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Kasanka National Park

Kasanka National Park is located in the south of the Bangweulu wetlands in Serenje district in central province in Zambia. It is the smallest national park and a rich sanctuary of wildlife, birdlife, flora and fauna.

This park is known for the largest bat migration in the world. Between November and December every year between 8 to 10 million fruit bats set abode in the Kasanka National Park. The bats actually come into the Mushitu swamp forest of the national park because of the abundance of a variety of wild fruits. Contrary to a popular myth, the bats feed on fruits and not human blood.

Kasanka National Park is a blissfully peaceful and thriving place that sustains a diverse spectrum of flora and fauna, rare species and common ones alike. Due to its size it is easier to spot animals such as the shy swamp dwelling Sitatunga antelope which can be seen at dawn from a quaint tree-top lookout, however, large herds of animals are a rare occurrence around these parts. Other inhabitants of the park include warthogs, bush pigs, elephants, and duikers, which can be seen trotting around the floodplains; splashing water as they move.

Aside from land animals, the park has over 420 species of birds making Kasanka the ideal destination for avid bird watchers. Top on every bird watcher’s must see list should be the rare prehistoric looking Shoebill stork, whose unique appearance will make for an odd yet lovely addition to any list.

Kasanka’s abundant water resources mean that there are ample opportunities for sport fishing marine giants such as the tiger fish (officially recognized by the International Game Fishing Association as a game fish), bream and barbell. Boats are conveniently available for hire if you are up for some fishing.

Kasanka National Park is located south of Lake Bangweulu and is richly endowed with an abundance of rivers, lakes, wetlands, forests, lagoons meadows and dambos that sustain a diverse spectrum of land, air and marine life within the park.

When to Visit

Kasanka is open all year round. October to December is not to be missed when the bat migration occurs. Birding is especially good in the wet season from November to March when migrants arrive from the north but game viewing is best in the dry months from May to October.

GETTING THERE

By road

Kasanka lies off the Serenje-Samfya tarmac road in Central Province. Driving times from either Lusaka or the Copperbelt takes about 7 to 9 hours, leisurely driving.

Air

Only air charters as there are no scheduled flights, the park has two air strips within its.