Kafue Trip Advice





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  1. #1
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    Default Kafue Trip Advice

    Greetings all.

    My wife and I are travelling up to Kafue through Bots in September. I am having trouble getting hold of information on accommodation in the park. We are obviously on a self drive expedition and would like to camp instead of lodge it.

    We intend to spend each night making our way up north to the Busanga plains. and then head home after.

    Here are my questions:

    1. Where is the best place to camp along the way. You can no longer camp wild. We are trying to avoid being stuck in a crouded camp site. So any advice on the best place to experience the area would be appreciated.

    2. Once north are you allowed to self drive in the park, or will the lodge owners try and stop you from doing this? I know that wilderness safari's now own the majority of lodges in the area.

    3. What would be the preferred route home from the northern section. Can anyone suggest a good stop over on the way down back to livingston. I would once again like to avoid any towns, cities etc.

    I hope you all could assist.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Willix, how much time do you have for your trip.
    Somes advice, dont rush it...I get the feeling you want to sleep then drive to the next stopover...might be wrong assumption
    Last edited by mfuwefarmer; 2010/04/19 at 04:19 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willix View Post
    Greetings all.
    My wife and I are travelling up to Kafue through Bots in September. I am having trouble getting hold of information on accommodation in the park. We are obviously on a self drive expedition and would like to camp instead of lodge it.
    We intend to spend each night making our way up north to the Busanga plains. and then head home after.
    Here are my questions:
    1. Where is the best place to camp along the way. You can no longer camp wild. We are trying to avoid being stuck in a crouded camp site. So any advice on the best place to experience the area would be appreciated.
    2. Once north are you allowed to self drive in the park, or will the lodge owners try and stop you from doing this? I know that wilderness safari's now own the majority of lodges in the area.
    3. What would be the preferred route home from the northern section. Can anyone suggest a good stop over on the way down back to livingston. I would once again like to avoid any towns, cities etc.
    I hope you all could assist.
    Thanks
    Hi,

    First of all, have a look here http://www.zambiatourism.com/travel/nationalparks/kafue.htm It's an excellent source of information. Also do a Kafue search on this forum, and you will find my trip report, and MikeAG's and a few others.

    1. I would advise going in through the south, via the Nanzhila Plains - in September it will be dry enough to do the river route. Nanzhila Plains Safari Camp has got great campsites on the dambo. You will probably have the entire south of the park to yourselves. If you happen to get "stuck" and have to bush camp, nobody will bat an eyelid. About 3km past the southern park gates past Ngoma, you can camp on Lake Itezhi Tezhi at New Kalala. Cold beers and reasonable food. Fill up with fuel at Itezhi Tezhi (see my trip report for how to do this). In the centre and north of the park, there are several options. In the GMA outside the park, there's Kaingu Lodge, which I rate very highly, and Puku Pans, where I haven't stayed - MikeAG has.

    In the eastern sector, there's McBride's, which I love - essential to go for an eccentric lion tracking early morning walk with the legend himself, Chris McBride, and an evening birding/game walk with Charlotte McB. Mukambi in the central section have recently opened their campsite, and although I haven't been there, I have heard rave reviews. They also have a fly camp in the Busangas. Thirstie (Linda and Jacques) are forum members and I'm sure Linda will post here as well. Just before the Hook Bridge, and in a lovely spot on the river is Mayukuyuku with two or three river front sites. Also chalets and a pizza restaurant. And in the north, there's the biggest camp of the lot, Lufupa, which is the only one that is likely to be vaguely busy in the SA sense of busy. Most of the lodges are very small and unobtrusive. There are others that I haven't visited, so can't comment on them.
    2. You are absolutely allowed to self-drive everywhere in the park. Wilderness only own Lufupa, and they have a fly camp on the Busanga Plains. If anyone tries to stop you self-driving, ask them for the written regulations. There are, AFAIK, small exclusion zones around the Busanga camps. Be aware that if you want to go to the Busanga Plains, you either have to stay at one of the lodges or do a very long drive (3 hours+) from Lufupa in and 3 hours back.

    I'm sure some others will also post on this.

