Kafue National Park - Zambia Safaris

Kafue National Park was established in the 1950s and is the largest wildlife reserve in Zambia, covering an area of 22,400 km². Kafue is one of the largest wildlife reserves in East and South Africa, with close to 152 different species of mammals. The Park is named after the Kafue River. Thie stretches over three provinces of the North Western, Central and Southern. The main access to Kafue National Park is through the Great West Road from Lusaka to Mongu which crosses the park north of its center.

Kafue National Park has a large range of antelopes, such as puku, sitatunga, red lechwe, blue duiker, yellow-backed duiker, grysbok, oribi, impalas, roan antelopes, sable antelope and hartebeests and Elephants are commonly seen. The protected areas have been considered a lion ‘conservation unit’, together with South Luangwa National Park. Cheetahs can be found throughout this park. Leopards are elusive but frequently seen in certain areas at certain times of the year. Occasional sightings of wild dogs occur all over the park, which is one of Zambia’s best strongholds for them. Other carnivores include Selous’s mongoose, white-tailed mongoose, marsh mongoose, civet, honey badger, otters, serval, caracal and African wild cats.

Kafue National Park is well-endowed with wildlife species, with very common sightings. Pukus are small herds of the common zebras, the blue wildebeests, that are in the Busanga plains. During the dry season, it usually experiences an influx of kudus, bushbucks, elands, reedbucks, duikers, grysbok and waterbucks. The lions are also another sought-after inhabitant in Kafue National Park, usually found close to the herds of the pukus and lechwes. There are several prides, as larger males are not common in the national park. The rivers at the Kafue National Park also serve as homes to large schools of hippos, and crocodiles, among others. The Kafue rivers act as host for several herds of African elephants, leopards are also common in the forest areas which serve as their hiding points. Cheetahs are also seen in Kafue National Park but seen in the northern part of the park, cape wild dogs and hyenas are also common in the park and frequently seen in the park.

500 recorded bird species like Pel’s fishing owl, black-cheeked lovebird, grey crowned crane, African finfoot, Böhm’s bee-eaters, paradise flycatchers, sunbirds, numerous kingfisher species and Zambia’s only endemic bird, Chaplin’s barbet.


Ngoma in the south is the headquarters of the park, but this area, together with the Nanzhila Plains, is less visited since the Itezhi-Tezhi Dam was built and more lodges were developed in the north. The reservoir cut the north–south track through the park and used to make it necessary to detour outside the park to drive between Ngoma and Chunga. The completion of the spine road once again links the north and south of the park.