This is the ultimate African safari, remote with special wildlife encounters including a less known, less crowded wildebeest migration. If there’s a better way to experience Zambia’s finest side, we’d like to see it. We think these handpicked camps in some of the country’s wildest and most wonderful settings will leave you slack-jawed.
First up is the Lower Zambezi, where you’ll drink in the sights and sounds of this elephant-lined river – and several stiff G&Ts. There are fish eagles above, hippos below, and elephants all around. Then it’s a walking safari. (You’ll want to pack a comfortable pair of shoes for this one.) And just when you think things can’t get any better, the pristine wilderness and starry sleepouts of Liuwa Plains will quietly and gently prove you very wrong. Liuwa Plains is home to Africa’s second largest wildebeest migration. Each November, at the start of the rainy season, 45 000 to 50 000 wildebeest head south in search of higher ground to calve, followed, always, by throngs of hungry predators. Their return journey northward begins around June, at the start of the dry season.
Bats Migration Kasanka National Park
Between October and December each year, the bats descend into a tiny patch of evergreen swamp forest inside Kasanka National Park, northern Zambia. The African straw-coloured fruit bat is the second-largest fruit bat on the continent, can have a wingspan up to a metre, and the adults weigh up to 350g. They come to feast on the pod mahogany, musuku, mufinsa, milkwood and other wild fruit that appears with the first rains.
Scientists are not entirely sure where these bats spend the rest of the year, though they do know that for some of them, it is somewhere deep in the rainforests of the Congo. The bats in Kasanka are at all different stages of the breeding cycle, with some mating, some in various stages of pregnancy, and some with young. It’s known from observation of individual colonies around Africa that these bats are seasonal and synchronise their breeding within the colony, so the diversity seen in Kasanka implies that they are coming from various areas.