The Kasanka National Park Annual Bat Migration
Your safari starts and ends in Lusaka, Zambia.
The Kasanka National Park annual bat migration is a unique spectacle. The number of bats, mammals too, surpasses the Wildebeest and Zebra migration in numbers.
With a rich diversity of animal, bird and plant life including several rare species such as Sitatunga, Wattled Crane, Ross’s Lourie and Blue Monkeys. Kasanka is also host to a unique and spectacular congregation of several Million Straw-Colored Fruit bats – one of the reasons for this adventure!
We will also embark on a two-day adventure into the swamp system of Lake Waka Waka. The Bangweulu Wetlands of Lavushi Manda National Park are ideal habitat for Shoebill. Accompanied by expert guides we endeavor to locate these elusive and shy birds.
This peaceful sanctuary, situated on the south western edge of the Lake Bangweulu basin, is one of Zambia’s smallest national parks. It’s 450 km2 and it supports a uniquely wide range of animals and abundant birds and fish.
Do not expect to see large herds of animals round every corner, but it is surely one of the most picturesque parks in Zambia with superb bird life.
About ten years ago Kasanka was in danger of becoming yet another defunct national park due to rampant poaching. David Lloyd, a British expatriate, visited the Park in 1985 and heard the crack of gunshots. He concluded that if there was still poaching there must still be animals and set out to save the Park from depletion.
He teamed up with a local farmer, sought funding, and with much of their own resources applied for official permission to rehabilitate the Park. They built tourist camps, roads and bridges and set up the Kasanka Trust to raise funds for this community based project. Slowly it began to earn a little money from tourists to help cover costs.
Three years later the National Parks and Wildlife Services Department were sufficiently impressed. They signed a 10 year agreement with the Trust allowing full management of the Park in conjunction with National Parks & Wildlife Services.
Consult our travel advice for your Zambia safari. Please read our 4X4 Safari Terms and Conditions.
For more information on Kasanka National Park visit the Kasanka Trust site.
If you’re looking for more adventure in your safari to Africa then have a look at our 7, 10 and 14 day Kafue Explorer safaris.
Kafue National Park is also a very good option for your safari to Africa, have a look at some of the camps there such as Shumba, Busanga Bush Camp or join the brothers for walking safari’s at Musekese or Ntemwa Busanga.
How to Get There
You can fly directly into Lusaka with either Emirates, Ethiopian Airways, Kenya Airways or South African Airways.
On arrival in Lusaka a driver/guide will be waiting for you in arrivals, he will have a small board bearing your name.
For assistance with flights and domestic arrangements in Lusaka, Contact Us for travel advice.
BLD – Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner
Day 1 – Arrive Lusaka
Arrive Lusaka International Airport, you will be met and transferred to your accommodation for the night. Once you have all arrived Pierre will meet you at the guest house and go over the following days itinerary. (D)
Day 2 – Wasa Lodge
Departing Lusaka early we head Northeast for the Maluashi Gate of Kasanka National Park. Due to the distance travelled today our first nights’ meal will be a traditional dinner prepared by the lodge staff and we will be accommodated in the lodge chalets (included in the tour cost). Set on the banks of a large lagoon it offers fantastic viewing of Puku, Hippo and other species as well as being close to the Mushitu (swamp forest). (BLD)
Day 3 & 4 – Pontoon Camp
Our first morning will be spent relaxing in front of the lodge in the forest taking in the millions of bats as well as a host of other bird species. Sunrise & sunset are the best times to view the bats as they take flight in the mornings or return to roost in the evenings after a full day of feeding. There is a Bat Hide set at tree top height giving you the best view. This campsite is situated in an evergreen forest overlooking a swamp clearing favored by Sitatunga, it is close to the Bat hide & Fibwe hide. We will spend 2 nights here with local guides taking us on specialized excursions looking for bats, birds & mammals. To fully appreciate everything this park has to offer local guides are essential, we support the local communities & get the most out of the experience. (BLD)
Day 5 & 6 – Bufumu Forest
Today we will do some exploring of Kasanka National Park as we make our way towards the North West section of the park & the “Tall Tree”. This is a remote area of the park and supports impressive diversities of wildlife. A 14-meter-tall canopy tower overlooks the Mateshe offering impressive views & excellent birding. With 2 nights here, there is time to relax, enjoy the scenery, do some walking with one of the guides & enjoy the solitude of the African bush. (BLD)
Day 7 & 8 – Kabwe Camp
Today we will move a short distance to another campsite on the banks of a river to Kabwe. This camp offers a quiet haven with a beautiful setting overlooking a lovely grassland. Located midway between the Bat Forest and Bufumu Forest allows for a complete mix of wildlife and birding experiences. (BLD)
Day 9 & 10 – Bangweulu Swamps
Departing Kabwe early and exiting the park we will have a short drive into Lavushi Manda National Park and the world-famous Bangweulu Wetlands. Here there is a dedicated Shoebill camp close to where we embark the boats to search for the birds. Met by expert guides who will assist us in locating these birds. We will plan the trip carefully to ensure we have the best chance of good sightings over the next 2 days. (BLD)
Day 11 – Depart Bangweulu for Lusaka
With a sad heart and an early start we game drive back to the gate & begin our return journey to Lusaka. Passing a small corner of the Democratic Republic of Congo we will refuel in Mposhi & continue South West towards Lusaka, our final destination of this tour. Few people ever witness this spectacular migration and you will be taking some incredible memories and photographs back home with you. We will drop you back at the guest house this evening in time for dinner. (BLD)
- Meet and transfer from Lusaka airport to your guest house
- One night’s accommodation in Lusaka prior to the tour departure as well as a one night’s accommodation at the end of the tour
- All fuel and vehicle costs – includes your bedding & roof top tent
- Safe, clean, drinking water for the duration of the tour
- All meals (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner while on tour) produced by your private chef
- All camping site costs
- Park Fees’ for 10 days in Kasanka and Lavushi Manda National Parks
- Wasa Lodge (DBB) for the first night in Kasanka
- Selected South African wine at dinner (2 glasses per person per night, red or white wine)
- After dinner liqueur (Double tot of Amarula)
- All guiding & driving by professional guides & 4X4 experts
- Camp set-up & dismantling of equipment each morning & evening (a local camp manager is employed for this)
- Satellite phone – medical emergencies only.
- Charging facility for camera batteries
- Your own private guide, making this an incredibly personal experience
- Mosquito repellant
- Pre-dinner snacks with sundowners
- A head torch – to be returned at the end of the tour
Optional Activities on tour:
- Guided Bat Experience walks with a dedicated guide
- A guided bird walk
- A “Cats and Nocturnals” guided night drive
- Shoebill Trek : guided adventure
- Banana Boat Cruise
- Personal travel insurance
- Local and international flights
- Any additional or optional activities not listed above
- Any items of a personal nature
- Gratuities of any kind
- Malaria medication – please consult your Doctor.
- Any drinks over and above the wines included at dinner.