Found in the centre of western Zambia, Kafue National Park is the oldest and largest of Zambia’s national parks. It covers a massive 22,400 km². First established as a National Park in the 1950s by the legendary Norman Carr, Kafue is one of the largest national parks in the whole of Africa. Despite its size and prominent location only two hours drive from Livingstone/Victoria Falls, it remains little-known and largely unexplored with vast tracts of its virgin bush still untouched.
Thanks to its size and variety of habitat types the Kafue holds a fantastic diversity of wildlife. The Kafue is home to more species of ungulate than any national park south of the Congo Basin. Rare and elusive antelope such as the blue and yellow-backed duiker occur in the thickets, sitatunga and lechwe in the swamps, roan, sable and hartebeest in the miombo woodlands. The park is regarded by those who know it as one of the best places in Africa to find leopard. A rarity for Zambia is the cheetah. Cheetah cannot be found in the Luangwa or Zambezi National Parks and only occur in the west of Zambia, with Liuwa Plains and the Kafue holding the last viable populations of this rare and charismatic predator. African wild dogs are frequently seen in Kafue. Packs can be found on both sides of the Kafue River and in almost all habitat types, from dense woodland to riverine and dambo areas. The Kafue River and its tributaries themselves are a hive of activity and are home to pods of hippo and some of the largest crocodiles in southern Africa. As the bush dries out towards August and September it is not uncommon to watch elephant frolicking in the water and swimming from bank to bank, with their trunks holding on to the tails of the individuals in front. There are few Parks in Africa in which sightings of the more unusual species are so possible: pangolin, bushpig, spring hare, monitor lizards, aardvark, numerous mongoose spp. (selous, white-tailed, marsh, etc.), civet, serval, caracal, wild cat, bush baby, grysbok, oribi, roan, honey badger, otters and sitatunga – 158 recorded species of mammal! Game activities in Kafue focus on game drives and walking safaris.
In the remote north of Kafue lie the Busanga Plains. The plains are positioned on an ancient lakebed which undergoes regular flooding during Zambia’s rainy season, turning the area into one of the few wetland wildernesses left in the world. The Busanga Plains cover an area of 720 square kilometres and is characterised by palm groves, papyrus-choked reed beds and lily-covered lagoons, reminiscent of the Okavango Delta in Botswana. During the dry season, the plains are reminiscent of the savannah of the Serengeti plains, distinct from the miombo woodlands which characterise the rest of Kafue. A wide variety of species is found on the plains including elephant, cheetah, African buffalo, hippopotamus, oribi, roan, lechwe, zebra and blue wildebeest. In addition, Busanga is famous for its leaping lions. It is a birder’s paradise, with over 500 bird species recorded. Safari activities in the Busanga Plains area include game drives, bush walks and boating safaris. Busanga is accessible via a 70 minute flight from Lusaka and its remoteness guarantees low-density tourism.
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I first started with Pembury Tours as a Personal Assistant to the MD on a mornings-only basis way back in November 2004. This very quickly turned into a full time position and I gained extensive behind the scenes knowledge supporting the tour consultants in the office.
I took a short break in 2014, but realised that Pembury was so close to my heart and jumped at the chance of becoming a consultant in 2016. Until very recently I was based in the UK experiencing a little of the northern hemisphere way of life.
I simply love organising! Researching destinations, preparing itineraries, and taking care of clients’ arrangements are just some of the key aspects of my work. It’s also about getting to know my clients from the word ‘go’, to ensure that we create a holiday to meet their expectations.
Although I have a strong administrative background, I also studied tour guiding and this has given me a good understanding of local history and the sights. This has been really helpful when preparing tours for clients and I’m especially pleased to hear back from my clients after a tour with the highlights of their experiences.