Kasanka National Park Zambia

  • peter sharland
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6 years 9 months ago #43572 by peter sharland
peter sharland created the topic: Kasanka National Park Zambia
Jenny and I toured Zambia for two weeks in December last year, and spent two nights in
Kasanka National Park towards the end of our trip. We birded the mushitu forest in the morning,
accompanied by Frank Willems, the resident ecologist and bird expert (he trained as an ornithologist
in Holland). Here is a photo of him getting the typical "crick-in-the-neck" of forest birding.



Our bird list for the day came to approx 110 species, including specials such as Purple-throated Cuckooshrike,
Black-backed Barbet, Ross' Turaco, Bohm's Flycatcher, Bohm's Bee-eater, White-winged black Tit,
Trilling Cisticola, Fawn-breasted Waxbill, Pale-billed Hornbill, Green-backed Woodpecker, Miombo Scrub-robin
and Saddle-billed Stork. The park list is now over 450 birds, with the Shoebill being a rare vagrant.
Here are some pics:-


Ross' turaco


Bohm's flycatcher


Bohm's bee-eater


Purple-throated cuckooshrike (female)


Trilling cisticola (couldn't get close enough for a half-decent shot :( )


Fawn-breasted waxbill


The park is famous for it's Fruit Bats, which migrate southwards to Kasanka from September.
Their numbers apparently peak at between 5 and 15 million in November. Weighing in at 300
grams each, this equates to the weight of about 5000 elephants! <!-- s:hypnodisk: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/hypnodisk.gif" alt=":hypnodisk:" title="Hypnotised" /><!-- s:hypnodisk: -->
Other goodies include numerous frogs and butterflies, as well as antelope such as Sitatunga.


Butterfly : Abisara rogersi dollmani (Any help with a common name would be appreciated)


Frog : Any ideas regarding ID?

Please drop me a line if you would like the full list.
P.S. We also visited the Mwinilunga district; more about that later.....

Kind regards

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  • nkgray
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6 years 9 months ago #43575 by nkgray
nkgray replied the topic: Re: Kasanka National Park Zambia
Peter,

Thanks for the post. I am now working out of Lusaka and was planning a trip to Kasanka in early May. Your photos only make me more determined to get there!

Do you have any contact details for Frank Willems? I'd appreciate them if you do. Trying to find good birders in Zambia is proving something of a problem. With so many outstanding birding destinations - Kasanka NP, Lochinvar NP, Hillwood Farm (did you get there on the Mwinilunga leg?), Liuwa Plains NP, Nyika Plateau, to name but a few - you'd have thought they would be a bit more geared up for birding here.

Neil

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  • Doug
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6 years 9 months ago #43585 by Doug
Doug replied the topic: Re: Kasanka National Park Zambia
Awesome stuff Peter. Thanks for sharing... I HAVE to get to Zambia one day.

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6 years 9 months ago #43644 by peter sharland
peter sharland replied the topic: Re: Kasanka National Park Zambia
Thanks, gents.

To get in touch with Frank, try the following e-mail addresses:

[color=#0080FF:2wq8hzsi]This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.[/color:2wq8hzsi] otherwise [color=#0080FF:2wq8hzsi]This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.[/color:2wq8hzsi]

We did get to Hillside Farm, north of Mwinilunga. The campsite is situated alongside some of the most amazing mushitu, and there are grasslands, dambos, miombo, riverine forest and dry evergreen forest. From there we visited the Zambezi Rapids and the Chitunta Plain. I'll post a short report on that leg of our trip next week. The Fishers are tremendous hosts, and there is a butchery on the farm where you can buy meat, chicken and milk. The village of Ikelenge is not far away for other provisions, with petrol and diesel being available in Mwinilunga (at inflated prices!). Just one thing : apparently the road from Mwinilunga is almost impassable during the wet season i.e. January to April. The best time to visit is probably late October, when their hunting activity is starting to tail off.

Regards

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