• Bush Camping in the Kafue
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Bush Camping in the Kafue

Welcome to Zambia

The Kafue National Park is justifiably emerging as a key destination for any wildlife safari to Zambia.

Home to possibly the most varied wildlife of any African Park, and yet still with just a few safari camps.  Meeting other visitors is rare and the feeling of having the bush to yourself is wonderful.

Your safari will take you on a journey; uncovering the incredibly varied wildlife that exists amongst the shady Miombo woodlands, on the seasonal oxbow lagoons (known as dambos), along the clear waters of the Kafue River and its tributaries, and on to the breathtaking vastness of the Busanga Plains.

You will be on safari during the dry season. This is a key time for some of the best wildlife activity and we hope you encounter many of the Kafue's diverse antelope species which includes Roan, Sable, Hartebeest, Wildebeest, Puku, Oribi and Red Lechwe to name just a few.  Predators are thriving in the park and there is a healthy population of lions spread across the Kafue.  Leopards stalk woodland shadows and, on the river banks, cheetah and serval can often be seen on the plains and clearings, especially where the soil is sandy.  Wild dogs are here also, and although they can be a hard spot, sightings increase as the dry season passes.

Birds are a big part of any safari and the Kafue has an impressive list of over 500 species. There are two endemics and many small and colourful species, but one of the Kafue's most dramatic sights to watch out for are the spectacular flocks of black Open Billed Storks which swirl in great numbers over the Plains in the rising thermals.

Throughout your safari, you will be guided by your hosts and the resident guides in each camp who will use their bush skills and current knowledge on game movements and activity to generate the best wildlife sightings possible to ensure you get the most from your safari.

You will stay in three camps:

Kaingu River Lodge

Set in stunning surroundings on the picturesque Kafue River where she splits into channels and rapids and whose pools are home to hippos and where elephants come to drink.

Plains Camp 

This magical camp is set in the heart of the Busanga Plains, a unique habitat of grassland and marsh inhabited by great herds of Red Lechwe and famed for its lions.

Musekese Camp

The highly regarded Musekese Camp is our home in the bush, where areas of previously virgin bush reveal varied game species in previously unexpected numbers and the rare feeling of having this wilderness to yourself. 

You will enjoy a varied range of activities from walking safaris with armed rangers to game drives, both day and night, river safaris, or simply enjoying the peace of the bush sitting quietly in a viewing blind.

From the moment you arrive in each camp, your hosts and their safari teams will greet you with a very warm and genuine Zambian hospitality and you can expect to feel completely spoilt with great meals and comfortable surroundings.

Time in camp between forays into the bush are a chance to just relax and enjoy the company of your fellow guests and hosts. On this safari you are never truly not in the bush - there are no fences and game comes in to camp frequently. There is always something to see so keep your cameras handy.

Thank you for coming to the Kafue.

Arrival in Lusaka

On arrival you will be met by a member of Tours Africa, the Busanga Safari's agent at the airport, and they will meet you before you pass through immigration. Although Lusaka is a friendly and safe airport, they will help you through immigration. At the immigration desk you pay for your visa entry ($50pp), no need for a pre-arranged visa. This can be a slow process but don't worry, you are not in a rush.  When you have collected your bags, our representative will take you to meet your driver from Pioneer Camp. The drive to Pioneer Camp takes around 25 minutes from the airport and the lodge is set in a rural area near Lusaka. You will stay in an ensuite cottage in this friendly, informal lodge which is full of character. Staying at Pioneer is a great way to get over the flight and get in tune with Africa. We suggest you try one of their legendary steaks for dinner.  Also request an early call for the next day.

Your Transfer Journey to Kaingu River Lodge

Today is an early start with breakfast on the patio before meeting your driver from Kaingu who will settle you in to a comfortable vehicle before setting off around 06:30 to the Kafue.

The journey first passes through bustling Lusaka city. The scenery gradually changes as the city gives way to villages and farmland as you head further west towards the Kafue National Park. The journey typically takes around 5 1/2 hours, stopping along the way for refreshments. A few hours in and you reach the boundary of the park where habitation by people disappears completely. You remain on tarmac at this stage until eventually off onto graded tracks, and then having reached a point by the Kafue River, you will leave your vehicle and continue by boat for the last 20 minutes of your journey to reach Kaingu. The boat journey is a pleasant assault on the senses as the startling beauty of the river and the sight of hippos and birds begins to sink in.

