Crossing Kafue National Park

From Liuwa Plains NP to the Kafue NP it was a long drive. We stopped on the way for the night, finding a good place with the help of the IOverlander App. When we reached the NP the next day, we went to Roy’s Camp next to Hook Bridge at the River Kafue. We stayed there for 2 days together with our Austrian friends, to clean our cars and get everything back to order again, after the sand of the Liuwa Plains. We had a crocodile on the shore, hippos in the water and elephants on the other side of the river. During the night an elephant even came to our camp but we didn’t see it. The next morning, our friends continued eastwards, but we wanted to experience at least part of the huge Kafue NP, the oldest and biggest park in Zambia.

A good road called Spinal Road leads south until you reach the dam of Itezhi Tezhi, where we left the park again and reached a lovely lodge above the lake. We paid 55 US$ for the day visit, avoiding to pay much more for a night at one of the campsites inside the park.

Puku Antelope
Lappet-faced Vulture
Vulture spreading its wings

When we came across 2 elephants with a young one, we were surprised, how threatened they felt by our car. We were not close, but they started to flap their ears at us and charge in our direction, making us back up. When they were further away we drove past, just to have them run after us again. We made the same experience with other groups of elephants we met that day around the lake. It seems, they are not at all used to cars like the ones in Etosha NP, which were always very relaxed.

Fiercely defending her young one
Sign said: “Warning, do not cross if guide posts are not visible”
For sure not a road kill
Yellow Baboon
Sausage Tree
Puku Antelope
Spinal Road
Warthogs crossing

When we came past this group of elephants, they immediately changed from walking in a line to form a group around their little ones, protecting them from us.

Warning us off

We were happy we had taken the trip through the park. The road was excellent and we had seen many animals. We wondered how many we might have past without noticing them. Here my list:

  • White-headed Vulture
  • Lappet-faced Vulture
  • Kudu
  • Saddle-billed Stork
  • Yellow-billed Stork
  • Impala
  • Vervet Monkeys
  • Baboons
  • Elephants (maybe hundred of them)
  • Warthog
  • Sable Antelope
  • African Fish Eagle
  • Ground Squirrel
  • Zebra
  • Guinea Fowl
  • Puku Antelope and Lechwe?
  • Hartebeest
Itezhi Tezhi Dam – at the moment 10m under highest water level

At the Chibila Lodge we met Guisep & Albin from Switzerland, who had been attacked by an elephant that same day. The hood of their Land Rover had a dent from the head of the elephant, and the sturdy metal bumper had dents from the tusk, which broke during the attack.

Albin & Giusep and their Elefant attacked Land Rover
Frangipani in bloom
Sunset @ Chibila Camp

With the Chibila Camp we had found a great place just outside the park. From here you could do day trips, as most of the animals gather in this area of the park it seems. Brad and Ruth were lovely hosts and we bought crayfish from the lake from them – a true delicacy!

We will now continue to Lusaka and further to the Lower Zambezi, driving down the escarpment.

1 thought on “Crossing Kafue National Park”

  1. Great pictures and story. Thank you for mentioning us. The car has been fixed, some patina and a memory will accompany “Gone with the wind” throughout Africa.

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