Kafue Overview

Kafue National Park, situated in the heartland of Zambia, is one of the largest and oldest national parks in Africa. Encompassing an impressive area of about 22,400 square kilometers (8,649 square miles), the park was established in the 1950s and represents a vast and varied landscape that ranges from the lush, dense forests of the north to the more open savannahs and wetlands of the south. The park is bisected by the Kafue River, which flows from the north to the south, and is home to the stunning Itezhi-Tezhi Dam in the south, creating diverse habitats for an abundance of wildlife.

Kafue National Park is renowned for its rich biodiversity and is home to a remarkable array of wildlife, including significant populations of lion, leopard, and cheetah, as well as one of Africa’s largest wild dog populations. The park also boasts over 500 bird species, making it a birdwatcher’s paradise. The Kafue Lechwe, Puku, and the endangered Wattled Crane are among the notable species that thrive in the park’s unique ecosystem. The park’s Busanga Plains in the north are particularly famous for their large herds of buffalo and antelope, offering spectacular game viewing opportunities.

Despite its vast size and significant conservation value, Kafue National Park remains relatively under-visited compared to other major African parks, offering a more secluded and untouched wilderness experience. Visitors to the park can enjoy a range of activities, including game drives, walking safaris, bird watching, and boating safaris on the Kafue River and its tributaries, providing close encounters with the park’s wildlife and stunning landscapes.

With its vast landscapes, diverse habitats, and abundant wildlife, Kafue National Park stands as a testament to Zambia’s commitment to conservation and offers a unique and immersive safari experience in one of Africa’s last great wilderness areas.

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Park Map
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Kafue National Park Highlights


Kafue National Park is renowned for its diverse predator species, essential for maintaining ecological balance. These apex predators play a crucial role in regulating herbivore populations and shaping the park’s ecosystem.

Lion: Majestic and powerful, lions roam Kafue’s savannas in prides, hunting cooperatively to bring down large herbivores like zebras and buffalo, ensuring their dominance in the food chain.

Leopard: Stealthy and solitary, leopards prowl Kafue’s woodlands and grasslands, relying on their superb camouflage and ambush tactics to catch prey such as antelopes and smaller mammals.

Cheetah: Swift and agile, cheetahs sprint across Kafue’s plains in pursuit of fleet-footed prey like impalas and gazelles, showcasing their unmatched speed and hunting prowess.

African Wild Dog: Highly social and efficient hunters, African wild dogs traverse Kafue’s landscapes in cohesive packs, using teamwork to chase down and overwhelm prey with relentless pursuit.

Spotted Hyena: Opportunistic scavengers and skilled hunters, spotted hyenas roam Kafue’s territories, preying on small to medium-sized mammals and competing fiercely with other predators for food.


Kafue National Park boasts a diverse array of wildlife beyond its predators, offering visitors the chance to encounter iconic species in their natural habitat.

Elephant: Towering giants of the savanna, elephants traverse Kafue’s landscapes, displaying their intelligence and social behavior while shaping the ecosystem.

Giraffe: Graceful and distinctive, giraffes roam Kafue’s plains, browsing on acacia trees with their long necks and serving as iconic symbols of African wildlife.

Hippo: Found in Kafue’s rivers and waterways, hippos spend their days submerged to keep cool, emerging at night to graze on land, showcasing their dual aquatic and terrestrial lifestyle.

Zebra: With their striking black-and-white stripes, zebras form herds in Kafue, utilizing safety in numbers to detect predators and graze on grasses across the plains.

Buffalo: Massive and formidable, Cape buffalo roam Kafue’s grasslands in large herds, providing a challenge for predators and contributing to the park’s ecological balance.

Wildebeest: Known for their annual migrations, wildebeests traverse Kafue’s plains in search of greener pastures, forming impressive spectacles as they move in unison.

Kudu: With their spiral horns and striking coats, kudus are a common sight in Kafue, using their keen senses to detect predators and navigate the bushland.

Hippo: Found in Kafue’s rivers and waterways, hippos spend their days submerged to keep cool, emerging at night to graze on land, showcasing their dual aquatic and terrestrial lifestyle.

Warthog: Recognizable by their warty faces and distinctive tusks, warthogs forage in Kafue’s grasslands, using their burrows as shelter from predators and the heat.

Roan Antelope: Impressive in size and stature, roan antelopes roam Kafue’s plains, utilizing their speed and agility to evade predators while browsing on grasses and shrubs.


Kafue National Park is a birdwatcher’s paradise, home to a diverse avian population ranging from majestic raptors to colorful songbirds.

African Fish Eagle: With its distinctive cry echoing across the waterways, the African fish eagle is a symbol of Africa’s rivers and lakes, skilled at snatching fish from the surface.

Secretary Bird: Striding gracefully across the savanna, the secretary bird is a striking sight with its long legs and crest of feathers, hunting snakes and small mammals with precision.

