THE KAFUE RIVER
The Kafue River plays a large role in Zambia’s ecosystem. It is a major tributary to the Zambezi and the largest and longest river lying entirely within Zambia, clocking in at over 1 576km / 979mi long. 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 channels and mighty rapids. The streams that feed it 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 and Kafue Rivers flow into Lake Itezhi-Tezhi in an area that covers 370km² / 230mi² of serene water. The area is great for wildlife enthusiasts, anglers and boating fans.
The river follows a course of approximately 960km / 597mi. 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 wildlife and birds found around its banks. The river rises on the Democratic Republic of Congo-Zambia border and then makes its way southward before turning west near the Lukanga Swamp. From here, it continues south and then east through the Kafue Gorge and the Kafue Flats. It then joins the famous Zambezi near Chirundu in Zimbabwe. The river runs through the extensive Kafue National Park where it is a source of water for an abundance of wild animals, roughly dissecting the park creating a north and south separation.