GETTING TO SHOEBILL ISLAND

There are two main routes from the Great North Road to get into Bangweulu Wetlands. The first route is via Kasanka National Park and second is via Lavushi Manda National Park.

Coming from Lusaka, via Kasanka National Park

40km past Serenje, take the left turn to Kasanka National Park. After about 80km, go past the Kasanka NP gates on the left, and proceed a futher 7km. Take the right turn signposted Livingstone Memorial opposite Chalilo. At the Musangashi Community School turn right. Stay on this road for 32km to Lake Waka Waka and the community camp. Continue from Lake Waka Waka for 35km to Chiundaponde. From Chiundaponde continue for 65km to Chikuni and Nsobe Camp, on the edge of the floodplain.

From Nsobe Camp continue for 10km across the floodplain, following the causeway to Chikuni, and 1km on to Shoebill Island (during the wet season, a boat transfer should be organised from Nsobe.)

Coming from Mpkia via Lavushi Manda National Park

If coming from Mpika, continue south for 70km on the Great North Road (T2). Turn to the right onto a dirt road signposted Bangweulu Wetlands/Lavushi Manda. Take this road through the Lavushi Manda National Park for 70km toward Chiunda Ponde. From Chiunda Ponde, continue on this road for 65km toward Chikuni and Nsobe Camp, which is on the edge of the floodplain.

Suggested Accommodation en-route

Stopping over is always part of driving! If coming from Lusaka towards Shoebill Island, we recommend a guest house in the Mkushi area (about half way from Lusaka to Shoebill) called The Forest Inn. It is about 260 kms from Lusaka on the right hand side and is open 24 hours for drop-in guests.

Further along the road you will reach Serenje. The town lies about 4kms off the main road, and as you enter you will find the Mapontela restaurant and Guest house. They have nice guest rooms and a restaurant with more variety than any other in town! (Even if you don’t stop in Serenje you will need to fill your fuel tanks here before continuing north as the next stations are Mpika or Samfya).

If passing by Kasanka National Park, we definitely recommend a staying over at Wasa Lodge (pictured left). The lodge is located on the edge of Lake Wasa and consists of 3 large and 3 smaller chalets.

Fly-in Routes

Most visitors coming from overseas choose to fly by private charter as there is an airstrip 1km from Shoebill Island Camp. (S11.96800 E 030.25473)

The flight from Lusaka will take you about  2hours, one hour from Mfuwe in the Luangwa, and about one hour from Ndola. The flight between Kasanka and Shoebill Island takes just 20 minutes and is very scenic! Flights can be booked through Skytrails, which is the local charter company which has planes based at the airstrips in both Kasanka and Shoebill.

You can visit their website skytrailszambia.com or email  edmund@skytrailszambia.com or bradreid@skytrailszambia.com to book your flights.