The Kafue National Park is Africa’s biggest game sanctuary covering 22,500 square kilometres. The Kafue River and its tributaries contribute to the diversity of the landscapes.
The northern section of the park is dominated by a vast floodplain which attracts a variety of animals and birds all year round. This is one of Kafue’s richest wildlife areas attracting a diverse range of antelope including the red lechwe and the Sitatungas in deep swamps.
Its attraction is its exclusivity and excellent game viewing with barely another soul in sight!
Throughout the park, the permanent Kafue River follows a well-defined course, and widens in a few places where barriers of harder rocks near the surface force it into shallow, rocky rapids. Bordering the Eastern side of Southern Kafue is Lake Itezhi-Tezhi – a large, manmade lake that was created in 1977.
The Northern section of Kafue National Park is a slightly undulating plateau, veined by rivers – the Lufupa, the Lunga, the Ntemwa, the Mukombo, the Mukunashi, and the Lubuji – which are all tributaries of the main Kafue, whose basin extends to the border with DRC.
In the far North of Kafue National Park, the Lufupa River flows into the Busanga Swamps. During the rains, this floods out over the adjacent Busanga Plains. Later, around May, when these waters recede, they leave behind a carpet of lush vegetation – which is irresistible to many herbivores
Southern Kafue has been largely ignored for many years. The reality is that the game can be quite patchy, clustered around areas where it has historically been best protected.
These areas have been expanding recently though, and it’s gradually becoming an area worth visiting for more old Africa hands who value the exploration as much as the game-sightings.
Covering such a large area, with a variety of habitats, Kafue is rich in wildlife and many of its species seem to exhibit strong local variations in their distribution. This is a reflection of the wide variety of habitats in such a large park.
Kafue has a superb range of antelope and it’s possible to visit and see large herds of red lechwe and puku, with smaller groups of zebra and blue wildebeest in the Busanga Plains around June, when it starts to dry out.
Across the Northern half of the park, there’s a good range of mixed bush environments, and here kudu, bush-buck, eland, reed-buck, common duiker, grysbok and defassa water-buck are all frequently seen .Lion are relatively widespread all over the park, but the larger males are increasingly uncommon, with inevitable consequences for numbers as a whole.
Leopards remain very common throughout the main forested areas of the park, though they are seldom seen on the open plains. Spotted hyenas are seen regularly, though not often, throughout the park.
Cheetah are not common anywhere, but they’re most frequently seen in the north of the park, where they seem to be thriving. The birding in Kafue is very good.
There have been about 495 bird species recorded here, suggesting that the park has probably the richest birdlife of any Zambian park.
The park is easily accessed from both Lusaka and Livingstone with a 2-3 hour drive although many prefer to fly in with charter flights.
Where to stay
Busanga Bush camp is located in the Northern sector of Kafue National Park in Western Zambia. Busanga Bush camp is hidden in a well vegetated tree-island of sycamore fig trees, overlooking the vast Busanga Plains.
There are four well-appointed and comfortable tents designed in a traditional Meru style. The decor is pleasantly simple with natural fabrics and safari-style furniture.
The top half of the tent walls is mosquito-proof gauze with the bottom section canvas which allows for the cooling breeze to enter. Each room has an open ensuite bathroom with flush toilet and hot showers.
The lounge and bar area is under canvas with an uninterrupted view out over the plains; breakfast is often served here to take in the view of herds of lechwe and puku feeding.
A little further back is the dining area, shaded by the canopy of a majestic tree from which an unusual lantern chandelier hangs, romantically lighting up dinner; most meals are served in the open air.
Kafue Hippo Lodge is situated along the banks of the Kafue River in Kafue National Park, Zambia.
The lodge is situated on East bank of the Kafue River, in the northern sector of the Kafue National Park, 100 km west-northwest of Mumbwa. Northeast of Hippo is the Lubungu ferry crossing on the old Kasempa road. Approximately 40 km downstream is Lufupa Lodge.
Two types of accommodation are offered, depending on preference and availability, in thatched chalets or safari tents. All the accommodation has been uniquely designed and framed with exquisite views of the Kafue River and its surrounds.
