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BRACQUENE

An altogether memorable trip to Kafue NP

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BRACQUENE

As promised in my first intervention as a member about my future trip to North and South Luangwa next year , some impressions about an altogether memorable trip to Kafue NP in september this year organised to perfection by Busanga Safaris and their owner and operator Tony McKeith  ; let me be clear and honest from the start : for me , since i got incredibly addicted  to the bush in 2014 after visiting Tafika and doing the Walking Trails , going on safari is getting away from the crowds in the more remote areas of Africa preferably on foot  

So Kafue was high on my list since that time , especially after reading the great reports in Safaritalk about that huge and underrated park !

Together with my wife Anne and my son Willem we arrived in Lusaka after a very long flight with Emirates via Dubai on the 6 th of september and stayed overnight to our satisfaction at Latitude 15  ; Tony arranged us a flight early in the morning at 8 .00 am to Busanga airstrip which was a blessing because we had two game drives on our first day around Ntemwa Ntemwa-Busanga Camp which is  a seasonal ‘fly-camp’ on the southern edge of the famed Busanga Plains operated by  Jeffery & McKeith Safaris .

Gareth , our guide ,was absolutely perfect even if we had to cope during the three nights with some hostile weather conditions ;  a cold front without rain but with a stormy SE wind and temperatures way below the seasonal averages ; i read a lot about burning in the area before leaving and could see that it was a major problem together with the big drought in the whole Kafue NP which seemed to have an effect on some of the game viewing  ; for the birders , we were lucky to see vulture Z009 around a kill and saw of course a lot of Lechwe and Wildebeest on the Busanga Plains and the famous Busanga lion pride .

Musekese Camp where we stayed four nights was a dream "what a location !!" with fantastic river safaris along the confluence of the Lufupa and the Kafue rivers (leopards mating on the banks ) led by Phil at the time who did also the walking and a team that was out of this world .

Konkamoya at Lake Itezhi - Tezhi where we had a short stay of two nights ,  had a lot of Elephants , heards of more than a 100 sometimes surrounding the rooms which were upgraded recently and luxurious and Andrea the Italian manager told us he is planning to renovate the lodge completely  for next season. 

For the last three nights we stayed at Nanzilha plains Safari Camp  and felt at home like we were part of the family thanks to Steve and Cindy and their son Sean  ; despite being a bit unlucky not to see roan or sable there  we had a great view of a cheeta reedbuck kill in the early morning and our guides Caesar & Bob were great guys.

We ended at Livingstone Protea Marriott Hotel and had a short visit of Mosi-oa-Tunya NP along the Zambezi river.

For remoteness and diversity of wildlife ( 16 out of 21species of antilope seen ! ) we recommend Kafue to everyone even to firsttimers 

 

Peter

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Edited by BRACQUENE

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Game Warden

@BRACQUENE I have split your trip report from Kafue into a seperate topic - so that it will be easier for readers to find and interact with you.

 

Thanks, Matt

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BRACQUENE

Ok Matt !

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LarsS

Another Kafue enthusiastic, awesome! I'm just back from Kafue, their Musekese camp, nice to see a few familiar faces on your photos :) 

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AfricIan

Great to see Tony, Phil & the rest of the J&M team and the Kafue are still delivering @BRACQUENE

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LarsS
3 hours ago, BRACQUENE said:

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At a second look I see the tagged vulture; Z009. Gareth showed me the map of his travels in, I beleive, the past three months. It was really impressive! It covered 5 countries: Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Angola!

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Abhi

Great post @BRACQUENE. Waiting to see the rest of the photos from the trip

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BRACQUENE

Ok Abhi i will send some more soon !

 

Peter

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BRACQUENE

 

As promised some more memories of our Kafue trip in september 2019 ( part 1 ) 

 

One very cold morning in the Busanga Plains , my wife Anne and son Willem with our fantastic guide Gareth 

 

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The Z009 lunch party 

 

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New member of the Busanga pride

 

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Grey crowned cranes in the Plains

 

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A brown snake eagle along the Kafue Riverimage.png.5aa9db737d78f55c18f178f2de937a8b.png 

Early morning walk with Phil at Musekeseimage.png.f32f7a7e975f465e270fc907077f164d.png

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Phil , the ideal shepherd image.png.00683cf2279dee3c364effad9d7d4794.png

 

The coffee breakimage.png.360d070910e5b1d30e5284734f9a3ede.png

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Musekese Eden !!image.png.933b035a1c80b1635f3d3ace204405f5.png

 

The resident male bushbuck image.png.c31d9c89f81d9be5d0b83a023a574794.png

 

And  girlfriend 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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AfricIan

stop it @BRACQUENE, you are making me want to go back :D

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LarsS
8 minutes ago, AfricIan said:

stop it @BRACQUENE, you are making me want to go back :D

Same here! (And I'm just back from Zambia since saturday...)

 

But please don't stop! :)

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Atravelynn

We missed each other by about a month at Ntemwa and Musekese.  Your photos take me right back and are an encouragement to complete my own trip report.  I want to be on that Musekese deck overlooking the danbo with you!  I would not have minded some of that cooler weather you mention, though.

 

Great itinerary, which likely contributed to the diversity that you saw.

 

"For remoteness and diversity of wildlife ( 16 out of 21species of antilope seen ! ) we recommend Kafue to everyone even to firsttimers"  

Great advice! I met a woman on her first safari at Musekese and she was thrilled.  Her dilemma was, "What can do in the future that can ever compare to this?  I started at the top."

 

Perhaps that fish eagle saw us both.

