Kafue River – One of The Mighty Zambezi River Tributary!

Source of The River

The source of the Kafue River is at the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, about 120 km north-west of Chingola.


The river starts as a trickle from the marshy dambos. After flowing for a long distance of about 960 km, it joins the Zambezi River near Chirundu town.

Kafue RiverThe Kafue River flowing towards the Kafue Gorge Power Station

The River Basin

The river drains a total basin of about 155,000 square kilometers. This covers the land from near the Democratic Republic of Congo, all the way to the west of Lusaka. The area is sparsely populated. In some places there are seasonal floodplains. The basin supports a variety of bird life and game.

A lifeline

The Basin of River contains Kafue National Park. The waters of the River are used for irrigation and hydroelectric power such as the Kafue Gorge Power Station. It is a major tributary of the Zambezi River and of course it is one of Zambia’s principal rivers.

It flows 20 km west of the Lukanga swamp. The Lukanga swamp is a wetland in the Central Province of Zambia. The swamp is about 50 km west of Kabwe.

The River passes close to the Copperbelt towns of Chililabombwe, Chingola, Mufulira and it flows along Kitwe’s outskirts.

Kafue National Park

As the river continues south-west, it enters the Kafue National Park, the second largest park in Africa. The Park is in the central-western of Zambia near Lusaka and the Copperbelt. This is where; it receives its two largest tributaries, the Lunga and Lufupa Rivers.

The Kafue passes the southeast edge of the Busanga Plain, one of Africa’s premier wildlife areas. It is another Zambia’s wetland areas.

Itezhi-Tezhi

The Kafue also passes the Itezi-Tezhi Gap where you find the Itezhi-Tezhi Dam which was built in 1977 and forms a reservoir 50km long and 10 km wide.

Kafue Flats

As the river flows to the east, it passes across a flat plain called the Kafue Flats. The Lochinvar and Blue Lagoon National Parks have been established on the flats where you find thousands of Kafue Lechwe and one of the greatest varieties of birds in the world.

Kafue Gorge Power Station

On its journey towards Kafue town, it drops 550 m over 60 km through the Kafue Gorge. This is the place you be hold the Kafue Gorge Dam which at the moment is the largest electricity generating power station in Zambia.

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