Exploring Kafue National Park: the Winter Wonderland of Zambian Wildlife Safaris

Paul Changuion | May 5, 2023

Located in the wild heart of western Zambia, the Kafue National Park offers Zambian wildlife safaris that will leave you in awe.

With its diverse ecosystems and abundant wildlife, Kafue is considered a year-round destination, however, the winter months of June and July are particularly exceptional to embark on an unforgettable adventure in this Zambian gem.

From thrilling wildlife sightings to convenient accessibility and the exceptional eco-friendly Ila Safari Lodge, here’s why Kafue National Park is a must-visit destination during these months.

Enjoy excellent wildlife sightings

June and July mark the dry season in Kafue National Park, creating the perfect conditions for Zambian wildlife safaris. As the vegetation thins out, the animals are drawn to the remaining water sources, resulting in incredible concentrations of wildlife around the rivers and watering holes.

Elephant herd drinks from water of Kafue River

It is an ideal time for game drives and boat safaris, as you’ll have a higher chance of encountering lions, leopards, elephants, hippos, crocodiles, and a myriad of bird species. Spot the majestic lions, elusive leopards, and speedy cheetahs as they hunt for their next meal; watch elephants drinking and bathing in the refreshing waters. These are special moments that will stay etched in your memory forever.

While the summer months might bring the migratory birds, there are over 470 species local to the Kafue. The iconic African fish eagle is a common sight, soaring high above the Kafue River, while the Pel’s fishing owl can be seen perching in trees on the riverbanks. Winter is truly a magical time to explore the vast wilderness of Kafue National Park and witness its magnificent wildlife in action.

Enjoy easy access to & through Kafue National Park from Lusaka

One of the greatest advantages of visiting Kafue over winter is that the low rainfall means the roads to and through the national park are in good conditions for driving. And since it is just a few hours’ drive away, this easily accessible wilderness ensures that you spend more time immersing yourself in nature rather than traveling.

Whether you choose to drive or hop on a short domestic flight, the journey to Kafue is both convenient and scenic. With well-maintained roads and reliable transportation options, your adventure begins the moment you leave the bustling city behind, setting the stage for an extraordinary safari experience.

Winter in Kafue is also walking safari season in the Kafue National Park. Walking safaris are generally not possible between December and April due to the wet ground conditions. Head out into the bush about an hour after sunrise to avoid the cold of dawn and the heat of midday. You will get to enjoy the sights and sounds of Kafue with a knowledgeable guide and expert scout, who will keep you engaged through the three-hour trek.

Stay & play at Zambia’s most eco-friendly lodge

Nestled on the banks of the Kafue River, Ila Safari Lodge stands as a shining example of sustainable luxury and ecological responsibility. Renowned as Zambia’s most eco-friendly lodge, Ila offers an unparalleled experience that blends seamlessly with the surrounding wilderness.

Ila Safari Lodge employs environmentally-friendly practices, such as solar power, water recycling, and locally sourced materials, ensuring a minimal ecological footprint. The lodge’s unique design harmonizes with nature, allowing you to experience the beauty of the Kafue National Park without sacrificing modern amenities and comforts.

You will be greeted by breathtaking panoramic views, indulge in sumptuous cuisine prepared from locally grown ingredients, and relax in elegantly appointed rooms that blend rustic charm with contemporary elegance. Indulge in the utmost comfort while knowing that your stay contributes to the community and conservation efforts of this pristine ecosystem.

Discover sustainable farming & community projects

Green Safaris is committed to eco-friendly practices that support the local communities and promote sustainable tourism. As part of this commitment, Ila Safari Lodge – together with the Green Safaris Foundation and By Life Connected – has established a community farm that produces an array of fresh vegetables for Ila and the surrounding lodges.

The farm is located at the entrance of the Kafue National Park, and we provide the necessary funding, training, and management support to a group of women who are dedicated to this project. Our goal is to empower these women to become self-sustaining and build a brighter future for their families and the community. We encourage guests to visit the farm and meet the passionate women who manage it and learn how we are all working together to promote sustainable tourism in Kafue National Park.

During one of your game drives, your guide will also gladly stop in and introduce you to Chunga Village. Here you can visit the the high and secondary schools that we have helped the community build, with the resources and funding from guest donations and funding through the Green Safaris Foundation. Meet the creative women at the Chunga Ladies Club that will be able to give you a sample of village life in Zambia.

Embarking on a journey to Kafue National Park in winter is a thrilling adventure that guarantees incredible wildlife encounters, easy accessibility, and an eco-friendly experience like no other. From the awe-inspiring wildlife sightings against the backdrop of the dry season to the seamless access from Lusaka, every aspect of your journey promises to create memories that will last a lifetime.

If you want to experience a winter safari in Kafue for yourself, contact us or enquire and book using our online form. Don’t forget our amazing Itineraries and Specials to inspire you.

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