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11 Days Wildlife Safari in Busanga Plains and Kafue National Park, Zambia

Kafue River Lodge, Kafue National Park, Zambia

Guided Safari in Zambia

Explore the Kafue National Park and its wonderful natural diversity with this safari. You will have game drives to see the wildlife of Busanga Plains and Kafue River. You will experience staying in a mobile camp at the edge of the famous Busanga Plains and boutique lodges in the areas of the Kafue River. It allows you to experience what Kaingu Safari Lodge feels are the two most stunning, yet vastly different, areas of the Kafue National Park.

Overview

  • Maximum group size: 6 persons
  • Starting point and ending point: Lusaka
  • Children policy: no children under 16 years old are allowed
  • Vaccines needed: malaria prophylaxis is recommended

Meet the guides

John Deere, Willard Kaleyanungu, & Israel Kayombo
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Highlights

  • 10 game drives
  • See the birds in Busanga Plains
  • Nature walks at Kaingu River Lodge
  • Boat cruises and canoeing through rocks and islands
  • Kafue National Park entry fees
  • 10 nights' accommodation
  • Daily meals and snacks
  • Airport transfers

Styles


10 activity days
Group size: Maximum of 6 participants
Airport transfer included: Kenneth Kaunda International Airport
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
10:00
Check-out Time:
09:00

You will be staying two nights at Kafue River Lodge, three nights at Mashoze Mobile Camp, and five nights at Kaingu Safari Lodge. Single supplement is applicable at an extra cost. All camps are run in an eco-friendly and socially sustainable manner.

Kafue River Lodge

The lodge has been operating since the 90’s but has been rebuilt in 2015 for a completely new face. Over the years, the company has put in massive support to the community and conservation. Projects mostly focusing around the Jifumpa area of Kasempa have seen improvements to the school and clinic. Kafue River Lodge is solar run and consists of four spacious and en-suite chalets, each with two queen beds, a fireplace, freestanding bathtub, outdoor shower, and teak decking.

The Lappa extends high up over the Kafue River with a large teak deck nestled under the trees providing a beautiful view over the river and opposite island. From a comfortable hide behind the chalets, you can watch the array of birds and game that come to drink at the waterhole. Kafue River Lodge offers game drives and walks, boat cruises, and cycling in the Kafue National Park, the Mushingashi Game Reserve, and the Lunga Luswishi Game Management Area.

Mashoze Mobile Camp

For three months of the year, Kafue River Lodge operates a mobile camp at Mashoze, which is at the northern edge of the Busanga Plains. It is a basic camping set up but with a senior guide, chef, and camp hand to cater for you. Each dome tent sleeps two people and is equipped with stretcher beds, mattresses, and fitted sheets. There is a private bucket shower behind the camp in the forest as well as a sit down toilet.

Camping out in the wild is a marvelous experience. Mashoze Mobile Camp gives you the opportunity to explore the Busanga Plains with morning, afternoon, or all day game drives with your specialist Busanga guide. The Busanga Plains area is perfectly situated to see large numbers of red lechwe, but is also well known for the big lions, buffalo, elephant, wildebeest, and relaxed roan antelope.

Kaingu Safari Lodge

Set in an area of pristine wilderness, Kaingu Safari Lodge offers a magnificent safari experience in the heart of the African bush. Kaingu provides a unique stay for travelers wishing to get closer to the unspoiled wilderness of the 'real' Africa. Experience the warm and welcoming people of Zambia and enjoy wildlife and scenery undisturbed.

The experienced guiding team and a large range of guided activities enable you to have a tailored safari experience. Enjoy viewing wild animals, birds, river, and landscape on driving and walking safaris, on river cruises or while canoeing. Parrot and bee-eater hides, island breakfasts, sleep outs, and rapids dinners complement your stay. The unique section of the Kafue River and park, provide the perfect backdrop for this diverse range of activities, unmatched in the Kafue.

Set on raised individual private wooden decks, each overlooking their own piece of the Kafue River, Kaingu Safari Lodge comprises six boutique tents with en-suite bathrooms, indoor showers, and an open-air shower or bath. The tent's additional attached roof provides extra shade. The Finfoot family house consists of two bedrooms (one queen, one twin), two en-suite bathrooms plus outside showers, and a central lounge opening onto a private deck overlooking the river. It is a perfect spot for a couple with children, or a small group of friends. The Tonga-treebasket provides a unique sleep out on an island.

The lodge, located on the banks of the stunningly beautiful Kafue River, was built with a lot of patience, good taste, and an extraordinary sense for detail. Personal attention to each and every guest makes you feel at home instantly. It is a place to unwind, indulge in fresh cuisine prepared by the local chefs, and be spoilt with an abundance of activities or, if you prefer, just relax and feel the heartbeat of Africa.

Program

This safari will begin and end in Zambias’ capital city, Lusaka. You will discover wildlife and birding species by morning, afternoon, and night or all day game drives in the Busanga Plains with your Busanga guiding specialist. You will also have river cruises and canoeing on the island. Sleep out and relax to your game drives at Kaingu, with their highly experienced guiding team, enabling you to have a customized safari, tailored to your requirements.

Itinerary

Day 1 - 2: Arrival and Kafue River Lodge

You will depart from Lusaka in the morning with an arranged road transfer to Kafue River Lodge via Mumbwa town and Lubungu Pontoon (five and half hours' drive). You will arrive at the Kafue River Lodge at the northern side of the Kafue National Park. Unwind and refresh in one of the spaciously built chalets and enjoy a sundowner on a gentle boat cruise down the river or on the lappa extending over the river. The next day, you can see a variety of game by simply sitting on your front deck or explore the area by driving, walking, boating, or even cycling.

