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 Sitatungas 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.
Kasanka NP is the only privately managed national park in the country. It is run by a charity, the Kasanka Trust, and all proceeds go back into conservation and the surrounding communities.
A visit here is often paired with a stop at the Bangweulu Wetlands. The park is not a classic wildlife destination, but highly rewarding for people interested in birds. Part of the park’s habitat is swamp, and the shy and elusive sitatunga antelope is easily seen.
Kasanka doesn’t have big wildlife densities, but there are some interesting species. Top of the list is the elusive sitatunga. This semi-aquatic antelope can be observed from Fibwe Hide, a platform overlooking a wetland area.
Other mammals easily spotted are Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, sable and puku. Less commonly seen is the shy roan antelope. Other small creatures include blue monkey, warthog, and mongoose and straw-colored fruit bats.
Kasanka is a great birding destination, with just over 400 species recorded in a small area. The park is home to a few species at the edge of their range, more commonly associated with Central Africa.
The beautiful Ross’ turaco and Böhm’s bee-eater are two of the more conspicuous birds in that category. The large variety of habitats, including papyrus swamp, several rivers and lakes, and overall high rainfall contribute to a great birding environment. It’s best explored by vehicle, on foot or by boat.
Although quite small, the park has a good variety of habitats. Of major interest is the big swamp area, home to the sitatunga. The rest of the park is a mosaic of grassland, miombo woodland and evergreen thickets. The rivers are fringed by forest.
The latter part of the Dry season (May to October) is ideal for finding animals – they won’t stray far from the remaining sources of water.
Roosting fruit bats and new born animals are some of the attractions of the wetter months, though it’s much harder to get around the park once the rains have started. Either way, you won’t be troubled by crowds as Kasanka never gets many visitors.
Where to stay
Stay Easy Lusaka
Value meets convenience with Southern Sun’s Stay Easy offering. This extends from understandably stylish accommodation, to breakfasts, to efficient business services, to location – not to mention friendly, efficient staff to make your stay…well, easy.
Hilton Garden Inn Lusaka Society Business Park, located in the city center. Our hotel is just a few minutes’ walk from multiple corporate offices and banks including the Bank of Zambia.
As part of a mixed-use business park, you’ll enjoy proximity to numerous restaurants, shops and offices. We are only 35 minutes southwest of Kenneth Kaunda International Airport.
Lusaka Hotel is the oldest hotel in Lusaka, dating back to 1914. It is centrally located on Cairo Road, with a large secure car park. It boasts its own shopping mall, several boutiques, a business center, a hair salon and a pharmacy. The Hotel is conveniently close to banks, shops, bureaus and taxis.
Our central location enables our customers to be well placed for business activities in any direction. The bustling Cairo Road empties at night leaving you to enjoy a quiet sleep in our specious neatly appointed eighty en-suit rooms. The Hotel has two well-loved restaurants, one indoors, one at the poolside affording a good meeting point and fine dining.
Chrismar Hotel Lusaka presently has 47 rooms, 2 restaurants, 2 bars and 3 Conference halls with excellent conference facilities & international cuisine. In addition to an outdoor pool, Chrismar Hotel Lusaka provides a health club and a children’s pool.
Dining is available at one of the hotel’s 2 restaurants and guests can grab coffee at the coffee shop/café. Guests can unwind with a drink at one of the hotel’s bars, which include 2 bars/lounges and a poolside bar. Guests can enjoy free wireless internet access in their rooms and complimentary full English breakfast breakfast.
This business-friendly hotel also offers a nightclub on weekends, tour/ticket assistance, and barbecue grills. A shuttle from the airport to the hotel is complimentary to guests (available 24 hours provided advance notification of flight details are provided).
Recent renovations have been made to our deluxe suite rooms which now boast flat screen TVs in both the lounge and the bedroom, and new room styling.