Kafue National Park, Kafue and western Zambia, Zambia
At a Glance
Explore the vastness of the Busanga Plains in the remote northern sector of the Kafue National Park
Busanga Plains is the best place in Zambia to find the elusive cheetah
Stay in one of Zambia's most luxurious lodges in this pristine area
Relax around the refreshing plunge pool in the heat of the day
Head out early to find the famous "tree-climbing lions" of Busanga!
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Shumba Camp is closed seasonally between 01 December and 31 May.
Zambia has a moderate to sub-tropical climate with three distinct seasons: from November to March is the Emerald, or the rainy season, April to July is Zambia's winter, when the weather is cool and dry, and August to October is summer, when the weather is hot and dry. In terms of game-viewing, the drier months, meaning a higher concentration of game at the permanent water sources, are a superb time to visit. Alternatively come for some superb bird-watching at the end of the rains.
Call us on to start planning your vacation to Shumba Camp or take a look at our itineraries to Kafue and western Zambia
Shumba Camp is located in the heart of the wildlife paradise of the Busanga Plains, in Kafue National Park, Zambia. Placed on the edge of a 'tree island', Shumba Camp, has six tented rooms and offers lovely views as well as great game viewing.
The Busanga Plains are one of Zambia’s most significant wetland resources and one of the few areas in the world untouched by development and human activity. The plains are home to a wealth of game and therefore a big attraction to predators - including wild dog, cheetah and prides of lion.
The seasonal camp is designed to blend in with the environment and natural materials have been used as much as possible, to great effect. The six luxury rooms have spacious interiors with all the modern conveniences one could ever want or need. Tents and the main area are all shaded by a canopy of majestic fig trees, on raised wooden platforms to enhance the panoramic view across the plains. Gentle, muted colors of aqua and sand characterize the main area, comprising a lounge, dining area, camp fire and small pool under a shady tree.
The guides are famously knowledgeable and take guests on game drives in and around the plains; night drives offer the added excitement of the nocturnal wonders of the area. This camp is perfectly situated to see the antelope that make the Plains their home: lechwe, the ubiquitous puku, stately roan antelope, as well as the diminutive oribi. Herds of wildebeest, zebra and buffalo are all commonly seen, as well as smaller groups of Lichtenstein's hartebeest. This wealth of game is also a big attraction for predators, including wild dog, cheetah and prides of lion. A birder's special, the Böhm's Bee-eater, can be seen in the parking area of the camp!
The accommodation is in just six tents which are all shaded by a canopy of majestic trees. They are on raised wooden platforms to enhance the panoramic view across the plains; each tent is thoughtfully designed with a large living area and separate bedroom area; the bathrooms are spacious with indoor and outdoor showers and twin basins.
There are no specific child care facilities and the camp has a minimum age of 8 years. Meal times and food can easily be adjusted to suit younger guests needs. Parents should be aware that this is the bush, the camp is in the middle of the Busanga Plains and is not fenced in, so animals do roam freely past. Children must be 12 years or older to participate in walking safaris.
The main area comprises a lounge, dining area, camp fire and a small plunge pool under towering shade trees. The central area is raised up and shaded by three enormous fig trees, to give relief during the hotter months. In the main area is a bar, a reference library and the dining area, as well as a very comfortable lounge. Unusually, the camp has folding glass doors which can be closed if the weather is inclement. Surrounding this is a huge, split-level deck complete with a sunken cushioned seating area around a central camp fire. The camp also has a swimming pool and a small souvenir shop which sells local crafts.
Activities from Shumba all revolve around the amazing game that can be spotted from camp. Guests have the option of guided game drives including night drives and also specific birding trips. Walking safaris are also an option where guests get the chance to explore the smaller signs of the bush, and will learn about tracks and spoor; although these tend to be shorter and taken closer to camp. The camp also has a revolutionary swamp boat, which can travel in very shallow water meaning that at the start of the season, when many routes are impassable, game activities can still be taken.
Anna Devereux Baker (Staff)
Shumba Camp is in a spectacular location - the little-known Busanga Plains, teeming with lion and plains game. One morning we headed out very early to find the lions we had heard calling overnight. We found three lionesses - aptly named "The Darling Girls" - vocally greeting each other and indulging in lots of head-rubbing and nuzzling, before they all headed off in the same direction, with a sense of purpose. We followed them and watched as they surrounded a herd of lechwe, two on one side and one on the other. As we watched, the lone lioness stood up and started trotting forward, showing herself in clear view and prompting a panicked reaction from the lechwe, who all bolted in the opposite direction - straight into the two other lioness who were hiding in ambush in the long grass. An exciting moment!
Off the Beaten Track Zambia
Livingstone, Liuwa Plain National Park & Kafue National Park, Zambia
from $9900 pp 9 nights
- Stay in the only permanent camp in Liuwa Plain National Park.
- Enjoy the open plains of both Liuwa and Kafue for some incredible photo opportunities.
- Experience exclusive game experiences where other vehicles will be rarely, if ever, seen.
Location & directions
Kafue National Park, Kafue and western Zambia, Zambia
Shumba Camp is situated in the north-west corner of the vast Busanga Plains of Kafue National Park in Central Zambia. Surrounded by open floodplains dotted with palm and fig tree-filled islands.
How to get there
From the UK a 10-hour international flight to Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, Lusaka. From there, a small plane goes to the Busanga airstrip, and then it is an exciting helicopter transfer straight into Shumba.