African Parks to run Kafue National Park for 20 years


The Zambian Government and African Parks have announced the signing of a 20- year-agreement for the Kafue National Park, one of Africa’s ten largest national parks.

According to a news statement, the new partnership will deliver greater investment in all aspects of Kafue’s park management, to realise its exceptional value to biodiversity, socio-economic development and the people of Zambia.

The agreement follows the successful conclusion of a 16-month Priority Support Plan (PSP), initiated in February 2021 by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) and African Parks, to provide technical and financial support for Kafue.

Funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery’s Dream Fund grant, and supported by The Nature Conservancy and the Elephant Crisis Fund, the PSP has been central to concluding this momentous full-term mandate.

Speaking during the event in Lusaka, Ministry of Tourism Permanent Secretary Evans Muhanga stated, “Following nearly two decades of collaborating with African Parks, the Government of Zambia is confident that this partnership will protect Kafue’s valuable landscape for the benefit of the country. This is a new and exciting chapter for Kafue National Park and we look forward to the socio-economic development and other opportunities that come from expanding sustainable tourism through effective park and wildlife management. We also greatly appreciate the support provided by the Dutch Postcode Lottery for this project.”

Through the PSP, African Parks has laid the foundation for the ongoing development and management of Kafue.

During this period US$3.6 million was invested into park infrastructure and operations, including: the construction of a new law enforcement centre; rehabilitation of existing infrastructure at Chunga and Ngoma; grading of 2000 km of roads; aerial support to law enforcement operations with both helicopter and fixed wing; completion of an aerial census for the entire landscape; and the creation of 150 permanent jobs.

It also included US$800 000 in law enforcement salaries, which were reimbursed to the Government of Zambia.

The new agreement provides a full mandate to implement a holistic management plan, including a continuation of the work set out in the PSP.

Priorities for 2022 include further upgrades of roads to improve visitor access, development of community facilities and projects, an upgraded communications network and the operationalisation of the state-of-the-art law enforcement centre.

African Parks’ CEO, Peter Fearnhead said: “Through the conclusion of this management partnership, the Zambian Government sets in motion the process to fully restore Kafue as one of Africa’s greatest conservation areas. In addition to investing in Kafue’s exceptional landscape and the conservation of its biodiversity, it also enhances Kafue’s value for communities and its economic contribution to the country.”

Spanning 22,400 km2, Kafue National Park is situated in the world’s largest transfrontier conservation area, the Kavango Zambezi (KAZA TFCA), which straddles five countries – Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The park is amongst the world’s most important natural heritage sites and an essential water source for the region.

One of the last vast expanses of the iconic Zambezian ecoregion, and home to elephant, large predators, 21 species of antelope and 515 bird species, Kafue holds potential to become one of Africa’s most exceptional tourist destinations.

The Government of Zambia first partnered with African Parks in 2003 in Liuwa Plain National Park and subsequently in 2008 in Bangweulu Wetlands.

Kafue National Park is the 20th park to join African Parks’ portfolio.

This is made possible by the Dutch Postcode Lottery’s Dream Fund grant, a 16.9 million Euro contribution awarded to the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), Peace Parks Foundation and African Parks to assist KAZA partner states in securing the TFCA through integrated initiatives. The long-term mandate will continue to be supported by the Dutch Postcode Lottery’s Dream Fund.


  1. Its a shame that we are failing to run our NPs …Kafue NP is one of the most heavily poached parks in the country and encrochment is also widespread. Africa Parks has done a good job in Luiwa Plains and Bangwelu. Its shame we can not have national lottery fund such projects like the Dutch.

    • Because we spend our time discussing useless topics like why the Swedish embassy put up a gay flag…. this because a national topic.
      Zambia needs to be colonized again for it to develop

    •  TheEngineer

      Exactly right………..

      Some people are really shameless.

      Very good at waisting time on trivial matters while things are falling apart around them…………

    • It’s the size of the state of Israel, how can one even police it? It’s proximity to Lusaka could make it Zambia’s Kruger.

  2. African parks is not the savior that they pretend to be , for example Luiwa plains HAS Their OWN CAMPS AND THEY KICKED OUT OTHERS THEY ALSO NOW ISSUE LEASES to their business partners and they are expensive , for a Zambian to see his own park is now very expensive, i can understand a JV with Zambian parks and Wildlife that AP controls anti poaching, road up keep but let the leasing of camps and entry fees to Zambia Parks and Wildlife.

