Shoebill Island Camp is situated in the Bangweulu. Bangweulu means 'the place where the water meets the sky'. The Great Bangweulu Basin, incorporating the vast Bangweulu Lake and a massive Wetland area, lies in a shallow depression in the center of an ancient cratonic platform, the North Zambian Plateau.
The basin is fed by 17 principle rivers from a catchment area of 190 000 kms2, but is drained by only one river, the Luapula.The area floods in the wet season between November and March, and receives an average annual rainfall of about 1200mm, but 90% of the water entering the system is lost to evapo-transpiration. The resultant effect is that the water level in the centre of the basin varies between one and two meters, causing the floodline to advance and retreat by as much as 45 kilometres at the periphery. It is this seasonal rising and falling of the flood waters that dictates life in the swamps.
Completely re-built, the camp is located on the west side of the wetlands on a small island overlooking the main lake. Positioned right on the high flood line in a grove of trees, the camp's main area opens entirely to the vast plains with lechwe and flocks of diverse waterbirds within arm's reach. There are 4 tents, (2 double, 2 twin) set on the back of the island. Shoebill offers walking, deep hull photographic canoeing, mokoro as well as genuine impromptu community visits - it's not just 'for the birders'.
Access is by charter plane to Chikuni, which is Shoebills own private airstrip.