​Wildlife & Animals – Bangweulu Wetlands

Philip Briggs
By Philip Briggs

Philip has traveled through Zambia several times and is the author of more than 20 guidebooks to various African destinations.

Philip is the Zambia expert for SafariBookings and author of more than 20 guidebooks to Africa.

Philip is our Zambia expert and author of more than 20 guidebooks to Africa.

The main attraction of the wetlands is the thousands of endemic black lechwe that graze on the floodplains. Seeing these handsome antelopes jumping through the water reveals their grace and beauty. Other antelope species you might spot include the shy semi-aquatic sitatunga as well as oribi, common reedbuck and tsessebe. A herd of about 500 buffalo has been reintroduced, but sightings are hit-and-miss.

ElephantVery Rare
LionVery Rare

Wildlife Highlights

Several recently reintroduced cheetahs roam the floodplains. Although numbers are low, the open terrain makes sightings quite easy. Seeing the fastest land mammal take off when hunting a male lechwe is a phenomenal experience. Other predators include side-striped jackal and serval. Spotted hyenas are quite often heard at night.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

The extent of the wetlands changes with the seasons. The best time for seeing black lechwe and other wildlife is from May to July when the water recedes and grazers gather on the floodplains. As the Dry season progresses, game drives become easier, but the lechwes retreat deeper into the wetlands.

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