Red lechwe leaping across shallow wetlands, lions hunting in golden grasses, and elephants emerging out of morning mist – this is the Busanga Plains experience. Found in the northern region of Zambia’s Kafue National Park, this remote wilderness is distinct from the miombo woodlands of the park. Instead, flat grassland dambos are dotted with date palms and sausage and fig trees.
As the flood waters recede over June to November, the Busanga Plains become accessible for safaris characterised by outstanding game-viewing, predator action and colourful birdlife. Kafue National Park is Zambia’s largest and oldest national park, and is quite possibly one of Africa’s last great expanses of well-protected remote and pristine wilderness.
The Busanga Plains are an official Ramsar-recognised wetland system that support a variety of antelope, including puku, roan, sable and sitatunga. Look out for hefty pods of hippo hanging about in the channels, while lowering water levels will bring out wildebeest, zebra and buffalo. The endemic Chaplin’s barbet and endangered grey crowned and wattled cranes find sanctuary within the Busanga Plains, along with over 450 other bird species. The lesser kestrel and Montagu’s harrier are summer migrants, while Ross’s turaco and black-backed barbet are some of the area’s ‘specials’. Secretary birds – a Green Team favourite – are abundant.
A stronghold of Africa’s largest cat, large lion prides thrive in game-rich Busanga. They share it with cheetah and African wild dog, which benefit from the wide, open territory. Serval and side-striped jackal are some of the smaller carnivores to look out for too.
A 13 - day adventure to South Africa & Zambia – from the most beautiful city in Africa, Cape Town, to the hidden jewels in Zambia. Read more →