Kaingu River Lodge

The safari really begins at Kaingu. For the next 2 nights you will stay in a luxury tented-style chalet facing directly onto the river. Just being here is a chance to unwind after your journey. The habitat here is a mixture of riverene woodlands and bush. Your stay will focus on enjoying the river and may take in a gentle walk to one of the giant rock kopjes which dot the bush in this area and which provide a fantastic way to get a feel for the vast wilderness you are in.

Depending on when you arrive, having been welcomed by the camp's owner managers, familiarised yourself with your surroundings and settled in to your chalet, there will be time for a relaxed lunch on the deck. You will have time to fit in an afternoon river safari, returning in the late afternoon to freshen up before aperitifs, followed by dinner on the deck and a nightcap before you are escorted back to your chalet.

The next day, after an early light breakfast, you have a choice of activities, possibly combining a walk and river safari, either by boat or a more adventurous canoe safari. Both give an eye-level view of the river where there is a chance of encountering many birds, and also elephant and hippo and possibly even a leopard coming in to drink.

Typically, but not cast in stone, you will spend 3-4 hours in the bush in the morning before returning to camp for lunch. Then after a few hour's down time and obligatory afternoon tea and cake, you will set off again.

Days generally end with a cold drink as the sun sets over the bush, and then with time to freshen up, enjoy a sumptuous dinner under the stars.

Journey to Busanga Plains

Today your safari begins in earnest. Moving north, you set off on an extended game drive to the Busanga Plains. First with a Kaingu driver, you will then meet a driver / guide from the Plains Camp to swap vehicles before continuing. Following the path of the Kafue and then Lufupa Rivers, you will pass through a variety of bush types. This journey can take 5 hours + generating interesting sights as the bush changes from Bracystigia woodlands to semi-open Savannah. Look out for fresh green patches in the otherwise dry bush which are natural springs welling up and providing constant water, even away from the river. You then emerge onto the Busanga Plains, which initially look vast and empty, but as you near camp, the volume of game here becomes evident.

This is an adventurous drive in an open game drive vehicle with a shade roof. You will stop en route for breaks and a picnic lunch.

The Plains Camp

The Plains Camp is a small. classic and very comfortable bush camp on a beautiful island of fan palms and fig trees in the middle of this cast ecosystem.

A cool drink and a face towel welcomes you to one of our favourite of all camps.

You will be accommodated at Plains Camp in a spacious and tastefully-decorated Meru safari tent, with an "open to the sky" bush bathroom. You can expect warm bucket showers, flush toilets and an incredible view.

All meals are taken with your guides and other guests in the main Boma. Big settees are a perfect place to relax and take in the ever-changing view on the Busanga and absorb the sounds of tropical bulbubs in the great old fig tree.

Game drives will be your main activity here as distances are quite big, although you can walk if you wish.

Amongst some of the more notable sights on the Busanga are a resident herd of Roan antelope which is very approachable and photogenic. There are literally thousands of Red Lechwe but a journey to the Papyrus Marsh is often a chance to see them running and leaping in the wet areas, and here there are some great birding opportunities. Pools crammed with hippo, and with luck the chance to see breeding herds of elephants crossing the Plains to drink and bathe in the early morning or later in the afternoon. And there is a chance of so much more.

Typically game drives last 4 hours, leaving camp at dawn after a light breakfast, stopping for refreshments out on the Plains, usually returning to camp at the hottest part of the day for lunch.  You will venture out again in the later afternoon (with a cool box of sundowners and snacks) until darkness begins to reveal the nocturnal species, which you will continue to search for with the aid of a spotlight. Lions here are very active at night and the sounds at night wafting through the walls of your tent are magical.

Your hosts will keep you safe and you will be briefed at camp. Lions do pass through camp often at night and hippo are also often found grazing between the tents.

Journey South to Musekese

 After 3 nights on the Busanga, you head south across the Plains. You will re-trace your route on an extended and often productive game drive in the Musanza and Chibembe areas to the confluence on the Lufupa and Kafue Rivers. The drive can take around 3 hours + allowing for sightings. You rendezvous with a boat and guide from Musekese who will take you on a short journey downstream and across the river to begin the next part of your safari.

