Kafue National Park- Self Drive Zambia : 4×4 Africa

Kafue National Park

Kafue National Park is one of the largest national parks in Africa, located in Zambia. It has a rich history and has played a crucial role in the conservation of wildlife in the region. Kafue National Park was established in 1950 and is the oldest and largest national park in Zambia. It covers an area of about 22,400 square kilometres, making it one of the largest national parks in Africa.

Before the establishment of the national park, the Kafue region was home to various indigenous communities. These communities had a deep connection with the land and its wildlife. During the colonial era, the area that is now Kafue National Park was used for hunting and other forms of exploitation of natural resources. The establishment of the park marked a shift towards conservation and the protection of wildlife.

Where does Kafue fit into your Zambia Adventure?

Kafue National Park

Over the years, Kafue National Park has become a popular destination for ecotourism. Tourists visit the park to experience its diverse ecosystems, observe wildlife, and engage in activities such as game drives, boat safaris, and bird watching.

Safari activities in Kafue National Park

Kafue national park was initially created to protect a variety of wildlife species, including large populations of herbivores and predators. Conservation efforts aimed to preserve the diverse ecosystems found within the park. Kafue National Park is known for its diverse wildlife, including elephants, hippos, crocodiles, various antelope species, big cats, and numerous bird species. The Kafue River, which flows through the park, is a vital water source for both wildlife and local communities.

Lake Mburo national park is a home to some predators like leopards, lions, hyenas, jackals, serval cats, genets and others. While on a safari in Lake Mburo National park, a number of there are numerous attractions one can do and also activities to take part in.

Game Drive in Kafue

Victoria Falls

Game drives are one of the most common safari activities in Kafue National Park. Visitors can embark on guided drives through the park in open 4×4 vehicles, allowing them to see a variety of wildlife, including elephants, lions, giraffes, antelopes, and more. Morning and evening game drives are particularly popular for different wildlife viewing opportunities.

Night Drives: Some lodges and camps within Kafue National Park offer night drives, allowing visitors to explore the park after dark. Nocturnal animals, such as leopards, hyenas, and bushbabies, are often active during the night, providing a unique safari experience.

The Kafue River flows through the park, and boat safaris provide a unique perspective to observe wildlife along the riverbanks. Visitors can spot hippos, crocodiles, and various bird species while enjoying a leisurely boat ride. Boat safaris are often conducted in the wetland areas of the park.

Boat Safaris

Water Falls in Zambia

Walking Safaris in Kafue

Walking Safaris

Guided walking safaris offer a more intimate and up-close experience with nature. Trained guides lead small groups of visitors on foot through selected areas of the park, providing insights into the flora, fauna, and smaller wildlife that may be missed during vehicle safaris. Walking safaris require a higher level of fitness and are subject to park regulations.

Kafue National Park is a haven for birdwatchers, with over 400 bird species recorded. Bird watching safaris, whether by vehicle, boat, or on foot, provide opportunities to spot a diverse array of avian species, including fish eagles, kingfishers, and numerous migratory birds.

Bird Watching

Night Game Drive in Uganda

Hot Air Balloon

Balloon Safaris in Kenya

Some safari lodges may offer hot air balloon safaris, providing a breathtaking aerial view of the park and its wildlife. This activity often takes place during the early morning hours when the landscape is bathed in soft sunlight.

Before embarking on any safari activity in Kafue National Park, it’s essential to check with authorized safari operators and adhere to park regulations to ensure a safe and sustainable experience for both visitors and the park’s wildlife.

Where to stay?See lodges & Camps

Hotels in Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo national park provides plenty of accommodations options ranging from budget ( Camping), mid-range and luxury options. Among these accommodations include; Mihingo lodge, Arcadia cottage, Kigambira safari lodge, Mburo safari lodge, Mpogo safari lodge, Rwakobo rock, Mantana tented camp, Rwonyo rest camp, Rangeland hotel, Mburo Eagles nest, Leopard rest camp, Hyena Hill lodge, Kigarama wilderness lodge and many others.

When to go? Best time to Visit

The best time to visit Kafue National Park in Zambia depends on the type of experience you are seeking, as the park experiences distinct seasons. Here’s a general overview:

Dry Season (May to October):

  • This is considered the best time to visit Kafue National Park.
  • The weather is dry, and vegetation is less dense, making wildlife easier to spot.
  • Animals tend to gather around water sources, providing excellent game viewing opportunities.
  • The months of June to August are cooler, making it a comfortable time for safaris.

Wet Season (November to April):

  • The wet season sees an increase in rainfall, with the peak occurring from December to February.
  • The landscape becomes lush and green, and birdlife is abundant.
  • Some lodges may close during the wet season due to challenging road conditions.
  • The wet season is a good time for birdwatching, as migratory birds are present.

