Kafue National Park

Oct 2nd, 2006, 09:14 AM
  #1  
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Kafue National Park

Has anyone been to the new WS camps in Kafue. I will be going to visit Lunga River Lodge and Shumba Camp this coming Sunday and would love to hear reviews by anyone who has been there.
Thanks
Marksafari17 is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 09:21 AM
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I don't recall seeing any reports so you may well be the first. I would expect it to be excellent.

Please report back after, I will be very intersted and I'm sure many others are as well. What is your full itinerary?

Have a great trip!
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 09:29 AM
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Hi PredatorBiologist
I am just spending 2 nights at Lunga River Lodge and then 2 nights at Shumba Camp. From what I have been told the Busanga Plains are very similar to the Serengeti in terms of wilderness and vast herds of plains game not to mention the predators who are always around. I certainly will post a trip report upon my return.
Marksafari17 is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 01:50 PM
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have a great time Mark, post back when you return, Kafue is on my list for next time. travel safe
matnikstym is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 04:10 PM
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MarkSafari,

Wow, Sunday, that's coming up quick!

I was in Kafue in late July, 2003. Here is an excerpt from something I had posted on Kafue:

In the 3 days in Busanga Plains, we spent most of our time hanging out with a pride of about 8 lions. Their unsuccessful hunt under the full moon with all of them thundering past the vehicle in pursuit of a puku was heartstopping. Later that night at dinner we heard them make a kill just outside camp and immediately took off to join THEIR dinner.

Also spotted: a pair of cheetah, 2 separate serval sitings, a honey badger, sable, oribi, Lichtenstein's hartebeest, roan antelope, reedbuck and huge herds of red lechwe.

Some interesting bird sitings were: purple heron, Fulleborn's longclaw, rufous-bellied heron, lesser jacana, numerous watled crane (including a pair feeding their chick), flocks of open billed stork, and black bellied korhan.

Because the Busanga area is so remote and distant, I spent a day at the very lovely Lunga River Lodge, also in Kafue, both before and after Busanga Bush Camp. (That totals 5 nights in Kafue) It is a 3-hour drive from Lunga River Lodge to Busanga Bush Camp. At Lunga we could do walks, day & night drives, plus canoeing and boat rides on the Lunga. Sightings included: tree hyrax, otter, roan antelope (on foot,) a serval (on foot), and 2 cheetah brothers. Other people saw elephant on a game drive.

Birds: wattled crane, African finfoot, purple crested lorie.

Interestingly, all 4 cheetahs in Kafue were spotted on night drives. I've never seen a cheetah at night before or after that.

To see more and better views of the anteleope, which Kafue is noted for, a little later in the year would be better--September or October.

~~That's YOU, Marksafari~~

Also in Busanga Bush Camp, I was told the lions took to the trees frequently in the hotter weather, again September-October.

~~Please report back on the tree climbing~~~

And please report back on the trip as a whole! Have fun.
atravelynn is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2006, 06:25 AM
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atravelynn
Thanks for the post. It really has me going now. I certainly will keep you posted about the tree climbing lions.
Marksafari17 is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2006, 11:52 AM
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I visited Kafue in 2003, some of the pictures are on http://www.umiacs.umd.edu/~yaser/AFRICA03/index.html

Drove the length of the park upto Busanga as well as around the area.
Busanga is remote and is a truely great place to visit. We were the only vehicle around (we are independents) and saw 5 cheetahs (3+2 separately) as well as plenty of game.

I am sure you will have great time and please report to us what you encountered.
yaser is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2006, 04:28 PM
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Yaser, you've driven all over the continent! Nice roan photos in Kafue and the scenery shots were stunning. Such lovely groups of waterbuck. What time of year were you in Kafue?

One more thing for Marksafari. I had heard that Busanga Plains is the new Wilderness camp, but even if it is not, this might apply if the ground near camp is still soaked.

