Greetings Fellow Kafue Fans!

2023 is in full swing with many great sightings, and new opportunities for viewing and encounters. This is a brief update on what is going on around our lodges in the Kafue National Park

For those who have stayed at our Kasonso Camp on the Busanga plains, they will certainly agree that a newsletter cannot do justice to the experience of watching the sunrise from the deck of our lodge WITH a cup of coffee in one’s hand.

Apart from the shapes of Wildebeest or Buffalo dotting the plains there are the background bugling calls of the Crowned Cranes from far out on the planes, and even more distant booming calls of the Ground Hornbills as they welcome the new day.

As the sun clears the horizon, for those listening carefully, there is a further treat, they will notice a series of short sharp wing claps as the Flappet Larks rise high into the morning sky to signal to everyone their territory.

The Busanga Plains are all about huge skies, and wide open horizons dotted with antelope and the cats that depend upon them. Recently guests have been treated to some great cat sightings close to the lodge.

Our local Papyrus pride has been busy during the wet summer rainy season. Two years ago the old man of the pride, Scarface, was deposed by a coalition of two younger males, Mohawk and General, who wasted no time in getting the girls into the family way.

Yaya has three cubs, Nara four, Princess four, and Killing Machine two. A lot of cubs for guests to name.

The pride is moving about in a loose fashion at present while the lioness’ look after their cubs, hunting alone, instead of moving with the group.

By next year the pride should swell significantly when the cubs are big enough to run with the adults.  We look forward to seeing how successful the ladies have been in their roles as mothers.

We have less information about what is going on with the Kasonso pride, as they have moved further south. Our great guides, Idos, Ferison, and John don’t come across them enough to keep detailed tabs on the dynamics of the pride. Although apparently two young males have been ejected. They will be roaming around until they are powerful enough to take over a pride, either alone or as a coalition.

There have been other very good cat sightings out on the plains in front of the camp. A stalking cheetah gave guests a great opportunity to get a lot of photos.

With Kasonso camp open for the season, we have also reopened the road we cut from the plains across to the Lunga River where our Kikuji camp is situated.


This makes for a great transfer between Kasonso and Kikuji as the route crosses very different parts of the unique Kafue eco-system.


From the open grasslands of Kasonso, with its herds of Lechwe and Roan antelope, the route heads south along the tree line. Here we are likely to see big herds of wildebeest and zebra.


As the tree line pushes in towards the Lufupa river, the beautiful, dense tall-tree riparian bush is home to such as Bushbuck, and if lucky, skulking leopard, and close up views of hippos in the Lufupa River Pools.

Once across the Lufupa River at Moshi, the route heads east across a mix of open dambo grasslands and less luxuriant bush land where there is a good chance of seeing herds of buffalo.


One group of guest happened to stop for midday snacks in the shade of a small copse along the way. They discovered two big eyes peering at them from a hole a few meters up a tree… It was the home of a Genet.

Closer to Kikuji, along the west bank of the Lunga, is  the territory of a Painted Wolf pack. The nine members of the pack came into the Kikuji lodge itself recently, roaming around, curiously sniffing at things, before moving off up river.


From our Kikuji camp the Lunga River stretches 40 kilometers downstream until it merges with the Kafue River.


We are in the process of installing a floating pontoon across the Lunga to make transfers between Kikuji and our third Kafue River Lodge, (KRL), easy and convenient.

However, a unique way to transfer between these camps is by boat. The experience of floating down for hours without seeing any sign of human footprint is unique. There are few places left in the world where that length of a river remains pristine.


Boating here is only possible from March through May when the water is high enough after the rains, and only in the downstream direction.

So, for the adventurous, book your visit during this time. If you are lucky, as some guests were, you will be able to see Pells Fishing owls, Ross’s Turacoo and Peters Finfoot, all rare birds occupying special niches in the eco-system along the river.


On another note, our conservation efforts, combined with the efforts of our neighbors in the park and the park management are bearing fruits. It seems that the Buffalo who have restricted themselves to the West side of the Lunga have begun to cross back and forth and were recently seen near KRL.


Also, a large pack of Painted Wolves, forty strong, are often spotted in the KRL area. We are working closely with research teams to locate the den that this pack have established. Once we find that, we shall give them space, as not to disturb them but we shall spend more time in that general area, checking on their well being and enjoying sightings.

Northern Kafue Safaris

So stay tuned….
The Kafue-Lunga Team

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