Getting there (4WD)
You really need a high-clearance 4WD for any of these routes. You'll have problems on all of them during the rains, although the Lunga-Lubungu road, or anything close to the Busanga Plains, is likely to be impassable between about November and July.
Driving from Kasempa in the north
See the detailed directions earlier in this chapter under Kasempa – Getting there and away for directions to the Kabanga Scout Post (GPS: KABANG), which is effectively the only park entrance gate to serve the northeast corner of the park. Kabanga is the easiest way to enter the park from the north, and from there a track proceeds southwards into the park keeping on the east bank of the Ntemwa River until around the (old) site of Moshi Camp (GPS: MOSHI).
From the Lusaka–Mongu road
From Lusaka, Mumbwa has the last fuel station before you reach the park. If you are driving into the north of the park, then you're probably heading in the direction of either Kafwala or Lufupa. In this case the route is very easy: simply turn north off the main road at the scout gate beside the Kafue's west bank, just beyond the Hook Bridge (GPS: HOOKBR).
From here the track (GPS: KAFTUR) heads northeast through the heart of the park for about 44km, where a right turn leads east to Kafwala Camp. Continuing roughly northeast for about a further 26km will lead you to Lufupa (GPS: LUFUPA). In the dry season it's basically a good track, fine for a 2WD with high clearance, though designed more for game viewing than speed. In the wet it is impassable due to the toffee-like consistency of the black-cotton soil.
Apart from possibly the river, this track is the main artery through northern Kafue, and will take you on to Moshi, where the road splits. The right fork heads to the Kabanga South Post (GPS: KABANG), whilst the left passes Ntemwa and continues to the Busanga Plains.
From the Lusaka–Mongu road to the Lubungu pontoon
See Mumbwa – Getting there and away
for more details of this routes on the northeast side of the park.
From the Lubunga pontoon to the Lunga pontoon
Although the road between the pontoons over at Lubungu and Lunga is barely 70km long, it is certainly one of the slowest and most unpleasant tracks in the country. It's a drive that's known for reducing the hardest of 'Bushmen' to tears of frustration! One very experienced old hand commented: 'I always called this one the “road of death” because I have spent many days broken down and... well... just broken on it.' It's impassable during the rains, and exceedingly slow going when dry.
Starting at the Lubungu pontoon (GPS: LUBUNG); it's about 2.5km north to the right turning (GPS: TULEOP) to leopard lodge. about 6.5km beyond that is another turning (GPS: TUCHAM) on the right which leads to Chamafumba camp. Both of these are on the north bank of the river, upstream from the pontoon.
From this second turning, it's fractionally over 30km to the Lupemba Scout Post, and a crossing (GPS: LUPEMB) of the Lupemba River. A further 15km on there's another small bridge over another river at (GPS: SBRIDG – and then there's a final 16km stretch before you finally reach the Lunga pontoon (GPS: FERRYL), north of which the track is in much better shape as far as Kasempa.
The 70km which I've so swiftly described above is unlikely to take you less than eight hours, and you'd be exceedingly foolish to try it with less than two very sturdy vehicles. See Kasempa – Getting there and getting away
for more details of the track north of the Lunga pontoon.