Zambia :: Great North
Category: Protected Areas :: Protected Area
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The Great Bangweulu Basin consists of Lake Bangweulu and its adjacent wetlands and floodplains. The basin is a shallow depression fed by several rivers which fill the lake between November and March - when most of the annual rainfall’s 1 200 mm falls. Water is slowly released from the lake through a series of lagoons and channels which prevent flooding of the Luapula Valley during heavy rains; the floodplains are located on the lake’s northern and eastern edge. Although the water level only rises and falls by about a meter, the lake’s edge can advance and retreat over the grass plains by as much as 45 kilometres during the season.
The lake covers more than 15 000 km2 and stretches out towards the horizon, where its blue-grey waters seem to touch the sky. It’s from this apparent mingling of earth and sky that Bangweulu gets its name, the word means ‘where the water meets the sky’. Approximately 50 000 people live in the area, subsisting from fishing the lake. Fish are prolific and commercial fishing takes place.
The Bangweulu Game Reserve is located in the wetlands southeast of the lake, and is managed by African Parks, a non-profit organization which delivers long-term management and rehabilitation with support from government and the local community. Since signing an agreement in 2008, African Parks has worked with the community to ensure both the survival of endangered species and fishing sustainability.
There’s been a remarkable increase in fish stocks since the implementation of an annual 3-month fishing ban during the spawning season - this has been well supported by the community. Poaching has been curbed and the number of endangered black lechwe has increased from 35 000 to well over 50 000. Since 2017, ten men from the local community actively guard the nests of shoebill storks to prevent poaching of eggs and chicks. The park, with its focus on conservation and sustainable harvesting, is the largest employer in the region and provides healthcare and education to people living here.
|Postal :||Bangweulu Wetlands Project, African Parks Network, P.O. Box 450098, Mpika, Zambia.|
|Contact :||Bangweulu Wetlands Project|
|Cell :||+260(0)97 160 5960|
|Email :||Click Here|
|Website :||Click Here|
|Cellphone Reception :||Intermittent|
|Best Time to Visit :||April to July|
|Gate Opening and Closing Times :||05:00-18:00|
|Subject to Seasonal Operation. :||It is supposed to be all year but in reality it becomes inaccessible from December to April.|
|Updated for :||2019|
|Comments :||Conservation Levy: ZMW50pp (Updated Feb-19)|
|Fee/s :||Conservation Levy: ZMW50pp (Updated Feb-19)|
|Facilities :||Lodging, Camping, Airstrip|
|Game Viewing, Tours and Excursions, Guided Walks, Fishing, Bird Watching|
|Game to View :||Black Leckwe. Rare sitatunga. Elephant. Buffalo. Zebra and leopard.|
|Notes on Activities :||Shoebill Stalk tracking. (Some activities may be offered nearby).|
Visitors will stay at the Shoe Bill camp in safari tents or reed cottages. (Feb-19).
The park is accessible by road or air and the Shoe Bill camp is accessible by vehicle between August to October and by banana boat or canoe from Chikuni at other times of the year. (Feb-19)
Yes there is a village not to far from the gate and its a very flat area so there is intermittent reception. (2019).
There are no tow-in services in the park. (2019).
You can find tow-in services based in Lusaka: +27(0)97 473 7848 / +260(0)96 676 1647. (2019).
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