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Republic of Zambia

Bishop
Southern Red Bishop Euplectes orix ©Dominic Rollinson Website

Birding Zambia

The Republic of Zambia is a landlocked tropical country in south-central Africa. It has an area of 752,614km² and in 1994 the population was estimated to be 9.3 million, thus the average population density is 12.4 people per km². Most of the country is elevated plateau between 900m-1250m a.s.l. and small area in the north-east exceeds 2000m. Through Zambia lie several ancient arms of the rift valley system, notably the Luangwa and Zambezi Valleys (including the famous Victoria Falls) and the country around Lakes Mweru and Tanganyika. Most of the country is drained by the Zambezi system which flows into the Indian ocean. The remaining area lies within the Congo catchment and thus eventually feeds the Atlantic. Zambia's very pleasant climate can be divided into 3 seasons. The hot rainy season usually lasts 5-6 months between November and April. The remaining months are generally dry with temperatures cooler between May and August and hotter in September and October. Annual rainfall averages between 700-1500mm, decreasing southwards and in the major low-lying river valleys.

About 750 species have been recorded in Zambia. Of this total, well over 600 species are residents or afro-tropical migrants which breed here and about 100 are non-breeding migrants or vagrants from the palearctic region. Zambia has only two true endemic species (Chaplin's Barbet & Black-cheeked Lovebird); but there are several near-endemics and a large number of species that otherwise only occur in Angola and DRC - countries that are less accessible to travelling birders. It is the best place for finding all the south-central African endemics and one of the most important countries in Africa for birds.

Zambia can boast large tracts of pristine wilderness and the vast majority of the country falls within the Zambezian biome. Miombo woodland is the dominant vegetation and as it has little understorey it is easy to walk through. The key to successful birding is locating bird parties; these may comprise 20, 30 or more species and are a typical feature of the habitat. In most areas the woodland is laced with grassy dambos along the drainage lines; these hold a very different variety of species, particularly if they are wet or spongy. In the north, evergreen forest patches (mushitus) are found in dambos and in the north-west there are many forest species characteristic of the Congo basin. In the north-east several highland areas hold afromontane species, including many typical of the Eastern Arc mountains in Tanzania. Zambia also has a rich array of wetlands that are famous for their vast numbers of birds as well as their populations of Shoebills and Wattled Cranes. Further exploration of the country will reveal many other interesting habitats for birding such as teak and dry evergreen forest, acacia, munga & mopane woodland, thickets, termitaria, plains, papyrus swamps and seasonal pans. There are 19 National Parks in Zambia, covering nearly 9% of the country and in addition 35 Game Management Areas (GMAs) account for a further 22%.

Contacts
Birders looking for more information and a full Zambian checklist, contact the Zambian Ornithological Society zos@zamnet.zm or check a recent Bulletin of the African Bird Club for contact details of the Zambian representative. ZOS publish a newsletter every month and the Zambia Bird Report annually. ZOS is the BirdLife International Representative in Zambia.

Places to visit & birds to see
Below are some of the top birding destinations.

Top Sites

Bangweulu Wetlands

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Bangweulu Swamps - between Serenje and Samfya, is the place for Shoebills, several camps and other good birding spots nearby (e.g. Kasanka and Lavushi Manda NPs). Other birds include: Denham's Bustard, Common Bittern, White-cheeked Bee-eater, Rosy-breasted Longclaw, Wattled Crane, Swamp Flycatcher.

Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage

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Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage - a world famous home for Chimpanzees near Chingola, with accommodation, also a great birding spot. Birds include: Pale-billed Hornbill, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Central Bearded Scrub Robin, Bocage's Robin, Evergreen Forest Warbler, Laura's Warbler, Black-collared Eremomela, Splendid Starling, Chestnut-mantled Sparrow-weaver, Sharp-tailed Starling, White-chinned Prinia, Sousa's Shrike, Red-capped Crombec.