November:

  • This month is a transitional period between the dry and wet seasons.
  • It may offer a balance, with some greenery but also good wildlife visibility.
  • However, it’s important to note that road conditions can be challenging as the rains begin.

Ultimately, the choice of when to visit depends on your preferences. If you’re primarily interested in optimal game viewing and drier conditions, the dry season is preferable. However, if you’re a bird enthusiast and don’t mind the occasional rain, the wet season may offer a different and equally rewarding experience.

Keep in mind that specific activities, such as hot air balloon safaris and certain walking safaris, may be more dependent on weather conditions and might be more readily available during the dry season. It’s always a good idea to check with local operators and lodges for the most up-to-date information on conditions and activities when planning your visit to Kafue National Park.

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How to access Lake Mburo National park?

Lake Mburo Gate

Lake Mburo National park is about 30 kilometers east of Mbarara and about 240 kilometers west of the capital of Uganda – Kampala. Self Drive Safaris are possible in Uganda’s top closest park to Kampala and 4×4 Africa offers Private Guided Safaris in reliable Rental Cars like Landcruisers , Rav4 and Safari landcruiser to explore the Best Safari options in Lake Mburo!

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Kibale Forest National Park is the home to over 13 primates in Uganda , offering the best chance to do Chimpanzee Habituation experience in the wilderness of Uganda on Uganda Safari

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Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National park is a Ugandan park positioned in Nyabushozi County, in kiruhura district near Mbarara in the western region. The park is about 30 kilometers east of Mbarara and about 240 kilometers west of the capital of Uganda – Kampala. Lake Mburo national park was first gazetted in 1933 preserving it from the hunters and in 1963; it was upgraded as a game reserve.

Occupying an area of approximately 260 square kilometers, Lake Mburo National Park hosts a variety of mammal species, primate species and also bird species which are over 300 in number. Among the animals in the park include impalas, hippos, zebras, common eland, warthogs, African buffalos and others. Also, Lake Mburo national park is a home to some predators like leopards, lions, hyenas, jackals, serval cats, genets and others. While on a safari in Lake Mburo National park, a number of there are numerous attractions one can do and also activities to take part in.

Safari attractions in Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo

This is the main attraction in the national park since the park was renamed form it. The lake’s banks attract a variety of animal and bird species including the crocodiles and hippos. Bird species include Malachite kingfishers, African fish eagles, Rufous long-tailed starlings, pelicans, herons, hammerkops, rare shoebills and others.

Rwonyo rest camp

This is regarded as the center of all tourism activities in the park. This is where most activities in the park like game drives, nature walking and forest walks begin from.

Rubanga forest

This forest is located on the western side of the park. It provides a clear view of different species in the park including the tree species, bird species and some animal species. Among the birds to spot in the park include Narina trogon, harrier hawk, grey backed cameroptera and others.

Safari activities In Lake Mburo National Park

Game viewing

With over 70 mammal species and 300 bird species, Lake Mburo National park is one of the best options in Uganda to view the wildlife. The animals can be seen during game drive through the trails of the park, during an optional boat cruise and also during a guided nature walk through the short savannahs of the park. Lake Mburo National park has a large concentration of healthy giraffes and hippos and also crocodiles in Lake Mburo. Spot a variety of bird species along the lake shores while having a boat cruise.

Horseback riding

Lake Mburo National Park is the only park in Uganda where game viewing is done while on a horseback. The experience is done at Mihingo lodge under the guide and supervision of a game ranger. Explore the splendid beauty of Lake Mburo National park while on 1-3 hours horseback.

Night game drive

Lake Mburo National park is one of the destinations where travelers can carry out night game drives. This experience involves searching for the nocturnal animals in the park. Among these animals include porcupine, leopards, white tailed mongoose, bush babies and others.

Boat cruise

Enjoy the amazing views of the fauna and flora in Lake Mburo National park while on a boat cruise on Lake Mburo National park.  Animal species seen while on the boat cruise include crocodiles, hippos and others. Also, travelers can sight bird species like African fish eagles, king fishers, herons, rare African fin foot, hammerkops and others.

Birding

With over 300 bird species, Lake Mburo National Park is one of the best places for bird spotting. Remember to carry your binoculars to view beautiful and amazing bird species. A numerous birds can be seen during a safari walk through the park and also during a boat cruise. Among the birds in the park include pelicans, King Fishers, rare shoe bills, hammerkops, herons, cormorants, and others.

Cultural encounters

Lake Mburo National park is neighbored by the community of the Bahima, Banyankole people. These are people who practice cattle rearing. Learn more from these local people like ghee making and others. Also, enjoy their stories, dances and songs.

Fishing

This activity is done on Lake Mburo. The lake has got 6 fish species including tilapia fish, lung fish, cat fish, Angara fish, tiger fish, and barbell fish. Enjoy the activity by the guidance of a ranger at the major fishing spot of Mazinga.