BANGWEULU WETLANDS

Bangweulu Wetlands is part of a Game Management Area between Lavushi Manda and Lakes Walilupi and Bangweulu.  It is a floodplain with much of the area covered in water during the rainy season.  Like most GMAs the area is also occupied by villages and farms.  African Parks Foundation came in to help the people to manage their environmental resource in 2008.

The area has been made famous for the shoebill storks which inhabit the area, nesting in the papyrus swamps.  But the main reason for setting aside this area for conservation is the black lechwe, an endemic species of lechwe, only resident in this part of Zambia.

Bangweulu is a Ramsar Site, a Wetland of International Importance and an Important Bird Area.

Map
Accommodation

Near Chiundaponde, Nkondo is a tented camp with 6 ensuite tents.  It is self-catering with a communal kitchen.

The community also offer a homestay where visitors can stay in a traditional village near Chiundaponde.

Nsobe is the campsite within the area.

There is also a campsite at Lake Waka Waka if you travel that route.

The Wild Stuff

Being floodplain there are vast areas of grassland with islands of woodland.  The Lukulu River runs through the area, edged with swamps and is the lifeline for the animals and birds during the dry season.

Animals include black lechwe, sitatunga, tsessebe, reedbuck, duiker, oribi, zebra, elephant and buffalo.  Predators are side-striped jackal, leopard, hyena, civet and genet.

The birds include many waterbirds – flamingos, pelicans, spoonbills, ducks, geese, cranes and storks.  The number of species recorded is over 430.

Getting There

By Air: Charter flights bring visitors to Chiundaponde or to Chikuni.

By Road: The route map shows the road to Bangweulu from Mkushi on the Great North Road.  There are two routes.  The first one is the most direct but is for the dry season only (May-October).  The other route is via Lavushi Manda National Park which is an all-year-round road.  The plan is to get to Chiundaponde.  Chiundaponde used to be the headquarters of a massive wildlife estate which included Kasanka, Lavushi Manda and Isangano during the days of Northern Rhodesia.

From Chiundaponde, the road goes over the Lutimala River with a left turn shortly after.  From there it is around 45 km to Nsobe.  The road passes through many villages along the way.  The homesteads end a short distance after Muwele Village.

 

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