Musekese Camp

At Musekese you can expect a very warm welcome from the team. A cool drink and a quick familiarisation of the camp and you will be settled in to your very comfortable en-suite safari tent and have the chance to freshen up and take in your surroundings. The staff at Musekese are very friendly in a typical Zambian way. Most of the team are employed from villages adjoining the Kafue, taking the benefits of tourism back into the local communities.

This season, the camp has been positioned in a shady islands of trees on the edge of a dambo (an open oxbow plain) where wildlife is always in view. When Tyrone McKeith and his colleague Phil Jeffery first found this sport whilst exploring on foot, they names the area "Eden". Elephants often migrate past the camp between the dry bush and the permanent water in the dambo and river, and very many antelope species can be seen grazing on the fresh shoots of the dambo. Musekese is an authentic bush camp with a comfortable, understated style and attention to detail that makes for a classic safari experience.

You will be hosted by Tyrone and Phil at Musekese, both highly-regarded guides and honorary Zambian Wildlife Officers, who contribute time and skills to wildlife conservation in the Kafue. You will dine under the stars with your hosts, and no doubt, enjoy interesting, light-hearted conversation, giving you an insight into life in the bush for people and animals.  After-dinner drinks around the camp fire under a vast Africa sky are a perfect end to a day on safari. Sleep comes easily here.

Days are not regimented at Musekese, but typically, you will be woken early (05:15ish). Enjoy a light breakfast of fruit, porridge, cereals and fresh bread toasted on the fire before setting off on an early game drive. This is a chance to catch animals when they are at their most active and before the day heats up. As the morning progresses, you will stop for refreshments (tea, coffee etc).

We strongly recommend you experience walking safaris whilst staying ay Musekese. These gentle walks can generate large mammal sightings, but are also a chance to learn about the bush at ground level. Bird calls, tracks and droppings reveal so much. Trees and even grasses each occupy their own niche and offer a use for wildlife or man.

Depending on sightings, you will return back to camp in time for a tasty lunch made in the bush kitchen by skilled cooks using fresh local produce. Meals are generally European in style, with plenty of fresh salads and ground-baked bread. After lunch, a few hours downtime to relax, or you could take the chance to spend an hour or 2 sitting in the viewing blind. From the hides, it's possible to see leopard, lion and elephant - but sometimes a colourful bee eater hawking insects can provide a great subject. Fishing is also an option.

At 3.00pm after a customary afternoon tea and cake, you will set out on an afternoon game drive, taking a different route into the bush or possibly using one of the safari boats to search the riverbanks for any possible predators, elephants crossing the river, or go in search of the beautiful African Skimmers who are active at this time of day.

Return to camp as darkness falls.Maybe a warm shower before aperitifs around the fire and dinner under the stars, or in the camp's open-sided dining room with your fellow guests and guides.

Your final day

On your last morning in the bush, there will be time for breakfast and a game drive. Then it's time to bid farewell to camp and the team who have been looking after you before you are driven back to Lusaka.

Rates for this Safari
Price including flights from/to UK:
Flight ex UK from $900 pp

Price excluding international flights:
2017 $6255 pp
 
No single supplement
Safari Summary

Notes:

This THis what we have planned ....
Improved for 2016 with the inclusion of Kaingu River Lodge in the south of the Kafue, and to experience Musekese Camp at its new breathtaking location.

No single supplements will be charged on at least part of the safari, please call for details. (excludes Before the Rains)

Includes: Park fees & bed tax, transfers, meals & drinks excluding some imported brands 

Excludes: Items of a personal nature, tips, departure tax, entry visas.

We can arrange flights to transfer you between Lusaka and the Kafue, and between camps, at an extra cost.

Extend this safari to include the Victioria Falls - The Luangwa - Lower Zambezi or Liuwa Plains. Contact Tony McKeith for ideas and costs . Tony@busangasafari.co.uk

Itinerary

Day 1 - 2           Arrive Lusaka. transfer to stayKaingu River Lodge

Day 3 - 4 & 5    The Plains Camp

Day 6 - 7 & 8    Musekese Camp

Day 9               Transfer to Lusaka Airport 

Full Safari Details
Bush Camping in the Kafue

Welcome to Zambia

The Kafue National Park is justifiably emerging as a key destination for any wildlife safari to Zambia.

