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Kafue National Park is Zambia’s largest national park, covering an incredible 22,400 square kilometres - and also the country’s oldest national park, first established in 1924.
The park is named for the Kafue River, the longest river lying wholly in the country and one of Zambia’s three main arteries, which connects to the Zambezi as it flows out to sea.
Covering a size roughly the same as Wales or Massachusetts, the best way to enjoy this unspoiled wilderness is with morning and evening game drives, walking safaris (Zambia’s speciality), fishing and sunset boat cruises down the river.
Wildlife here is plentiful, with common sightings of various species of antelope, kudu, bushbuck, duiker, waterbuck, reedbuck, grysbok, zebra and wildebeest.
The tributaries of the Kafue River are home to pods of hippos and some of the largest crocodiles in southern Africa. Though rare, you may also be lucky enough to see a spotted hyena, cheetah and the critically endangered African wild dog.
Though rhinos are only found in North Luangwa National Park, you are likely spot other Big Five favourites in Kafue: elephants, leopards (mainly in the forested areas), lions and buffalo. Kafue is also the best park in Africa for cheetah sightings.
As the light dims, you might also see nocturnal creatures out and about, such as honey badger, civet and porcupine.
Kafue is also a notable birding destination, home to an incredible 478 of Zambia’s 733 bird species, due to a diverse landscape of savannah, riverbanks, wetlands and woodlands. Look out for fish eagles, African finfoots and Pel’s fishing owls, amongst many others.
Despite diverse wildlife and an epic expanse of land, Kafue still remains a well-kept secret on the safari circuit, overshadowed by its more famous neighbours, South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi – making Kafue an ideal destination for safari enthusiasts looking to get off the beaten track and enjoy a game drive all to themselves.
Kafue National Park features on several of our suggested Zambia holiday itineraries, including our Zambia Family Safari Holiday, Zambia Wildlife Holiday and Zambia Off the Beaten Track. However, as tailor made holiday providers, Wayfairer can include Kafue National Park on a bespoke Zambia tour, or extend your time here on one of the suggested itineraries, according to your needs and preferences.
Luxury accommodation in Kafue includes family-friendly safari camp, Ila Lodge, located on the banks of the Kafue River. Another great option is Musekese Camp, a property comprised of charming chalets, tucked away in a secluded area of the national park.