A Guide to Kafue National Park

Guide to Kafue National Park
Game drive at the Kafue National Park. © Kafue National Park Zambia

Home to the exotic predators, Cheetahs, the acentric Kafue national park have always held a unique allure to visitors to Zambia. As Zambia’s largest and oldest national park, Kafue has earned its name as one of the country’s natural wonders. Zambia’s exotic and tropical natural beauty, and is a popular sightseeing destination thanks to its game drives, birding, walking safaris, canoeing and fishing. We have compiled this guide to visiting and getting around the Kafue, your ultimate need-to-know guide.

We also recommend our guide to the most impressive buildings in Lusaka, Zambia.

What you need to know

With a name after the Kafue River, the longest river lying wholly within Zambia. The Kafue national park span a total area of 24,000 square kilometers, making it one of the largest national parks in the whole of Africa. The park is located about 300km from the nation’s capital, Lusaka. Kafue is truly wild, and still largely unexplored. The weather in Zambia and at the Kafue national park is superbly warm all year round.

How to get there

Kafue national park is situated over 300km away from the bustling capital of Lusaka. And only 2-hrs drive from Livingstone, travellers centre town. A popular destination for tourists in Zambia, so you can go by group. Or, use the safari operators based in Lusaka offering mobile trips into Kafue. However, if this is not your style you can opt to drive by private, easy drive on the Lusaka-Mongu Road. There few safari lodges are accessible not far from the highway. When at the property, a good 4×4 is needed to take on this adventure.

Things to do

Kafue park is home to a host of exotic wildlife including elephant, hippos, lion, buffalo, rhinos and cheetahs. As well as superb range of antelopes, zebras, wildebeest and crocodiles. The park is also a hot destination for bird spotters. There are quite various points you can make to spot animals; visitors can observe and absorb the scenic beauty of the park.

Game drives: the game drives at Kafue national park are quite unique and major safari highlight. An amazing viewing experience of the plains. Sighting and admiring the majestic animals such as elephants, antelopes, leopards, spotted hyenas, wild dogs and many more. The best time for the wildlife experiencing is from July to October.

Birding: Kafue park is the bird watchers paradise, guests get to enjoy a wide array of birds that flock the plains. Over 480 species of birds has been recorded at the Kafue national park. Best time for bird watching here is November thru April – during the migration. Birds to look out for include chaplin’s barbet malachite kingfisher, African darter, spotted creeper and wattle crane, among many others.

Walking safaris: taking a walk in the nature is the best way to experience the African bushes. Visitors are rewarded with an amazing on foot viewing of the wildlife. Amazing sights of elephants, antelopes scampering in the bushes and herds of buffaloes grazing on the grassland. From the woodlands to savanna birds to rivers, the nature here is truly beautiful to explore on foot.

Fishing: there are selected spots available for fishing in Kafue park. Visitors interested in fishing should make prior booking with their lodge accommodation operators.

kafue park canoeing
Elephants in Kafue National Park. © Kafue National Park Zambia

Canoeing: explore the Kafue park waters with canoe and share environment with crocodiles and hippos in the water. As well as watching wildlife silently getting to the river bank to drink water, truly a scenic view.

Where to stay

Most visitors indulge in a comprehensive tour and spanning multiple days. Various lodges are available at the Kafue National Park offering a wide range of rooms from rustic huts to luxurious safari lodges. There are accommodation options to suit all budgets and tastes.

How to stay safe

And visitors are recommended to navigate the park with a professional-approved tour operator rather than just by themselves. Keep noise at a minimum at all time. Always follow your guide’s instructions and guidelines, ask for advice from your guide about where to go, the dos and don’ts.

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