Edited by Atravelynn

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BRACQUENE

Thanks a lot Atravelynn for your reaction ; I honestly think that Kafue NP is one of those magic places that gets into your blood even more after you have actually left it for quite a while ; of course we feel both the need  to share this fantastic experience we had with others but at the same time we want to keep Kafue like it still is : huge , wild and unpredictable with camps that have a soul , personal service and mostly a family management ; that is also why Zambia is my favorite country to go on safari and why I will be going back to my safari roots next year with Remote African Safaris but Kafue will be for ever in my heart !

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Game Warden

@BRACQUENE great images, they are making me want to go for a first time...

 

This 2016 interview I conducted with Phil Jeffery and Tyrone McKeith might be of interest.

 

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BRACQUENE

Hello Game Warden thanks for your response and that interesting interview and  I hope you will go sooner than later : perhaps these few more pictures attached will make your decision easier

 

 

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Along the Kafue and Lufupa river

 

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At lake Itezhi Tezhi

 

 

 

 And in the deep South  the Nanzilha Plains

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gatoratlarge

excellent!  And a honey badger too!!!

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Atravelynn
On 11/14/2019 at 2:30 PM, BRACQUENE said:

Thanks a lot Atravelynn for your reaction ; I honestly think that Kafue NP is one of those magic places that gets into your blood even more after you have actually left it for quite a while ; of course we feel both the need  to share this fantastic experience we had with others but at the same time we want to keep Kafue like it still is : huge , wild and unpredictable with camps that have a soul , personal service and mostly a family management ; So very true! that is also why Zambia is my favorite country to go on safari and why I will be going back to my safari roots (this phrase is an interesting choice of words and is part of my Kafue trip report title.  Very funny.   next year with Remote African Safaris but Kafue will be for ever in my heart !

 

Those 4 Pied Kingfishers make for a humorous shot, though they would never know it.

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BRACQUENE

Dear Atravelynn,

 

It was because of extended trip reports like yours about Kafue NP with some great photos , that I decided to give it a go and I don't regret it at all   ; initially the idea was to add Liuwa Plains but Tony Mc Keith made me hesitate because it was only september and november is said to be the month to go because of the wildebeest and zebra migration  : now I am regretting not to have done it for a few days ; the only  lodge King Lewanika is very expensive  but Jeffery and Mc Keith have launched a mobile operation there and that is in my mind for the near future !

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AfricIan

We might see you in Liuwa then @BRACQUENE, Phil was "selling it big" to us last year :)

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BRACQUENE

It is indeed one of my drea AfricIan 

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BRACQUENE

Sorry but I was to quick ; it is indeed one of my future dream safaris ,  Africlan , together with Kasanka and Bangweulu and another park that is getting well known lately Gonarezhou !

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Atravelynn
19 hours ago, BRACQUENE said:

Dear Atravelynn,

 

It was because of extended trip reports like yours about Kafue NP with some great photos , that I decided to give it a go and I don't regret it at all   ; initially the idea was to add Liuwa Plains but Tony Mc Keith made me hesitate because it was only september and november is said to be the month to go because of the wildebeest and zebra migration  : now I am regretting not to have done it for a few days ;  If you saw the costs for just a few days in Sept, not the prime time, you might have fewer regrets on not including Liuwa Plains. the only  lodge King Lewanika is very expensive  but Jeffery and Mc Keith have launched a mobile operation there and that is in my mind for the near future !  Very interested in that operation.

Did you drive or fly into Kafue from Lusaka and then drive or fly out to Livingstone?    Who arranged your transfers between camps within Kafue, besides the Musekese to Ntemwa drive?

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BRACQUENE

We flew from Lusaka to the Busanga airstrip , stayed at Ntemwa and were driven all the way back to Musekese , the Lake and Nanzilha ending in Livingstone ; the most difficult and longest road transfer is between Musekese and Itezhi -Teshi ; Busanga Safaris organized it all to perfection !
 

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BRACQUENE

Some more memories from the Kafue starting with the flight , three days in the Busanga Plains and arriving at Musekese 

 

 

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BRACQUENE

To give you all an idea of the diversity of animals in the Kafue NP and our actual sightings during 12 days , my son  Willem wrote them down in  '" A visitor's guide to Kafue National Park Zambia '' from the late Peter de Verre Moss who was a good friend of Steve Smith , owner of Nanzilha Plains Camp.

 

I will start with the larger mammals in alfabetical order :

 

Baboon , Chacma and Yellow , African Buffalo , Bushbaby ( many in the south ) , Bushbuck , African Wild Cat ( night ) Cheetah (one but what an event ! ) , Civet , Common Duiker , Eland , Elephant , Genet large spotted , Grysbok Sharpe's ( several in the south ) , Hare Scrub ,  Hartebeest Lichtenstein' s , Hippopotamus , Honey Badger ( by day ! ) , Hyrax Yellow-spotted , Impala , Jackal Side -striped , Kudu greater ,  Lechwe Red,  Leopard , Lion , Mongoose - Banded, Large Grey, Marsh, Slender, White-Tailed- , Monkey Vervet, Oribi, Porcupine , Puku,  Reedbuck, Roan, Sable, Serval , Springhare, Warthog, Waterbuck, Wildebeest Blue, Zebra.

 

Impressive  I think ( 43 out of a possible 55 !! almost a great distinction  ) although you notice we did not  see a Hyena but heard a lot at night  and also no wild dog but in Nanzilha they were seen  in august and  also take into account  there are no Giraffe , Rhino ( since 1980 ) and Tsessebe in Kafue !

 

 

 

 

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