Kasanka National Park
This peaceful sanctuary, situated on the south western edge of the Lake Bangweulu basin, is one of Zambia’s smallest national parks. It’s 450 km2 however, are so well endowed with rivers, lakes, wetlands, forests, lagoons, meadows and dambos that it supports a uniquely wide range of animals and abundant birds and fish.
Do not expect to see large herds of animals round every corner, but it is surely one of the most picturesque parks in Zambia with superb birdlife.
Today, although there is still none of the heart-stopping walking safaris amongst elephant herds, or any lions brushing past your open vehicle as in the larger parks, there are some of the rarest birds and animals in the country, found in the beautiful miombo woodlands, swamp forest, grasslands, floodplains and riverine bushveld, to be enjoyed on leisurely walks and drives. There are ample opportunities for fishing tigerfish, bream and barbel in the beautiful Luwombwa River. Boats are available for hire but you should bring your own tackle.
Recovering from depletion are hippo, sable antelope, and Liechtenstein’s hartebeest. The puku, once reduced to a few hundred, today exceed 1500. There are fairly big herds of the swamp-dwelling sitatunga, reedbuck, waterbuck, Sharpe’s grysbok and the rare blue monkey. Elephants also appear from time to time, and their numbers are expected to recover. Together with Kasanka’s noted birdlife, the animals can be seen on guided walks through the grassy plains, mushitu forests, large tracts of miombo woodland, and alongside riverine forest and papyrus swamps. Over 330 bird species have been recorded, including such rarities as Pel’s fishing owl, the Pygmy goose, Ross’s loerie, the osprey and the wattled crane. If you’re lucky you’ll catch a glimpse of the rare shoebill stork.