Kafue

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.

Overview

The Kafue National Park in Western Zambia is the largest national park in Africa at 22,400 km².  Despite its beauty and diversity, the comparative inaccessibility of Kafue means that it remains gloriously untamed! The Kafue National Park offers a unique range of habitats from the memorable Busanga floodplains to the verdant vegetation of the south. It supports a rewarding variety of wildlife including cheetah, which are rarely seen in the South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi National Parks. So Kafue is ideal for the experienced safari enthusiast or birder.

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, the ubiquitous puku, stately roan and sable as well as the diminutive oribi and duiker. The Defassa waterbuck, herds of tsessebe, hartebeest, zebra and buffalo make up a full set of antelope. Naturally this wealth of game is a big attraction for predators, including leopard, wild dogs, cheetah and prides of lion up to 20 strong.

In the central areas of the Kafue National Park 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 antelope. These include the rarer species of roan, sable, oribi and defassa waterbuck. Predators include lion, cheetah and leopard, as well as a good number of wild dog. Indeed this is Kafue’s best area for leopard sightings.

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Ginny Russell

Co-founder & Director
Our experienced band of Safari Planners can create a bespoke plan for you. Ginny has returned from the UK to Africa at least twice a year for 25 years and advocates for Slow Travel and a more immersive experience.

Features

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.

Explore the Kafue map

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.
AVG RAINFALL 160 mm
MAX TEMP 28 ℃ / 82 ℉
MIN TEMP 18 ℃ / 64 ℉

April to May

Safari season in Kafue

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.
AVG RAINFALL 14 mm
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. The bush becomes less dense and the animals congregate on the Busanga plains. The Malaria risk declines as there are fewer mosquitos around. Mornings are cold in Kafue so bring warm clothing.
AVG RAINFALL 0 mm
MAX TEMP 25 ℃ / 77 ℉
MIN TEMP 9 ℃ / 48 ℉

September to October

Dry season in Kafue

It is becomes increasingly 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.
AVG RAINFALL 51 mm
MAX TEMP 33 ℃ / 91 ℉
MIN TEMP 18 ℃ / 64 ℉

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Did you know
  • SizeThe park is the largest national park in Zambia - 22 400km²
  • ConservationConsidered for inclusion in the 5 Nation Kavango - Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area