Kasanka bat migration
Experience this astonishing event where millions of straw-coloured fruit bats make their way to Zambia's Kasanka National Park each year.
What should you expect?
The bats are pretty big (in bat terms) with wing spans of up to 80cms, this makes it easier to sometimes pick out individuals and watch them more closely. During the day you’ll see them hanging upside down clinging to branches as they rest and catch up on some sleep. The branches bend under the weight of so many individuals, and on occasion have been known to break, a rude awakening for the bats.
Come sunset, the sky is filled with the flapping of wings as they launch themselves skyward, darting this way and that as they set off in search of food – the sheer number of these flying straw-coloured fruit bats is amazing, they fill the sky and it’s all you can see in every direction.
The park is set up for those wanting to view the bats and there are various places to do this. Take up position in one of the hides set up in the trees or opt for the public viewing areas. Where you choose depends on what you want to see. The tree hides give you a view of the bats as they launch themselves into the sky while the public viewpoints will give you a better overview of the sheer size of this spectacle.
It's not all about bats...
Kasanka is not just about bats, though these are undeniably the main attraction. It’s one of Zambia’s smallest parks at just under 500sq km, but due to the wetlands and floodplains it is rich in biodiversity. There are around 114 different mammals found here and birders won’t be disappointed with over 500 species recorded. This is a good place to seek out sitatunga, a shy antelope, difficult to spot elsewhere.