KAFUE NATIONAL PARK
|# Excl Vagrants:||497|
|# Near Endemics:||0|
|Habitat: Miombo woodland, Teak forest, grassland, dambos|
ABOUT THE BIRDING
Kafue National Park in the center of western Zambia is one of the largest game parks in Africa, encompasssing some 22,500 SqKm. It features perhaps the greatest diversity of wildlife in Africa. Much of the park is covered by Miombo woodland, which is fire resistant and able to surviv the bush fires that occur during every dry season. The open woodland is interspersed with grassy depressions called Dambos, which provide excellent grazing for herbivores. The southern section of the park also has Teak Forest, thickets, and Mopane Forest. The northwest opens up into the vast Busanga Plains, a vast floodplain flooded during much of the year and home to large herds of Red Lechwe, Cape Buffalo and numerous antelope. Many wetland and open plains birds are present including Spur-winged Goose, African Openbill, Saddle-billed Stork, Gray Crowned-Crane, and Wattled Crane. The park features more bird species than nearly any other park in Africa, with nearly 500 species recorded. These include Zambia's only endemic species, Chaplin's Barbet as well as birds such as Black-breasted Snake-Eagle, African Finfoot, Red-crested Bustard, Black-cheeked Lovebird, Pel's Fishing-Owl, Boehm's Bee-eater, Rufous-vented Warbler, Bocage's Akalat, Shelley's Sunbird, and Fuelleborn's Longclaw.
Mammal-viewing at Kafue is superb. It's one of the best places to see Leopard. Other predators such as Cheetah and African Wild Dog and rare antelopes like Sitatunga, Yellow-backed Duiker, and Blue Duiker can be found. Other animals of special note in the park are Sable, Oribi, Steenbok, Sharpe's Grysbok, Roan Antelope, Sable Antelope, and Puku. The Elephant population was subjected to heavy poaching pressurebut are recovering. However, they are less habituated to people, so it's likely to see more alarm behavior such as trumpeting that rarely occurs during safaris in East Africa.
LOCATION OF SITE
Kafue National Park is reached by taking the M9 tarmac road from Lusaka, a drive of about 2 hours. The Busanga Plain in the north is also reached via the M9 through the park with an additional 5 hours driving time.