Ishiba Ng'andu Nature Reserve

Website

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Ishiba Ng'andu - the spectacular estate near Mpika was made famous in the best-selling book The Africa House. Accommodation. Birds include: White-headed Saw-wing, Bocage's Robin, Stout Cisticola, Bar-winged Weaver, Böhm's Flycatcher, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, Red-and-blue Sunbird, Black-chinned Quailfinch, Fülleborn's Longclaw, Ross's Turaco, Long-toed Flufftail, Yellow-bellied Hyliota.

Lochinvar National Park

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Lochinvar NP - in southern Zambia near Monze, some of the best wetland birding in the world with tens of thousands of waterbirds, camping or day trips. These include: Slaty Egret, Wattled Crane, Common Pratincole, White Pelican, Saddle-billed Stork, Denham's Bustard, Yellow-throated Sandgrouse, Caspian Plover and many palearctic waders and very good for raptors.

Mwinilunga

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Mwinilunga - the far north-west where the Congo birds begin. Stay at Nchila Wildlife Reserve (Hillwood) and from there visit the source of the Zambezi, the Zambezi Rapids, the Chitunta Plain and the forests of the far north. Birds include: Grimwood's Longclaw, Black-collared Bulbul, Angola Lark, Black-tailed Cisticola, Rufous Ant Thrush, Afep Pigeon, White-spotted Flufftail, Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Brown-eared Woodpecker, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Black-and-rufous Swallow, Honeyguide Greenbul, Bristlebill, Grey-winged Robin, Bamboo Warbler, Spotted Thrush-babbler, Margaret's Batis, Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, Bannerman's Sunbird.

Nkanga River Conservation Area

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Nkanga River Conservation Area - near Chaoma in southern Zambia, the best site for Zambia's endemic, Chaplin's Barbet, with accommodation, also within easy reach of Victoria Falls, Kafue NP and Lochinvar. Birds include: Crowned Eagle, 6 species of francolin, Streaky-breasted Flufftail, Sooty Chat, Miombo Pied Barbet, White-winged Black Tit, Green Indigobird, Narina Trogon, African Broadbill, Shelley's Sunbird. Black-cheeked Lovebird is found in Kafue NP nearby.

Nyika National Park

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Nyika NP - the best area to find all the montane specials, camping, or accommodation on Malawi side close by. Birds include: Bar-tailed Trogon, Olive-flanked Robin, Sharpe's Akalat, African Hill Babbler, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Red-tufted Malachite Sunbird, Bertram's Weaver, Mountain Marsh Whydah, White-chested Alethe, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Moustached Green Tinkerbird, Waller's Red-winged Starling, Chestnut-headed Apalis, Blue Swallow, Hildebrandt's Francolin.

South Luangwa National Park

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South Luangwa NP - near Chipata in eastern Zambia, the most popular NP for big game viewing with many camps. Birds include: Bat Hawk, Pel's Fishing Owl, Lilian's Lovebird, African Skimmer, Southern Crowned Crane, African Pitta, Southern Carmine Bee-eater.

Contributor

Pete Leonard

Nottingham, UK

pleonard@care4free.net

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 779

(As at September 2018)

National Bird: African Fish Eagle Haliaeetus vocoder

Endemics

Number of endemics: 1

Chaplin's Barbet Lybius chaplini

Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

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Useful Reading

Common Birds of Zambia

Written & Published by Zambian Ornithological Society | 1993 | Paperback | 92 pages, 12 colour plates, 4 illustrations, 1 map |

ISBN: 9982990101

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Important Bird Areas in Zambia

By Peter Leonard | Zambian Ornithological Society | 2005 | Paperback | 218 pages, Colour photos, illustrations, tabs, maps |

ISBN: 99828110101

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Newman's Birds of Southern Africa

By Kenneth B Newman, Faansie Peacock & vanessa Newman | Random House Struik | 2010 | Paperback | 536 pages, plates with colour illustrations; colour photos, colour distribution maps |

ISBN: 9781770078765

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa

By Phil AR Hockey, W Richard J Dean & Peter G Ryan | Jacana Publishers | 2006 (2018 Re-print) | Hardback | 1296 pages, 80 colour plates, maps, keys |

ISBN: 0620340533

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SASOL Birds of Southern Africa

