This is an exceptional safari in Zambia that combine South Luangwa National Park, Kasanka National Park and Bangweulu Swamps.
The main attraction is the remarkable shoebill but you will also encounter elephants, lions, giraffes, and host of other species.
Zambia is a fantastic destination for birdwatching lovers; birdwatching in Zambia will reveal a mix of south, east and even central African birds. Birdlife is richest during the wet season, from November to March, when foliage is dense and insects are thriving; this is also when palearctic and intra-African migrants visit.
There are over 750 bird species in Zambia, across a range of environments: wetland and swamp areas attract a variety of waterfowl, from herons, storks and ibises to the stately crowned and wattled cranes.
Zambia’s the most sought-after wetland species, the shoebill stork, is the highlight of any birdwatching break to Zambia’s Bangweulu wetlands.
South Luangwa National Park is one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world; the concentration of animals around the Luangwa River, and its oxbow lagoons, is among the most intense in Africa.
The Park hosts a wide variety of wildlife, birds and vegetation; the famous walking safari originated in this Park and is still one of the finest ways to experience Africa’s pristine wilderness first-hand.
With about 400 of Zambia’s 732 species of birds appearing in the Park, including 39 birds of prey and 47 migrant species, there is plenty for the birdwatcher to spot, whatever the season.
In the park there are also 60 different animal species.
Kasanka is one of Zambia’s smallest national park, lying just south of the Bangweulu Wetlands near the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Kasanka National Park offers a chance to experience a remote and unspoilt wilderness that is unlike any other, the park offers a rich diversity of animal, bird and plant life including several rare species including sitatunga, wattled crane, Ross’s Lourie and Blue Monkeys.
With its wonderful papyrus marshes, wetlands, meadows, swamp forests and miombo woodland it’s one of Zambia’s most beautiful reserves and the many criss-crossing rivers and seasonal, swampy pools support an incredible number and variety of birds.
The park is best known for its annual bat migration which takes place in late October and early December each year, the bat migration is the biggest mammal migration on earth.
This phenomenon of spectacular congregation of several Million Straw-Coloured Fruitbats offers am unreal photo opportunities, also as raptors hunt the bats.
The bat migration happens with the start of the rainy season, which ripens the local fruits and berries, such as masuku, waterberry and mufinsa; all the bats choose to roost in a large patch of indigenous woodland, locally known as ‘mshitu’ or swamp forest, and this creates what is believed to be the highest density of mammals on the planet.
This huge gathering of fruitbats attracts various other predators and scavengers who end up having a rather bat-based diet for a couple of months.
Bangweulu Swamps is a vast area of wilderness, covered in swamps and floodplains. It has an enchanting landscape that will leave you captivated by its unique environment, wildlife and character.
Bangweulu, that means where water meets the sky, is an important and stunning wetlands in Zambia with an extraordinary rich and diverse ecosystem.
The main attraction of the area is the rare shoebill stork which inhabits the grassy fringes of the wetlands.
The birdlife is amazing, Bangweulu is home to over 400 bird species, including 10% of the world’s wattled crane population and the globally important population of the endangered shoebill stork, both also listed as vulnerable.
Another symbolic animal of these swamps is the endemic black lechwe, which are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List and are only found in Bangweulu, who congregate here in herds of up to 10,000 strong.
Elephant, tsessebe, reedbuck, oribi and sitatunga have also adapted to this area, and can be found in large numbers, and don’t forget to look in the lagoons and rivers where hippos can be seen and crocodiles skulk in the reed beds.