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Kafue&Liuwa in November . Help


photogreg
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Hi everyone,

my wife and I are planning Kafue + Liuwa in November, with a fully equipped car, and we need some advice....

The reason why we decided to do the trip in November is the migration in the Liuwa, and Kafue seems to be a good combination even if it is not the best period because of the rains.

 

Kafue: our initial idea was to visit the north area (Lufupa - Busanga) but, from the info we are collecting, it seems to be very difficult in November. Most of the camps are closed. Is it true? How are the roads conditions from Mayukuyuku/Mukambi to Lufupa, in November? If we stay in Mayukuyuku, can we go to the north?

In the central area we are evaluating Mayukuyuku and/or Mukambi.

And we are also evaluating McBride for the north-est area, even if we have been told that we need to exit the park and go via Mumbwa (with loss of time).

We are mainly interested to safari in areas where it could be easier to see leopards, lions but mainly cheetas and wild dogs .. even if we know that they live in different environments

Can someone give us some advice? Which are the best accomodations/areas for the game viewing, between the ones I mentioned?

Thank you!

:) Roberto

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Hi @@photogreg

 

Think the weather could be an issue.............

 

Mukambi also run a seasonal camp on the Plains - Busanga Bush Camp- so they should be able to advise of when they plan to close the camp this year. A couple of years ago they had guests up there early November and closed immediately afterwards. (The other camps on the Plains up there are Wilderness Safaris).

 

BTW Mukambi and Mayukuyuku are neighbours so either is a good launch point for the northern sector; just very different camps.

 

Re Liuwa

This sounds wonderful but the big question is is it 'doable' at that time of year.Pippa at Mayukuyuku did the drive to Liuwa from Kafue a couple of years ago but I believe it was September but if you were thinking of staying there, you could drop the camp an email.

 

Not been to McBride's but have seen it from the river. There is also Hippo camp in that area. When I visited Hippo camp we went to the camp by boat from Lufupa not sure why.........

 

The one person I know who could BEST advise you on all of this is @@KafueTyrone who is probably incommunicado in the bush.............................

 

Good luck and let us know what your final plan is............................. it sounds a great adventure

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thank you for your suggestion, we'll contact Tyron for sure.

 

 

Any other suggestion is welcomed.

 

Thanks in advance.

Edited by Tdgraves
p
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Yes, let's try and keep input here rather than PM so anyone planning something similar in future can refer back to here.

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@@wilddog

many thanks, as suggested by former member we have sent an email to Tyrone... we hope he could read it...

 

@ game warden

you are right: we will publish Tyrone's answer.

Edited by Tdgraves
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Hello all. It's been a while but the season is busy and time to enjoy ST is limited!

I am about to email Roberto and his wife with more specific details to their questions but for the sake of this thread I will answer here and give a few ideas and pointers.

Indeed I am also currently in comms with Sangeeta to try and get her trip to Western Zambia sorted for 2014, I am sure when this is all ironed out then ST will get some feedback on this too...

So.

I suppose overall I would say that it depends on when in November you are planning to visit? Self-drive is very doable and nobody should be put off doing so in the Kafue, with the correct guidance it can be very rewarding if you know where to go and stay to maximise the park at this potentially soggy time of year. I am sure you are aware that Liuwa is very very far away from Lusaka and I think it is very wise to break it up with some time in the Kafue en-route. It will rain whilst you are in Zambia and it will be essential that you have a mechanically sound and reliable vehicle for this trip! Game viewing in November can be very good if all the loops are accessible. The Chunga area (Mukambi or Kaingu) have better roads and these are the best places in this time of year to maximise the chances to find Wild Dog and Cheetah, although of course they are FAR from guaranteed. I would disagree that Busanga is the best area for Cheetah and would argue that the chance for Cheetah is equal in all other parts of the park, from Nanzhila in the South through to Chunga and even to Musekese (my camp). Unfortunately the later in November you leave it for Kafue the lesser the chance to get into the north of the park, as this area really gets affected with even small rains. It may be worth emailing Mukambi about the dates of their last booking at Busanga in November (usually 1st week of Nov is when they close) and see if you can get in there as although it is a little dearer than other camps (although they may have a self-drive rate? Again worth asking them...) it is absolutely worth it in November, which is my favourite month of the year in the park, with colours, birds, atmosphere, etc. With regards to Hippo/McBride's Camps, both are absolutely fine and have their own unique charm, neither are the best camps for Wild Dog or Cheetah and predator wise are more biased towards Lion and Leopard. Both camps will still be open in November but to get to them requires some effort as although they are inside the park, they are on the opposite side of the Kafue River to most camps and importantly roads, and as such you would need to drive all the way out of the park to Mumbwa and then take a poor gravel road to reach these camps.

I hope this brief bit of info helps, but please feel free to fire away with more questions and when I have time I am always very happy to help you and anyone else that has an interest in visiting the Kafue.

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I don't know much about about Kafue. I'm going to drive through it myself in late October. Nanzhile, Kaingu, Mayukuyuku and then Treetops for a few nights. What are the chances getting from Treetops to Musekese Tyrone?

 

Liuwa in November...The road from Mongu to Kalabo is easy, takes 2-2,5 hours these days as the construction road the Chinese build and use is good. Liuwa has been dry this year, so we're hoping on some good early rains. In fact about 2 weeks ago we had our first good storm. The first wildebeest calves have been born and the herds are getting closer to the south again. In november they should be around in the South in full force, followed by the wild dogs, cheetahs, lions and ever present hyaenas. I would stay in the camps in the South (Kwale, Katoyana, Lyangu). Some roan have been seen in the South too recently.

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@KafueTyrone :

Hi Tyrone, thanks for your advices. The trip we planned seems to be good, even if the biggest worry is still the risk to get stuck in the Liuwa.

But the fact that the park management ensures a rescue service and words from egilio a bit reassured us ...

We regret that Busanga are not reachable in November, mainly after your words.... :(

 

@egilio:

Hi egilio, thank you to you too, your words about the road conditions from Mongu to Kalabo are reassuring for us.

At the end we are almost decided to get a scout from the park, so we will be more safe also in case of bad roads...

can you please tell us your experience about the park in November ? How are the roads inside the park in November?

We had a look to your blog...so envious for your photos and job :)

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  • 3 months later...
Hi,
we would like to give our contribution to the forum about our wonderful experience in Zambia.
First of all we want to say a big THANKS to Egil: your suggestions have been essential for us to get the decision to visit Liuwa Plains.
As per our experience LIUWA PLAIN N.P. is absolutely feasible in November: sand is not a problem, it is a bit more soft and deep in the first part of the track - just after the ferry crossing - and near to the campsites.
We had some showers during a couple of days and one night of light rain, but the road conditions remained good without any trace of mud.
If rains are in the average of the period (and our escort told that this year they were) I think that in November Liuwa is feasible without any problem.
Even if the game is not abundant as in other african parks (anyway we saw a lot of wildbeest, many zebras and hyenas, one porcupine but, above all, 15 wildogs playing in the water... fantastic!), the wonderful landscape worth doing the trip.
Campsites are very basic and without fence (nice, authentic, wild african experience) but well maintened by very friendly and kind people.
Roads from Mongu to Kalabo is easy now, as a new road is under costruction.
Hoping this could be useful for someone...
Roberto & Martina
Edited by photogreg
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