Camping in the North-Western Kafue (Lushimba/Busanga Plains)





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    Default Camping in the North-Western Kafue (Lushimba/Busanga Plains)

    Hi All

    Just doing a bit of research.

    Have any of you camped/plan on camping at the Lushimba scout post in the North-Western corner of the park?


    If you have camped at Lushimba, would you camp there again if there where better facilities?


    If you have any other thoughts regarding camping at Lushimba please let me know. I know it is the closest place to the Busanga Plains that you can camp, so want to know what sort of traffic flow there is through the area.

    Your help would be greatly appreciated, trying to formulate something.

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    Default Re: Camping in the North-Western Kafue (Lushimba/Busanga Plains)

    Hi,
    whilst we have not camped up there we are going there again late this year and would be interested in any info you get.
    regards,
    David Plane
    Quote Originally Posted by Arturo Cuturi View Post
    Hi All

    Just doing a bit of research.

    Have any of you camped/plan on camping at the Lushimba scout post in the North-Western corner of the park?


    If you have camped at Lushimba, would you camp there again if there where better facilities?


    If you have any other thoughts regarding camping at Lushimba please let me know. I know it is the closest place to the Busanga Plains that you can camp, so want to know what sort of traffic flow there is through the area.

    Your help would be greatly appreciated, trying to formulate something.

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    Default Re: Camping in the North-Western Kafue (Lushimba/Busanga Plains)

    Very interesting idea, Arturo, I'd never considered the possibility.

    What's the access like from Kasempa, and from the M9? Can you come up the western cutline of the park if you're coming from Lusaka?

    Thanks

    John

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    Default Re: Camping in the North-Western Kafue (Lushimba/Busanga Plains)

    Quote Originally Posted by Itchy Feet View Post
    Very interesting idea, Arturo, I'd never considered the possibility.

    What's the access like from Kasempa, and from the M9? Can you come up the western cutline of the park if you're coming from Lusaka?

    Thanks

    John
    Hi John

    I am based on a farm outside of Solwezi, however we are also the concession holders for the Kasonso Busanga GMA, which borders the Kafue National Park on its North Western Boundary.

    To get in via Kasempa, if you wanted to specifically get to Lushimba, the easiest and fastest route would be via the Kaoma Road and through the Kasonso Busanga. I do this trip often, and it isn't to bad time wise.

    I'll give you basic distances:
    Kasempa to Shongwa Scout Post/Checkpoint: 58 kms
    Shongwa Checkpoint to Kasonso Busanga Turnoff: 12 kms
    Kasonso Busanga Turnoff to Lushimba: 54kms

    So all in all from Kasempa to Lushimba via Kasonso you are looking at roughly 125 kms.

    There is also the option of going via Kabanga Gate, which is off the Kasempa - Mumbwa road. This however would be a much longer drive, but there is the possibility of seeing some game once you are in the park. However instead of a 3 hour drive you are looking at a roughly 7 hour drive from Kasempa to Lushimba.

    From the M9 it is easy to come up the Western Boundary to Lushimba. The dirt road, which is roughly 80 kms in length from the M9 to Lushimba is not great for the first 25 or so kilometres as it is busy due to the farms. However once passed the Lombe-Lombe Turnoff, you are sandwiched between the Kasonso Busanga and Kafue National Park for the remainder of the journey up to Lushimba Outpost. Although not necessarily a game rich area, we have seen some good game on the western boundary, particularly around Ngombe Bridge (where there is a resident herd of over 50 Sable), especially the last 20 kilometres heading toward Lushimba. We have seen Lion, Leopard, Sable, Roan, Elephant and the more common Plainsgame species.


    I hope this has provided you with a good idea of the routes.

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    Default Re: Camping in the North-Western Kafue (Lushimba/Busanga Plains)

    Arturo, if you were to develop a camp with easy access to the Busanga Plains I'd be there like a shot, as I imagine many folks would. Would one be able to pay park fees at Lushimba?
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    Default Re: Camping in the North-Western Kafue (Lushimba/Busanga Plains)

    Quote Originally Posted by philth View Post
    Arturo, if you were to develop a camp with easy access to the Busanga Plains I'd be there like a shot, as I imagine many folks would. Would one be able to pay park fees at Lushimba?
    We are still only considering it, there is nothing concrete. We are busy negotiating with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife regarding the paying of Park Fees.

