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Kafue National Park is one of the largest parks in Africa. Although, the park is very accessible on a good road from Lusaka, it feels remote and wild. The animals can be quite shy, but you’ll still see loads of wildlife. Four of the Big Five can be found, only rhino is missing.
Kafue has a lot of wildlife. Elephants tend to be shy, but are common. Lion and leopard are easily spotted as well. What makes Kafue a great destination, though, is its wealth of antelope species. Huge herds of red lechwe – in the thousands – can be found in the swamps. Puku, greater kudu, oribi and waterbuck are all common, and the rare roan antelope is present in very sizable herds as well.
The Kafue River and the streams that flow into it are lined with forest and make for a beautiful view on a boat cruise. Away from the rivers, there are patches of miombo woodland and swamps. The vast Busanga Plains are in the far north of the park. You can’t explore these floodplains in the Wet season, but for the rest of the year you can enjoy the wildlife here.
Kafue’s tropical location means that daytime temperatures don’t change much throughout the year, except for the rising heat in October just before it rains. The region’s Dry season (May to October) sees the groundwater slowly dry up and keeps the days warm. The Wet season (November to April) gets hot and you can expect afternoon downpours.
You can’t beat the Dry season (May to October) for wildlife watching in Kafue. The movements of the animals are more predictable because they all head for local rivers and waterholes. And who wouldn’t enjoy those sunny days? Busanga Plains can only be visited at this time of year, before they’re cut off by the rains of the Wet season (November to April).