Are you keen to experience an authentic African safari in an unspoilt wilderness? Are you interested in truly getting off the beaten path but safe in the knowledge that all arrangements have been made and with the fun of being part of a small group? Well then we have something special for you. We have put together a trip to the incredible (and incredibly overlooked) Kafue National Park in Zambia for next year (2023) and on this occasion https://grownuptravel.co/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Nordic-team-at-watering-hole-Hwange.webp will be travelling with you too. And it will be his first time in this area too, so he won’t be boring you with tales of previous adventures. But he will bring along his eternal love for Africa, plenty of tips and advice as well as a half British, half-Norwegian affableness. And a burning desire to share the delights of the world’s most exciting continent with as many people as possible…
The exact dates are to be confirmed and we are flexible depending on the requests of the group. Earliest departure May 2023.
More on the destination:
Kafue National Park
Kafue National Park is Zambia’s largest National Park and the 2nd largest in the world. It covers an area of over 22,500 square kilometres in Western Zambia (about the size of Wales). Although it is Zambia’s biggest and oldest park it is still relatively undeveloped and always gives a feeling of true wilderness.
The Kafue Park 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 cooperation with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, Kafue National Park is truly revived and transformed into one of the most beautiful parks, teeming with wildlife.
Kafue National Park is a unique area. The enormous size (one of the biggest National Parks in Africa), the many different habitats and the huge variety of mammals and birds make it an area waiting to be explored. It is Zambia’s biggest and oldest National Park and is easily accessed from both Lusaka and Livingstone.
But the best of all is the untouched wilderness that the park has to offer as mass tourism does not exist; leaving the park pure and unexplored. This is what a real safari should be like, excellent game viewing with a rich diversity of wildlife, stunning landscapes and all of this unspoiled by large numbers of visitors. Although the park has a lot to offer, relatively few people get to experience this Zambian treasure.
The Kafue National Park is named after the Kafue River that runs through the park for over 250 km. It enters the Park in the northeast and forms Lake Itezhi-Tezhi south of the Park, a beautiful dam with big herds of wildlife roaming around on its shores. Other well known rivers in the Kafue are the Lunga and Lufupa River, which both feed into the Kafue River.
The rivers and lake dominate the landscape in the northern and eastern part of the Kafue National Park and the majority of the safari camps are located around them. Here are some of the highlights of the park.
The famous Busanga Plains are in the Northern part of the park. The area consists of an extensive floodplain that falls dry after the rainy season, attracting huge numbers of game and stunning birdlife. ‘One Fig’, a huge fig tree in the middle of the plains, is a famous landmark. The well-known documentary, ‘Swamp Lions‘, often broadcasted on National Geographic, was filmed exclusively on the Busanga Plains. It is no surprise that Getaway magazine mentioned Busanga as one of the ‘top 10 secret gems of Africa’. The plains are seasonal due to the flooding in the wet season. Small safari camps like our own Busanga Plains Camp operate in this area during the dry season.
The Nanzhila Plains in the South of the Park are relatively seldom visited, but deserve exploring. The grass plains; with large quantities of game and spectacular bird viewing is well worth a visit. You won’t be disappointed…. The writer of ‘Out of Africa’, Karen Blixen’s famous last words were ‘if there was one thing I could do again, it would be to go on Safari’…… You can do such just in the Kafue National Park. A Park that lays amongst the best wilderness destinations in the world, with remoteness, incredible rivers, open plains, woodlands, silence, birds and wildlife. And best of all, within reach!
The Kafue River itself has spectacular riverine forests on its banks and flows throughout the year, changing from a wide, slow flowing river to stretches broken up by islands with fast flowing water. The river attracts a wide variety of animals and birds and is filled with hippos and crocodiles of all sizes. Boat cruises and fishing trips are a must for guests visiting the river. Most safari lodges and camps within the Kafue National Park are based on the Kafue River.
The Kafue flows into the Itezhi-Tezhi dam, Zambia’s second biggest dam after Kariba. The lake has a surface of 370 square kilometres which offers opportunities for boating and fishing trips. The shores vary from grassy plains to rocky bays. The plains around the lake attract a large diversity of animals and birds.
The breeding herds of elephant have settled down and the large predators are back in numbers, among them several prides of lion, cheetah and leopard. Also packs of the endangered wild dog regularly pay a visit. Other animals that you are likely to encounter are buffalo, zebra, hippo and various antelope species like impala, puku, sable, hartebeest, bushbuck, roan and waterbuck.
The diversity of habitat makes Kafue National Park also one of the best locations in Africa for birding. The Kafue River, wetlands, savannah and woodland boast an impressive 478 of Zambia’s 733-recorded bird species. Among them African Wattled and Crowned Crane, Fish Eagle, Woolly-Necked Stork, Saddle Billed Stork, Goliath Heron, Ground Hornbill, African Fin Foot, Pel’s Owl, Purple-Crested Lourie and Chaplin’s Barbet amongst others.
Zambia: The friendly destination
Zambia has so much to offer. Acknowledged as one of the safest countries in Africa to visit as a tourist, here you will experience some of the finest safaris.