In recent decades Zambia has positioned itself as a strong competitor to East African safari destinations. Since this is the birthplace of the walking safari alongside the traditional truck safari and even a boat safari. This is home to some stunning lodges.
Kafue National Park in central Zambia is approximately the same size as Wales. The Kafue River gives the park its name, and the swampy lands and channels created by its floodwaters draw everything like nesting river birds. There are plenty of kingfishers around, so keep the binoculars handy.
There are some incredibly high-end lodges here, not least the luxurious Kaingu Safari Lodge. However the real appeal is staying somewhere you actually feel you’re in the wild.
Getting to Kafue isn’t easy, but the journey is part of the fun. You can land on the airstrip in a light aircraft, or do as I did and drive the few hours from Lusaka and cross into the park on one of the many unmade roads.
Large areas of Kafue are completely undeveloped and inaccessible, but with the right guide and vehicle there are some extraordinary areas to explore.
The elephants there are beautiful. They’re fascinating creatures. And they are remarkably gentle with their young. On the whole they are unperturbed by people, but now and then, usually when they feel threatened, they become very aggressive indeed.
People often talk about the African sunset, and the colour seems particularly intense. When it’s reflected back off the surface of a river or lake.