Holidays to Kafue National Park, Zambia
'National Park' doesn't quite cut it for Kafue. This is nature on a continental - even global - scale. One of the world's largest, oldest and greatest reserves, Kafue dominates central Zambia. At 22,400 square kilometres it is home to Africa's best-known wildlife: from fierce big cats and tight-knit herds of elephants, to cunning crocodiles and hippos lazing in the shallows of the mighty Kafue River. Your African adventure starts here.
Kafue is famous for being home to several species of antelope, so make sure that you relish the chance to set out on safari - you'll see sable, kudu and impala darting across the plain as you explore. Majestic elephants can be seen roving in herds - especially fringing the dense forest near Ngoma.
To see the full circle of life in Kafue, you'll need to schedule a night safari too. Wrap up, strap in and set off in search of one of nature's greatest spectacles: a lion out hunting under clear, cool moonlight. Don't forget to look up at the stars and admire a night sky free of light pollution. If you want to truly immerse yourself, make a full day of it: book an afternoon safari that continues into the night.
This national park also offers the opportunity to jump out of the jeep and climb aboard a boat to take to the water - the Kafue River. This river is a marvel in itself - being over 1,600 kilometres long and contained entirely within Zambia. It's the best way to explore the northern part of the national park, where you can see huge hippos and slinking crocodiles sunning on the banks. Snaking along the river's course, a forest plays host to some of Kafue National Park's 500 bird species, making it a magnet for twitchers.
At its southern extreme, Kafue River empties into the vast blue waters of Lake Itezhi-Tezhi. This reservoir lake was formed after 1977, when a dam was built at the Itezhi-Tezhi Gap following the creation of a rift valley when the river eroded a channel through a ridge of hills. This stunning 50 kilometre lake is now a popular spot for lovers thanks to its dreamy sunsets. Bring your picnic and make it a night to remember as the sun throws gold, red and amber beams on to the lake's surface.