Proclaimed in 1950, the KNP is the oldest, and by far the largest, of Zambia’s National Parks, and the fifth largest in the world. It is situated in the west of the country in the biome known as the Central African Plateau. It is about 350 km from north to south and about 180 km wide at the widest east-west point, covering 22,480km2. Once the 9 surrounding Game Management Areas are included, the total wildlife estate expands to an enormous area of 67,000 km2, twice the size of Belgium!
Although it is similar in size to South Africa’s Kruger National Park, Kafue receives roughly 1% as many visitors per annum. Few people have therefore had the privilege of experiencing the immense size, diversity and tranquility of this enormous unfenced wilderness area.
Kafue contains 20 different vegetation types and provides sanctuary for 158 species of mammals (including 21 species of antelope), 515 species of birds, 70 of reptiles, 36 of amphibians and 58 species of fish.
The location of the Park and the surrounding Game Management Areas has led to it being included in the Kavango-Zambezi Trans-Frontier Conservation Area. This incorporates protected areas in Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Angola and Zambia which can be linked and managed as a contiguous “conservation cluster” enabling wildlife management and tourism development across national boundaries. The tourism potential of such a large conservation area is limitless and this will eventually foster major employment opportunities and revenue generation for park management.