Often considered to be Africa’s finest antelope reserve, western Zambia's Kafue National Park supports a wide variety of species, including roan, sable, reedbuck, defassa waterbuck, oribi, hartebeest and eland. The major carnivores here include particularly strong populations of wild dog and cheetah. Also exemplary is the bird life. Sightings of the endemic black-cheeked lovebird, wattled crane, ground hornbill and saddle-billed stork are almost guaranteed.
The park itself is larger than the state of Massachusetts. Kafue is Zambia's largest park, and it is surrounded by nine game management areas, bringing the total protected area to 16 million acres.
Building Capacity for Protected Areas
Zambia boasts one of the largest protected-area systems in Africa, with more than 35 percent of its lands designated as national parks or other special management areas. But the country struggles to provide adequate resources to manage these conservation areas.
The Conservancy is focusing initially around Kafue National Park, aiming to strengthen management across this ecosystem through the following actions:
- Piloting models of successful community-led conservation models in a few communities and sharing lessons-learned from similar programs in Kenya, Namibia and Tanzania
- Training our conservation partners and local people in conservation planning and protected-area management
- Bolstering anti-poaching security, including hiring and equipping wildlife scouts and rangers
- Implementing alternative fire management plans that mimic natural burn patterns
- Reducing threats from new tourism and agricultural development
- Working with partners to protect lands adjacent to the parks and maintain intact wildlife travel corridors
- Improving park infrastructure such as ranger housing, communications networks, roads and culverts, and safe water sources
Getting It Right Starts Today
Human well-being is inextricably tied to the health of natural systems. If these systems unravel, their health — and ours — will decline. Together, we can foster a new approach to conserving our world’s natural resources, and people and wildlife in Kafue National Park and other parts of Zambia can continue to be nourished by this natural resource.