Established in 1924, the Kafue National Park covers some 22,400km² of very varied terrain and is one of the world’s largest parks (two and a half times the size of South Luangwa). Sadly, in the ’80s and early ’90s, poaching almost brought down the parks’ wildlife. Throughout the park, the permanent Kafue River follows a well-defined course, and widens in a few places where barriers of harder rocks near the surface force it into shallow, rocky rapids – Kafwala and the area beside Kaingu Safari Lodge being the obvious examples. Bordering the eastern side of southern Kafue is Lake Itezhi-Tezhi – a large, manmade lake that was created in 1977.
The Park is Zambia’s largest park. It protects a wide variety of different environments on an undulating plateau veined by rivers. Generally Kafue receives far less safari visitors than either the South Luangwa or the Lower Zambezi national parks. Surrounding the whole are no fewer than eight game management areas (GMAs), which provide a valuable buffer zone for the park’s wildlife. The northern section of Kafue National Park is a slightly undulating plateau, veined by rivers – the Lufupa, the Lunga, the Ntemwa, the Mukombo, the Mukunashi, and the Lubuji – which are all tributaries of the main Kafue, whose basin extends to the border with DRC.
Getting to Kafue by air or scheduled transfer is certainly the most relaxing, especially if your time is relatively limited, or you like the idea of a safari holiday here rather than an expedition. There are no scheduled flights into the park, but several charter companies in Lusaka will fly you in or out on request.