(4th Edition) | By Ian Sinclair, Phil Hockey, Warwick Tarboton, Peter G Ryan, Norman Arlott & Peter Hayman | Random House Struik | 2014 | Paperback | 464 pages, plates with colour illustrations; colour distribution maps |

ISBN: 97817758409

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Southern African Birdfinder

[Where to find 1400 bird species in southern Africa and Madagascar] | By Callan Cohen, Claire Spottiswoode & Jonathan Rossouw | New Holland Publishers | 2006 | Paperback | 456 pages, 80 col photos, 100 maps, pull-out route map |

ISBN: 1868727254

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The Birds of Zambia: An Atlas and Handbook

By Robert J Dowsett, Dylan R Aspinwall & Françoise Dowsett-Lemaire | Tauraco Press | 2008 | Paperback | 606 pages, 16 colour plates, 720 distribution maps |

ISBN: 9782872250059

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Organisations

African Bird Club

Website

For a long time Zambia has been a well kept secret by those who live there and those who visit. However, this is changing rapidly as increasing numbers of birders and ecotourists are discovering this wonderful country. Zambia is safe and very friendly. It is accessible and the infrastructure is reasonable. It still supports huge areas of wilderness and it holds 750 species of bird, many of which are difficult to see anywhere else. Amongst its attractions are the spectacular Victoria Falls and some of the very best game-viewing safaris anywhere in the world…

BirdWatch Zambia (BWZ) (formerly Zambian Ornithological Society)

Website

BirdWatch Zambia (BWZ) formerly Zambian Ornithological Society (ZOS), is a membership-based environmental NGO established in 1969. BWZ is a member of a global environmental and conservation partnership through its membership of BirdLife International. Currently, BWZ is the only BirdLife International Partner in Zambia.

Reserves

Abbreviations Key

IBA WII Bangweulu Wetlands

Information

Satellite View

The Great Bangweulu Basin, incorporating the vast Bangweulu Lake and a massive wetland area lies in a shallow depression in the centre of an ancient cratonic platform, the North Zambian Plateau. A variety of bird species live in Bangweulu, including the African openbill, banded martin, blue-breasted bee-eater, and wattled crane (displayed clockwise from top left), photographed in the wetlands in 2016 Bangweulu has been designated as an "Important Bird Area" by BirdLife International. The wetlands are home to more than 400 bird species, including cormorants, ducks, egrets, geese, herons, ibises, pygmy goose, and waders. Most notable is the shoebill, a vulnerable species threatened by habitat burning for farming, competition with fisheries, wildlife trade, and other disturbances.[1][10] Other species recorded in Bangweulu include the great white pelican, saddle-billed stork, spoonbill, and wattled crane.

IBAs

Website

In Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands (BirdLife International 2001), 31 IBAs are listed for Zambia. The Zambian IBA network has now been updated and revised and comprises 42 IBAs. These have been documented in detail in Important Bird Areas in Zambia (LEONARD, P.M. 2005) from which the following map and IBA list is taken…

NP Blue Lagoon

Information

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Blue Lagoon National Park is a small wildlife haven in the northern part of the Kafue Flats in Zambia's Central Province. It covers about 500 km² and is very accessible, being about 100 km west of Lusaka (120 km by road). A very large number of bird species can be seen there, especially aquatic birds.

NP Isangano

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It covers an area of 840 square kilometers. Besides the various migratory species and water birds that can be found in the park, other common animals found at the park are the black lechwe, reedbuck, oribi, and sitatunga.

NP Kafue

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Kafue National Park is the largest national park in Zambia, covering an area of about 22,400 km² (similar in size to Wales or Massachusetts). It is the second largest park in Africa and is home to over 55 different species of mammals. The jewel in Kafue's crown however is the Zambezian flooded grasslands ecoregion in the north, including the Busanga Swamp and plains. These support large herds of herbivores and their predators. In the dry season the animals keep close to the swamps and marshy creeks and are easily seen. The area is also noted for its birdlife.

NP Kasanka

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Kasanka is one of Zambia’s smallest national parks. Kasanka was the first of Zambia’s national parks to be privately managed. Over 471 bird species have been identified in the park.

