And just like that the Christmas Holiday came to an end! I must admit, it will take a few days to get back in to routines… We had my parents here over the entire school break, and at least they had the energy to add a little Christmas feeling to things as mum both baked and made decorations with the children. But before all that we squeezed in a road trip to the Kasanka National Park, and I mean literary squeezed – all of us in a Toyota Hilux! In May we had reached Samfya, so keeping in mind that Kasanka is “only” half the distance somehow made the trip easier. We stayed at the Luwombwa self catering lodge, perfect for us amateur campers. It sits in a very beautiful part of the park, no cellphone reception, only the sounds birds, no neighbors. The down side is that it is an hours drive down to the main attraction of the season, the bat migration, as a result we only did one bat viewing trip. You can pay 20 usd per person to climb the bat viewing towers, but we decided against that and settled for the public viewing spot. That meant however, that we had to wade through water and deep mud, and about half way to the spot did we realize that the big holes in the mud was in fact footprints from hippos! We were using their path that they use when coming up to graze after sunset! The viewing area is simply an open patch in the swampy area just outside the bat forest (the towers are more on the edge of the forest and you will have the bats swooshing passed you!) We were initially abandoned by our guide which added to the adrenaline kick caused by walking in hippo footprints. He returned 10 min later with an armed guard as apparently “this place is very dangerous”! We were very grateful for his presence and for the fact that no hippo had come barging through the thicket during the 10 min we were on our own! Eventually it was time for the bats to come out and feed, just before sunset the forest comes alive, a dark cloud lifting above the treetops, the sound of wings, it is hard to explain the spectacle. There seem to be no end as millions of fruit bats depart from the trees where they spent the day upside down. When it finally seemed to calm down and the light was quickly turning to darkness we made our way back to the car, hoping we were still ahead of the hippos. The next day we spent mostly at the lodge, it was on of those days with a gentle but steady drizzle. A short trip in the canoe, card games, and mud cakes… the boys had so much fun playing in the mud, making mud balls and throwing at each other. I did spend much time keeping the children from fighting and teasing each other, which in the end just had me fighting with all of them instead of enjoying the tranquil surroundings! Unfortunately the wildlife in Kasanka National Park has been reduced by illegal poaching and as we tried to do a little game drive on our last day we mainly saw Puku and Hippos. They say there are elephants and even a few Buffalo, maybe they can be seen in the dry season. Overall I think Kasanka should be on your list of places in Zambia to visit, it is family friendly, affordable and the bat migration is an amazing event to witness. The bats are in the bat forest between October and December so I’d recommend you go a little earlier (before the rain sets in) than we did.