    Tony

  4. #4
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    To save you the schlep of searching, here's my trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/showthread.php?p=226491#post226491

    Forgot to add re Mayukuyuku, it's a convenient stopover as it is very close to the tar road, but from a wildlife point of view, I'm sure Mukambi is much better. Mayukuyuku has some monster crocs around, so be careful close to the water. All of the camps except Lufupa have a very remote feel to them. Lufupa is big and busy with modern restaurant on the deck overlooking the river, and the camp site is off to one side with no river view. But you don't really have any other option in the north.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    2. You are absolutely allowed to self-drive everywhere in the park. Wilderness only own Lufupa, and they have a fly camp on the Busanga Plains. If anyone tries to stop you self-driving, ask them for the written regulations. There are, AFAIK, small exclusion zones around the Busanga camps. Be aware that if you want to go to the Busanga Plains, you either have to stay at one of the lodges or do a very long drive (3 hours+) from Lufupa in and 3 hours back.
    Tony
    Tony has covered most of it, so I'll just add a link to my trip report, and a couple of comments.

    Firstly, self drive is easy until quite a bit north of Lufupa. If you stay at Lufupa, then they have a rule about being back in the camp by 6.00pm, which annoyed me thoroughly......I ignored it. North of Lufupa....it probably takes a bit longer to get to Busanga than Tony suggested, mainly because you'll be stopping to watch animals on the way. You really don't want to be wandering around Busanga by yourself. Even Jacques and Linda got very stuck when we were leaving the plains last year, and they know the area like the back of their hands. If you can't stretch to the cost of staying up in the fly camps, then I believe you can leave the park and the plains to the north of Busanga, and camp outside the park......to save trying to get back to Lufupa in a day. There is absolutely no camping on the plains, other than the 3 established camps up there.

    Is it worth it? Yep....it's magic! If you don't go to Busanga, consider Liuwa (NW of Mongu) instead.

    In my view, the very best of Kafue is at Busanga, at McBride's camp, and on the river road from Mukambi to Itezhi Tezhi. I'm having a look at Nanzhila in September. I also advise that you make early contact with Linda from Mukambi ("Thirstie" of this forum). Tell her Mike sent you!

    So, there is a small chance we could pass on the road. I'll be in Zambia late September to mid October.

    Mike
    Last edited by MikeAG; 2010/04/19 at 04:51 PM.
    "A poxy, feral, Brit architect who drinks bad beer and supports the wrong rugby team." Tony Weaver

    "Mike for President" Freeflyd

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeAG View Post
    In my view, the very best of Kafue is at Busanga, at McBride's camp, and on the river road from Mukambi to Itezhi Tezhi. I'm having a look at Nanzhila in September. Mike
    And while the south doesn't have as much game as the north, the landscapes are very different, with gallery sandveld forest in the west, miombo in the centre, and stunning grasslands interspersed with wetlands (dambos) and oxbow river bends in the east. In the four days we were there, the only other vehicle we saw, besides the lodge Cruisers, was a Zawa tractor - and that in an area half the size of the Kruger National Park. It has a wonderfully remote and wild feel to it, with incredible birding, and more than enough small and big game to keep everybody happy. Just sitting in our camp site one morning, I ticked off 26 bird species. To boast a bit, here they are:

    White fronted helmet shrike
    Fork tailed drongo
    Green pigeon
    Arrow marked babbler
    Black eared brubru
    Blue waxbill
    Black crake
    Little bee eater
    Tawny flanked prinia
    Yellow fronted canary
    Scarlet chested sunbird
    Wattled crane
    Striped chagra
    Fish eagle
    Long tailed starling
    Swainson's francolin
    Helmeted guinea fowl
    Pied kingfisher
    African jacana
    Pygmy goose
    Mourning dove
    Senegal coucal
    Black headed oriole
    Rufus heron
    Blacksmith plover
    Grey hornbill

    And I wasn't even really trying.

    Tony

  7. #7
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    Hey GUys.

    Firstly, I think its best to clea up that the name is not Willix. This was an old nickname in Uni. The real name is Nicholas.

    Thanks for all the advice. I have had a look at it all and decided on the following.

    1 Night at Maziba Bay, Gavin is a family friend of ours. From there we are travelling direct to Mukambi. I have made arrangements with Linda and she has been a great help. We will from here make our way to lefupa. I am disappointed to hear that the camp is a busy one, but we will have to take a chance. We will be making a move up to the plains for the day. If I arriva back late then so be it. The prices for the camps is just too much for me to fork out. We will be at Lefupa for 2 night.

    From there we are 1 night at KaingU Rapids 1 campsite. This is our transit point for our move south. From KaingU we are camping for 2 nights at Nanzhilla. I actually can't wait to drive the southern region.

    Thanks again for all your input. Our travelling date's for Kafue will be from the 17'th - 23'rd September. So I look forward to seeing you on the roads.

    Regards

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