Home to possibly the most varied wildlife of any African Park, and yet still with just a few safari camps.  Meeting other visitors is rare and the feeling of having the bush to yourself is wonderful.

Your safari will take you on a journey; uncovering the incredibly varied wildlife that exists amongst the shady Miombo woodlands, on the seasonal oxbow lagoons (known as dambos), along the clear waters of the Kafue River and its tributaries, and on to the breathtaking vastness of the Busanga Plains.

You will be on safari during the dry season. This is a key time for some of the best wildlife activity and we hope you encounter many of the Kafue's diverse antelope species which includes Roan, Sable, Hartebeest, Wildebeest, Puku, Oribi and Red Lechwe to name just a few.  Predators are thriving in the park and there is a healthy population of lions spread across the Kafue.  Leopards stalk woodland shadows and, on the river banks, cheetah and serval can often be seen on the plains and clearings, especially where the soil is sandy.  Wild dogs are here also, and although they can be a hard spot, sightings increase as the dry season passes.

Birds are a big part of any safari and the Kafue has an impressive list of over 500 species. There are two endemics and many small and colourful species, but one of the Kafue's most dramatic sights to watch out for are the spectacular flocks of black Open Billed Storks which swirl in great numbers over the Plains in the rising thermals.

Throughout your safari, you will be guided by your hosts and the resident guides in each camp who will use their bush skills and current knowledge on game movements and activity to generate the best wildlife sightings possible to ensure you get the most from your safari.

You will stay in three camps:

Kaingu River Lodge

Set in stunning surroundings on the picturesque Kafue River where she splits into channels and rapids and whose pools are home to hippos and where elephants come to drink.

Plains Camp 

This magical camp is set in the heart of the Busanga Plains, a unique habitat of grassland and marsh inhabited by great herds of Red Lechwe and famed for its lions.

Musekese Camp

The highly regarded Musekese Camp is our home in the bush, where areas of previously virgin bush reveal varied game species in previously unexpected numbers and the rare feeling of having this wilderness to yourself. 

You will enjoy a varied range of activities from walking safaris with armed rangers to game drives, both day and night, river safaris, or simply enjoying the peace of the bush sitting quietly in a viewing blind.

From the moment you arrive in each camp, your hosts and their safari teams will greet you with a very warm and genuine Zambian hospitality and you can expect to feel completely spoilt with great meals and comfortable surroundings.

Time in camp between forays into the bush are a chance to just relax and enjoy the company of your fellow guests and hosts. On this safari you are never truly not in the bush - there are no fences and game comes in to camp frequently. There is always something to see so keep your cameras handy.

Thank you for coming to the Kafue.

 

Arrival in Lusaka

On arrival you will be met by a member of Tours Africa, the Busanga Safari's agent at the airport, and they will meet you before you pass through immigration. Although Lusaka is a friendly and safe airport, they will help you through immigration. At the immigration desk you pay for your visa entry ($50pp), no need for a pre-arranged visa. This can be a slow process but don't worry, you are not in a rush.  When you have collected your bags, our representative will take you to meet your driver from Pioneer Camp. The drive to Pioneer Camp takes around 25 minutes from the airport and the lodge is set in a rural area near Lusaka. You will stay in an ensuite cottage in this friendly, informal lodge which is full of character. Staying at Pioneer is a great way to get over the flight and get in tune with Africa. We suggest you try one of their legendary steaks for dinner.  Also request an early call for the next day.

Your Transfer Journey to Kaingu River Lodge

Today is an early start with breakfast on the patio before meeting your driver from Kaingu who will settle you in to a comfortable vehicle before setting off around 06:30 to the Kafue.

The journey first passes through bustling Lusaka city. The scenery gradually changes as the city gives way to villages and farmland as you head further west towards the Kafue National Park. The journey typically takes around 5 1/2 hours, stopping along the way for refreshments. A few hours in and you reach the boundary of the park where habitation by people disappears completely. You remain on tarmac at this stage until eventually off onto graded tracks, and then having reached a point by the Kafue River, you will leave your vehicle and continue by boat for the last 20 minutes of your journey to reach Kaingu. The boat journey is a pleasant assault on the senses as the startling beauty of the river and the sight of hippos and birds begins to sink in.

