Migration season is upon us! Not the wildebeest migration (they’ve been and gone in their millions), but the world’s biggest migration of mammals, the Kasanka fruit bat migration. Each year, in October, November, and December, straw coloured fruit bats (no less than ten million of them), migrate from the Democratic Republic of Congo to a few tiny acres of Kasanka National Park.
By day, trees are laden with bats, nestled wing-to-wing in the evergreen forest. Below, in the shade of the mushitu trees, wander vultures and crocodiles with open jaws, waiting for a branch to crack under the weight of the slumbering bats. At dusk, a whirlwind of 20 million wings, spanning a metre across, takes off, filling the skies with a swirling cloud of bats. They set off in search of juicy mango and waterberries, before returning at dawn, a swirl of wings in the red light of the setting sun.
All photos courtesy of Robin Pope Safaris.