NP Lavushi Manda

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Lavushi Manda National Park is a national park in the Muchinga Province of Zambia with an area of 1,500 sq km. It is part of the Central Zambezian Miombo woodlands ecoregion. The streams draining Lavushi Manda are of critical importance for the ecologically extremely rich Bangweulu Wetlands. The inner deltas of the Lukulu and Lumbatwa rivers are among the richest parts of the Wetlands. Lavushi Manda is recognised as an Important Bird Area (IBA) on account of the presence of a large number of biome-restricted species and threatened species. To date 349 bird species have been recorded. Eleven (near-)threatened bird species have been recorded in the Lavushi Manda. Of these, Bateleur, Crowned Eagle, Martial Eagle and Southern Ground Hornbill occur in good numbers. The rare and enigmatic Shoebill breeds in the adjacent Bangweulu GMA. Lavushi Manda is home to rock-associated species – these are basically absent from other parts of the Bangweulu system and also not easily seen in the nearby Luangwa system. The presence of Verreaux's Eagle is notable. Other specials are mainly species of dambo grasslands such as Locustfinch, Streaky-breasted Flufftail, and Blue Quail; miombo woodlands such as Anchieta's Sunbird, Anchieta's Barbet, and Böhm's Flycatcher; and rivers with associated evergreen forest such as . Finfoot, Purple-throated Cuckooshrike, and Böhm's Bee-eater. The park holds large numbers of several Palaearctic migrants. Collared Flycatcher occurs in particularly high densities. The Lavushi Manda mountain chain forms a regionally important flight path for among others raptors, bee-eaters and swallows.

NP Liuwa Plain

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The park's grasslands support a variety of large mammals, including tens of thousands of blue wildebeest, whose annual migration is Africa's second largest. Frequently sighted large predators include the cheetah, spotted hyena, and lion. 334 bird species, including various species of birds of prey, bustards, cranes (including grey crowned cranes and the endangered wattled crane), pelicans, pratincoles, and storks, have been recorded in Liuwa. Raptors include the bateleur, greater kestrel, martial eagle, palm-nut vulture, and Pel's fishing owl, as well as African fish eagles. Recorded water birds include the marabou, open-billed, saddle-billed, and yellow-billed stork, as well as the blacksmith lapwing, egrets (including the slaty egret), the grey heron, pygmy geese, the spur-winged goose, and the three-banded plover. The black-winged pratincole, Denham's bustard, long-tailed widowbird, pink-billed lark, rosy-throated longclaw, secretary bird, sharp-tailed starling, swamp boubou, white-bellied bustard, and white-cheeked bee-eater are also present, as are clapper larks.

NP Lochinvar

Information

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The Lochinvar National Park lies south west of Lusaka in Zambia, on the south side of the Kafue River. The park is very similar to Blue Lagoon National Park on the other side of the Kafue on the northern flats.

NP Lower Zambezi

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The Lower Zambezi National Park lies on the north bank of the Zambezi River in southeastern Zambia. The park itself is ringed by a much larger game management area (commonly referred to as GMA); there are no fences between the park and the GMA and both animals and people are free to roam across the whole area.

NP Luambe

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The park is situated north-east of the famous South Luangwa National Park, and south of the North Luangwa National Park. Like its neighbours, it is located in the Luangwa River rift valley. The combination of water and land has created a very special ecosystem. In Luambe, there are numerous lagoons, which are visited by animals and birds in the dry season and which promote biodiversity.

NP Lukusuzi

Information

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Lukusuzi National Park is located in eastern Luangwa Valley in Zambia, on the other side of the Luangwa River from the more famous South Luangwa National Park. It lies between the smaller Luambe National Park (on the eastern bank of the river) and the Chipata-Lundazi road. Much of the park is plateau dissected by rocky ridges and rugged valleys. The main ecoregion in which the park lies is the southern miombo woodlands characterised by the miombo trees insterspersed with grassland. At lower elevations, such as at the bottom of the Luangwa valley, miombo give way to mopane trees.

