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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Kafue National Park

I just returned from leading a 2 week photographic safari to the amazing African country of Zambia. My clients, Ralf and Perdita, and I had an incredible wildlife experience and we saw no less than 48 species of mammals and 203 species of birds on the safari. Photographic opportunities were endless and over the next month I will explain this remarkable safari in detail.

At 22 500 square kilometres, Kafue National Park is one of the largest National Parks in Africa. It is fed by three rivers, the Lufupa in the north-west and the Lunga and Kafue in the north-east. The Lufupa River floods in the summer,creating a large floodplain delta system that attracts thousands of waterbirds.

The Park has the largest mammal species diversity in Zambia due to an interesting habitat mix which includes miombo woodland and seasonal open grassy areas called dambos. The Park boasts 55 large mammal species - including 20 ungulate and 6 cat species.

In the extreme north of the Kafue lies the Busanga Plains - one of Zambia's most significant wetland resources and one of the few areas in the world that remain untouched by development and human activity. Considered the jewel in the Kafue crown, these plains cover an area of approximately 750 square kilometres. The Plains are home to hundreds of red lechwe, puku, roan and the diminutive oribi.




Cape Buffalo were ever present and herds of Elephants were seen almost daily.


This wealth of game on the plains is also a big attraction for predators and we saw and photographed a coalition of 3 male Cheetahs (hunting Blue Wildebeest for more than 2 hours) and 3 different prides of Lion. We were also very fortunate to 2 see two different Leopards, one a young male on the bank of the Kafue River and a second large territorial male lying on top of a termite mount.

We also saw an incredible diversity of smaller mammals and sighting included Caracal, Serval, Civet Cat and Marsh Mongoose. On a morning safari Ralf and I even saw and photographed a Bush Pig in the day light.

The birdlife is certainly an attraction for many photographers visiting the Busanga Plains and Kafue boasts 491 species.

The Busanga plays host to elegant Wattled Cranes, Crowned Cranes and Rosy-throated Longclaws in great numbers. Birding habitats are diverse and include vast floodplains, broadleaved woodland (mopane and miombo), open water and riverine fringe.


Key species we saw around the Lufupa and Kafue Rivers included Ross's Turaco, Schalow's Turaco and Half-collared Kingfisher. My birding highlight was without a doubt seeing and “ticking” both Red-throated Twinspot and Böhm's Bee-eater in Musanza Camp.

Other amazing attractions include hot air balloon and helicopter flights and this provide the photographer with an incredible aerial photographic experience.


Kafue National Park is without a doubt one of my favourite National Parks in Africa, it is a true wilderness experience and we were astonished at the great diversity on every one of our drives.

4 comments:

Benny and Lily said...

Love the color! Great photography
Benny & Lily

Firefly said...

Looking at these pics I thinking now wonder you have your photos published in things like African Geographic. It makes me want to go and rob a bank so that I can buy myself the type of equipment you have and go and to do the same.

Firefly said...

Looking at these pics I thinking now wonder you have your photos published in things like African Geographic. It makes me want to go and rob a bank so that I can buy myself the type of equipment you have and go and to do the same.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

What an amazing series of photographs. I have to agree with Jonker, without doubt I need a better camera than my cheap digital:-) Diane