Kafue National Park is a revitalized game park, perfect for the second time safari visitor. The game-rich Busanga Plains do not disappoint in season.


Busanga is June to October only


Despite its beauty and diversity, the comparative inaccessibility of Kafue means that it remains gloriously untamed!

The Kafue National Park in Western Zambia is the largest national park in Africa at 22,000 km². (The Kruger is only 15,000 km².). And yet it only receives 15,000 visitors in a year compared to the Kruger's 1.5 million visitors. (And lets not even compare to the busy Serengeti or the Mara..)

And yet the Busanga Plains offers both a sheer quantity and diversity of predator sightings which is astounding. It is a secret gem.

A safari in Kafue National Park offers a unique range of habitats. From the memorable Busanga floodplains in the north to the verdant vegetation of the south. So it supports a rewarding variety of wildlife including cheetah. (These are rarely seen in the South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi National Parks.)

Busanga Plains

The Busanga Plains, in the far north of the Kafue National Park, are some of the most significant wetland areas in Zambia. This is Kafue’s best area for game-viewing. During the wet season the Lufupa river floods creating a wetland paradise. These plains become home to thousands of red lechwe. As well as the ubiquitous puku, stately roan and sable plus the diminutive oribi and duiker. The Defassa waterbuck and herds of tsessebe, hartebeest, zebra and buffalo make up the full set of wildlife. Naturally this wealth of game is a big attraction for predators. These include leopard, wild dogs, cheetah and prides of lion up to 20 strong.

If you only have 2-3 nights for the Kafue, spend them in the Busanga Plains.

Lufupa River

However if you have more time, we recommend visiting either the central or southern areas of the Kafue National Park. Here lies the Lufupa river, characterised by miombo and riverine woodlands. Though the game is not as rich as on the Busanga plains, there are plenty of rarer species of antelope. These include roan, sable, oribi and defassa waterbuck. Predators include lion, cheetah and leopard, as well as a good number of wild dog. Indeed the Lufupa is Kafue’s best area for leopard sightings.

So all in all, a Kafue safari is ideal for the experienced wildlife enthusiast and/or birder.

Lechwe in Kafue National Park Zambia

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Why you may love it

  • Kafue is ideal for the experienced safari enthusiast or birder.
  • The Busanga Plains in the north of the Kafue National Park are the best area for game viewing.
  • Lufupa River, situated in the central areas of the Kafue National Park, is the best area for leopard sightings.

When to visit Kafue

November to March

Summer in Kafue

Most of the Kafue is closed for safari visitors during the summer rainy season, especially the flooded Busanga Plains. So it’s not the ideal time to visit. A few of the lodges that remain open offer very good prices. As with other parks in Zambia, the landscape is green and lush, there are plenty of babies being born and it’s a great time for birding. But the animals are harder to find given the lush vegetation and more dispersed across the park. It’s hot and humid and the summer rain makes for poor road conditions. Some of the normal routes may be impossible to navigate.
MAX TEMP 28 ℃ / 82 ℉
MIN TEMP 18 ℃ / 64 ℉

April to May

Central areas open up

This is the start of the safari season in the Kafue. The landscape is still green and lush but the Busanga Plains are still closed for visitors. Wildlife is still hard to find and so safari prices remain keen during this time. On the plus side, the sunsets are superb as the skies are clearer now.
MAX TEMP 27 ℃ / 81 ℉
MIN TEMP 13 ℃ / 55 ℉

June to August

Dry season in Kafue

Traditionally this is the best time to visit Kafue as the dry season continues. It is known as the Paradise season. The bush becomes less dense and the animals congregate on the Busanga plains in large numbers. However, mornings are very cold in Kafue (as it lies at 1500m in altitude) so bring warm clothing.
MAX TEMP 25 ℃ / 77 ℉
MIN TEMP 9 ℃ / 48 ℉

September to October

Dry season in Kafue

It is becomes increasingly warm to hot in late September and October as temperatures and humidity increase prior to the start of the summer rains. Make sure you are very comfortable with heat! Game-viewing remains good but the bush starts to look very dry. Once the rains start, the Busanga Plains become flooded.
MAX TEMP 33 ℃ / 91 ℉
MIN TEMP 18 ℃ / 64 ℉

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Sonja Brand

Africa Travel Specialist

Hi I'm Sonja, I'm here to help you plan your ideal holiday experience
Did you know
  • SizeLargest national park in Zambia - 22 400km²
  • ConservationPart of 5-Nation Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area

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