NP Lusaka

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It is Zambia's newest national park, established in 2011 and officially opened in 2015. It is also Zambia's smallest national park at 6,715 hectares. The park was established over an area that was previously forest reserve and is entirely fenced.

NP Lusenga Plain

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Originally a grounds for hunting, Lusenga Plain was converted into one of Zambia's national parks in 1972. Featuring one of Zambia's highest amount of rainfall, the plain experiences about 1500 millimeters of rain yearly. The Kalungwishi River flows through the park and includes Zambia's second highest waterfall: Lumangwe Falls. Originally experiencing a dearth of wildlife, the reintroduction of species began in 2007. Species reintroduced include the Grant's zebra, puku and impala.

NP Mosi-oa-Tunya

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It is home to one half of the Mosi-oa-Tunya - 'The Smoke Which Thunders' — known worldwide as Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River. The river forms the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, so the falls are shared by the two countries, and the park is 'twin' to the Victoria Falls National Park on the Zimbabwean side. The tops of the deep gorges below the falls can be reached by road and walking tracks through the park and are good places to see klipspringers, clawless otters and 35 species of raptors such as the Taita falcon, black eagle, peregrine falcon and augur buzzard, which all breed there.

NP Mweru Wantipa

Information

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Though mostly in the Central Zambezian Miombo woodlands ecoregion, the Mweru-Wantipa/Sumbu area has a rare and endangered ecoregion or vegetation type known as Itigi-Sumbu thicket, an almost impenetrable bush consisting of about a hundred plant species woven together so densely that it is virtually impossible to walk through. It is known from only one other location in central Tanzania.

NP North Luangwa (Conservation Project)

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Satellite View

In 1986, Mark and Delia Owens established the North Luangwa Conservation Project (NLCP) to rehabilitate and conserve the 2,400-square-mile North Luangwa National Park of Zambia. At that time, commercial meat and ivory poachers had killed all of the park's 2,000 black rhinos and they were killing 1,000 of its elephants each year. In the previous decade, poachers had slaughtered up to 100,000 elephants and virtually all of 6,000 black rhinos in the Luangwa Valley as a whole. They set wild fires that burned over 85% of the area every year. If left unprotected, by 1996 North Luangwa would have been sterilized of its large mammals.

NP Nsumbu

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Flamingo, African skimmer, spoonbill, whiskered tern, stork, duck, heron, grey-headed gull, lesser black-backed gull, white-winged black tern, fish eagle, palmnut vulture (occasionally), Pel's fishing owl (occasionally)

NP Nyika

Information

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Nyika National Park lies in the northeast of Zambia, on the western edge of the Nyika Plateau, which is one of the highest parts of the country and most of which lies in neighbouring Malawi. Between September and April, a wide variety of wildflowers can be seen in the national park. The Nyika Plateau and two smaller highland areas to the north are the only representatives in Zambia of the Southern Rift montane forest-grassland mosaic ecoregion. For other details of the park environment and wildlife, see the Malawian park.

NP Sioma Ngwezi

Information

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Sioma Ngwezi National Park is a 5,000-square-kilometre park in the south west corner of Zambia. It is undeveloped and rarely visited, lacking roads and being off the usual tourist tracks, but this may change in the future.

NP South Luangwa

Website

Satellite View

A bit over 400 miles from the capital of Lusaka, South Luangwa offers a remote wildlife experience far off the typical East Africa track…

NP West Lunga

Information

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It lies between the West Lunga River and Kabompo River about 10 km north of the gravel road from Solwezi to Kabompo, and covers about 1700 km².

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Birding Ecotours

Tour Operator

Highlights include birding the Kasane area, Victoria Falls, Nkanga River Conservancy – one of the best birding hotspots as birding here is fast and furious with a bewildering variety of birds, Kasanka National Park which has serveral different habitats, and Bangweulu swamp (Shoebill Island Camp) is an absolute waterbird mecca, with over 400 species on record.

Navigate African Safaris

Webpage

Zambia, which consists mainly of high plateaus with some hills and mountainous areas, is a landlocked country with a tropical climate. The country is drained by two main river basins: the Zambezi/Kafue basin in the centre, west and south, and the Congo basin in the north.

