Area (SqKm):15,000
Altitude (m):1140
# Species:384
# Excl Vagrants:384
# Endemics:0
# Near Endemics:0
Species/100 SqKm:2.6
Habitat: Miombo woodland, grassland, swamps, lake, dambos


The Bangweulu Wetlands is a vast area fed by 17 rivers but drained by only one. The area floods between November and March during rainy season. Rainfall is about 120 cm (47 in) per year, with 90% evaporating. Water levels in the center of the basin varies between one and two meters, causing the floodline to recede up to 45 km during dry season. This seasonal change in water levels dictates life in the area. During the rains insects are prolific but bird life is phenomenal. A primary reason to bird the area is the population of African Shoebills found on Shoebill Island, which is accessible only during dry season. Other notable species include Spur-winged Goose, Stanley Bustard, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Swamp Flycatcher, Fuelleborn's Longclaw, Rosy-throated Longclaw, and Marsh Widowbird. Notable animals in the park are the Sitatunga, a scarce antelope found only in swamps, the rare Black Lechwe, and the Tsessebe, the world's fastest antelope. The shy Oribi is also found in the area. The area remains quite flooded during the beginning of dry season in May, when travel is mainly by boat. Birding is quite spectacular then. The area progressively dries out, so that by June birding can be done mainly on foot. The best time to view Shoebills is from May-August. Thereafter, they retreat to more remote areas and are hard to find.


The Bangweulu Wetlands are located in northeast Zambia. The easiest way to get their is by air, which is not much more expensive than driving. It's over 500 km by road from Lusaka.