Kafue National Park embodies all of the remote and wild characteristics of Zambia’s raw wilderness areas. Zambia’s largest national park, Kafue covers a massive stretch of land where the Kafue, Lufupa, and Lunga rivers flow along palm-fringed islands and riverine woodlands. Seasonal floodplains, vast swamplands, and woodlands make up some of Kafue’s diverse habitats that support a spectacular population of wildlife. Wildlife viewing in Kafue is less about the numbers of big animals that you see and more about the sheer diversity of wildlife and the intimate wildlife experience this remote park provides. Kafue is home more species of ungulate than any national park south of the Congo Basin! Prolific plains attract Kafue’s predators, including packs of wild dogs, a number of lion prides, and cheetahs.
After closing for the rainy season from November through May, Kafue’s lodges open as the region moves into winter. Grasses fade from green to brown, while a few pools and shallow floodplains remain. Winter nights and early mornings become cool, but the sun’s rays make daytime temperatures quite comfortable. As the dry season progresses, inland water supplies dry up and wildlife congregates along Kafue’s network of permanent river systems for water. The region’s thin vegetation improves visibility into the bush, making this time of year the best time for cheetah and wild dog sightings. By September, temperatures rise and the landscape becomes progressively drier as Kafue awaits the summer rains that typically arrive in November.
Abundant habitats support a unique and diverse wildlife population, and an incredible number of rare and elusive antelope occur here, including puku, sitatunga, red lechwe, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, roan antelope, sable anteope, and oribi. Swamplands and vast plains attract the park’s large herds of herbivores, where Kafue’s famous swamp lions lie and wait. Other predators found in Kafue include wild dogs, leopards, and cheetahs. Kafue is also home to an incredible population of almost 500 different species of birds!