KASANKA NATIONAL PARK
Kasanka National Park is home to the largest bat migration in the world. It is also famous for Zambia’s black lechwe and sitatunga.
Some photos courtesy of the Kasanka website
Kasanka is a small park of 420 sq km. It is open throughout the year but during the rainy season some of the roads get a bit boggy, so ask for road conditions if you travel between November and May.
The park has been managed, since 1990, between the Kasanka Trust, the Zambian government and the community. This was the first park in Zambia to become a public-private partnership and has become a model for wildlife conservation in Zambia.
The park is mostly flat with rivers on its borders; marshes and small lakes within. Most of the landscape is open forest, known as miombo, with thick forests along the rivers. The tallest tree in the park is near the Bufumu campsite and is within the bufumu forest. Bufumu is the local name for the Wooden Banana (Entandrophragma caudatum). Another tree, the Wild loquat (Oxyanthus speciosus) is a big attraction for the bats.
Kasanka is another watery world so sitatunga love it. Other antelopes include sable, puku, reedbuck and bushbuck. Two specials are the Kinda baboon and the blue monkey. Also living in the area are elephant and hartebeest.
The biggest attraction is the bat migration. The bats start to arrive as early as September, staying in the park until December. This is the largest mammal migration in the world with over 5 million bats arriving.
There is a bird list of over 400 species and as the park has plenty of water, there are many waterbirds – storks, geese, ducks and cranes. The Shoebill stork is not found in the park but Kasanka is organising a day trip to see them in Bangweulu. For a bird list compiled by Pete Leonard for Birdwatch Zambia CLICK HERE
Birding and batting (?) have to be the main reason for visiting Kasanka. Walking or canoeing is encouraged. The guides in Kasanka can take visitors on a short or a long walk. Canoeing is along the Luwomba River. Walking and canoeing can be combined in one of Kasanka’s packages.
Citizens K25 per person per day
Residents and SADC Nationals US$7 per person per day
International US$10 per person per day
Vehicle (Under 3 tonnes)
Local K25.50 per vehicle per day
International US$15 per vehicle per day
The Kasanka Trust was established in 1987 with the sole aim of saving Kasanka National Park. By 1990 they had persuaded ZamParks to join them in the management of the park and together they worked to protect the remaining wildlife and the habitat which supports them. This dual arrangement of ZamParks and an NGO was a first for Zambia but it heralded a way forward for the Zambian government to protect wildlife estates.
To find out more:
The north of Zambia is a destination for lovers of the open road. It is home to Bangweulu Wetlands, Kasanka National Park, North Luangwa National Park, Nsumbu National Park, Lavushi Manda National Park, heaps of waterfalls, Mutinondo Wilderness and Shiwa Ngandu as well as rock art and the Moto Moto Museum.
Although accessible by scheduled flights to Kasama and charter flights between main destinations, most of our visitors love to take to the road and explore.
To see an overview of what is available in north-eastern Zambia, click on the link below