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Kafue National Park is the largest in Zambia and second largest in Africa. It is a pristine wilderness with a wide variety of game and it is a birder’s paradise. However, we do not recommend Kafue to first-time safari-goers. Although there is a large variety of game, it is widely dispersed, making game-drives challenging. The main draws of Kafue are its privacy and exclusivity because the camps are quite remote. Though certainly not for everyone, Kafue can result in the perfect safari experience for the right person and we support the properties that are bringing tourism to this park as they provide essential aid against poaching in this vast area.

One great thing about Kafue is the hot air balloon rides offered from August through October when you stay at a Busanga Bush Camp or Shumba Camp, two of our favorite properties. These are the only places you can do a hot air balloon ride on safari in Zambia and it is well worth it.

The best time for game viewing is July through October as the Lufupa River is drying up. The wet months can be green, lush, and very beautiful, but accessibility can be difficult and some camps are closed.

Kafue is hard to build into an itinerary with other parts of Zambia because you’d have to fly in and out of Lusaka which makes for long travel days. We like to combine Kafue camps with Hwange in Zimbabwe because of certain flight packages which make connecting the two quite easy.

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Jamie Mehrotra