The 'Hidden Gems' within Kafue National Park

“It’s not one of the crowded parks in Zambia so chances are good that you’re the only guest at your lodge or even in the park!” – Fabian, Jan ’17

When you can spend 10 days in a National Park with no 2 days being the same, you know you are in a special place. That’s what the Kafue can offer. It has INCREDIBLE ANIMAL AND BIRDLIFE DIVERSITY which stems ultimately from the tapestry of habitats that link together through the park. The Southern sector intersperses WIDE, EXPANSIVE PLAINS with stunning miombo woodlands and dambos and is home to impressive numbers of lion, cheetah and a variety of antelope, most notable sable, roan, reedbuck and eland. The central region is dominated by the stunning Kafue River and its beautiful riparian woodland and offers both RIVER AND LAND BASED SAFARI EXPERIENCES. Venture further north and you will start to get access to the Busanga Plains – another region known for great lion activity and stunning plains vistas.

Kafue National Park is perfectly suited to:

Game drives Bush walksFishingBirdingBoat Cruises

What you can find in this region

Unique attractions or experiences in this region include:

Kafue River

Smaller than the Zambezi, the Kafue River has a definite aura of peace and tranquility emphasized by the large rock formations often seen along the river (particularly around the Kaingu region) and the stunning riparian woodland that lines the banks of the Kafue River.


One of the rarest and most endangered African predator, the highly sociable African Wild Dog requires a huge amount of space and is constantly on the move. As a result, sightings are infrequent and should always be viewed as special.


Viewing the fastest land mammal in the world is always a treat and the Kafue is probably the best place in Zambia to do so – particularly in the Southern and central regions.

Big 5

The Kafue offers consistent sightings of 4 members of the Big 5, namely lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo.

Pel’s Fishing Owl

Always sought after by birders, the Pel’s Fishing Owl’s reclusive and nocturnal nature makes sightings tricky and infrequent. The slow flowing riverine habitat around the central Kafue is a prime habitat.

Black Cheeked Lovebird

A beautiful, small lovebird that is endemic to this tiny corner of Zambia and is best viewed in the Southern Kafue.

Accommodation Ideas in this region

Where we suggest you stay in this region:

Nanzhila Plains

The closest true safari experience in Zambia to the Victoria Falls and an affordable and absorbing safari to consider for anyone staying in Livingstone.

Konkamoya Lodge

An upmarket lodge consisting of 5 comfortable safari tents situated on the banks of lake Itezhi Tezhi

Kaingu Safari Lodge

Kaingu Safari Lodge is situated in an area of pristine wilderness, on one of Africa’s great rivers, the Kafue.

Musekese Camp

A small and intimate tented safari camp nestled in a large stand of massive riverine trees overlooking an immense dambo.. making it a magnet for wildlife in the area.

Ila Bush Camp

Luxury safari tents perched each on their own deck reaching out over the banks of the Kafue River

Kafue River Lodge

Situated on the banks of the Kafue River offering a wide range of activities, species and experiences.

Ntemwa Bush Camp

Located on the southern edge of the Busanga Plains, this small rustic bush camp is able to accommodate just 6 guests in en-suite Meru safari tents

Busanga Bush Camp

Four well-appointed en-suite tents offering some of the best lion viewing in Africa

Shumba Camp

Six tented rooms located on the edge of a ‘tree island’ in the heart of the wildlife paradise of the Busanga Plains

Kafue National Park Travel Packages

Some package ideas as to how you can best experience this region

Classic Kafue

A 6 night safari combining Nanzhila Plains with Kaingu Safari River Lodge – giving guests the best of the Kafue accessible from both Livingstone and / or Lusaka.

View Sample Itinerary
Kafue Explorer

An 8 night safari Kafue National Park combining Musekese and the Busanag Plains

View Sample Itinerary
Busanga Mobile Safari

A 6 night safari with 3 nights in Kafue River Lodge and 3 nights at Mashoze Mobile Camp on the edge of the famous Busanga Plains.

View Sample Itinerary

Kafue National Park Photo Gallery

Photographs from the Kafue National Park region

Routes through the Southern Region

The Southern Route begins and ends in Livingstone, depending on your direction and includes regions within the Southern, Central and Northern parts of the Kafue. Full route details below:

Heading north from Livingstone after experiencing the buzz of the Falls, you will reach the town of Kalomo. Here you leave the beaten track! A detour through the village market and 70km of dirt later, you enter the Dundumwezi or Nanzhila Gate. The Southern Kafue begins with a very solid belt of miombo forest. Beautiful, multi-coloured bush and a bird lovers haven but tricky for game viewing. However, you will soon be through miombo and crossing the plains that make the southern region so diverse for game viewing. Most guests choose to have 2-3 nights around Nanzhila Plains to explore this area before heading north onto Lake Itezhi-tezhi.

Itezhi-tezhi is often thought of as a ‘mini-Kariba’ and offers some stunning shoreline vistas before you bend back into more miombo and follow the Kafue River north. About 2 hours north of the lake is a stunning collection of camps including Kaingu, Kasabushi and Mawimbi and all offer an awesome river based experience at various budget levels. Canoeing, fishing and boat cruises now compliment the game drive experience and adds another dimension to the Kafue experience. If you continue north from here, you will hit the M9 Great West Road.

Once you hit this road, you have 2 options. The more popular option is to then head west towards Kaomo and join the western route. Alternavitely, you can continue to explore the Kafue and a fantastic option is to head east along the M9 to Mumbwa and then bend back to the North-Eastern sector of the park where the magnificent Kafue River Lodge is based. Here, depending on seasons, you can explore this remote corner of the park OR venture into the Busanga Plains on a mobile safari or the newly opened Lufupa concession. By heading back to the M9 at Mumbwa, you can connect with the road back to Lusaka