Considered the world’s largest mammal migration with estimates of 10 million plus bats filling the skies.
The arrival of 10 million straw coloured fruit bats into a tiny patch of evergreen swamp forest in Kasanka National Park between October and December each year is the highlight of the Kasanka Calendar. While not typically at the top of the traditional safari travellers’ list, the spectacle and ecological implications of the arrival of up 3’500 tons of flying mammals over an 8 week period to a tiny patch of forest is something that every nature lover will be enthralled with.
The bats leave the forest in the early evening every night making for dramatic photos of potentially stormy skies still tinged in the colours of sunset to head out to feed. They then return in the early hours of the morning at it is at this time that lucky visitors may get the chance to film the majestic Crowned Eagle hunting the bats as seen in the BBC AFRICA series, SAVANNA episode. Of course, there are other eagles hunting here including the Fish Eagle, Martial Eagle and any many more.
When :Oct / Nov / Dec

Kasanka National Park

Where to Stay:
Wasa Lodge

Kasanka Camping Sites

Pontoon 1 Campsite
Pontoon 2 Campsite
Pontoon 3 Campsite
Luwombwa Lodge

Getting There: Driving to Kasanka from Lusaka or the Copperbelt will typically take you about 5-6 hours. The roads are all tarred up to the park entrance and currently in excellent condition.

Most visitors coming from overseas choose to fly directly into Kasanka by private charter as we have our own airstrip in the park (12deg 33’South 30deg 09’East) and an aircraft based We can arrange the air charters from anywhere in Zambia. It is a about a one and a half hour flight from Lusaka, one hour from Mfuwe in the Luangwa, and just 45 minutes from Ndola.

The flight between Kasanka and Shoebill Island takes just 20 minutes and is very scenic!

Sky Trails Ltd is an independent charter company which is based in Kasanka N.P. so that there is usually as aircraft available locally for air charters to, from or around the area. If you need any help or advice in planning your itinerary or arranging charter flights, please contact us.

 Shoebill StorkShoebill Safari
Approximately 400 of these rare pre-historic looking birds are found in Bangweulu Wetlands in Northern Zambia.
‘Shoebill Treks’ are an absolute must when visiting Shoebill Island, as the guides are determined to get their guests a shoebill sighting, no matter what it takes! Gumboots are provided but a sense of adventure and humour are recommended as well! Many of our guests have touted the Bangweulu Wetlands as the best place in Africa to see Shoebill and deliver some of the most consistent sightings. The management of the Bangweulu Wetlands ensures that nests are strictly controlled and monitored and the sighting records speak for themselves.
March through to June offer an amazing watering wilderness for the adventurous with Shoebills often visible right from camp! ‘Shoebill Treks’ during this time of the year are most commonly pursued through the dugout banana boats and as you are poled about the watery pans and channels, you can expect some phenomenal birding and not just for the Shoebill either so a really worthwhile and unique safari activity. The activities usually take place in the morning after a full, cooked breakfast leaving the afternoons free for other activities.

When: March to June/early July

Bangweulu Wetlands, North Zambia
Where to Stay:
Shoebill Island Camp
Shoebill Island Campsite

Getting There: There are two main routes from the Great North Road (Lusaka) to get into Bangweulu Wetlands. The first route is via Kasanka National Park (5-6 hrs to Kasanka) and second is via Lavushi Manda National Park.

Most visitors coming from overseas choose to fly by private charter as there is an airstrip 1km from Shoebill Island Camp. (S11.96800 E 030.25473)

The flight from Lusaka will take you about 2 hours, one hour from Mfuwe in the Luangwa, and about one hour from Ndola.

The flight between Kasanka and Shoebill Island takes just 20 minutes and is very scenic!

Flights can be booked through Skytrails.

Kasanka Bats - Sky darkened by batsKasanka Bats - flying highKasanka Bats - hanging tenShoebill SafariShoebill Safari

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