Game drives from Busanga Bush Camp might take you to lion.

Busanga Bush Camp | Kafue National Park Luxury Zambia Safari Lodge

Set on a tree island in Kafue National Park, Busanga Bush Camp has just four tented suites overlooking the Busanga Plains – land of some of the best lion- and plains-antelope viewing in Africa. Explore this untouched wilderness by hot-air balloon or on game drives, or simply watch the show from your verandah at your luxury Zambia safari lodge.

The place

I feel a thrill of excitement as we set off on our game drive through the grass flats of the Busanga Plains in the far northwest of the Kafue, Zambia’s oldest and largest national park. As we drive along sandy roads, it’s hard to believe this area is inaccessible for much of the year, when it’s half submerged under water.We’d timed our visit to coincide with the dry season, when the plains become a magnet for thirsty animals – and their predators. Kafue has the largest number of antelope species of any park on the continent, so it doesn’t take long before we’re amid large herds of sable and roan, and several groups of timid oribi. After following some lion tracks, we head to the Lufupa River, a tributary of the Kafue, which is the lifeblood of these fertile grasslands.Here we’re treated to a show: two hippo fighting for territorial rights. We watch in awe as these colossal giants battle it out, only returning to the lodge when our bellies rumble. Set on a tree island beneath a canopy of fig and jackalberry trees, Busanga Bush Camp offers a shady respite from the day’s heat. We’re served lunch beneath a giant sycamore fig tree, with uninterrupted views of the red lechwe and puku feeding on the plains.

I feel a thrill of excitement as we set off on our game drive through the grass flats of the Busanga Plains in the far northwest of the Kafue, Zambia’s oldest and largest national park. As we drive along sandy roads, it’s hard to believe this area is inaccessible for much of the year, when it’s half submerged under water.

We’d timed our visit to coincide with the dry season, when the plains become a magnet for thirsty animals – and their predators. Kafue has the largest number of antelope species of any park on the continent, so it doesn’t take long before we’re amid large herds of sable and roan, and several groups of timid oribi. After following some lion tracks, we head to the Lufupa River, a tributary of the Kafue, which is the lifeblood of these fertile grasslands.

Here we’re treated to a show: two hippo fighting for territorial rights. We watch in awe as these colossal giants battle it out, only returning to the lodge when our bellies rumble. Set on a tree island beneath a canopy of fig and jackalberry trees, Busanga Bush Camp offers a shady respite from the day’s heat. We’re served lunch beneath a giant sycamore fig tree, with uninterrupted views of the red lechwe and puku feeding on the plains.

The room

We meander back to our safari home, a Meru-style tent with canvas and mosquito gauze sides that’s built on a wooden platform. The large verandah – with hammock and two camp chairs – provides ample views over the plains, but the heady excitement of the game drive and our rather substantial meal left us eager for an afternoon nap.After quickly rinsing off in the adjoining bathroom, we climb into our plush double bed, sinking into the embrace of soft, white linen. With natural colours and simple furnishings, our room’s décor is restrained; the emphasis here is on comfort.Later, we head to the open-sided mess area for drinks, watching the sky turn blazing red as the sun sinks into the plains. I take several photographs, but I can’t do justice to this tableau. After a while, we just sit and watch this breathtaking display in silence, breathing in the smell of the African wild.

We meander back to our safari home, a Meru-style tent with canvas and mosquito gauze sides that’s built on a wooden platform. The large verandah – with hammock and two camp chairs – provides ample views over the plains, but the heady excitement of the game drive and our rather substantial meal left us eager for an afternoon nap.

After quickly rinsing off in the adjoining bathroom, we climb into our plush double bed, sinking into the embrace of soft, white linen. With natural colours and simple furnishings, our room’s décor is restrained; the emphasis here is on comfort.

Later, we head to the open-sided mess area for drinks, watching the sky turn blazing red as the sun sinks into the plains. I take several photographs, but I can’t do justice to this tableau. After a while, we just sit and watch this breathtaking display in silence, breathing in the smell of the African wild.

What sets it apart

The little-visited Busanga Plains is one of the most special wildlife areas we’ve ever visited. We felt privileged to watch the sun rise in a shroud of pink morning mists, the equally impressive sunsets, and the plentiful wildlife – from an array of antelope species to a cheetah hunting in the long grasses and several prides of lion. We couldn’t get enough of the uncluttered landscapes, the endless plains and the bright skies.Staying at Busanga Bush Camp, we felt connected to the surrounding wilderness, its very simplicity a reflection of its environment. Best of all was a hot-air balloon ride over the plains and the miombo woodlands and waterways, offering a bird’s-eye view of Kafue in all its beauty, topped off with a champagne breakfast!

The little-visited Busanga Plains is one of the most special wildlife areas we’ve ever visited. We felt privileged to watch the sun rise in a shroud of pink morning mists, the equally impressive sunsets, and the plentiful wildlife – from an array of antelope species to a cheetah hunting in the long grasses and several prides of lion. We couldn’t get enough of the uncluttered landscapes, the endless plains and the bright skies.

Staying at Busanga Bush Camp, we felt connected to the surrounding wilderness, its very simplicity a reflection of its environment. Best of all was a hot-air balloon ride over the plains and the miombo woodlands and waterways, offering a bird’s-eye view of Kafue in all its beauty, topped off with a champagne breakfast!

At a glance

  • Intimate safari camp with swimming pool and four Meru-style tented suites, all with breathtaking views over the Busanga Plains.
  • Isolated location, complimentary hot-air ballooning for guests staying three nights or more (seasonal) and flexible schedules.
  • Game drives, night drives, walking safaris (additional cost), seasonal hot-air ballooning (complimentary for three-night stays, otherwise additional cost), birding, stargazing, swimming and seasonal boating.
  • Children aged six and above are welcome, although walking safaris have an age restriction of 13 and hot-air ballooning has a height restriction of 1.3m. Children up to 16 years must share a room with an adult.

  • Intimate safari camp with swimming pool and four Meru-style tented suites, all with breathtaking views over the Busanga Plains.
  • Isolated location, complimentary hot-air ballooning for guests staying three nights or more (seasonal) and flexible schedules.
  • Game drives, night drives, walking safaris (additional cost), seasonal hot-air ballooning (complimentary for three-night stays, otherwise additional cost), birding, stargazing, swimming and seasonal boating.
  • Children aged six and above are welcome, although walking safaris have an age restriction of 13 and hot-air ballooning has a height restriction of 1.3m. Children up to 16 years must share a room with an adult.

Prices

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

When to Go

This is the ideal time to visit Kafue, when luxury lodges reopen after the annual inundation. Water levels are still high at the start of this season, meaning game (including predators) is very concentrated and generally easier to spot. Rain is very unlikely, and fresh mornings and evenings are balanced by warm days. Although this is considered to be the peak season, Zambia’s ‘below the radar’ status means that you’ll never be in a crowd. Note that temperatures begin to rise significantly towards October, as the onset of the rains approaches.

As the rains arrive, black cotton soils in some parts of Kafue become saturated, making roads inaccessible. Most luxury lodges (especially those on Busanga Plains) close at this time, as rising water levels bring a temporary end to safari operations. This gives Kafue an opportunity to recover from any human impact (although this is minimal due to low visitor numbers), and is a period of renewal and renaissance for the park.

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