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Kasanka National Park reviews

2 reviews

“Sitatunga in the pre-dawn mist - magical” - Neil Raffan

Bats without bats?

Neil Raffan
Views: 338 Visited: May 2014 Reviewed: Jan 30, 2016

I would go back, but!

I visited in May 2014 as part of a Zambian holiday that included Liuwa Plain, South Lungwa and Shoebill Island. The latter part of the Kasanka Trust which oversees the Kasanka National Park. (The highlight of the park’s year occurs in November – with the visit of the fruit bats.)

The landscape is beautiful and varied, forests, woods, rivers, savannah and marshes. The food is excellent and the staff friendly and accommodating. So far so good.

But … the rooms are run down, the main lodge is some distance from all centres of activity, and the main area for viewing the extremely shy sitatunga has a camp site right by it. Great if all the campers are keen on seeing sitatungas but not so good if occupants of the tents are on a booze bonding week-end away from Lusaka.

The vehicles used are not the easiest to get out of when not at the main lodge. No-one has thought to take steps for disembarking and embarking away from base camp. The vehicles have an enclosed cab. This means that the guide needs to slap the top of the driver’s cab to get him to stop. As you can imagine the sighting has now potentially flown or run off or been passed by.

On our river trip I gave up taking photographs early on, the three photographers in the group were squeezed on to one bench, with no real room for movement, and this was compounded by the spotter sitting in the prow blocking the view through the lens. There was plenty to see.

Whilst there the new management seemed to be under some sort of training programme … personally I felt that there was an undercurrent between the staff.

But I would go back. Why? It is beautiful. Upon request we were given the opportunity for an extra and exceptionally early safari to see if we could see the sitatunga (near the tented camp) … which we did through the mist of dawn. Magical.

Quality of wildlife
Quality of lodging
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* Crowded parks have a lower rating

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