The largest reserve in Zambia and the second largest national park in all of Africa, Kafue National Park covers an area the size of Massachusetts in southwestern Zambia.
Named for the Kafue River, the remote park was established in 1924 by the British colonial government but to this day remains largely unexplored. Bisected from north to south by the broad slow-flowing Kafue River, the park’s fertile grasslands and miombo and mopane woodlands attract incredible concentrations of wildlife. The jewel of Kafue is the Busanga Plains in the northern section of the park. Busanga is a vast floodplain of the Lufupa tributary, and for much of the year the plains are submerged below seasonal floodwaters. At around 4,000 feet, the region has a somewhat milder climate than the lower Zambezi and Luangwa valleys. During the wet season, the park is at its most lush and viral, but some areas can become inaccessible.
The floodplains of Kafue National Park are home not just to hundreds of bird species, but to herds of sitatunga, red lechwe, puku, impala, wildebeest, hartebeest, buffalo, and zebra, all of which in turn support impressive populations of lion, leopard, and cheetah. There are a recorded 495 birds in the area including Ross’s turaco, Narina trogons, MacClounie’s barbet, olive woodpecker, brown-headed apalis, and the yellow-throated leaflove. Crocodiles and pods of hippos inhabit nearly all stretches of the Kafue River and its major tributaries. The Park also has a large population of African wild dog with packs.