After 3 hours of a fast paced drive from Lunga River Lodge through burning forests and short walls of flames (I'm not exaggerating) we neared Busanga Plains Bushcamp at last. I could see the camp vehicle driven by the manager about 200 meters away. My transport vehicle stopped in front of a mekoro and I was told to board the mekoro for a ride to the vehicle. I was not in the mood for what I thought was a Disney-like touch for the final leg of what had been a somewhat grueling 3-hour journey. "Just let me walk to the vehicle or have it come pick me up and dispense with this silly little boat ride," I thought to myself. But since the polers were so cheerful and good natured I thought I'd go along with this game and even cheerfully tip them.

As it turned out I am so glad I kept those thoughts of protest to myself. Even for that short distance a mekoro was necessary due to the water saturation of the soil and vegetation. It was not a cute stunt by any means.

Later in my stay I mentioned my original take on the mekoro to the manager and he comforted me that several other guests had arrived at that same initially incorrect conclusion.
atravelynn is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2006, 07:03 PM
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santharamhari
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Mark,

Seems like such a short visit for such a huge park?

Hari
 
Oct 4th, 2006, 03:52 AM
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My visit was around Mid Sept 2003. The drive up to Busanga from Lufupa was about 3 hours (longer if you take some western tracks that are quite untouched). Back then there was only one camp-don't recall the name (and another educational center) and no camping allowed so we had to return to Lufupa the same day.

I have to add that we ran into the camp owner/manager and he was not friendly at all. Given the few independents he felt territorial when we passed by and he saw us talking with the welcoming and relaxed employees (no visitors were around).

Of course we wish we could have spent a few days there, but will go back...

BTW, I have pictures from some of the trips I make (especially to Africa)
http://www.umiacs.umd.edu/users/yaser/ypics.html
yaser is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 05:49 AM
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atravelynn
Busanga Plains is the new WS camp as well as Kaingo, Lunga River and Shumba Camps so I presume the operations will be of the highest standards. Hopefully I will get to see Busanga and Kaingo as well.
Marksafari17 is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 06:30 AM
  #12  
santharamhari
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Mark,

Isnt Kaingo in South Luangwa? WS taking it over?

Hari
 
Oct 4th, 2006, 06:41 AM
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Hari
Sorry, my mistake. I meant Kapinga Camp
Marksafari17 is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 06:54 AM
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santharamhari
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Ok. Enjoy your trip. Pl keep us posted on return.

Hari
 
Oct 4th, 2006, 07:46 AM
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All those spellings are so similar it is easy to mix up names. I met a woman at Vumbura who believed she had just come from Svengali. Turns out it was Savuti.

SafariMark,
So I did hear or read right that Busanga Plains is the Wilderness camp. You'll have to let me know if a short mekoro transport is necessary in Oct as it was mid-July.

Yaser,
Your roan photos prove what I had heard about better antelope viewing later in the season. That other camp you are referring to, the name of which I also don't remember, had a reputation for cranky management back when I was in Kafue.
atravelynn is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 07:56 AM
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To atravelynn

Regarding that camp in Busanga, I was told that it was in struggle with the Zambian government which branded it illegal but did nothing (as of 2003) to evacuate it from the park (it had been there for many years).
yaser is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 11:05 AM
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Marksafari,

Have a great trip. Can't wait to hear about the wildlife in the Busanga Plains.


For anyone interested in Busanga Plains, there still remains at least one non-Wilderness option:

http://www.mukambi.com/busangaplains.asp

This does offer a welcome relief to those who are unable to spend $700 per person per night sharing for Wilderness' Kafue camps.

Here are a few other nice looking camps in different parts of Kafue:

www.kaingu-lodge.com

http://www.nanzhila.com/

Looks like Gaurang ("Africa"), Hari and I will be spending 11 nights in Kafue next October, doing an overland trip starting and ending in Lusaka, hitting both the Nanzhila Plains and the Busanga Plains, as well as time on the Kafue River at Mukambi and Kaingu.
Roccco is offline  
Oct 5th, 2006, 08:46 AM
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Thanks to all who have wished me a great trip. I promise I will post a report as well as pics and video.
Mark
Marksafari17 is offline  

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