Kafue National Park

Kafue National Park

Things to do - general

Kafue is Zambia’s oldest national park and by far the largest. It was proclaimed in 1950 and is spread over 22,400 square kilometres – the second largest national park in the world and about the size of Wales.

Despite the Park’s proximity to both Lusaka and the Copperbelt, it has remained underdeveloped until the most recent years. Despite the depravations of poaching and lack of management, the Park is still a raw and diverse slice of African wilderness with excellent game viewing, birdwatching and fishing opportunities.

From the astounding Busanga Plains in the North-western section of the Park to the tree-choked wilderness, and the lush dambos of the south, and fed by the emerald green Lunga, Lufupa and Kafue Rivers, the park sustains huge herds of a great diversity of wildlife.

The lush grasslands are grazed by red lechwe in their thousands. Fifty years ago, lechwe were almost extinct in this area; however, the establishment of the national park has seen a phenomenal recovery in their numbers and it is a sight of great beauty to see them wandering in such vast herds across the golden plains. During the wet season they splash about in the shallow waters, and, interestingly enough, lion, who usually dislike water, can be seen chasing them through water at least a half a meter deep.

Other antelope found here are blue wildebeest, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest (frequently seen), buffalo, zebra, reedbuck, oribi, puku and impala. Bushpig and warthog are also inhabitants of the plains. The shy swamp-dwelling sitatunga is found here, its widespread hooves enabling it to walk on the floating reedmats. Roan antelope are also seen regularly in the northern sector as well as big herds of sable 30 to 40 strong.

The wealth of game on the plains are a big attraction for lions and prides of up to twenty are spotted regularly. Cheetah and Leopard also roam the plains, the cheetah being able to exercise their famous turn of speed. There is also a host of smaller carnivores from the side-striped jackal, civet, genet and various mongoose.

Birdwatching – especially on the rivers and the dambos, is superb. Notables include the wattled crane, purple crested lourie and Pel’s fishing owl. Over 400 species of birds have been recorded throughout the park.

The Kafue and Lunga Rivers offer superb fishing opportunities, especially good bream, barbel and fresh water pike. Most lodges have fishing tackle, rods, boats and bait available. Musungwa Lodge in the south, hosts an annual fishing competition in September on Lake Itezhi Tezhi.

Country Zambia
Visa requirementsOnly citizens of countries that are exempted from having to apply for a visa, then one must obtain a visa either at the port of entry or at a Zambian Mission abroad. For further information please visit the Zambia Tourist Board page on http://www.zambiatourism.com/travel-info/visa-information
Languages spokenEnglish, Tonga, Lozi
Currency usedZambian Kwacha
Area (km2)22,400 km2

Sports & nature

Kafue National Park is a truly wonderful place. It is the second largest national park in the world, and still one of the wildest yet to be (re)discovered. The Kafue used to be one of the most famous national parks back in the early days of safaris, up until the 1980’s. Since 2000, after 2 decades of neglect and poaching, it has steadily regained its former reputation, and rightfully so. 10 years later, after a lot of hard work, the introduction of low impact tourism and a close co-operation with the Zambia Wildlife Authority, Kafue National Park has truly revived and transformed into one of the most beautiful parks, teeming with wildlife. Mukambi Safari Lodge proudly serves as your gateway to the Kafue National ParkSports and nature image

Nightlife info

Night drives are fascinating in the Luangwa. Not only for the chance of seeing a leopard but for the many interesting animals that only come to life at night. Genets, civets, servals, hyenas, and bushbabies as well as owls, nightjars, the foraging hippos, honey badgers and lion.Nightlife image

Culture and history info

Kafue National Park was established in 1924 after the British colonial government moved the traditional owners of the area, the Nkoya people of (King) Mwene Kabulwebulwe, from their traditional hunting grounds into the Mumbwa District to the east. Dissatisfaction with the pace of development in Central Province and a lack of benefit from tourism in the park have led to calls from Nkoya leaders to establish a new province in the area which they have proposed to call Kafue ProvinceCulture and history image

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