A flight of no more than two hours from Lusaka or Luangwa takes you to Zambia’s real safari secret: Kasanka National Park. A little-visited region of forest and wetlands, Kasanka is one of the country’s smaller reserves but enjoys private management and a reputation for successful nature conservation. It also offers the adventurous traveller a unique opportunity to experience the wildlife of Africa’s tropical forests, a perfect combination with Zambia’s more familiar safari destinations like Victoria Falls, the Lower Zambezi and South Luangwa.
Overlooking hippo-filled Wasa Lake, this relaxed lodge lies at the heart of the experience – and with only seven chalets, it promises to be an intimate and personalised stay. A typical day at Wasa Lodge opens with sunrise coffee and biscuits followed by a game drive and perhaps a visit to an interesting community project. Other activities include guided nature walks, mountain biking, tracking baboons with researchers, and what is rated as some of the best bird watching in Africa – you choose your schedule at Wasa Lodge.
There are elephants and buffalo in Kasanka and many species of antelope – including the rare semi-aquatic sitatunga – plus leopard and jackal. The biggest wildlife spectacle of all, however, is from mid-October to mid-December when up to 10 million fruit bats arrive in Kasanka. Clustered in one small patch of forest, their incredible dawn and evening flights provide a sight to rival the Great Wildebeest Migration; sit back on an elevated platform with Wasa’s expert guides and watch it all play out in front of you!