Norman Carr Safaris

Tour Operator

Norman Carr Safaris is one of the leading safari operators in the Luangwa Valley…

Robin Pope Safaris

Tour Operator

Robin Pope Safaris is the most established and successful safari operator in the South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. With three small camps, Nkwali, Nsefu and the infamous Tena Tena, RPS offers personalised safaris combining genuine African bush with simple yet stylish luxury. Each camp is individual in atmosphere and location.

Rockjumper Birding Tours

Tour Operator

Zambia is one of Africa’s most remarkable countries, offering vast areas of pristine wilderness and a great diversity of habitats. A tour to Zambia will specifically target the nation’s endemics and near-endemics, namely Chaplin’s Barbet, Black-cheeked and Lillian’s Lovebird, Böhm’s Flycatcher and the beautiful Böhm’s Bee-eater.

Shenton Safaris - Photographic Safari Zambia

Tour Operator

Explore Southern Africa safari holidays in Zambia with Shenton Safaris and get up close and personal with the wildlife of Africa…

Shoebill Tours

Tour Operator

Specialist birding trips in Zambia, Botswana and South Africa…

Sunvil Discovery

Tour Operator

A specialist travel company offering tours in Zambia, for small groups at various times of the year.

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2006 [10 October] - Bo Beolens

Report

This leg was a truly marvellous 2-week multi-nation birding safari. The adventure first sampled one of the richest birding regions in Africa, the Victoria Falls/Caprivi/Okavango region. This is one of the greatest bird (both water birds and woodland species) and mammal havens on earth. The itinerary then took us westwards into increasingly dryer habitats and eventually into the very heart of the Namib Desert with its beautiful, rugged mountains, gravel plains, camelthorn-lined dry riverbeds, dunes and more. The stunning, scenically diverse Namib Desert (which extends into southern Angola) is inhabited by a host of endemic bird species. Finally, this leg ended on the Namib Coast. Here, Namibia’s only true endemic (Dune Lark) displays above sparsely vegetated red sand dunes, the diminutive, endangered Damara Tern reaches its highest densities anywhere, the beautiful Chestnut-banded Plover runs over the sand, and an amazing spectacle of flamingos, pelicans, waders and grebes work the Walvis Bay Lagoon…

2008 [11 November] - Kathie Claydon

Report

…We have visited Livingstone many times, staying at Liyoyelo Farm. No longer a farm, this is NOMAD African Travel’s base in Zambia by the Zambezi river, 16 kms west of Livingstone and close to the boundary of Mosi-oa-Tunya park…

2009 [12 December] - Josh Engel

Report

We began this tour by seeing one of Africa’s most beautiful and sought after birds: African Pitta. After that, the rest was just details. But not really, considering we tacked on 260 more birds and loads of great mammals. We saw Zambia’s only endemic bird, Chaplin’s Barbet, as well as a number of miombo and broad-leaf specialties, including Miombo Rock-Thrush, Racket-tailed Roller, Southern Hyliota, Miombo Pied Barbet, Miombo Glossy Starling, Bradfield’s Hornbill, Pennant-winged Nightjar, and Three-banded Courser…

2012 [11 November] - John van der Dol

PDF Report

…Our boat trip up and down the mighty Zambesi was very successful with three male Finfoots being the highlights. Great views and more photos. Six were seen at two locations last tour. Other interesting birds were loads of Water Thick‐knees, two Rock Pratincoles, some Skimmers, and the usual herons including Goliath, Green‐backed etc. Giant and Malachite Kingfishers were fun and lots of Blacksmith and White‐crowned Lapwings gave good views too messing around along the river banks….

2013 [03 March] - Neil McLeod - Namibia, Botswana & Zambia

PDF Report

Naturetrek - Safariwise

2013 [12 December] - Tertius Gous

Report

This was an intensive seven-day tour visiting key sites near Lusaka, Ndola and Choma. The main aim was timing the tour at the best season for African Pitta, and having multiple chances to find it. We birded the mixed and miombo woodlands of the Zambian plateau and then descended into the Zambezi valley where we searched for birds typical of the dry deciduous thickets and woodlands of this region, in particular the African Pitta...

