Not as well lengthy ago, a tale was recounted to me by an individual who visited Zambia’s Kafue National Park. There they had heard the tale of a British birder with a life list that would rival the phone directory in length. He did, nonetheless, have a handful of uncommon species left to see, and hoped to tick them off in Kafue.
Now the birder in query came to the park at a time of year when the wildlife was especially abundant and active, and uncomplicated for guides and guests to spot. On his game drive, he came across a lion, and it was devoid of doubt one particular of the finest sightings of the year. And do you know what? The birder asked the guide to drive straight on. The birdlife of Kafue is so extraordinary, so one of a kind, that even finding a close up view of a lion couldn’t compete!
Of course for most folks, there’s a balance to be struck amongst the birds and the beasts. You may possibly have a private preference for one particular or the other, but can nonetheless appreciate the majesty of each. In Zambia, you by no means have to pick out – all types of creatures are present in abundance – but if you are keen on all factors feathered, you are in for a distinct treat.
I began this story in Kafue, and it is a will have to if you want to see river birds. Sailing along the river from the remote Musekese Camp, you will undoubtedly see African fish eagle, plus giant and malachite kingfisher, swooping down to the water to catch fish. Owls make their nests in the branches hanging down more than the water, and when you motor underneath you can even get close adequate to see the greedy chicks inside. Jesus birds look to be capable to stroll on the shallow water alongside the riverbank – that is how they got their name – and there are lots of other waders, as well.
In all probability the most common spot for birding in Zambia is the Luangwa Valley. It was in South Luangwa that Norman Carr very first pioneered his well-known walking safaris, and to this day they stay one particular of the really finest techniques to get close to the birds as you method gradually and quietly, and as a result the birds are undisturbed.
To date some 400 species of birds have been recorded in South Luangwa. The migrating colonies of southern carmine bee eater settle right here in August and September, there are considerable numbers of African skimmer, and you are most likely to see pelican and yellow billed stork, as well.
If you choose to have a national park to oneself, sharing it just with the wildlife, you want to go to the far northwest of Zambia to Liuwa Plain. There is just one particular permanent camp right here – King Lewanika Lodge – and it is definitely spectacular.
African Parks are steadily rebuilding the fragile Liuwa ecosystem, which is flooded for a great deal of the year. The migratory birds adore this watery wilderness, and you can see substantial flocks of pelican, stork, and plover. The African spoonbill is undoubtedly a birding highlight, and so as well are the crowned and wattled crane. Liuwa Plain is the only breeding ground in Zambia for whiskered tern, which is but an additional purpose you ought to pay a visit to.
Zambia is one particular of the unsung treasures of southern Africa. No matter whether you are a casual birdwatcher or a significant twitcher, the guides right here will enthrall you with their expertise and with their eagle eyes aid you spot and recognize the country’s most spectacular and significant species.
Laura Burdett-Munns is Managing Director at Africa Exclusive. Africa Exclusive has been making the finest tailor-produced safaris given that 1990, specialising in luxurious accommodation in attractive remote locations.
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