Zambia
 
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Book with peace of mind with Africa A-Z - PROVIDING EXCEPTIONAL AFRICAN SAFARIS AND TOURS SINCE 2004 (Free, no-obligation quotes)  
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Kafue National Park is Zambia's oldest and largest national park (the size of Wales, UK and twice the size of Yellowstone National Park in USA) and is situated in central-western Zambia.

 
Photographic Safaris at Mukambi Safari Lodge
 
Even though it is centrally positioned, quite close to Lusaka (the capital), it has remained underdeveloped until recently. It is also only about a 2 - 3 hour drive from Livingstone (Vic Falls).

The Kafue is home to more species of ungulate than any national park south of the Congo Basin. Rare and elusive antelope such as the blue and yellow-backed duiker occur in the thickets, sitatunga and lechwe in the swamps, roan, sable and hartebeest in the miombo woodlands, the list goes on.
 
The park is regarded by those who know it as one of the best places in Africa to find leopard. In certain areas and at certain times of year these secretive and elusive predators are frequently seen, especially on night-drives (allowed in the Kafue) and even from afternoon boat cruises along the Kafue river in the hotter months when leopard come down to drink.
 
A rarity for Zambia is the cheetah. Cheetah cannot be found in the Luangwa or Zambezi national parks and only occur in the west of Zambia, with Liuwa Plains and the Kafue holding the last viable populations of this rare and charismatic predator. In the Kafue cheetah are not solely restricted to the plains, in fact they do very well in mixed woodland and riverine areas, where they can be found preying on puku and impala, amongst others. Cheetah are found throughout the Kafue, from Nanzhila in the south to the Busanga in the north.
 
The African wild dog is a highly sought after species for wildlife tourists; these exceptionally rare and elusive predators are not easy to find, however the Kafue has what some might say the largest population of this species compared to any other national park in Africa. Packs can be found on both sides of the Kafue River and in almost all habitat types, from dense woodland to riverine and dambo areas.
 
Game viewing is best in the dry season from April to October but the park is most beautiful after the rains in the first half of the year. The internal roads of the park are sometimes inaccessible between November and April.
 
The Kafue is a birders paradise. Thanks to the outstanding array of habitat types, the plethora of bird species the Kafue houses stands at over 500 recorded species. With too many to write here, some notable ticks in the Kafue are as follows: Pel’s Fishing Owl, Black-cheeked Lovebird, Chaplin’s Barbet (Zambia’s only endemic bird), Wattled and Crowned Crane, African Fin-foot, Bohm’s Bee-eaters, the list goes on…
 
Even in and around the camps in the Kafue some outstanding birding can be had, with entertainment from beautiful Paradise Fly-catchers to any of the numerous Kingfisher species in the park to the diminutive and iridescently coloured Sunbirds. The woodlands are home to Racket-tailed Rollers, flocks of Helmetshrikes and flitting Sooty and Arnot’s Chat’s. Soaring above the bush are raptors large and small, from African Hawk-eagles to the magnificent Black-chested Snake-eagles.
 
Over the grass plains of the Kafue come Pallid and Montagu’s Harriers, Lesser Kestrels and European Hobby, all making the most of the termite hatchings before the rains. All in all, a birders paradise.
 
Busanga is one of the few known breeding sites for the endangered wattled cranes and it is not uncommon to see large aggregations of these rare birds, sometimes in mixed flocks with the iconic crowned cranes which scour the Busanga in search of food in mega-flocks. Busanga is mostly known through local knowledge, but also international wildlife documentaries, for its predator sightings, notably lion. The Busanga lion prides are well known by the guides at the few safari camps situated on the plains and nobody can give you a better insight into the dynamics of this fascinating population.
 
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