7 December 2012

Zambia: Kasanka Park Hosts 300 Tourists in One Month

KASANKA Trust National Park has hosted more than 300 tourists in less than one month due to the massive migration of straw-coloured fruit-bats from the Democratic Republic of Congo between November and December every year.

By November 22, this year over 10 million fruit-bats were reported to have arrived at the park from Congo.

Kasanka Trust National Park general manager Ernest Jacob said Kasanka had attracted more than 300 local and foreign tourists who had visited the tourist and safari site.

"Yes, they started arriving in early October this year and we believe approximately 10 million have since migrated here. They are currently at their peak and will leave Kasanka around mid-December, this year," Mr Jacobs said.

In an interview from Kasanka yesterday, Mr Jacobs said approximately, 300 bed nights at Kasanka in November were filled because of the migration which he said always attracted tourists because of the spectacular scenery bats created.

He said with the help of school groups and new adventure camping initiatives, the number might even double.

This year Kasanka Trust was chosen by the Zambian Ministry of Tourism and Arts to be included in a compendium of case studies on ecotourism recently published by the World Tourism Organisation.

Kasanka is famous for the unique and spectacular congregation of several million straw-coloured fruit- bats between November and December annually.

"We are planning a few renovations at Kasanka early next year which will hopefully see our accommodation and facilities upgraded," he said.

He said with the Livingstone bicentenary next year, as well as Kasanka Trust's 25th anniversary celebrations, the plan was to put Kasanka National Park on the world map with a programme of exciting fundraising events aiming at boosting the revenue base of Kasanka.

The Kasanka Trust is a charity working to conserve and develop Kasanka National Park in the Northern Region of Zambia.

The trust operates two Lodges and two campsites in Kasanka as well as a Shoebill Island camp in the adjacent Bangweulu wetlands.

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