Kafue National Park

Kafue National Park is part of the largest transboundary conservation expanse in the world: the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area.

Kafue National Park covers an expansive 22,400 km2 area in western Zambia. The park was proclaimed in 1950, making it Zambia’s oldest national park and one of the world’s most important natural heritage sites. As an essential water source for the region, Kafue is also one of the last vast expanses of the iconic Zambezian ecoregion – and home to elephant, large predators, the highest diversity of antelope species in Africa, and 515 bird species.

Lack of funding and effective management over the years hampered park operations and allowed poaching, human encroachment and charcoal production to take their toll on both landscape and wildlife. Yet large tracts of wilderness containing a diversity of wildlife species still remain intact. In 2021, Zambia’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) invited African Parks to implement a Priority Support Plan. Over 18 months, significant infrastructure investments were made, protection measures improved, over 200 jobs created, and education enhanced through a literacy programme. This paved the way for a 20-year management agreement between African Parks and the Zambian government in July 2022, for the full protection of Kafue’s valuable landscape.

Kafue’s expansive landscape, its variety of lodges and the recovering wildlife is an opportunity to boost Zambia’s tourism industry and deliver critically needed revenue for the park, and provide employment and benefits to local communities. In this way, Kafue can fulfil its promise to become one of Africa’s most exceptional tourist destinations.

Kafue Highlights

  • At 22,400 km2 Kafue National Park is Zambia’s largest national park.
  • Kafue is buffered by nine Game Management Areas (GMAs), which has ensured that the vast wilderness landscape has remained largely intact.
  • Kafue’s diverse wildlife consists of 158 mammal species, of which 21 are antelope, 515 bird species, 70 reptile species, 58 species of fish and 36 amphibious species.
  • Kafue has the potential to become a globally significant tourism destination with its exceptional landscape and wildlife, such as elephant, wild dog, cheetah and lion.
  • The implementation of effective conservation management will allow populations of key large mammal species to increase and support rapid carnivore population growth and recovery.


The Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) is the overarching regulatory authority that ensures the effective management of protected areas in Zambia. African Parks and the DPNW have been working together in Zambia since 2003 in Liuwa Plain National Park and 2008 in Bangweulu Wetlands. In June 2022, African Parks entered into a third management agreement with the Zambian Government for the management of Kafue National Park. With this agreement, Kafue National Park became the 20th park to join the African Parks’ portfolio.

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