As the masuku fruit trees ripen in Northern Zambia’s Kasanka National Park in November, an other-worldly gathering of up to ten million straw-coloured fruit bats literally take over the woodland for a short period of time. Regarded in some quarters as the world’s largest mammal migration, putting even the wildebeest Serengeti / Masai Mara migration in the shade, this is a far less renowned, genuinely niche activity.
During the day, the bats shroud the branches of the trees to make them appear as if they have a living, breathing life of their own. Then, as the sun begins to set, the bats take off en masse to forage, one of those simply breathtaking sight that makes you appreciate the tremendous scale and majesty of Mother Nature. All of this can be viewed from a treetop hide, enabling visitors to get on the same level as the bats, occasionally looking down to search for the elusive sitatunga antelope on the ground below. It is possible to visit Kasanka under your own steam, but good luck trying! Luckily, Robin Pope Safaris run set yearly departures to view this sensational spectacle, beginning at their base in the South Luangwa.