Kaingu River Lodge

The safari really begins at Kaingu. For the next 2 nights you will stay in a luxury tented-style chalet facing directly onto the river. Just being here is a chance to unwind after your journey. The habitat here is a mixture of riverene woodlands and bush. Your stay will focus on enjoying the river and may take in a gentle walk to one of the giant rock kopjes which dot the bush in this area and which provide a fantastic way to get a feel for the vast wilderness you are in.

Depending on when you arrive, having been welcomed by the camp's owner managers, familiarised yourself with your surroundings and settled in to your chalet, there will be time for a relaxed lunch on the deck. You will have time to fit in an afternoon river safari, returning in the late afternoon to freshen up before aperitifs, followed by dinner on the deck and a nightcap before you are escorted back to your chalet.

The next day, after an early light breakfast, you have a choice of activities, possibly combining a walk and river safari, either by boat or a more adventurous canoe safari. Both give an eye-level view of the river where there is a chance of encountering many birds, and also elephant and hippo and possibly even a leopard coming in to drink.

Typically, but not cast in stone, you will spend 3-4 hours in the bush in the morning before returning to camp for lunch. Then after a few hour's down time and obligatory afternoon tea and cake, you will set off again.

Days generally end with a cold drink as the sun sets over the bush, and then with time to freshen up, enjoy a sumptuous dinner under the stars.

Journey to Busanga Plains

Today your safari begins in earnest. Moving north, you set off on an extended game drive to the Busanga Plains. First with a Kaingu driver, you will then meet a driver / guide from the Plains Camp to swap vehicles before continuing. Following the path of the Kafue and then Lufupa Rivers, you will pass through a variety of bush types. This journey can take 5 hours + generating interesting sights as the bush changes from Bracystigia woodlands to semi-open Savannah. Look out for fresh green patches in the otherwise dry bush which are natural springs welling up and providing constant water, even away from the river. You then emerge onto the Busanga Plains, which initially look vast and empty, but as you near camp, the volume of game here becomes evident.

This is an adventurous drive in an open game drive vehicle with a shade roof. You will stop en route for breaks and a picnic lunch.

The Plains Camp

The Plains Camp is a small. classic and very comfortable bush camp on a beautiful island of fan palms and fig trees in the middle of this cast ecosystem.

A cool drink and a face towel welcomes you to one of our favourite of all camps.

You will be accommodated at Plains Camp in a spacious and tastefully-decorated Meru safari tent, with an "open to the sky" bush bathroom. You can expect warm bucket showers, flush toilets and an incredible view.

All meals are taken with your guides and other guests in the main Boma. Big settees are a perfect place to relax and take in the ever-changing view on the Busanga and absorb the sounds of tropical bulbubs in the great old fig tree.

Game drives will be your main activity here as distances are quite big, although you can walk if you wish.

Amongst some of the more notable sights on the Busanga are a resident herd of Roan antelope which is very approachable and photogenic. There are literally thousands of Red Lechwe but a journey to the Papyrus Marsh is often a chance to see them running and leaping in the wet areas, and here there are some great birding opportunities. Pools crammed with hippo, and with luck the chance to see breeding herds of elephants crossing the Plains to drink and bathe in the early morning or later in the afternoon. And there is a chance of so much more.

Typically game drives last 4 hours, leaving camp at dawn after a light breakfast, stopping for refreshments out on the Plains, usually returning to camp at the hottest part of the day for lunch.  You will venture out again in the later afternoon (with a cool box of sundowners and snacks) until darkness begins to reveal the nocturnal species, which you will continue to search for with the aid of a spotlight. Lions here are very active at night and the sounds at night wafting through the walls of your tent are magical.

Your hosts will keep you safe and you will be briefed at camp. Lions do pass through camp often at night and hippo are also often found grazing between the tents.

Journey South to Musekese

 After 3 nights on the Busanga, you head south across the Plains. You will re-trace your route on an extended and often productive game drive in the Musanza and Chibembe areas to the confluence on the Lufupa and Kafue Rivers. The drive can take around 3 hours + allowing for sightings. You rendezvous with a boat and guide from Musekese who will take you on a short journey downstream and across the river to begin the next part of your safari.

