Kafue National Park, located in Zambia, is a diverse and ecologically rich landscape that encompasses a variety of ecosystems. Spanning over 22,400 square kilometers, the park is characterized by its extensive woodlands, grasslands, wetlands, and riverine habitats, all of which contribute to its remarkable biodiversity. The woodlands of Kafue National Park are predominantly Miombo and Zambezian types, dominated by trees such as Rhodesian teak, African mahogany, and various species of acacias. These woodlands provide shelter, nesting sites, and food sources for a wide range of animals, including elephants, buffalos, giraffes, and an array of bird species. The trees act as carbon sinks, helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change, while the dense undergrowth and fallen leaves create a nutrient-rich soil for the growth of other plant species. Kafue National Park is also known for its extensive grasslands, which cover large portions of the park. These grassy plains support a diverse range of herbivores, such as zebras, wildebeests, antelopes, and buffalos, which graze on the abundant grasses. The grasslands are essential for maintaining the park's predator-prey dynamic, as they provide ample food for carnivorous species such as lions, leopards, cheetahs, and hyenas. The grasses also contribute to the overall ecological balance by preventing soil erosion and providing habitats for smaller species like rodents and insects. Throughout the park, the Kafue River and its tributaries flow, creating vital riverine habitats that support a wide array of plant and animal life. The river serves as a water source for the park's inhabitants, attracting large numbers of herbivores, predators, and water-dependent species. Along the riverbanks, vegetation such as sausage trees, ebony trees, and waterberry trees provide shade and resources for animals, including primates, birds, and reptiles. One of the most outstanding features of Kafue National Park is its wetlands. The park contains an extensive network of floodplains, marshes, and swamps that are nourished by the annual flooding of the Kafue River. These wetland areas are home to an abundance of aquatic plants, grasses, and reeds, such as papyrus, which provide breeding grounds and habitats for numerous bird species, amphibians, and fish. The wetlands also offer refuge to mammals like sitatungas and red lechw we's`, which are adapted to the marshy conditions. In terms of avian biodiversity, Kafue National Park is a true paradise for birdwatchers. With over 500 recorded bird species, including African fish eagles, herons, storks, hornbills, and kingfishers, the park offers incredible opportunities for bird spotting. The diverse habitats within the park, from wetlands to woodlands, provide a variety of niches for different bird species to thrive. The ecological health of Kafue National Park is heavily reliant on maintaining the delicate balance between its various ecosystems. Conservation efforts focus on protecting and preserving these habitats, combating poaching, and mitigating the impacts of human activities. Community involvement and sustainable tourism practices play a crucial role in ensuring the long-term viability of the park's ecology. In conclusion, the ecology of Kafue National Park is a complex and interconnected web of diverse habitats and species. From the woodlands and grasslands to the wetlands and riverine areas, each ecosystem provides unique resources and benefits for the park's wildlife. The park's rich biodiversity, including iconic mammals, abundant birdlife, and diverse plant species, makes Kafue National Park an important and irreplaceable conservation area.

Useful Facts
Kafue National Park is the largest national park in Zambia, covering an area of about 22,400 km2 (similar in size to Wales or Massachusetts). It is one of the largest parks in Africa and is home to 152 different species of mammals. The park is named for the Kafue River. It stretches over three provinces: North Western, Central and Southern. The main access is via the Lusaka–Mongu Road from Lusaka to Mongu which crosses the park north of its centre. Seasonal dirt roads also link from Kalomo and Namwala in the south and south-east, and Kasempa in the north.
ANIMALS ---------- Kafue National Park hosts a large range of antelopes including puku, sitatunga, red lechwe, blue duiker, yellow-backed duiker, Sharpe's grysbok, oribi, impala, roan antelope, sable antelope and hartebeest. African bush elephant herds are commonly seen. Other mammals include African buffalo, aardvark, pangolin, bushpig, warthog, spring hare and bush baby. The Kafue River and its tributaries are home to pods of hippopotamus and a few of the largest Nile crocodiles in southern Africa. There are also monitor lizards in the park. The cheetah occurs throughout this park, and the African leopard is frequently seen. The park is a stronghold of the African wild dog. Other carnivores include Selous's mongoose, white-tailed mongoose, marsh mongoose, African civet, honey badger, African clawless otter, spotted-necked otter, serval, caracal and African wild cat. Since 2005, the protected area has been considered a lion 'conservation unit', together with South Luangwa National Park. BIRDS ------ There are over 500 recorded bird species. Some include Pel's fishing owl, black-cheeked lovebird, grey crowned crane, African finfoot, Böhm's bee-eaters, paradise flycatchers, sunbirds, numerous kingfisher species and Zambia's only endemic bird, Chaplin's barbet. Busanga is one of the few known breeding sites for wattled cranes. There are also flocks of pelicans, many species of egrets and large gatherings of African openbill storks. Colonies of African skimmers are found on sandbars in the main rivers. The small termite mounds of the grasslands attract sooty chats, and wetter areas of the plains are favoured by the rosy-throated longclaw. When the termite alates fly before the rains, pallid harriers, Montagu's harriers, lesser kestrels and Eurasian hobby feast on them. The woodlands are home to African hawk-eagles, black-chested snake-eagles, racket-tailed rollers, flocks of helmetshrikes, and sooty and Arnot's chats. FISH ---- Commercially important fish species in the area are Sarotherodon macrochir, Tilapia andersonii, T. rendalli, T. sparrmanii, Clarias gariepinus, Marcusenius macrolepidotus, Labeo molybdinus and Hepsetus odoe. In 1992 kapenta (Limnothrissa miodon) from Lake Tanganyika were introduced into Lake Itezhi-tezhi.
Guided Walks- a short excursion, usually with a guide. Night Drives- an opportunity to see the parks nocturnal creatures. Day Drives- a guide will accompany your drive and show you what to look out for. Specialist Birding Drives- a must for all the birding enthusiasts with more than 494 bird species. Boating Excursions- there are a number of rivers and dams to enjoy a boat- trip on. Fishing- pike, barbel and bream are often caught in the park’s waters. Canoeing- share the water with crocodiles and hippos!
Getting There
Kafue National Park is located 360km/223mi from the capital, Lusaka. The drive, on a good tar road, takes about 4 hours*. There are many safari packages to Kafue and self-drive to the park is relatively easy too. However, to venture any distance into the park itself, a good 4x4 is essential. Most people staying at the high-end lodges fly by chartered plane to Kafue. There are several airstrips in the park. Zambia’s main airport, Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN), is 14km/9mi from Lusaka – this is where you will most likely enter the country. Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport (LVI) in Livingstone is also handy for the park. The domestic carriers Proflight and Zambia Airways offer flights to several parks, but currently not to Kafue. Charter flights between parks are usually part of your safari package and are booked by your tour operator. *Driving times are only a rough indication. You should always consider the possibility of significant delays.
Collective Kafue National Park
Animal Conservation | Water Quality | Animal Conservation
Fund Split
DNPW The Department Of National and Wildlife 20.00%
Chief Banda 40.00%
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Downloadable Files
Kafue National Park file