Honeymoon house (recently rebuilt) is a romantic house for couples set under large Jackal Berry trees on the edge of the river.
Munjili House is a small family chalet and ideal for bird watching, set back from the river with great views of the bush and a pair of resident Crowned Eagles.
Two rustic safari-style tents, each accommodating two people with en-suite open-air stone bathrooms are situated in amongst Riverine woodland.
Creative and appetizing meals are prepared by a trained chef and served in an open dining room overlooking the river. Adjacent to the dining room is a fully stocked bar and swimming pool – a great place to cool off on a hot day or watch the sun go down. A small library of nature reference books and novels is also available to guests.
Kaingu safari lodge offers accommodation at the Kaingu Lodge and private campsites in the Namwala GMA and at the Bush camp in the Kafue National Park.
Set on raised individual private wooden decks, each overlooking the Kafue River, Kaingu Safari Lodge comprises 4 double Meru-style tents with en-suite bathrooms, indoor showers and an open-air shower or bath. The tent’s additional thatched roof provides extra shade.
Our Finfoot family house consists of 2 bedrooms (one queen, one twin), 2 en-suite bathrooms plus outside shower and a central living area opening onto a private deck overlooking the river. It’s a perfect spot for a couple with children, or a small group of friends.
In walking distance to the lodge are two beautifully appointed grassy campsites by the rapids. Each site has its own ablution block with cold and hot running water, a kitchen sink, fire pits for cooking and a thatched sheltered area.
This newly built seasonal camp in the Kafue National Park consists of three spacious Bedouin style safari tents, each with an attached roofed sitting area. The heavy red wood furniture combines traditional African craftsmanship with modern comfort.
Kapinga Camp is situated in the extreme northwest corner of Kafue National Park, in an area called the Busanga Plains.
Kafue is one of the largest national parks in Africa, while the Busanga Plains is one of Zambia’s most significant wetland resources and one of the few areas in the world that remains unspoiled by human development.
Kapinga Camp is designed to be in harmony with the environment; natural products have been used as much as possible in its construction.
Interiors are spacious and with only four luxury safari tents accommodating a maximum of eight guests, one can be assured of exceptional personal attention.
Tents and the main area are all shaded by a canopy of majestic trees and on raised wooden platforms to enhance the panoramic view across the plains.
Lively colours and stripes characterize the main area, comprising a lounge, dining area, camp fire and small pool under a shady tree.
Dining and bar area are under a canopy of majestic trees. And dinners served in a traditional style boma under the stars, overlooking the Busanga Floodplains or indoors.
Konkamoya Lodge is located on the banks of Lake Itezhi- Tezhi in the South of Kafue National Park. Konkamoya Lodge has five luxurious safari tents furnished in a colonial style, they can host up to five couples offering them an experience of a close up encounter with nature.
Every tent is a small apartment with bedroom, sitting room, a bathroom with hot and cold running water and shower.
Electricity is guaranteed by a Solar System with a low environmental impact. The tents are on a wooden platform that keeps the tent a meter from the ground and distant from any unwanted guests.
East facing all the tents look across the lake with a marvellous view of the renowned African sunrise and are surrounded by mahogany, ebony, baobabs and sansevieria cilindrica bushes.
Leopard Lodge is a small and intimate lodge offering a remote location on the banks of the Kafue River in the Kafue National Park.
Relax in one of our 6 well-appointed stylish chalets which are individually sited to ensure your privacy. The elegant Rhodesian Teak furnishings compliment the African Colonial decor of the bedrooms and the en suite bathrooms. Stretch out in comfort on beds that are dressed with percale cotton linen – a treat after a busy day in the bush.
Unwind and soak up the African bush from the deck that extends over the Kafue River, the major focal point of the Lodge.
It is here that you meet for an early morning coffee before the morning events, enjoy a hearty brunch later in the morning and then it is from here that you have front row seats to life in the African bush..
Savor your dinner around a fire under a sky filled with stars or if the weather is not playing its part in our African Colonial Restaurant.
Lufupa River Camp is situated at the confluence of the Lufupa and Kafue Rivers, this site offers access to productive game viewing areas in the dambos and woodlands of the Northern Kafue.