2015 [04 April] - Justin Nicolau

PDF Report

...A visit to the nearby Batoka Gorge, cut away by the Zambezi River beneath the falls, yielded African Openbill, Verreaux’s Eagle, Rock Martin, Red-winged Starling, White-backed Vulture, and a resident pair of Augur Buzzards. Mosque Swallows and African Black Swifts quartered above, while Trumpeter and African Grey Hornbills crossed the deep woodland below.

2016 [10 October] - Cuan Rush - Namibia, Okavango and Victoria Falls V

PDF Report

2016 [11 November] - Angus McGready

PDF Report

This report attempts to give a flavour of a week in the Luangwa valley, and was kindly written by someone from Martin’s vehicle. Group members in other vehicles may have seen different things, but the entire group saw most of what is in the report. Far more birds and mammals were seen than are mentioned in the daily summaries, and more details can be seen at the end in the species lists. The weather throughout the week was hot, with temperatures getting up to the mid-thirties. This was not a problem when we were in the vehicles, but after lunch it was definitely siesta time! Most evenings we could see lightning, but these were associated with localised storms and only bothered us on one or two occasions.

2016 [11 November] - Jason Boyce

PDF Report

A very early start to a number of local patches of miombo woodland topped off our woodland species list nicely with Green-capped Eremomela, Stierling’s Wren-Warbler, Grey Penduline Tit, Black Cuckooshrike, Pale Flycatcher, and Icterine Warbler....

2016 [11 November] - Sean Braine

PDF Report

The road from Katima was pretty bumpy but we arrived at our lodge by late afternoon allowing us some time to explore the wonderful gardens and to take in the view of the mighty Zambezi River! New birds around the lodge garden included Spectacled Weaver and Yellow-breasted Apalis. We then spent the last couple of hours of the day WISE BIRDING HOLIDAYS LTD – NAMIBIA, BOTSWANA, ZAMBIA: Birds & Mammals, Nov 2016 taking a very relaxing cruise on the Zambezi River whilst sipping a cool beer and enjoying some snacks and all with the constant distraction of birds - How civilised! Highlights included Long-toed Lapwing, eight White-headed Lapwing, nine Rock Pratincoles, African Skimmers, 25 White-winged Terns, a perched Western Banded Snake-eagle and a couple of Trumpeter Hornbills. The grand finale was a female African Finfoot that posed at dusk close to our boat and even ventured out of the water and onto the muddy bank.

2016 [12 December] - Elaine Harding

PDF Report

As was becoming the normal pattern, after breakfast we set off towards the national park on a hot, sunny day, stopping en route to watch a variety of birds including Painted-snipe, Carmine Bee-eater, White-crowned Lapwing, Wire-tailed Swallow, Spur-winged Goose, African Pied Wagtail, Helmeted Guineafowl, Red-billed Quelea, Crowned Crane and an Emerald-spotted Wood Dove.

2017 [09 September] - David Hoddinott

PDF Report

...Our key target today, however, was the localised endemic Chaplin’s Barbet, and after getting permission to enter a private farm, we were delighted to find a very co-operative pair – which we found after a short while in their favoured habitat, a large fruiting fig tree..

2017 [10 October] - Rob Mileto

PDF Report

... other commonplace birds of the area included White-browed Sparrow Weavers, Meves's Starling and Grey Go-away-bird. More unusual species also punctuated the early morning, including a Martial Eagle and Bohm's Spinetail (for some) and a rather magnificent Saddle-billed Stork. A Red-headed Weaver in the first stage of nest building was a particular treat for one van...

2017 [12 December] - Caroline Jackson-Houlston

PDF Report

...We met the commonest bird, the energetic White-browed Sparrow-Weaver, and a number of charismatic and colourful species also seen most days: Lilac-breasted Roller, White-fronted Bee-eater, three iridescent starlings, and Woodland and Malachite Kingfishers...

