5 Reasons to Visit the Kafue National Park

By Kim Sparrow

Being one of the lesser explored Zambian parks, the Kafue National Park is predominantly untouched; an invitation for the intrepid explorer. A venture through this park satiates one’s appetite for intimate safari experiences, providing a sensory journey, dawn till dusk.

Photo: Karen Lowe Photography

1) Cruising on the Kafue

The Kafue National Park is named after it’s quintessential life source, the Kafue River, sustaining the abundant and biodiverse wildlife populations. Being the lifeblood of the region, entering the park from the North East corner and spanning 250 km, it hosts a variety of habitats along its winding riverine banks.

A cruise down the Kafue is a visual feast. This slow moving river offers an intimate wildlife experience, drifting along the riverbanks through crystal clear waters, capturing wildlife reflections as game congregate to quench their thirst.

Photo: Karen Lowe Photography

2) Birder’s Paradise

The ecological biodiversity of the Kafue National Park showcases a wide range of bird species. In the park alone there are 499 recorded species, drawn to the different habitats from Miombo Woodland, to Acacia scrubland, the Busanga floodplains and the riverine and swamp habitats.

The Jackleberry and Waterberry roots which fringe the Kafue River banks boast a wealth of ecosystems, resulting in a haven for birdlife. Jacanas nest between the lily-pads, neighboured by herons, saddle-billed storks and kingfishers all living off the roots and mud bountiful with nutrition.

Photo: Karen Lowe Photography

3) Abundance of Antelope

Antelope sightings are not often given the limelight in the safari realm. However, the Kafue National Park is inhabited by 20 different species, am homage to their value and visual appeal as well as the vital role they contribute in the maintaining a healthy ecosystem within the park.

From roan and sable, red lechwe and hartebeest to the endemic puku, the ungulate population is impressive and plentiful – a wonderful opportunity to appreciate the ecological significance and aesthetic value of this species.

Photo: Karen Lowe Photography

4) Call of the Cats

Due to the abundance of plains game, the predator population of the park is prolific. The possibility of a feline encounter on a game drive or bush walk keeps the ‘wild’ in wilderness, and the adrenalin pumping in anticipation. Leopard, cheetah and lion roam with confidence. This is their kingdom.

The thrill and allure of a night drive is an invitation for the nocturnal explorer. Once the African sun gives way to dusk, night and survival mode sets in and the predators begin to prowl.

Photo: Karen Lowe Photography

5) Treading lightly: Walking Safaris

Feet rooted to the earth, a walking safari provides the ultimate intimate wildlife experience. Beyond the plentiful population of big game in the park, an abundance of life awaits amidst the flora and fauna. The biologically diverse ecosystems are the sustenance of the park, its corridors and pathways holding stories necessary to capture with close up encounters.

Immersing oneself into the wilderness on foot is an invitation to the intricacies of nature, an insight to the delicate and interconnected webs of life. With senses heightened, one may find themselves tracking the spoor of an animal, following in its footsteps and embracing its nature with new perspective.

With the Kafue National Park being home to many species both large and small, treading lightly in their environment gives you all the more chance to respectfully observe them in their natural habitat.

Photo: Karen Lowe Photography

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