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    Default Re: Camping in the North-Western Kafue (Lushimba/Busanga Plains)

    We were on the southern part, south of the M9, end of last year and plan to go back sometime but want to include the northern part, but it seems camping sites are not available or very limited?
    Last edited by JLK; 2017/05/04 at 07:45 PM.
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    Default Re: Camping in the North-Western Kafue (Lushimba/Busanga Plains)

    Quote Originally Posted by JLK View Post
    We were on the southern part, south of the M9, end of last year and plan to go back sometime but want to include the northern part, but it seems camping sites are not available or very limited?
    The north is lovely. Look at Mushingashi, McBrides (northwest), Kafwala Rapids Camp and Mayukuyuku Camp (south of northern section).
    Kafwala Rapids is as far north as you will find a formal campsite, book or inquire from [email protected]. From there you can do a long day trip to the Busanga plains and swamp provided you hit the road as early as you dare.
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    Default Re: Camping in the North-Western Kafue (Lushimba/Busanga Plains)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post
    The north is lovely. Look at Mushingashi, McBrides (northwest), Kafwala Rapids Camp and Mayukuyuku Camp (south of northern section).
    Kafwala Rapids is as far north as you will find a formal campsite, book or inquire from [email protected]. From there you can do a long day trip to the Busanga plains and swamp provided you hit the road as early as you dare.
    They certainly are magnificent camps, in beautiful parts of the Kafue National Park. However I don't think that you can group Mushingashi, McBrides and Mayukuyku in something relating to the Busanga Plains. There are literally no dedicated self catering camps or campsites within 80 kilometres of the Busanga Plains. Thanks to Lushimba's proximity to the plains, we believe it is ideally positioned to provide a service as mentioned above.

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    Default Re: Camping in the North-Western Kafue (Lushimba/Busanga Plains)

    Arturo, agree that Kafwala Rapids is the only one close enough to the Busanga Plains, but even then will be a schlep. Please let us know if your camp plans at Lushimba (together with guaranteed access to Busanga), ever come to be.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

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    Default Re: Camping in the North-Western Kafue (Lushimba/Busanga Plains)

    There's also the new camp at Mapunga (at least I hope it is as I'm booked there in August!). You can most easily find the details on Facebook, but they're about 10km closer to Busanga than Kafwala camp. It's marked on the online version of T4A. They run day tours to Busanga leaving at 4am, and also seem happy for self-drivers to leave at the same time. I'll report back!

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    Default Re: Camping in the North-Western Kafue (Lushimba/Busanga Plains)

    Thanks, Arturo. We would be very interested in your advice on NW Zambia and access to the Busanga plains - and, potentially onward to Liuwa. We have, at the moment, a vague plan for driving from Kenya to Angola and, hopefully, exiting Angola into Zambia at Jimbe in 2019. We have, potentially, good contacts through the Halo Trust for the unknown tracks eastwards through Angola into Zambia at Jimbe. Nearer the time, may we, please, pick your brains on NW Zambia and whether you have driven into Angola through Jimbe?

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    Default Re: Camping in the North-Western Kafue (Lushimba/Busanga Plains)

    Quote Originally Posted by Itchy Feet View Post
    There's also the new camp at Mapunga (at least I hope it is as I'm booked there in August!). You can most easily find the details on Facebook, but they're about 10km closer to Busanga than Kafwala camp. It's marked on the online version of T4A. They run day tours to Busanga leaving at 4am, and also seem happy for self-drivers to leave at the same time. I'll report back!
    From what I understand, no self drive tourists are allowed to be outside of their camp/campsite after 18:00 and before 06:00 in the morning. That being said, maybe Mapunga have a different agreement with the DNPW, I don't want to say anything about something I'm not necessarily involved with.

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    Default Re: Camping in the North-Western Kafue (Lushimba/Busanga Plains)

    Quote Originally Posted by Itchy Feet View Post
    There's also the new camp at Mapunga. I'll report back!
    Please report back in as much detail as possible as I'm sure there will be a lot of interest.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

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    Default Re: Camping in the North-Western Kafue (Lushimba/Busanga Plains)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    Thanks, Arturo. We would be very interested in your advice on NW Zambia and access to the Busanga plains - and, potentially onward to Liuwa. We have, at the moment, a vague plan for driving from Kenya to Angola and, hopefully, exiting Angola into Zambia at Jimbe in 2019. We have, potentially, good contacts through the Halo Trust for the unknown tracks eastwards through Angola into Zambia at Jimbe. Nearer the time, may we, please, pick your brains on NW Zambia and whether you have driven into Angola through Jimbe?
    To get to Liuwa you would head to the main road, down the western boundary from Lushimba, and then towards Kaoma, Mongu, Kalabo and so on, not much more knowledge on getting to Liuwa, however I plan on going later this year.

    I have no knowledge about driving in Angola, as I have never been in the country. However I have been to Jimbe before, I was actually in the area 4 weeks ago, in Ikelenge to be exact, 25 kilometres from Jimbe. The dirt road from Jimbe to Mwinilunga is not bad at all, they are currently in the process of tarring that stretch of road. The road from Mwinilunga to the Lumwana Mine is horrendous, we took 4 hours to do that stretch of 190 kilometres, and we were in Land Cruisers, from Lumwana Mine to Mutanda Junction the road is good.

    It would be a push to do Jimbe to the Busanga in one day, so I would suggest staying in the area of the Mutanda Junction. From Mutanda to Lushimba is a comfortable 4.5 hour drive, which is around 130 kilometres on Tar to Kasempa and then 125 kilometres on dirt, via the Kasempa-Kaoma road and the Kasonso Busanga GMA. There is the option of going via Kabanga Gate, but in my opinion it is a much longer route, but it is all personal preference.

