The continent of Africa is known for its vast wilderness teeming with exotic species of animals. In Southern Africa, one great site to observe the wildlife in their natural habitat is Blue Lagoon National Park in Central Province, Zambia.
Blue Lagoon National Park is located in the northern portion of the Kafue Flats in the Central Province of the Republic of Zambia. Covering around 500 square kilometers, it is approximately 100 kilometers (120 kilometers by road) west of Zambia’s capital, Lusaka. To get to the park, take the Mumbwa-Mongu road from Lusaka, then 27 kilometers on, turn left at the sign that says “Nampundwe Konkola Coppermine,” which is situated opposite to the Farmer’s Supermarket. The road will eventually lead up to a sign on the left that says “Blue Lagoon National Park – Nakenda Lodge.” Drive for 7 kilometers until one reaches the entrance gate, and drive in until one comes up to the old farmhouse.
What to See There
The vast flood plain of Blue Lagoon National Park draws herds of exotic animals and flocks of aquatic birds, making it a prime spot for safari and birdwatching. A particular animal that is present in these parts is the Lechwe, a species of antelope that commonly dwell in marshy areas. Blue Lagoon, together with Lochinvar National Park located in the south side of the Kafue Flats, are said to have the biggest concentrations of Kafue Lechwe, with an estimated number of more than 3,000 of these animals. Other estimated animal populations include approximately 200 Cape Buffaloes and more than 3,000 Zebras, as well as other antelope species such as Oribi, Kudu, and the Sitatunga or Marshbuck. The predators in the area include Hyenas, Servals, and River Pythons.
Blue Lagoon National Park was established over 40 years ago by a retired British colonel named Critchley, along with his wife Erica. The environmentally oriented Critchleys eventually sold their property to the National Parks Department. The old Critchley farmhouse remains a part of the park as its reception. Blue Lagoon would achieve the status of national park in 1973.
There are presently no organized safaris at Blue Lagoon National Park; hence the only choice for accommodation would be the through any of the 4 chalets at the park’s entrance, or one can set up camp down an abandoned campsite at the edge of the water. Also, since most of Blue Lagoon National Park is a flood plain, it is best to visit the park during the dry season, from the months of April to October.