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Kasanka, Bangweulu and Shiwa Ng'andu

Why visit Kasanka, Bangweulu Swamps, and Shiwa Ng’andu?

The two wilderness areas of Kasanka National Park and Bangweulu Swamps, west of Luangwa valley, are quite rarely visited and have unique attractions. The two main highlights are rare shoebill storks, and a vast bat migration.  North of here, you‘ll find the equally unique ‘English’ estate of Shiwa Ngandu – known as Africa House. Reasons you should visit include:

  • Kasanka National Park is known for one of Africa’s largest animal migrations – 8 million straw-coloured fruit bats come from 2000 kms away in Congo (DRC) in about November and December. An extraordinary sight seen by very few people in the world. 
  • In Kasanka you’ll also see sitatunga, wattled crane and blue monkeys.
  • The birding in both Kasanka and Bangweulu is excellent. 
  • Bangweulu Swamps are a similar size to the Okavango Delta!
  • There are thought to be about 500 rare shoebill storks in Bangweulu.
  • Black lechwe are also found in Bangweulu.
  • Shiwa Ng’andu in the far north, is the English estate, house and wildlife reserve made famous by the book The Africa House.

When to visit Kasanka, Bangweulu, and Shiwa Ngandu

The bat migration in Kasanka starts in about late-October so the best months are November and December.

The best time for shoebill storks is April to June when they are often seen around Shoebill Camp, though they can be seen at other times. 

Black lechwe are most easily found in June and July.  More general game viewing is at its best in the dry season from about June/July to October. 

How to do it?

We recommend flying to Kasanka from South Luangwa (Mfuwe Airport) which takes about an hour.  It’s just about another 20 minutes flight to get to Bangweulu, and then under an hour from Bangweulu to Shiwa. 

Whilst there’s no need to do all three of these places together, they do in fact complement each other very nicely, especially if linked to either or both North Luangwa and South Luangwa reserves. 

Accommodation in Kasanka, Bangweulu, and Shiwa Ngandu

You don’t really get a choice when it comes to these remote places!  

The house of Shiwa Ng’andu is an attraction in its own right so that’s where you stay.  In Kasanka it is Wasa Camp, and in Bangweulu wetlands you’ll stay at Shoebill Camp.

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Kasanka, Bangweulu and Shiwa Ng'andu accommodation

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facts and information

Time: GMT +2 hours

Flight time:

Flights from Europe to Lusaka take about 10 hours. Lusaka International Airport is about 25km from the city centre (about 30 minutes transfer).

Language: Zambia's official language is English, but outside of the cities few people speak it.

Visas:

Visas are required for most nationalities, although a waiver can normally be organized in advance for British citizens.

Health:

This is a malarial country.

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