At over 22,000km2 the Kafue National Park is a huge magical wilderness. It boasts wide tropical rivers full of hippo, vast floodplains with herds of grazers and twisted fig trees where lions are found in the branches.
With few visitors it's wild and untamed. The Lufupa and Lunga Rivers twist and turn through the central part of the park. Boating along these you will see the corrugated backs of crocodiles gliding silently under overhanging trees. Birdlife in this area is stunning, with pied kingfishers darting in and out of the water, African jacanas skating across the water's surface and fish eagles calling overhead. In the woodland and forest surrounding the river, you find warthogs rooting in the undergrowth and herds of puku and impala grazing in the clearings. By night, this is also one of the best areas in the park for spotting leopard. Wildlife sightings in this central tract of the park is rewarding, with lion, cheetah and wild dogs present, as well as buffalo, elephant and more. The size of the park means that animal habitats are vast, so densities are not as concentrated as some smaller parks. In our experience, the game viewing is rewarding and made all the more special by the fact that you are highly unlikely to see another soul on a game drive!
Further north, the Busanga Plains are a highlight. Seasonal floodplains, these immense grasslands are only accessible from June to October. Here the new shoots attract large herds of puku, red lechwe, zebra, Lichtenstein's hartebeest, blue wildebeest, oribi and sable antelope. Cheetah stalk through the stubbly grass and prides of lion relax along the branches of fig trees in between hunting in the open grasslands. With clouds of openbilled storks overhead the wildlife surrounds you. In season, this is a real delight, and a very different landscape to the central and southern parts of the park.
The south of the Kafue is different again. The wide river becomes dotted with islands and sandbanks, home to stunning birdlife and characterised by huge granite boulders. Wildlife densities in the south are not as high, but in combination with the central or northern parts of the park makes a wonderful place to enjoy the beautiful river. We recommend adding a couple of days here at the end of your safari, taking leisurely boat cruises through the waterways, stopping for coffee breaks on an island's sandy shore, and perhaps enjoying a spot of fishing.
Suggested itineraries featuring the Kafue National Park
Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in the Kafue National Park, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of the Kafue National Park
Places & hotels on the map
Accommodation choices for the Kafue National Park
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit the Kafue National Park. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.