One of Africa’s oldest parks, and the size of Wales, it is arguably one of its best, due to its remoteness, pristine wilderness and diversity of species. Kafue is named after the Kafue River forming part of its boundary as it flows towards the mighty Zambezi and with its expansive wetlands is dramatically different from Zambia’s other national parks.
Kafue is found in the centre of western Zambia. Kafue National Park is the largest of Zambia’s national parks, covering a massive 22,400 km2. Despite its size and prominent location (it is only two hours drive from Livingstone), it remains little-known and largely unexplored, with vast tracts of its virgin bush still untouched.
The far-north contains the Busanga Plains and numerous marshes and is one of Kafue’s best game-viewing areas. It is simply a mecca for predators. With floodwaters receding at the end of the wet season, wildlife is drawn to the lush vegetation and numerous channels. The abundance of wildlife and the open, expansive landscape ensures excellent game-viewing, whether it’s walking, day or night game drives, or ballooning! In fact, exploring the treeline – beloved of elephants – by floating over the plains at dawn by hot-air balloon is one of the best experiences this area offers, giving you a genuine appreciation of this vast wilderness.
Thanks to its size and variety of habitat types, the Kafue holds a fantastic diversity of wildlife. The park is one of the best places in Africa to see cheetah and has impressive lion populations. In terms of wildlife diversity, Kafue has the largest number of different antelope species of any park on the continent – with nineteen species of antelope, including rarely Oribi, Liechtenstein’s hartebeest, and sitatunga. You can also expect to see red lechwe due to the wetlands, elephant, puku, wildebeest, lion, leopard, sable and roan antelopes, and buffalo.
Adding to the remoteness, only a handful of small, highly personal lodges operate in this area, many lifelong Kafue camp or lodge owners. Also available are mobile safaris, guided by those whose knowledge and understanding of the area and its wildlife is born of years of experience. For the safari enthusiast, Kafue is a must-visit park to enjoy to the full.
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