The Kafue River

T
he Kafue River plays a large role in Zambia’s eco- system. It is a major tributary to the Zambezi River and is the largest and longest river lying entirely within Zambia. Other tributaries include the Lufupa and Lunga rivers in the north, the Musa and the Luansanza in the centre and the Nanzhila in the south. Its course changes between slow flowing reaches to fast swift channels and mighty rapids. The streams which feed the river often have sandy banks which are perfect nesting sites for bee-eaters while the sandy shores are often occupied by hippos, crocodiles, otters and water monitors. Both the Musa River and the Kafue River flow into Lake Itezhi- Tezhi in an area that covers 370 square kilometres of serene water. The area is great for wildlife enthusiasts, fisherman and boating- fans.

Route

The river follows a course of approximately 960 kilometres. It is one of the most prominent rivers in Zambia as its water is used for irrigation as well as hydroelectric power. It also breathes life into its surroundings with an abundance of life found around its banks. The river rises on the Congo/ Zambia border and then makes its way southward before turning west near the Lukanga Swamp. From here the river continues south and then east through the Kafue Gorge and the Kafue Flats. It then joins the famous Zambezi River near Chirundu in Zimbabwe. The river runs through the extensive Kafue National Park where it is a source of life for an abundance of wild animals. The river roughly dissects the park creating a north and south separation.