Kasanka National Park

Kasanka National Park 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. The park is not a classic wildlife destination, but highly rewarding for people interested in birds.

There are a few wildlife phenomena that really stand out as extraordinary events like the Kasanka Bat Migration. Up to ten million “straw-coloured fruit bats” converge upon Kasanka National Park as the fruits of a local tree ripen. These bats roost in a specific woodland and literally cover the trunks of the trees like thick icing. Then at sunset they all take off and fly out to forage. The sky is thick with bats. You can view all this from the 60 ft high hide, in a tree top, next to the woodland. And from this hide, during the day you will see many sitatunga in the swamp below.

Wildlife

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. Of particular interest is the annual Kasanka bat migration; millions of straw-coloured fruit bats fill the sky around November when they descend en masse on a small forest within the park.

Weather & Climate

During its Dry season (May to October), Kasanka has a lovely daytime temperature. But nighttime is chilly and you’ll need lots of warm clothing if you’re going on an early or late game drive. The Wet season (November to April) brings spectacular storms and more warmth.

Best Time to Visit

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 newborn 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.

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