Named after the Kafue River, this reserve is the largest national park in Zambia and the second largest in all of Africa. While its size is impressive, the diversity of species in this park is what draws wildlife tourists to Kafue. Sure, it’s possible to spot the Big Five in the plains of this massive reserve, but the more unique sitatunga, lechwe, and yellow-backed duiker—all members of the antelope family—graze in nearby swamplands. Evening game drives and afternoon river cruises offer visitors a rare opportunity to see elusive leopards descend from treetops. And travelers here are even likely to spot a pack of the highly sought after wild dogs.
It’s best to visit the park between June and October. Dry weather makes animals easier to spot and all roads are readily accessible. Visits during the “green season” or rainy months are possible, but arrangements must be made with special outfits or safari lodges open 12 months a year.