Why Go to Kafue National Park?

Where Wildlife & Exclusivity Meet

Welcome to Zambia’s largest conservation area, Kafue National Park. Stretching over 22,400 square kilometres (13,918 miles), the park offers pristine wilderness, excellent game viewing, and an intimate safari experience. With just a few camps and lodges spread throughout, it’s entirely possible, and even probable, to not even hear the distant rumble of another game vehicle.

One of the highlights of a Kafue National Park safari are the Busanga floodplains; once water levels recede, a verdant paradise remains in its wake providing the ultimate calling card for a host of wildlife. Watch as the seasonal floodplains are once again ideal grazing grounds for countless red lechwe, puku antelope and herds of buffalo and wildebeest. While outnumbered, there’s a strong predator presence too with lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, and spotted hyenas hot on their heels.

There are many reasons to embark on a Kafue safari, but here are our top 5:

1. Wonderful Wildlife

A lion leaping over water near Shumba Camp in Kafue | Go2Africa
A lion in Kafue leaping over water | Shumba Camp

When it comes to Kafue National Park animals, there is plenty to see, including 20 different antelope species. Keep an eye out for red lechwe, blue duiker, Sharpe’s grysbok, oribi, roan and sable antelope, and hartebeest to name a few. A total of 158 species of mammal have been recorded in the park and include large numbers of elephants, hippos, zebra, and even a rarely spotted nocturnal species, pangolin.

While there are ample herbivore species, Kafue is also brimming with predators, which include ‘leaping lions’. As their prey have adapted to navigating the labyrinth-like floodplains, so too did the lions, who now leap elegantly over tributaries and waterlogged channels.

The main game viewing areas of Kafue National Park are the northern Busanga Plains, known as ‘predator mecca’, and the southern woodlands and Nanzhila Plains. During the wet summer months, November to April, the Busanga Plains flood and wildlife recede, but during the dry winter months, wildlife flock to the area for water.


2. Kafue National Park Activities

Four people embarking on a walking safari in Kafue National Park with Musekese Camp | Go2Africa
Walking safari in Kafue National Park | Musekese Camp

Zambia is well-known as the birthplace of walking safaris, originating in nearby South Luangwa National Park. A safari on foot is undoubtedly one of the most exhilarating ways to explore ones wild surroundings; discover the minute details that make up a larger mosaic and observe animals in their most natural state thanks to the lack of vehicle noise. The best time to visit Kafue National Park for a walking safari is in the dry winter season from June to October.

In addition to walking safaris, is the safari staple: game drives. Thanks to the parks remote locale and sheer size, and well-spaced properties means the chance of seeing another vehicle is highly unlikely. Fortunately, several of Kafue’s top camps and lodges have adopted solar powered and electric vehicles, which are fantastic for the environment but also ensure a ‘silent safari’ experience. Less noise, typically equates to more sightings, as wildlife don’t get spooked.

Kafue National Park is also a fantastic place for a hot air balloon safari. Rise into the sky and get a bird’s eye view of the intertwining waterways that make up the intricate Busanga Plains and the wildlife that call it home. For a completely converse perspective, embark on a Kafue river boat cruise with a knowledgeable guide for a unique view of the parks’ wild residents.


3. A Twitcher’s Paradise

A close-up of a lilac-breasted roller on a branch in Kafue National Park | Go2Africa
A vibrant lilac-breasted roller pictured in Kafue National Park

Kafue National Park is an aviary enthusiasts dream destination with a staggering 492 recorded species, beaten only by the more thoroughly documented Kruger National Park. Several of the notable species found in the park include the African finfoot, African fish eagle, rosy-throated longclaw, Schalow’s turaco, and the wattled crane. The park’s crowning jewel, however, is the sought after black-cheeked lovebird, which is most frequently sighted in the Nanzhila Plains area.

Although birding season is typically associated with the safari Green Season, most of Kafue’s accommodation options close during that time due to the seasonal flooding. Despite missing a few of the migratory species, and the birds’ breeding plumage, twitcher’s must-see lists will still be satisfied. Keep an eye out for species such as the Chaplin’s barbet (endemic to Zambia), Bohm’s bee-eater, Pel’s fishing owl, and Arnot’s chat.


4. Intimate Safari Lodges & Camps

Looking out from a nest at Chisa Busanga Camp | Go2Africa
The interior of your elevated nest | Chisa Busanga Camp

Kafue National Park camping and lodging options are wonderfully remote and secluded. With ample space between each of them and an exceptionally low chance of seeing anyone else, Kafue enables guests to fully disconnect from the day-to-day and reconnect with nature.

Several of the camps are also run by passionate owners who take pride in showing their guests an authentic African experience. While each accommodation option offers an intimate experience, owner-led teams are even more so. Many of the camps and lodges rely on solar power and work ‘off-grid’, meaning Wi-Fi is temporarily a thing of the past.

Thanks to the complete lack of light pollution from surrounding structures and nearby camps, gazing up at the unfettered night sky is always possible – as long as there is no cloud cover. Search the stars for the Milky Way, the Southern Cross, and other sparkling constellations. 


5. Ideal Combination Destination

An aerial view of Nanzhila Plains in Kafue National Park | Go2Africa
A spectacular aerial view | Nanzhila Plains

In addition to the picturesque landscapes, African sunsets, and fantastic game viewing, Kafue National Park is also ideally located as a combination destination. First and foremost, the diverse topography and varied biomes found in north and south Kafue offer photographer’s postcard-worthy backdrops.

A Kafue safari is undoubtedly different to Zambia’s other top attractions, but makes the perfect partner for a combined experience. Venture to the game-packed South Luangwa, home of the walking safari, and the peaceful Lower Zambezi, or even the thunderous Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

Whether Kafue National Park activities and its rich untamed wilderness are the primary calling card for a visit, its privacy and off-the-beaten-track appeal will keep you there.


Ready To Start Planning Your Kafue Safari?

If you’re ready to discover the untamed heart of Africa, contact one of our African Safari Experts to help you curate an unforgettable trip to Kafue National Park and beyond.

What travellers most enjoyed about Kafue National Park
Bird watching

Bird watching

Wildlife and safari

Wildlife and safari