    • I didn’t know about that side of the lease agreement…so in that 20 years they can literally kick everyone out and set up exclusive camp sites pricing out local visitors.

    • If thats the case its a near equivalent to colonisation. Are we keeping count of our wildlife in there? Can the New Dawn shine some light on this topic. This is a multi million dollar industry we have neglected. Just ask Rwanda the cash its bringing into Kigali. And Kagame has been very tactful about marketing Rwanda in Europe. Rwanda is present everywhere targeting soccer fans, travellers etc. We surely have to learn something from them

  3. My only comment is that if African Parks has partnered with GRZ before, where are the fruits of that partnership at Liuwa and Bangweulu? In Rwanda, it costs $1,500 for one hour to see the silver back gorillas. The Rwandese people themselves pay less but it is still beyond their rich. Native Africans are being slowly segregated against from their own game parks, just like they were segregated against from their own mines.

    • They did it in Malawi (Koto Koto np) and in Bangweulu Wetlands Zambia , they took over Shoebill lodge kicked the former owner out and of course there was that missing herd of animals that popped up with LUNGU and his friends from there. This African Parks group is a real estate group and have a lot of hunting concessions about 22% of the total land of Zambia is now under their control. check their website on how much profit they made and how much the govt of Zambia got. they claim they spent $3.6 million US on 22.4 km2 of land they have not said how much more they are going to spend and they show no long term budget. Cheap price for land less than a kwacha per hectare .

    • Spaka – handles them how when agreement has been signed…the problem is we wait till contracts have been signed then we make noise.

  4. Iwe chi COSMOS: yes they are very expensive and you pay. You want them to charge cheaply – for who? your father? If you yourself you think the fees are too high, in this GRZ the first bids are given to Zambians first(jst as was with the ZESCO pole tender), so you can maybe your wife can simply come bid for this tender and promise that the number of animals in these parks will increanse cos when these boers manage the parks, we see that increase and protection of animals. The human side will always pay badly are these are racists. But no option but educated fools like Cosmos cant save enough money to run the parks on our behalf but busy here on Lusaka times flashing useless Degrees.

  5. This is nonsense. It’s listed as an NGO and it doesn’t pay any taxes. It’s a South African company and now they will begin leasing the parks to South African companies to establish the hunting blocks and they will certainly advertise this park as a package for South Africa.
    For those who don’t know, our falls is a package tour for South African companies. And now we give away this park.
    Take time, ask yourself why this company has interest in our park.

  6. The ignorance exhibited on the wonderful works Africa Parks has done in Zambia and what they will do to improve security of our animals and infrastructure is beyond measure, this is almost a charitable organization which is not benefitting anything out of the colossal monies they are putting in. Learn to research before commenting, its just bwetu bwetu all the time

  7. This is sad development.. 50 years after independence we are still inviting and giving our resources away.. What is wrong with us… This is totally pathetic and lazy way of making our natural resources… Why are we so good at selling things instead of developing them… 20 years of lost control

    • As someone has stated.. .we spend our time debating useless things just look at few comments on this thread.

  8. All the answers about AP is on their website africanparks org their HQ is in the US with a reginal office in Joburg and a un named office in Lusaka all the heads are White from outside of Zambia, as mentioned they pay no ZRA tax or import duty they spent $800000 on equipment a new land cruiser is 100,000 these days and they are holding more land than Israel or Wales. what’s Zambia really getting out of this. their turnover is less than what the Sun hotel in Livingstone turns over but one camp in the plains is $USD 1400 night all the answers are in the web site. they claim all this funding but not much get on the ground. wake up Zambia , as i said before they can do the anti poaching and road maintenance but the rest is for ZNPWS to manage.

  9. This is very shameful, that 57 years After independence, we can’t run our own parks, but instead rely on foreigners to come run them for us. And those of you saying African Parks is doing this for free, you must be very naïve. There’s nothing for free. Obviously they make money off of running these parks. Again it’s a shame that we can’t run our own stuff. What are we going to ask foreigners to come run for us next? We might as well ask them to come colonize us again. What a shame.

  10. So Cosmos what do you think about the work AP did in Zakouma (Chad), Majete (Malawi) and Akagera (Rwanda)? You can clearly see that these parks flourish under the management of AP. The whole problem is that the governments of these countries weren’t able to control and manage their own parks. The animals in the parks and people in the surrounding communities profit directly from AP work. Curious why you think their work is wrong.

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