2018 [08 August] - Daniel Keith Danckwerts - Namibia , Botswana & Zambia

PDF Report

Our tour then ended in Zambia, where we visited the Victoria Falls. Rightly considered one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World – we were all left totally bewildered!

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Chiawa Camp

Accommodation

Chiawa Camp is a must for any visit to Zambia. Superb accommodation, magnificent game viewing and scenery, and a large variety of activities are complemented by a modern infrastructure and an attentive, professional staff.

Chinzombo Safari Lodge

Accommodation

Nestled in a shady grove of magnificent ebony and mahogany trees on the banks of the Luangwa River, offers accommodation for a maximum of 18 guests. It is a small, personalised lodge known for its friendly welcoming atmosphere and scenic location overlooking the National Park.

Chundukwa River Lodge

Accommodation

Situated on the grassy banks of the Zambezi River just 25km upstream from the mighty Victoria Falls, Chundukwa offers the best of both worlds when visiting the Victoria Falls-only 30minutes drive away, however far enough from the busy hotels and buzzing Helicopters to provide a real retreat for the mind and soul...

Flatdogs Camp

Accommodation

The quality of our guiding is of a high standard and with a great diversity of mammals, both large and small, and over 400 bird species the South Luangwa is a spectacle not to be missed…

Ilala Lodge

Accommodation

Ilala Lodge offers distinguished yet affordable accommodation in warm elegant surroundings. The decor evokes an era of early adventure and the quest for discovery in Africa. All the communal guest areas exude a colonial atmosphere with antiques, curios and unusual prints which continue the theme of African adventure and sophisticated indulgence from times gone by...

Kafue River Lodge

Accommodation

Kafue River Lodge is set on 143 hectares of private land just outside Kafue National Park.

Kafunta River Lodge

Accommodation

Set in riverine forest on the banks of the Luangwa River, our eight chalets, set on stilts, overlook the South Luangwa National Park. Relax on your private verandah and allow your senses to appreciate the surroundings. Observe Elephants crossing the river and Giraffe browsing. Listen to the Hippo’s chorus and the songs of the rich bird life.

Kaingo

Accommodation

Kaingo is a small, exclusive camp, deep within the South Luangwa National Park. This camp is renowned for excellent game sightings, particularly leopard. As the number of guests is limited to ten, you will enjoy a personalised and exclusive safari…

Lilayi Lodge

Accommodation

Lilayi Lodge, only 20 minutes drive from Lusaka, provides the ideal setting for a relaxed stay. Set in a 700 hectare game ranch the lodge offers a luxurious accommodation close to Zambia`s capital city. The Lodge is designed in traditional style with thatched chalets, one of which accommodates the lounge, bar, dining area and modern kitchen. A recent addition is a new conference and function room built in the same style. Set in very attractive parkland with a sparkling pool, the complex is designed for comfort and relaxation with particular attention to excellent cuisine and service.

Mfuwe Lodge

Accommodation

Mfuwe Lodge is positioned inside Zambia’s famed South Luangwa National Park. Built between two spectacular lagoons, this new lodge offers remarkable game viewing right from your balcony. All the materials used in the construction of the new Lodge, including thatch for the roofs, timber and stone have been obtained locally. Great attention has been given to environmental issues, and the low profile lodge blends totally with the surrounding environment.

Musungwa Safari Lodge

Accommodation

Basic details…

Nkwali, Tena Tena & Nsefu Camps

Accommodation

Nkwali, Tena Tena and Nsefu Camps are all owned and operated by Robin Pope Safaris. They are small bush style camps with the emphasis on the guiding and the bush experience….

Shoebill Island Camp

Accommodation

Shoebill Island Camp is currently the only photographic safari camp in the Bangweulu area. This tented camp accommodates a total of twelve persons in comfortable twin bedded cottage tents. Shared shower and safari toilet units are located nearby. A central dining and lounge nsaka and lookout platform provide a relaxed setting for those wishing to relax and observe the prolific birdlife from camp…

Taita Falcon Lodge

Accommodation

Perched above Rapid 17 on the very edge of the Batoka Gorge, Taita Falcon offers superb views of the raging Zambezi waters 200m below…