Musekese Camp

At Musekese you can expect a very warm welcome from the team. A cool drink and a quick familiarisation of the camp and you will be settled in to your very comfortable en-suite safari tent and have the chance to freshen up and take in your surroundings. The staff at Musekese are very friendly in a typical Zambian way. Most of the team are employed from villages adjoining the Kafue, taking the benefits of tourism back into the local communities.

This season, the camp has been positioned in a shady islands of trees on the edge of a dambo (an open oxbow plain) where wildlife is always in view. When Tyrone McKeith and his colleague Phil Jeffery first found this sport whilst exploring on foot, they names the area "Eden". Elephants often migrate past the camp between the dry bush and the permanent water in the dambo and river, and very many antelope species can be seen grazing on the fresh shoots of the dambo. Musekese is an authentic bush camp with a comfortable, understated style and attention to detail that makes for a classic safari experience.

You will be hosted by Tyrone and Phil at Musekese, both highly-regarded guides and honorary Zambian Wildlife Officers, who contribute time and skills to wildlife conservation in the Kafue. You will dine under the stars with your hosts, and no doubt, enjoy interesting, light-hearted conversation, giving you an insight into life in the bush for people and animals.  After-dinner drinks around the camp fire under a vast Africa sky are a perfect end to a day on safari. Sleep comes easily here.

Days are not regimented at Musekese, but typically, you will be woken early (05:15ish). Enjoy a light breakfast of fruit, porridge, cereals and fresh bread toasted on the fire before setting off on an early game drive. This is a chance to catch animals when they are at their most active and before the day heats up. As the morning progresses, you will stop for refreshments (tea, coffee etc).

We strongly recommend you experience walking safaris whilst staying ay Musekese. These gentle walks can generate large mammal sightings, but are also a chance to learn about the bush at ground level. Bird calls, tracks and droppings reveal so much. Trees and even grasses each occupy their own niche and offer a use for wildlife or man.

Depending on sightings, you will return back to camp in time for a tasty lunch made in the bush kitchen by skilled cooks using fresh local produce. Meals are generally European in style, with plenty of fresh salads and ground-baked bread. After lunch, a few hours downtime to relax, or you could take the chance to spend an hour or 2 sitting in the viewing blind. From the hides, it's possible to see leopard, lion and elephant - but sometimes a colourful bee eater hawking insects can provide a great subject. Fishing is also an option.

At 3.00pm after a customary afternoon tea and cake, you will set out on an afternoon game drive, taking a different route into the bush or possibly using one of the safari boats to search the riverbanks for any possible predators, elephants crossing the river, or go in search of the beautiful African Skimmers who are active at this time of day.

Return to camp as darkness falls.Maybe a warm shower before aperitifs around the fire and dinner under the stars, or in the camp's open-sided dining room with your fellow guests and guides.

Your final day

On your last morning in the bush, there will be time for breakfast and a game drive. Then it's time to bid farewell to camp and the team who have been looking after you before you are driven back to Lusaka.

 

Rates for this Safari
Price including flights from/to UK:
Flight ex UK from $900 pp

Price excluding international flights:
2017 $6255 pp
 
No single supplement
Book this safari
Safari Summary

Notes:

This THis what we have planned ....
Improved for 2016 with the inclusion of Kaingu River Lodge in the south of the Kafue, and to experience Musekese Camp at its new breathtaking location.

No single supplements will be charged on at least part of the safari, please call for details. (excludes Before the Rains)

Includes: Park fees & bed tax, transfers, meals & drinks excluding some imported brands 

Excludes: Items of a personal nature, tips, departure tax, entry visas.

We can arrange flights to transfer you between Lusaka and the Kafue, and between camps, at an extra cost.

Extend this safari to include the Victioria Falls - The Luangwa - Lower Zambezi or Liuwa Plains. Contact Tony McKeith for ideas and costs . Tony@busangasafari.co.uk

Itinerary

Day 1 - 2           Arrive Lusaka. transfer to stayKaingu River Lodge

Day 3 - 4 & 5    The Plains Camp

Day 6 - 7 & 8    Musekese Camp

Day 9               Transfer to Lusaka Airport