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Kafue Budget Safari Tours

4.2/5  –  38 Kafue Reviews

Kafue National Park is one of Africa's most underrated safari destinations. Extending across 22,400km²/8,649mi² of southwest Zambia, it is larger than either the Serengeti or Kruger and shelters a greater variety of mammals than these iconic parks. Bisected by the wide Kafue River, the park supports a dominant cover of tall miombo woodland interspersed with several large floodplains. Wildlife viewing can be slower than it is in some more publicized safari destinations, but this is compensated for by the park’s wilderness feel and low visitor numbers. Kafue is also one of the few comparably untrammeled African parks that are accessible on budget trips, making it ideal for those seeking an affordable off-the-beaten-track safari experience.

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1-11 of 11 cheap tours, packages and holidays to Kafue National Park

6 Questions About Kafue Budget Safari Tours


6 Questions About Kafue Budget Safari Tours

Answered by Philip Briggs

What animals might I see on a Kafue budget trip?

“Kafue National Park boasts a mammal checklist of 150-plus species, more than any other national park in Africa. Four of the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo; no rhino) are present, along with cheetah, African wild dog, zebra, hippo, warthog and 20 antelope species including eland, greater kudu, sable, roan, puku, red lechwe, Lichtenstein's hartebeest and oribi. Because Kafue is so large and ecologically varied, wildlife is unevenly distributed and what you see will depend to some extent on where exactly you visit. Areas that tend to offer top wildlife viewing include the Busanga Plains (lion, cheetah and African wild dog), the Nanzhila Plains (lion, rare antelope), Lake Itezhi-Tezhi (elephant, buffalo and hippo) and the tracks that run south from Hook Bridge on the M9 west of the capital, Lusaka. Kafue is also a spectacular bird-watching destination with 480 species recorded, and the Nanzhila Plains are the last stronghold of the endemic black-cheeked lovebird.”


Can I combine a Kafue budget safari with a Victoria Falls visit?

“Yes, a budget safari to Kafue is easily combined with a visit to Victoria Falls. In fact, Kafue is the closest of Zambia's major national parks to Victoria Falls, and the southern sector can be reached in half a day from there. Most budget tours to Kafue start and end in the capital Lusaka, but there are also Kafue safaris out of Victoria Falls. Another option that saves some backtracking on a longer holiday to Zambia is a safari that travels between Lusaka and Victoria Falls via Kafue.”


How many days is recommended for a budget Kafue trip?

“A minimum of 4 days is recommended for a Kafue National Park budget safari, but 5 or 6 days would be better. The large size of Kafue, combined with its remoteness, means that a shorter safari is likely to feel rather rushed and be dominated by long drives. Also, Kafue is not one of those parks where you can expect to see everything in one or two game drives. The longer you spend there, the more likely you are to have a satisfying safari experience.”


What type of accommodation can I expect on cheap Kafue packages?

“Most cheap packages to Kafue are camping safaris. Permanent lodges and upmarket tented camps in the national park tend to be relatively costly, but several excellent private campsites can be found on the shore of Lake Itezhi-Tezhi and on the banks of the Kafue River. The tour operator will usually provide comfortable tents and other camping equipment, as well as a cook and ingredients to prepare meals, but you may be required to help set up camp. Most campsites in Kafue have clean ablution blocks, with toilets and facilities for washing.”


What is the best time of the year for a budget Kafue safari?

“The best time to travel in Kafue is the Dry season, which runs from May to October. The main reason for this is that wildlife tends to be easier to locate, partly because the vegetation thins out, but also because thirsty animals concentrate along rivers and other permanent water sources. In this respect, the later in the Dry season you visit, the better, with the optimum months being July to October. Other reasons why it's good to plan your Kafue trip for the Dry season are that roads will be easier to navigate and there's little chance of being rained out when camping. Some parts of Kafue, most notably the Busanga Floodplain, tend to become waterlogged and completely inaccessible in the Wet season, from late November to April. There are two main advantages to visiting Kafue during the rainy season. The first is that the scenery is so much greener and more attractive. The second is that birdlife is more colorful and prolific, as migrants from the northern hemisphere settle in over November to April, and many resident birds transform from their dull winter plumage into full breeding colors.”


How much will this safari cost?

“The average price of a budget safari to Kafue is around US$175 to US$250 per day, depending to some extent on group size. The price of a Kafue budget safari should be inclusive of transport, national park entrance fees, camping fees, meals and camping equipment, but you should check this before you book anything. Generally, drinks will be extra, and you will also be expected to tip guides and other staff generously.”


Kafue Reviews

4.2/5 38 Reviews
Brian Jackman  –  
United Kingdom UK

Brian is an award winning travel writer, author of safari books and regular contributor to magazines such as BBC Wildlife and Travel Africa.

Zambia’s biggest wildlife stronghold

Imagine a wilderness the size of Wales and you begin to get a feeling of what Kafue is like. It’s one of the biggest parks in the world and is criss-crossed with rivers, including the wide Kafue River itself with its shady banks and hippo...

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Mike Unwin  –  
United Kingdom UK

Mike is an award-winning wildlife writer, former editor of Travel Zambia magazine and author of the Bradt Guide to Southern African Wildlife.

Sleeping giant

I am always surprised that Kafue seldom crops up in discussions of Africa’s top destinations. The park is vast – at 22,500 sq km, it is Zambia’s largest – and its variety of wildlife competes with any on the continent. The reason...

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Guillaume d'Autichamp  –  
France FR
Reviewed: Oct 31, 2018

We stayed 3 nights at the Mawimbi Bush cam and had the camp for ourselves and an extraorinary guide and staff. This park is huge. We unfortunately missed the Busanga plains that were too far away but we just saw 2 other tourist cars in 2...

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Tetsuji Ida  –  
Japan JP
Reviewed: Sep 25, 2018

Road on the way was not so bad,and in the park, we saw a lot.
Camp site was also exiting, so close to wildlife and unexpectedly clean and comfortable.
Food was also nice, thanks to our nice guide who knows a lot about nature.

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Owen  –  
Kenya KE
Reviewed: Sep 16, 2018
Potentially One of the Finest National Parks in Africa

I just spent 11 days in Kafue National Park and loved it. In fact I feel that with better overall management it could be and deserves to be one of the finest National Parks in Africa. I saw lions,elephants,hippos, herds of red lechwe,...

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James Arden  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: May 30, 2016
Utter remoteness in this vast park yet still close encounters ensued.

I travelled with my family to stay at the Busanga Plains camp, a fly camp of Mukambi. The six hour drive from the lodge to Busanga was a true African experience. Although we had little time to stop and digest the animals (we were on a...

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