What to see & do
Driving, walking (often wading!), boating and canoeing are the activities here, all of which must be done with guides. While the black lechwe are spectacular, the birdlife is Bangweulu's main attraction, and the ungainly shoebill is a particular favourite among visitors.
As you might expect from an area which is seasonally flooded, and whose name translates as 'where the water meets the sky', Bangweulu is a largely trackless wilderness. It is easy to get lost if you simply head into it yourself, and indiscriminate driving does much damage to both the soil structure and the ground-nesting birds. It is strongly recommended on safety and conservation grounds that 4WD owners use one of the camps as a base for their explorations; and you should take local advice about where to go and how to minimise your environmental impact.
Isangano National Park
East of Lake Bangweulu, Isangano National Park covers 840km2 of flat, well-watered grassland. The western side of the park forms part of the Bangweulu Wetlands, which are seasonally flooded.
The park's ecosystem was originally the same as that of the Bangweulu GMAs. However, it is reliably reported that the game in Isangano has totally disappeared because of settlement, agriculture and the consequent subsistence hunting. There is no internal road network within the park at all, though there is quite a high density of subsistence farmers settled within its boundaries. With this in mind, it's very doubtful that Isangano will ever become a National Park in anything but name. Visitors are advised to look toward the Bangweulu area if they want to visit this type of region. At least there is some infrastructure, and the local communities in the area will derive a positive benefit from your visit.