Carmine Bee-Eater: These vibrant birds create a spectacle with their brilliant crimson plumage, forming nesting colonies in the riverbanks and feasting on insects caught in mid-air.

African Jacana: Known for its oversized feet and graceful walking on floating vegetation, the African jacana is a common sight in Kafue’s wetlands, foraging for insects and small invertebrates.

Malachite Kingfisher: Flashing iridescent green plumage, the malachite kingfisher perches along the water’s edge, diving with precision to catch fish and crustaceans in Kafue’s rivers and streams.

Lilac-breasted Roller: Admired for its dazzling colors, the lilac-breasted roller is a symbol of Africa’s open woodlands, performing acrobatic aerial displays and hunting insects in flight.

African Skimmer: With its unique bill designed for skimming the water’s surface, the African skimmer is a specialized fish-eater found along Kafue’s rivers, particularly during the dry season.

Grey Crowned Crane: Strikingly beautiful with its golden crown of feathers, the grey crowned crane is a symbol of grace and elegance, often seen foraging in Kafue’s grasslands and wetlands.

Pied Kingfisher: A master of aerial hunting, the pied kingfisher hovers over Kafue’s water bodies before diving headfirst to catch fish, showcasing remarkable agility and precision.

Ground Hornbill: Known for its deep booming call and distinctive red throat, the ground hornbill is a charismatic bird found in Kafue’s savannas, foraging for insects and small vertebrates on the ground.

Kafue National Park Pictures

Engaging Kafue

Embark on thrilling safari drives through Kafue National Park, exploring its diverse landscapes and abundant wildlife. Traverse savannah plains, woodland areas, and riverbanks in search of iconic species such as lions, elephants, leopards, and buffalo.

Experienced guides lead the way, sharing their knowledge of the park’s ecology and pointing out hidden gems along the route. Whether it’s a sunrise game drive or an evening safari under the stars, each excursion offers the chance to encounter the park’s wild inhabitants in their natural habitat.

Explore the park’s waterways on a tranquil boat safari, gliding along the Kafue River or its tributaries. From the comfort of a specially equipped boat, passengers can observe hippos, crocodiles, and a variety of bird species that inhabit the riverine ecosystem.

Boat safaris provide a unique perspective of the park’s landscapes and offer excellent opportunities for wildlife photography. Knowledgeable guides provide commentary on the area’s natural history and conservation efforts, enhancing the experience.

Experience Kafue’s wilderness up close on a guided walking safari, immersing yourself in the sights, sounds, and scents of the bush. Accompanied by experienced armed guides, guests have the chance to track wildlife on foot, learning about animal tracks, plant identification, and survival skills along the way.

Walking safaris offer a deeper connection to nature and allow for intimate encounters with smaller creatures often missed on traditional game drives. With safety as a priority, these excursions provide a thrilling and educational adventure for nature enthusiasts.

Experience the majesty of Kafue National Park from a bird’s-eye view on a thrilling balloon safari. Drift serenely above the savannah landscapes as the sun rises, casting a golden glow over the wilderness below.

From the vantage point of the balloon basket, marvel at panoramic vistas of diverse habitats, from vast grasslands to winding rivers and dense woodlands. As you float silently over the landscape, spot herds of antelope grazing on the plains, elephants roaming the bush, and predators prowling in search of prey.

Expert pilots navigate the balloon, providing informative commentary on the park’s ecology and wildlife sightings. Capture breathtaking aerial photographs of the African wilderness and create memories that will last a lifetime on this unforgettable adventure.

Kafue National Park Trails

No Traditional Trails

Kafue National Park, located in Zambia, is renowned for its vast wilderness and diverse ecosystems, offering a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and adventurers.

While the park primarily focuses on safari experiences, there are opportunities for guided walking safaris in certain areas.

However, formal hiking trails with ratings, distances, and elevation gains are not prevalent within the park. Instead, visitors can explore the park’s stunning landscapes and wildlife on guided bush walks led by experienced rangers, providing an immersive experience in the African bush.



1. What is Kafue National Park known for?

Kafue National Park is renowned for its vast wilderness, diverse ecosystems, and abundant wildlife, including the Big Five. Spanning over 22,400 square kilometers, it’s one of Africa’s largest parks, offering unparalleled opportunities for safari adventures.

The park is famed for its scenic beauty, characterized by sweeping plains, meandering rivers, and lush woodlands, providing a habitat for a rich variety of fauna and flora.

Visitors to Kafue can witness impressive wildlife spectacles, such as large herds of elephants, prides of lions, and elusive leopards, along with rare antelope species and over 500 bird species.

Kafue’s pristine wilderness and remote locations offer a sense of exclusivity and adventure, attracting nature enthusiasts, photographers, and safari-goers seeking an authentic African safari experience amidst untouched landscapes.

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