page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40
page 41
page 42
page 43
page 44
page 45
page 46
page 47
page 48
page 49
page 50
page 51
page 52
page 53
page 54
page 55
page 56
page 57
page 58
page 59
page 60

and a single statuesque roan bull - the ' Roan Ranger', Idos calls him - waiting for the rest of his herd to show up. None of these would be on your usual Luangwa or Lower Zambezi list. And while we may have missed the bigger cats, a spotlit serval pouncing after rodents as we return from sundowners is fine compensation. And then there are the birds. Busanga's combination of wetland, grassland and forest makes for a feast of feathers. We find wattled cranes stalking the plains, barred owls calling around the campfire and African marsh harriers quartering the reedbeds. Indeed it is birds that provide our most dramatic moment at Kapinga. On the last afternoon, a huge martial eagle swoops from nowhere across our vehicle to strike at a black-bellied bustard in the long grass. The bustard ducks nimbly and takes to the air, whereupon the eagle - having recovered its position but lost its momentum - gives chase. We watch the two birds circle in a cumbersome but deadly aerial ballet. The bustard, to my surprise, gradually pulls away to leave its pursuer behind. The exhausted eagle lands on a nearby bush, whereupon the irate locals give it a piece of their collective mind: first a hamerkop, then a roller and finally a drongo all fly up to taunt and harass their nemesis. Eventually it flaps off towards the horizon. Prey one; predator nil. T he next day I'm back in the air, this time heading south. The flight to Ngoma once again brings home the sheer size of Kafue: a seemingly endless carpet of woodland rolls out below us, unbroken save by silver flashes of the river itself. Eventually, as the nibbled shoreline of Lake Ithezi- Tezhi swings into view, we start to descend. Chris Cooke is waiting at the airstrip, and whisks me off towards the new camp that his family has recently opened on the southern shores. As we rumble along the dusty bush tracks I point out fresh elephant dung and Chris explains how - despite popular misconceptions - the recovery of Kafue is not confined to the northern sector. As if on cue, a party of defassa waterbuck gallops across our path, while warthogs thunder off in the other direction. Konkamoya Lodge is beautifully situated. " In a couple of months this will all be grass," says Chris, sweeping his hand over the lake vista, where currently cormorants perch among the drowned trees and hippos grunt in the shallows. " And that's when the buffalo move in," he adds. " We had up to 1,000 last year." He explains how every dry season the fresh grazing exposed by the receding water draws the herds from miles around, and with them come the predators: lion, cheetah, even wild dog. Cassy, the new caterer, chips in. " We had two leopards mating in camp last week," she tells me. " Just there, beside the Lapa. The noise was amazing." Kafue fact file Above: Martial eagles are the most powerful of Kafue's many raptors. Below left: The ' Roan Ranger' ventures out onto Busanga Plains. Below: Bohm's bee- eater at Kapinga Camp. Kafue MIKE UNWIN May 2009 Travel Zambia 25 Bas van Soest / WIlderness Safaris DANA ALEN / WIlderness Safaris Kafue National Park is the largest in Zambia and the second largest in Africa. It covers 22,400km2 - about the size of Wales - and was established in 1924 by the British colonial government. The Great West Road between Lusaka and Mongu divides the park into its northern and southern sectors. Habitats Miombo woodland dominates the park. The Busanga Swamps in the far northwest are a permanent wetland, surrounded by the open Busanga Plains. In the very south the woodland thins out towards the Nanzhila Plains and mopane replaces the miombo. Riverine forest lines the banks of the Kafue, and there are isolated pockets of teak forest. Rivers The Kafue River enters the park in the northeast and exits in the southeast. It was dammed in 1973 near Ngoma to form Lake Itezhi- Tezhi, which regulates water flow downstream. Its major tributaries include the Lunga and Lufupa ( northern sector) and the Nanzhila ( southern sector). Wildlife An exceptional variety of antelope includes such specials as roan, sable, sitatunga, red lechwe and Lichtenstein's hartebeest. Predators include lion, leopard, wild dog and - notably - cheetah. Elephant, buffalo and zebra are widespread, but there are no giraffe. Hippo and crocodiles are plentiful in the rivers. Among over 495 species of bird are wattled crane and Denham's bustard on the grasslands, Pels' fishing owl and African finfoot along the rivers, and black- cheeked lovebird in the far south.

26 Travel Zambia May 2009 A comfortable lodge overlooking the Kafue River. Ideal for walking, birding, fi shing and game- viewing safaris. Full board or self- catering offered, with family cottages and a campsite. Your one- stop shop for all information and news about Kafue National Park. KNP- Promotions tries to make it easier for operators to reach visitors, easier for visitors to reach the park and easier for development to reach the communities T/ F + 260 211 266 927 www. pukupan. com www. knp- promotions. com ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ??