Zambia: Kasanka Bat Migration

Safari Overview
If you thought the wildebeest migration in East Africa was spectacular, you haven’t seen the Kasanka Bat Migration in Zambia! It is without a doubt one of the most jaw-dropping spectacles of nature, and officially the biggest mammal migration on the planet.

Between October and December each year, a staggering 10 million African Straw-coloured Fruit-bats descend into a tiny patch of evergreen swamp forest inside Kasanka National Park in northern Zambia. This natural phenomenon, unique only to Kasanka, is the stuff of bucket lists and once-in-a-lifetime wildlife experiences.

Join us on our 4-day Kasanka Bat Migration safari in Zambia, witnessing this incredible event, along with the chance of seeing some of Africa’s Big Five species, rare antelopes, special birds, incredible scenery and much more.

Group safaris for this Zambia Bat Migration safari depart in November 2021 and December 2021

Safari Highlights:
• Witnessing one of nature’s greatest wildlife spectacles
• The chance of seeing 4 of Africa’s Big Five, some very rare antelopes and more
• Excellent birdwatching, including many range-restricted and special species
• Incredible scenery in one of Zambia’s most photogenic parks
• Real “out of Africa” safari, with wood campfires and star-filled skies
• Excellent cuisine, top class service and expert, experienced guides
• Superb photographic opportunities of the bats, mammals, birds and landscape

Kasanka’s rich species list include:
• 114 Mammal species, including African Elephant, African Buffalo, Leopard, Hippopotamus, the very rare Sitatunga, Puku, Sharpe’s Grysbok, Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest, Sable and Roan Antelope, the Kinda subspecies of the Yellow Baboon and the scarce Blue Monkey,
• At least 470 bird species recorded in the park, including Wattled Crane, Martial and African Fish Eagle, African Hawk-eagle, Pel’s Fishing Owl, African Finfoot, Rufous-bellied Heron, African Pygmy Goose, Marsh Tchagra, Ross’s Turaco, Coppery-tailed Coucal, Fulleborn’s Longclaw and many others,
• An incredible variety of other fauna and flora, including some massive Nile Crocodiles

Although only 390 km2 (150 sq mi) in size, the picturesque little Kasanka National Park in Zambia’s central province is one of Africa’s hidden gems. This peaceful sanctuary, situated on the southwestern edge of the Lake Bangweulu basin and way off the beaten tourist track, is blessed with rivers, lakes, wetlands, forests, lagoons, meadows and dambos, thus supporting a uniquely wide range of animals and abundant birds and fish.

But of course, the stars of the show in Kasanka are the bats! They arrive from throughout the moist, tropical forests of the Congo basin with the first rains in Kasanka, which prompts the ripening of the fruit upon which they feed. The sheer numbers of these huge bats (30 in/76 cm wingspan) darken the skies, creating an incredible audiovisual spectacle.

At dusk each night, the bats begin to fly and the sky becomes thick with big flocks as they prepare to spend the night indulging on a feast of fruit, with each bat able to eat up to twice its own body weight. During their time in Kasanka, they can consume a mind-boggling 5,000 collective tons of fruit each evening!

What to expect:
On this safari, you will spend 3 nights in a chalet at Wasa Lodge overlooking Lake Wasa in the heart of Kasanka, which is the prime location for the bat migration.

Wasa has a total of 7 chalets, all of which are set in the treeline or overlooking the lake. The main dining area has beautiful views and is complemented by a cosy bar and chill zone while many a warm and cold drink are enjoyed around the fireplace outside the main building. The tranquil surrounds and welcoming staff will make sure our stay in Kasanka’s main camp is unforgettable. Dinner around the campfire will be special in the evenings, sharing safari stories and making friends for life.

We are right next to the beautiful Lake Wasa, and some of the species we hope to see in the area include African Elephant, African Buffalo, Hippopotamus, Nile Crocodile, Sable and Roan Antelope, Sitatunga, Hartebeest, Puku, Bushbuck, Common Warthog and more.

From Wasa, you will be able to access the private hides (some of them high up on platforms in tall trees) for the bats and take day trips out into the Luwombwa region for general wildlife viewing and birdwatching, with the chance of seeing specials like Pel’s Fishing Owl, Böhm’s Bee-eater, Wattled Crane, Ross’s Turaco and many more.

While the sheer volume of bats is truly mind-blowing, it is the atmosphere surrounding this phenomenon that really gets things worked up. As the early summer rains come closer, the skies become dramatic. Large raptors like Crowned and Martial Eagles swoop through the bats, taking them on the wing. Of course, the usual Kasanka specials like the rare Sitatunga and elegant Puku will be grazing out in the misty dambos in the morning, along with African Elephant, African Buffalo and many others.

This safari can be done as a standalone safari, but we recommend adding it onto one of our existing Zambian wildlife safaris. These include:
• Best of Zambia Safari
• Malawi and Zambia Wildlife Safari
• South Luangwa, Liwonde & Lake Malawi Wildlife Adventure

Keep in mind that all our tours can be customised according to your specific requirements.

Talk to us at info@naturetravelexpeditions.com for more information about this or any other bucket list Safari.