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Bangweulu Wetlands

"Where water meets the sky"

Bangweulu means where water meets the sky, a perfect description for one of the most extraordinary and important wetlands in all of Africa.

Bangweulu  is unique in that it is a community-owned protected area and is home to 50,000 people who retain the right to sustainably harvest its natural resources for their survival and livelihoods. The fish and wildlife populations were rapidly diminishing as a result of unsustainable harvesting.

This all changed in 2008 when African Parks signed an agreement with the Zambian Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) to work with the communities to sustainably manage the wetland for the benefit of both people and wildlife. Today, Bangweulu is thriving, delicately balancing the needs of the communities with the preservation of wildlife. It is the largest employer in the region; it is providing healthcare and education to all six Chiefdoms and is positioned to become a leading example of community-driven conservation on the continent.

The mammal highlights include Zambia’s endemic Black lechwe (in their thousands!), sitatunga, buffalo, tsessebe, hyena, buffalo, side striped jackal, and the recently reintroduced cheetah.

When to Go

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Why we like it

  • Community owned conservation area
  • Shoebill Guardian Programme for shoebill nest visits (June – Oct)
  • Endemic black lechwe (50 000+)
  • Reintroduction of cheetah in 2020 and buffalo in 2019
  • African Parks project since 2008
  • Contains 10% of the world’s wattled crane population
  • Over 430 globally significant migratory & resident bird species

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