Lufupa River Camp features nine comfortable en-suite tents (two of which are family rooms) on the banks of the Kafue River offered on a bed-and-breakfast basis.
The vibrant social hub is the whimsically named Kafue River Café with a bar and restaurant; à la carte meals and drinks are served during the day and early evening to guests of Lufupa River Camp and the nearby campsite.
The dining and bar area are under huge jackal berry trees, overlooking the Kafue River. Meals are served at the River Café. There is a swimming pool.
Mawimbi Bush Camp is situated at the riverbank of the beautiful Kafue River in the Kafue National Park in Western Zambia.
Three large and uniquely styled canvas tents located on the river bank ensure your ultimate exclusivity. Each has its own en-suite outdoor bathroom with a hand wash basin and bucket shower that is supplied with hot water on demand and an ecologically designed “green” toilet.
All of the tents are fully mosquito proofed, with two beds in the main area of the tent with a covered entrance veranda overlooking the river for perfect game viewing and relaxing.
The tent is tastefully furnished with all basic necessities and decorated in subtle African themes.
Lufupa Tented Camp is situated in the Northern sector of the 22,500km2 Kafue National Park; this camp was originally part of the old ‘Lufupa Lodge’, which was run by Busanga Trails. After a refurbishment and a few significant changes, it reopened in July 2007 as Lufupa Tented Camp, run by Wilderness Safaris.
Lufupa Tented Camp has eight en-suite tents. One of these is a family tent with two adjoining rooms and a shared bathroom. Each tent has a wooden deck with a view over the river. It’s a great spot to relax and do a touch of bird spotting between activities.
Strengthened by a wooden pole frame, each of the Meru-tents are spacious and have high ceilings to help keep the interior cool.
Good air flow is further aided by three sides of the tent having tall netted windows. White ceiling to floor curtains remain open during the day for an un-spoilt all round view but can be drawn to cover the windows at night.
Each room has been very simply, yet tastefully decorated. Comfortable beds are adorned with duvets printed in earthy browns and creams. The bathroom is divided from the sleeping area by a woven screen that doubles as an open closet on the bathroom side.
At the center of the camp is an open-sided canvas lounge and dining area situated to make the most of great views across the river.
Next to this, the campfire is the perfect spot to enjoy a drink before settling around the communal dining table for dinner. During the day, you can enjoy a cooling dip in the plunge pool before drying off on one of the comfortable sun loungers.
Shumba Camp is situated in the North-Western corner of Kafue National Park, in the famed Busanga Plains area.
Shumba Camp comprises six spacious luxury safari tents on raised platforms with spectacular views of the surrounding plains. The rooms are large, en-suite with both indoor and outdoor showers.
A maximum of 12 guests can be accommodated at any one time and great emphasis has been placed on the “guided” experience – being led by qualified, enthusiastic people with in-depth knowledge of the area and its wildlife.
Many meals are prepared and cooked on the fire in front of the guests enhancing the safari experience. The dining and bar area is elevated so as to take in this vista and each morning’s sunrise; dinner takes place either here or in the cosy boma where guests can also enjoy elements of local Zambian culture
Sasaab is Located near Samburu National Park, in Northern Kenya, Sasaab Camp overlooks the Ewaso Nyiro River, and is situated on Ngutuk Ongiron Ranch, which – more commonly known as the West Gate Conservancy – is generally considered the best wild land in Samburu.
The multi-peaked main lodge dominates a rocky ridge, and extensive decking affords guests a stunning view of the river and the life it holds.
Sasaab is comprised of nine giant Moroccan tents. Each is over 100 meters square, and includes a bedroom (with four poster double or twin beds), a sunken seating area and a fully serviced bathroom. Electricity is solar powered, offering outlets for charging equipment in each tent.
All the tents of Sasaab have wireless internet connection, cooling fans and, at the very edge of their private verandas, a magnificent plunge pool.
With intricately carved bed frames, overwhelmingly white backgrounds and little glass flourishes, the decor is Moroccan chic, and serves to create an overall impression of space, style and culture.