holiday in Zambia

For true adventure, a self-drive 4x4 safari through Zambia is guaranteed to thrill. It’s best done well into the dry season (mid-June to October) when tracks inside the national parks are at their driest and there’s less chance of getting stuck. Even then, thorough preparation, good backup (minimum two vehicles) and some previous African 4x4 experience are essential. A self-drive…

Zambia in November

November is the spring ‘shoulder’ season in Zambia when many lodges offer reduced rates or close completely, mostly on account of the unpredictable weather. Nobody knows exactly when the rains will begin, but they usually start in the north of Zambia first, then slowly move south over the course of the month. Lodges with fly-in access are more likely to stay open, but even some of…

Why go to Zambia

Although not entirely unique to Zambia, the country stands apart from others in the region in that the majority of its lodges and bush camps are owner-run. This tends to create a more personal experience – a homely kind of service that draws people back again and again. There are a number of luxury lodges to choose from, but also a good selection of smaller, eco-conscious operators.…

Victoria Falls in Zambia

Arguably Africa’s most famous attraction, the 1.7km-wide Victoria Falls lives up to its hype, especially when viewed in full flow. At its peak between February and May, more than 550 million litres of water (enough to fill 220 Olympic-size swimming pools) spills into the Batoka Gorge every minute. The falls can be viewed from both Zambia and Zimbabwe, but Zambia tends to be quieter and…

Popular Zambia Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

 | Luxurious South Africa and Zambia Honeymoon Safari (10 days)

South Africa and Zambia honeymoon

Explore the romantic Atlantic Ocean with it's multi-cultural heritage and a Big Five safari in the Sabi Sands, finally ending off at Victoria Falls from the Zambian side...

Boating on the Chobe River | Quick Victoria Falls and Chobe Experience (5 days)

Quick Victoria Falls and Chobe Experience (5 days)

Visit Livingstone, Zambia, to marvel at the Victoria Falls – or 'the smoke that thunders' – before going on safari and a river cruise in Botswana's Chobe National Park...

 | Jewels of Zimbabwe and Zambia Safari (9 days)

Jewels of Zimbabwe and Zambia Safari (9 days)

Fall under the spell of three prime attractions in Zimbabwe and Zambia – Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park and the Mana Pools ...

Boat at sunset | Luxury Zambian Odyssey (7 days)

Luxury Zambian Odyssey (7 days)

One week safari to three Zambian national parks, including the flagship South Luangwa, and end in style with a visit to the remarkable Victoria Falls...

 | City and Safari in Southern Africa (14 days)

City and Safari in Southern Africa (14 days)

Majestic wildlife and the riches of Africa. ...

 | Best of Zambia Wilderness Safari (10 days)

Best of Zambia Wilderness Safari (10 days)

With some of the wildest and most remote game areas on the continent, and a remarkably low population in a massive country, Zambia has an aura of mystery waiting to be uncovered....

Romantic view | Deluxe Honeymoon Safari in Cape Town, Kruger and Victoria Falls (10 days)

Deluxe Honeymoon Safari in Cape Town, Kruger and Victoria Falls (10 days)

Combine three of Southern Africa's most loved destinations into one romantic getaway and you'll share the memories forever...

 | Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)

Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)

Why not visit more than one exciting African destination? See the Great Migration, Victoria Falls and wildlife-rich Hwange National Park...

Camp fire | Victoria Falls, Okavango Delta and Chobe Safari (7 days)

Victoria Falls, Okavango Delta and Chobe Safari (7 days)

This three-in-one journey will show you the majestic Victoria Falls, the massive elephant bulls of Chobe and the natural wonder that is the Okavango Delta...

 | Luxury Safari in Botswana and Victoria Falls (7 days)

Luxury Safari in Botswana and Victoria Falls (7 days)

Experience the paradise of Botswana and enjoy game viewing as well as exciting activities in Zambia ...

Ready to start your adventure?

Your tailor-made African holiday starts here...

How can we get hold of you?

How many people will be travelling?

Details

Please tell us more about your travel plans?


Discover Africa needs the contact information you provide, to us to contact you. You may unsubscribe from these communications at anytime.

Submitting your inquiry

Thank you, your enquiry has been received

Thank you, your enquiry has been received

Reference:

 +27 21 422 3498
   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    8AM - 5PM GMT+2