Kafue National Park

Mon May 21, 2012 11:58 am

Thu Feb 23, 2012

About the same size as Wales, Kafue National Park is Zambia's largest park. It protects a wide variety of different environments on an undulating plateau veined by rivers.

In the far north of Kafue National Park, the Lufupa River flows into the Busanga Swamps. During the rains this floods out over the adjacent Busanga Plains. Later, around May, when these waters recede, they leave behind a carpet of lush vegetation – which is irresistible to many herbivores. The Busanga Plains is certainly Kafue's most enticing area for the diversity and quantity of its big game.

Image ©ganeandmarshall.com

Image ©africansafaris.com

Here you find flat grassland plains dotted with photogenic 'islands' of wild date palms, sausage trees and fig trees; it's a unique environment for Kafue. You'll often also find huge herds of red lechwe and puku, as well as buffalo, zebra, wildebeest and other antelope. The prides of lion residing here are known for their tree-climbing antics. It's Zambia's best area for cheetah and one of its best for wild dogs – and certainly the best game area in Kafue National Park.

There are four main camps on the Busanga Plains, at the north end of Kafue National Park and each is run by Wilderness Safaris.

Shumba Camp is a smart, luxurious camp aimed at the top end of the market.

Kapinga Camp is very similar to Shumba, made to the same high quality, and costs the same, but is slightly smaller than Shumba.

Image ©tripadvisor.com

Busanga Bushcamp has been a seasonal camp on Kafue's Busanga Plains for many years, and it was completely rebuilt around 2006. Here the emphasis is on game-viewing rather than the interior décor. It can accommodate eight guests in four comfortable tents. The lounge and bar area is under canvas with an uninterrupted view out over the plains.

Image ©africa-adventure.com

Image ©cedearburg-traval.com

Musanza Bushcamp is by far the simplest of the four camps on Kafue's Busanga Plains, with six simple, yet comfortable walk-in tents. Each tent has its own private bathroom facilities including a flush toilet and hot water bucket shower. The main dining and communal area offers stunning views across the plains and of the Kafue River where hippos and crocodiles dwell. The area is well-known for its frequent leopard sightings and impressive diversity of antelope.

Away from Busanga Plains, there are three camps to note. These are frequently used as necessary 'staging posts' en route to and from the Busanga Plains. The main base of operations in the centre of the northern half of Kafue National Park is Lufupa.

Lufupa Tented Camp caters for mostly overseas visitors and is set up to include park fees for the national park, activities and meals. It has nine Meru-style tented chalets each with a wooden deck. A relaxed central area, complete with a boma, fireplace, dining area and small plunge pool, lies on the edge of the broad Kafue River.

Image ©maplanga.co.za

Lufupa River Camp is slightly upstream from the Tented Camp, and its tents are constructed in the same way. However, activities and meals aren't included here; it's really designed for visitors to Kafue who live in Zambia to drive their own 4WDs here.

Image ©baobabexpeditions.com

On the north-eastern side of Kafue National Park, the permanent Lunga River is deep and always surrounded by a band of lush, green forest. It's a sublime river to boat along. The bird-watching here is first-class, and the game sightings can be excellent also. There's one camp here:

Lunga River Lodge is on the north-eastern side of the park. It is a luxury bush camp that is comprised of 6 thatched chalets equipped with high quality facilities also aimed at the top end of the market.

For many years Southern Kafue has been largely ignored. The reality is that the game can be quite patchy, clustered around areas where it has historically been best protected. These areas have been expanding recently though, and it's gradually becoming an area worth visiting for those who value the exploration as much as the game-sightings.

Kaingu Lodge stands just south of a long-standing good area for game, Puku Pans. It comprises luxurious safari tents set under thatch and placed on raised platforms overlooking the river. Each unit has en-suite ablution facilities with hot and cold running water and 12 Volt solar lighting, and are carefully positioned to assure privacy, safety and integration with the surrounding vegetation.

Image ©hotels-and-lodges.com

For accommodation enquiries go to: http://www.wilderness-safaris.com/[/quote]

Re: Kafue National Park

Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:40 pm

We were lucky enough to spend four amazing nights at Busanga Bush Camp at the beginning of August. Here are some photos taken in and around the camp.

