Article by Laura Waite of Green Safaris
Kafue National Park, the largest and oldest park in Zambia, is one of the last great expanses of remote and unspoiled wilderness in Africa. And it is right on your doorstep! The park is easily accessed by road or air from Lusaka or Livingstone and should be on everyone’s bucket list to experience true wilderness. Drive time from Lusaka is just 3.5 hours on a well-maintained tar road.
22,400 square kilometers of pristine African bush to explore in open 4×4 game viewers, by boat on the mighty Kafue River or using your own two feet in the form of walking safaris. 40% of all of Africa’s water flows through Zambia and the Kafue River – the major lifeline of this park – is one of the largest rivers in the country. This unexplored gem of a park is enticing for it’s incredible diversity of wildlife and it’s sheer quantity of big game.
The park was established in the 1950s by the legendary Norman Carr but despite it’s size, diversity and wealth of game remains largely unexplored. From the remote northern seasonal Busanga floodplain formed of open grassland dotted with wild date palm, sausage and fig tree ‘islands’, through central miombo woodland and along the banks of the mighty Kafue river to the more sandy southern plains interspersed with teak forests; this park represents an incredible collection of diverse habitats.
On the big game front lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo are all prominent. Further to this, Kafue boasts the highest population of wild dog in Africa and the greatest diversity of antelope in the world including the much revered roan and sable antelopes. It’s also the best park in Zambia to see cheetah, arguably the only park where this is still possible.
The diversity of habitat makes Kafue one of the best locations in Africa for birding. The Kafue riverbanks, wetlands, savannah and woodland boast an impressive 478 of Zambia’s 733-recorded bird species. Among them African Wattled and Crowned Crane, Fish Eagle, Woolly-Necked Stork, Saddle Billed Stork, Goliath Heron, Ground Hornbill, African Fin Foot, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Purple-Crested Lourie and Chaplin’s Barbet.
So what are you waiting for? Start planning your visit to Kafue today!
Opening May 12th, 2016!!