Day 3: Mobile safari Busanga Plains

The following morning, you will depart after breakfast for Busanga. The transfer is shy of six hours and done in the game viewing vehicle. Much of the drive is between the Kafue National Park and the Lunga Luswishi Game Management Area, so the guides will keep their eyes open for game and birds while keeping you entertained with a stop under the miombos for a lunch somewhere after having passed through the Jifumpa community. After signing in at Kabanga gate, you will work your way through the forest to Mashoze where you will arrive at a fully set up mobile camp. After a short orientation and briefing, you can join a short drive around the forest edge, before the sun sets.

Day 4 - 5: Busanga Plains

Awake early morning, you will have some tea / coffee and a light breakfast, and head out onto the Busanga Plains. Typically, you will do a game drive in the morning which extends up to lunch and do a drive back into the plains or along the forest edge in the afternoon. Or, if you wish to stay out in the plains, you will carry a picnic lunch. Dinner is served under the stars and amongst hurricane lanterns.

Day 6: Kaingu Safari Lodge

You shall be up early and on the road heading south as the sun comes up. The transfer to Kaingu, all through the national park, will take approximately eight hours, depending on what you see along the way. With a packed lunch, you will drive to the Hookbridge to meet one of Kaingu’s vehicle to do the last two hours of the transfer. The last ten minutes to the lodge is done by boat.

Day 7 - 10: Kafue River and Kafue National Park

Whilst relaxing at Kaingu, delicious meals and snacks will accompany your diverse activity options including game drives, boat cruises, canoeing, nature and rock walks, a visit to a local school, or recreational time. With the assistance of your guide, you can customize activities that suit your needs. The spectacularly beautiful stretch of the Kafue River at Kaingu contrasts well with the Busanga Plains. The changing environment offers different species and landscape and the opportunity for varied activities.

Day 11: Departure

Breakfast is served early, before your departure back to Lusaka (road transfer for four to five hours) or to your next destination.

Notes: Reasonable physical condition is recommended for the walking and canoeing safaris.

Guides

John Deere Muleka

Willard Kaleyanungu Chibullo

Israel Kayombo Kayombo

Location

Busanga Plains

The Busanga Plains are arguably the most known area in the Kafue National Park. Having said this, it is also very remote and only accessible for three to four months a year, when the water levels finally drop after the rainy season. The Busanga Swamps is a papyrus-covered wetland that gives way to the vast floodplain of the Busanga Plains, seasonally-inundated grassland dotted with tree-islands hosting wonderful specimens of sycamore fig.

At the beginning of the season, the plains are crowded with bird-life and sightings of lions, often crossing the water channels, are not rare. Large herds of red lechwe and puku are a common sight, together with oribi and resident roan while zebra, wildebeest, and sable use the fringes of the plains.

Kafue National Park

Covering an area of 22,500 square kilometers, Kafue National Park is the second largest in Africa and comprises many diverse habitats. It is traversed by the Kafue, Lufupa, Lunga, and Luansanza rivers. The adjoining peaceful stretches of riverine vegetation, dambos and wetlands, extensive miombo woodland with seasonal floodplains, and swampland in the very north and south.

Owing to this varied habitat, Kafue is blessed with one of the highest diversities of mammals of all national parks in the world (158 species). Wildebeest, puku, red lechwe, Defassa waterbuck, reedbuck to name a few, and roan, sable or oribi sightings are not uncommon either. There is a high density of lion, while leopard is common in the central parts; species like cheetah and wild dog are seen too. The birdlife is also spectacular. Over 515 species of birds inhabit the park and surrounding areas, from wattled and crowned crane, saddle billed stork, ground hornbill, Ross's turaco, African finfoot, and Pel's fishing owl.

Only after some time here in the Kafue will you realize what is missing, other game drive vehicles, people, and boats. It truly is one of the last wilderness areas of Africa.The Kafue National Park offers game drives, excellent walking safaris, canoe trails, boat cruises, and wonderful relaxation an unforgettable safari experience.

Food

  • Kafue River Lodge and Kaingu Safari Lodge: freshly prepared, seasonal meals with healthy breakfasts, innovative lunches, and three-course dinners
  • Mashoze Mobile Camp: simple, wholesome, home-cooked meals under the stars

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Coffee
  • Tea

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Chobe National Park (northern Botswana) visit
  • Fly in or self-drive options (you can ask Kaingu Safari Lodge for the rates and itinerary)
  • Livingstone - Victoria Falls visit
  • South Luangwa National Park visit

What's included

  • 10 game drives
  • See the birds in Busanga Plains
  • Nature walks at Kaingu River Lodge
  • Boat cruises and canoeing through rocks and islands
  • 10 nights' accommodation
  • Daily meals
  • Local drinks and snacks
  • Airport transfers (Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN))
  • Transfers between camps
  • Laundry service
  • Kafue community and conservation bed night levy
  • Kafue National Park entry fees
  • 10% service charge

What's not included

  • International airfares
  • Meet and greet service at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN)
  • Lodge accommodation before safari in Lusaka (94 USD bed and breakfast per person per night)
  • Premium drinks
  • Travel insurance
  • Entry visas
  • Departures taxes

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Kaingu Safari Lodge's representatives will pick you up from the airport. The transfer duration from the outskirts of Lusaka is four and half hours, due to traffic is five and half hours. Park entrance gates will close at 18:00, therefore, a departure from Lusaka should not be later than 12:00.

Airport: Kenneth Kaunda International Airport Airport transfer included: Kenneth Kaunda International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
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