Image View from Lodge while having breakfast

And we were lucky enough to go up in a hot air balloon

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Image View from the Balloon

Some of the resident Cats

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And some of the mammals

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to be continued

Re: Kafue National Park

Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:54 pm

Thx everybody for reading commenting....yes Nan those are Red Lechwes in the first pic....
And a few more mammals before I find some birds to show you..:
)
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Buffalo

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Wildebeest

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Vervet Monkey

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Red Lechwe

Re: Kafue National Park

Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:32 pm

Birds you may see around Busanga Lodge.

You will defintely see an African Fish Eagle..you may even see more than one AFE...now for me that is heaven. Being more of a KTP visitor as opposed to a KNP visitor I still get very excited seeing an AFE. So imagine my disbelief when I saw 18 AFEs from one fixed position while on a game drive. Awesome stuff. The AFEs soared over the camp every afternoon and were quite vocal as well. More awesome stuff. Many a time we saw 3 AFEs together and I guessed the third one was an almost to be adult. My best sighting ever was the following though. Unfortunately I had to photograph this into the setting the sun ( the AFEs did not play fair) Also the atmosphere was quite thick with smoke due to controlled burning...but there was not much time to think and I just fired away...like I normally do. :) I had been watching these two AFEs while the other folk on the game vehicle were trying to work out what was under a tree 10 000 miles away :O^ and all of a sudden the AFEs did what I hoped they would do...... \O

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Yes they grasped each other's talons and went around in circles ...and within seconds they were plummetting to the ground. It all happened in a matter of a few seconds but the one AFE landed on it's head....

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the above is a cropped version - it really did land on it's head - ouch

But within a few seconds it had regained it's composure and flew off as if nothing had happened.

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I just love birding...;)

Re: Kafue National Park

Mon Sep 15, 2014 5:50 pm

Thanks all yet again for the lovely comments. :-)

And just a few more birds that you could see in and around Busanga Bush Camp.

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Square-tailed Nightjar

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Collared Pratincole

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Yellow-billed Kite

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Hamerkop

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Black-throated Wattle-Eye

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Lilac-breasted Roller

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Hooded Vulture

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Red-capped Lark

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Juvenile Red-capped Lark

and Zambia's National bird - the Grey Crowned Crane

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Re: Kafue National Park

Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:28 am

Thanks all for reading and commenting.
Busanga Bush Camp comes with a hefty price tag but it was really worth every cent. The staff are without exception 100% efficient and friendly. The food was fabulous and catered for everybody tastes , allergies etc. The accommodation was outstanding - comfortable beds with crisp white linen and hot water bottles waiting for you in your bed in the evenings as well as on your seat in the game vehicle on the early morning drive. It is fully inclusive..so no horrible booze bill at the end of your blissful stay. Even the hot air balloon flight was covered...... O/\
Sigh ..to be back there right now..... O:V

Re: Kafue National Park

Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:03 am

Mel wrote:Fully inclusive... What were the mealtime arrangements? Everybody in the camp together
or was it possible to just have a romantic dinner the two of you, leaving for the night
whenever you saw it fit? :-?



Every night was something different Mel - mostly everybody together but there are never more than 8 people. We were mostly less. We did have one dinner on our balconey..just the two of us...and I guess you could call it romantic... O**

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Re: Kafue National Park

Wed Sep 24, 2014 8:29 pm

But look how beautifully it gets folded.....

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:) :)

Yes the lodge is expensive but when you get chatting to the manageres (who was the most delightful manageres that I have ever come across) one realises that a lot of money is needed to run this camp. For instance all the supplies get driven it once a week - an almost 20 hr round trip - and that is only the food . Water and fuel is another story...:)

Re: Kafue National Park

Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:22 pm

0/* Just read this, Michelle. Being a fairly "newbie" I am slowly getting through unread posts and now I know that I just HAVE to win the jackpot O\/ Your AFE's are wonderful, along with the other piccies - I want to go there, too. Bucket list is getting rather endless :ty:

Re: Kafue National Park

Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:02 pm

Expat wrote:Bucket list is getting rather endless :ty:

I think many of us have the same problem! lol