Attracting bats to gardens is simple and does not need to involve bat boxes.
Plant indigenous trees, shrubs and ground covers, especially those that flower at night, attracting moths and other night flying insects. Plant plenty of Strelitzia and bananas. Have a shallow pond or water feature with clear space around it for bats to scoop up water in their mouths as they fly accross it.
It is obvious that to attract fruit bats one needs to plant non citrus indigenous fruit trees, what many people do not realise is that fruit bats also eat a wide variety of leaves. Below is a list of trees that are known to feature in fruit bats diet. It is also possible to attract fruit bats to a "bat table" by putting out chopped banana, paw paw, mango, litchies and other soft fruit at night.
List of tree associated with Epomophorus wahlbergi in KwaZulu-Natal
Compiled by Colin Sapsford (UKZN), with additions by Bats KZN members
Annona senegalensis (Wild Custard-apple)
Ekebergia capensis (Cape Ash)
Euclea natalensis (Hairy Guarri)
Eugenia capensis (Dune Myrtle)
Ficus spp. - esp. F. sur, F.
lutea, F. trichopoda, F. natalensis (Figs)
Halleria lucida (Tree-fuchsia)
Harpephyllum caffrum (Wild Plum)
Mimusops caffra (Coast
Podocarpus falcatus (Outeniqua Yellowwood)
Podocarpus latifolius (Real Yellowwood)
Rauvolfia caffra (Quinine-tree)
Sideroxylon inerme (White-milkwood)
Strelitzia nicolai (Coast Strelitzia)
Syzigium cordatum (Umdoni)
Tabernaemontana ventricosa(Forest Toad-tree)
Trichilia emetica (Natal Mahogany)
Voacanga thouarsii (Wild-frangipani)
Whalberg's epaulletted fruit bats also love Syringa berries and are the main propogator of this invasive alien tree.