As you drive across the Great West Road from Lusaka, you pass through Kafue National Park and takes about two hours to drive through. This is on the way to Mongu at about 110k/per hour and that is the thinnest part of the park. See the black line in the picture from Lusaka to Mongu. That is The Great West Road and that is what we traveled on.
Kafue National Park
is Zambia’s largest National Park and the 2nd largest in the world. It covers an area of over 22,500 square kilometers in Western Zambia. (about the size of Wales). Although it is Zambia’s oldest Park it is still relatively undeveloped and always gives a feeling of true wilderness.
I was anxious to get to Kalabo as I know what a long drive it is and I didn’t want to have to stay in Mongu for the night. We had to catch the pontoon boat crossing the Zambezi River before dark, technically 6pm.
I didn’t expect to see many animals as it is a tarred road, basically 2 lane highway and we only saw elephants last year. It didn’t bother me not to see the animals as I had been on a morning & night safari last year at Chaminuka ( a private game reserve) but I hadn’t booked any safari’s this year as we were on a mission and pressed for time & money.
Poor Carl had said he had been to the Toronto Zoo enough times with his friend, Dan the bird man, so it really didn’t bother him but I think he was just being kind to me. As soon as we entered the park he was perched on the edge of his seat with the video camera in one hand and his camera on the seat beside him. This is a portion of what he recorded. I think we should have practiced with the video camera before we went to Africa. Oh Well!
The first animal you see is one of many antelope in Zambia. It is an Impala. Now that I know what it is I feel guilty as I ate Impala when we were there last year at Chaminuka. They are very plentiful in Zambia and were raised at Chaminuka so I don’t feel too bad.
To escape their pursuers they employ a confusing zig zag escape route, with sudden directional changes and exceptionally high leaps making it difficult for the pursuing attacker to strike.
Carl was especially happy to see Elephants in the wild. We were about 4-5 metres from them and if you noticed at the end the big Elephant fanned out her ears. That is a sign that they may charge so at that point Frederick said ” OK Lets Go”.
They were monkeys first, and I think baboons in the group and the bird with the red and yellow on it’s head was an endangered Saddle-billed Stork. Not sure what the white bird was.
After leaving Kafue NP we were off again on our way to cross the Barotse Flood Plain. Wait until you see that ride!