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    Default Re: Camping in the North-Western Kafue (Lushimba/Busanga Plains)

    [QUOTE=Itchy Feet;3564712]There's also the new camp at Mapunga (at least I hope it is as I'm booked there in August!). You can most easily find the details on Facebook, but they're about 10km closer to Busanga than Kafwala camp. It's marked on the online version of T4A. They run day tours to Busanga leaving at 4am, and also seem happy for self


    From information gleaned on this forum we made a booking for this new camp at Mapunga last year. However when we arrived towards the end of November 2016 we found that despite our reservation that it had closed for the season due to the early rains. There were quite a lot of construction workers and a security guard there. As they were not keen for us to stay we decided that given the rains to return to Kafue Bridge and the excellent Roy's camp.

    The camp was easy to find and would have been a good base to explore the north but the weather was unfortunately against us.

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    Default Re: Camping in the North-Western Kafue (Lushimba/Busanga Plains)

    Quote Originally Posted by Arturo Cuturi View Post
    To get to Liuwa you would head to the main road, down the western boundary from Lushimba, and then towards Kaoma, Mongu, Kalabo and so on, not much more knowledge on getting to Liuwa, however I plan on going later this year.

    I have no knowledge about driving in Angola, as I have never been in the country. However I have been to Jimbe before, I was actually in the area 4 weeks ago, in Ikelenge to be exact, 25 kilometres from Jimbe. The dirt road from Jimbe to Mwinilunga is not bad at all, they are currently in the process of tarring that stretch of road. The road from Mwinilunga to the Lumwana Mine is horrendous, we took 4 hours to do that stretch of 190 kilometres, and we were in Land Cruisers, from Lumwana Mine to Mutanda Junction the road is good.

    It would be a push to do Jimbe to the Busanga in one day, so I would suggest staying in the area of the Mutanda Junction. From Mutanda to Lushimba is a comfortable 4.5 hour drive, which is around 130 kilometres on Tar to Kasempa and then 125 kilometres on dirt, via the Kasempa-Kaoma road and the Kasonso Busanga GMA. There is the option of going via Kabanga Gate, but in my opinion it is a much longer route, but it is all personal preference.
    Thank you, Arturo. We wouldn't even attempt Jimbe to Busanga plains in one day. And, if we do attempt to exit Angola through Jimbe, we would be, no doubt, delighted with the Zambian roads/tracks, but thank you for your advice on NW Zambia. Can you tell me if Hillwood Farm is still functioning and whether it is possible to stay there or camp?

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    Default Re: Camping in the North-Western Kafue (Lushimba/Busanga Plains)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    Thank you, Arturo. We wouldn't even attempt Jimbe to Busanga plains in one day. And, if we do attempt to exit Angola through Jimbe, we would be, no doubt, delighted with the Zambian roads/tracks, but thank you for your advice on NW Zambia. Can you tell me if Hillwood Farm is still functioning and whether it is possible to stay there or camp?
    Yeah, my drivers have told me how shocking the Angolan roads are.

    Hillwood Farm/Nchila is most certainly still functioning, we were up there with the Fisher family a few weeks ago. Camping is still available, however just make sure you contact Pete in advance as he is busy during the dry months.

    Nchila to Busanga doable in a day, as long as you leave early.

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    Default Re: Camping in the North-Western Kafue (Lushimba/Busanga Plains)

    As promised, a quick report back on Mapunga (I'm currently in Senyati, still running tours, so won't have much time to reply).

    We spent 2 days in Mapunga in mid August and had an excellent time, including three separate leopard sightings in one day, plus two adult male lions. We opted not to do the trip to Busange as it's three hours each way. If you go with a tour from Mapunga, you can leave at 4am, (like doing a night drive, operators can leave in the dark), but the driving is quite hard so it would b a tough day.

    in he end, we were very glad to have stayed in the area. The owners of the camp believe that the leopards have migrated down from Lufupa, and regularly have good sightings.

    the camp itself has excellent ablutions, and a generous camp area, though shade is mainly under awnings, and the ground is very hard.

    One point of interest is that the owners of Mapunga are hoping/expecting to operate a camp only 15km from Busanga next year, so that would be very interesting. As it takes about an hour and a half to reach Mapunga from Hook Bridge, I imagine it would be about 4 hours drive from the main road.

    i don't have any more details, but you could try to contact Mapunga for details about next year's operations.

    Cheers

    John

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    Default Re: Camping in the North-Western Kafue (Lushimba/Busanga Plains)

    I am lad to hear that there is some development regarding self driving in Northern Kafue. In 2014 we had this problem.
    After driving on the new road on the western side of the Itechi Techi Lake we camped at Hooked Bridge. Then we left for Northern Kafue. At the gate we inquired if we could camp at Lushimba for one night. The lady at the gate was very helpful and gave us a handwritten note to give to the warden at the camp. On our arrival we were shown a place to camp and they even gave us some fire wood.
    The next morning we left down the western boundary and reached the tar (no gate) on our way to Mongu.
    Greetings Bennie

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