Game Warden

Let's talk Kafue National Park. (Zambia)

40 posts in this topic

Thanks Phil for this overview.

 

Matt

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Great question Paolo.

 

Mobile in Kafue. Any past experiences or plans for the future?

 

Hi! Yes, we have done a couple of mobiles in Kafue, and they have been rewarding. We operate from a fixed location in Northern KNP where we put an emphasis on walking, as such the mobiles we do are on a request basis, where we agree (under license) with the Wildlife Authorities as to where we can use as overnight stops etc. We did a fantastic one late last year where we walked from Busanga to Mukambi Safari Lodge over 3 nights/4 days along the Lufupa and Kafue rivers, covering 130+ km. That was a unique adventure, and not a typical mobile however! We have two 10-day mobiles planned for later this year, one in July and one in October.

 

G'day Phil. Fill us in on your CV. Where in Kafue have you worked as a safari guide?

 

Hi Geoff!

 

Thanks for your interest. I began in the Kafue with Ed Smythe (African Experience), where I spent some time canoeing on the Lunga and also running Busanga Bush Camp; when Wilderness Safaris bought out I remained and spent time assisting with the building and management of their camps, whilst also running their Exploration trips, and for a few seasons managed the environmental department and was responsible for the guide training.

 

I have also spent time working with ZAWA on a consultative basis, as well as freelancing for other camps/lodges, including KaingU and Mukambi.

 

Have you been to Kafue before? Do you have connections with the Park?

 

Cheers for now

 

Phil

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Thanks Phil for your thorough response.

 

To which type of zone does your Musekese camp (and the Chichele area) belong?

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Hi Paolo,

 

Musekese lies in a Wild Zone, as does Chibembe salt pans (which I assume you are referring to?). Permitted development includes:

 

- bush camps

- sign posts/boards

- fly camps (seasonal)

- viewing towers

- camp sites

- hides

- picnic sites

- wildlife outposts

- management/tourist roads

- entry/exit gates

- fire-breaks

- staff houses

- footpaths

- boreholes/wells

 

The limits of acceptable use for the zone are extensive, including restrictions on boat engine sizes, collection of firewood etc. For anyone to develop any of this type of infrastructure, they are required to follow strict procedures, including environmental impact assessments and so on. Once approved by ZAWA and their ecologists, plans have to be certified by the Environmental Council of Zambia too. ZAWA has very strict guidelines pertaining to any of these developments i.e. no toilets within 60m of the riverbank etc. etc. It is comprehensive, and I hope that all lodges/camps in KNP and elsewhere respect these.

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Phil, we need your photos in this thread... ;)

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Matt- here's one from the beginning of the rainy season- a barred owlet in a thicket, heavy cloud cover and an impending storm made for the dark atmosphere.

7-gl-gallery-1480-tn.jpg

It's a little small- guess I better work on photo uploading skills ;)

Edited by PhilJ

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Thanks Phil.

 

And yes, I was referring to Chibembe salt pans.

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Thanks Matt- here's one from the beginning of the rainy season- a barred owlet in a thicket, heavy cloud cover and an impending storm made for the dark atmosphere.

7-gl-gallery-1480-tn.jpg

It's a little small- guess I better work on photo uploading skills ;)

Just fine with binoculars! ;) Thanks for the Kafue info!

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Yes, thanks for the very interesting info, Phil.

 

Would I be correct in assuming that the difference between a wild zone and a wilderness zone is that the latter allows for no structures at all?

 

Do you have dates on your movie release yet? Also, could a similarish walk be organized for 2 people over a 10 day period with a fully supported fly camp? And if so, would it cost a fortune?

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Hi Sangeeta,

 

You are almost spot on, however a wilderness zone does allow limited use; their purpose is "to conserve large tracts of the Park providing an undisturbed environment for tourists to experience pristine wilderness and for research and management teams to conduct their research and monitoring activities". In this regard temporary fly camps are permitted but no permanent structures, and you are limited to non-motorized activities i.e. walking and canoeing. This zone makes up about 60% of the Park, which is great!

 

The BBC Earth production that we supported, 'Enchanted Kingdom 3D', is due to be released later this year but don't know when exactly! Can't wait to see it! Hopefully we'll make the behind the scenes ;)

 

It would be possible to organize a fully supported fly camp for ten days for two people, however the reality is it would be very costly, as would be effectively sealing off a potential 40 bednights (4 pax, 10 nights). A group of six would be much more affordable on a per person basis.

 

Hope that answers your questions!

 

Best

 

Phil

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Thanks, Phil. I'll be PMing you about this. Thanks for all the info on Kafue.

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You are most welcome, look forward to hearing from you.

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Interesting news for safari goers contemplating the Kafue:


(cut and paste from Proflight Zambia)


Proflight Press Release 8th September 2014

Proflight Zambia will begin flying to Kafue National Park next year, adding a tenth

domestic destination to its schedule and opening up the area to tourism.

The new addition to the airline’s route network will provide a fast and reliable way for

domestic and international tourists to enjoy the world-class safari and wilderness

experiences of the park.

Proflight Director of Government and Industry Affairs Captain Philip Lemba said:

“September is Tourism Month, so when better to announce Proflight’s forthcoming

schedule to Kafue National Park?

The park is a diamond in the rough; a place where serious safari lovers can have an

authentic wildlife experience. This fantastic addition to our schedule reaffirms Proflight

Zambia’s role in promoting and facilitating Zambian tourism.”

Proflight will begin operating flights during the dry season, when accessibility and wildlife

viewing is at an annual peak, from July 1 to October 31, 2015.If successful it will look at

more frequency and a longer season in 2016.Flights will operate on Mondays,

Wednesdays and Saturdays to Chunga. The Lusaka – Chunga flight will leave Lusaka

at 11:30, reaching Chunga at 12:45. The Chunga – Lusaka flight will leave at 13:05 and

arrive in Lusaka at 14:20. This schedule is designed to facilitate numerous connections

including international outbound connections with Emirates and South African Airways;

domestic outbound connections with Lower Zambezi and Livingstone (Mfuwe for

July/August only); and domestic inbound connections with Mfuwe and Lower Zambezi (all

days) and Livingstone on Saturdays.

In recognition of the size and diversity of the area, Proflight will – on request – operate to

Busanga (Plains strip) or Lufupa airstrip, as well as Chunga.

Kafue National Park was first established as a National Park in the 1950′s by legendary

conservationist Norman Carr. At over 22,000 square kilometres, Kafue is the largest

national park in Zambia and among the largest national parks in Africa.

Kafue has diverse terrain and holds an enormous range of wildlife. Itis the best place in

Zambia in which to see the elusive cheetah. The Busanga Plains in the north of the park is

a prime area for big game, where hosts of animals come to forage and hunt. Visitors to

Lufupa can get an entirely different experience in its beautiful remoteness, and rarely

leave without having seen a leopard.

Historically the park has received fewer visitors than other Zambian national parks.

Although it is the size of the world-famous Kruger, it is home to fewer safari operators

and lodges, allowing visitors to enjoy the environment in an exclusive way. Due to a

recent increase in interest in the hidden gem, there has been an improvement in

infrastructure including well-graded airstrips and an upgrade in the choice of lodges and

accommodation.

The airline, which celebrates 23 years of operation this year flies from its base in Lusaka

to Livingstone, Ndola, Kasama, Chipata, Mansa, Mfuwe, Solwezi and Lower Zambezi, as

well as to Lilongwe in Malawi.

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Is off roading allowed in Kafue?

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I stand to be corrected @@SSF556 but it's a national park so I don't think so.

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