Kafue & Western Zambia

If you are looking for a region easily accessible with checklist attractions then you should probably look elsewhere as Western Zambia is for the ardent bush-lover looking to break free from the well-established African safari.

The country’s biggest park, Kafue National Pak is a vast, watery wilderness positioned right in the heart of Western Zambia. The southern sector is thick woodland, with excellent birding along the river and leopards slinking between the trees. Further north, many of the luxury camps are concentrated on the Busanga Plains, only accessible by helicopter. Here you’ll find the most impressive game viewing; great herds of plains animals, countless birds (over 400 species have been recorded here) and lions snoozing up in the trees. This is also one of the only places in Zambia where you might spot a cheetah. As the park dries out after the rains, there are mokoro trips amongst the wetlands, and later on in the season hot air ballooning over the plains.

Spread west towards the Angolan border, Liuwa Plains is even more remote than Kafue. If you mention you’re off to the Liuwa Plains, the question you’re most likely to be asked is – where on earth is that? Unless that is, you speak to a rare previous visitor, who’ll begin to rave about the adventure that awaits. Liuwa is inaccessible and remote, even by African standards, and a journey here is really more about mounting an expedition than sinking in to a luxury camp. However, on arrival you’ll be met by spectacular birdlife and a vast expanse of open grassland, punctuated by great herds of wildebeest, zebra and lechwe. This remains one of the few places in the world where you can drive for hours (or even days) without spotting another vehicle – an absolute pleasure that you’ll probably want to keep to yourself.

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