Kasanka Bat Safari
South Luangwa and Kasanka National Parks
7 night itinerary combining
- Nkwali Camp 3 night, and
- Wasa Camp 3 nights, and
- Lusaka 1 night
Every year at the end of October thousands of “straw coloured fruit bats” congregate in the trees of the Mushitu swamp forest near the confluence of the Musola and Kasanka rivers in Kasanka National Park. The bats come to feed for a short six weeks on the abundance of seasonal fruit including wild loquat and waterberries. By mid November their numbers reach into the millions. These migrations happen in other parts of Africa, but they tend to occur in urban areas, and with the growth of cities, bat numbers seem to be on the decline. To see millions of bats dispersing at dusk against the setting sun is one of the wildlife wonders of Africa, and one that definitely shouldn’t be missed.
The safari will start at Nkwali Camp, where you will get to relish in the splendours of the Emerald Season in South Luangwa.
The Bangweulu wetlands, just north of Kasanka are one of Africa’s most spectacular wildlife secrets with over 100,000 black lechwe and the world’s most visible shoebill storks. Kasanka is famed for having over 400 bird species, as well as both the tsessebe and sitatunga species of antelope. The South Luangwa River adds to the wildlife experience with the chance to see wild dog and explore the lush, colourful landscape at this time of year.
Day 1 On arrival at Lusaka International Airport, you will be met by a representative from Tours Africa, who will assist you with your luggage and check-in for your flight to Mfuwe. Upon arrival at Mfuwe Airport you will be met by a Robin Pope Safaris representative and transferred to Nkwali Camp. The drive takes about one hour through colourful village scenes, agriculture, and bush. Nkwali Camp has a wide view of the Luangwa River - on Robin Pope Safaris’s private land, and overlooking the South Luangwa National Park. The six rooms all look out over the river and have open air bathrooms. Depending on your arrival time in the day you will enjoy a lunch looking out over the lagoon to the back of Nkwali or if in the afternoon for tea and the afternoon and night game drive.
Day 2 At dawn breakfast is served around the campfire. The porridge heated on the fire and toast cooked by the coals. The morning walk or drive will leave soon after, entering the park by boat from the camp or by road via the main gate. The game in the area is excellent – and includes many family herds of elephants and the endemic species of giraffe, the Thornicroft Giraffe. A mid morning break of tea, coffee and cake will be taken at a scenic point on a lagoon or the Luangwa River. Return to camp for lunch around mid day. After lunch you can cool off in the swimming pool or siesta. Following tea you will go out on an afternoon game drive that continues into the early night giving the chance to see the nocturnal world, returning to camp about 20.00 hrs with dinner generally at 20.30.
Day 3 Another relaxing day with morning and evening game activities. Being the last whole day you resume game activities in the morning and evening with the possibility of visiting Kawaza village as an option to meet local people and experience life in a real Zambian village. If you wish to visit then it is best to mention this when booking your holiday or with Robin Pope Safaris on arrival.
Day 4 After a relaxing breakfast, you will be transferred to the airstrip where you will meet your flight to Kasanka National Park. A beautiful scenic flight over the Luangwa River Valley and the escarpment. Upon arrival you will be transferred to Wasa Camp where you will spend the next three days amongst the glory of the bat migration.
Day 5 & 6 These days will be quite relaxed with a chance to bird-watch, spend time in the Fibwe hide to catch a glimpse of the shy sitatunga, and view all of the other fantastic species in this area such as Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, Pel’s fishing owl, etc. And of course, you can’t forget the bats! You will also have the opportunity to visit the Bangweulu Swamps for a day to see the Black Lechwe during the calving period, as well as a variety of interesting water birds.
Day 7 After breakfast you will be transferred back to the airstrip for your flight to Lusaka. Tours Africa will meet and assist you to Eight Reedbuck Hotel. You may enjoy a relaxed evening ahead of your trip back home.
Eight Reedbuck Hotel
Day 8 Today you will be transferred to Lusaka Airport for your onward connection.