For safari-goers who have been on their fair share of big mammal safaris, often a love for birding is found which really can last a lifetime. Africa is a birder’s paradise with so many different species from the rarest in the world to the most common (though never less beautiful!). Here are the safari expert’s picks of the very beat birdy havens around Zambia.
The best birding safaris in Zambia
Up there with the most amazing sights in the world is the carmine bee eaters when they nest in the banks of the winding Luangwa River. Watch as they dance around each other in their thousands creating a cloud of red; it really is amazing how they don’t fly into each other. They are truly beautiful birds, and enjoying this spectacle as the red sun sets over the river behind has to be one of the best birding experiences on the continent.
Liuwa Plains in November literally explodes with bird life. Visit at this time and you will be greeted by huge flocks of the biggest and rarest bird species on the continent such as pelicans, storks and cranes in their hundreds – quite the spectacle! Threatened species use Liuwa as a haven too as it offers the only breeding ground in the country for the slaty egret. Liuwa is not just for those who want to tick off the big mammals from their list, but for serious birders who could sit for hours admiring all different shapes, colours and sizes of African birdlife. Liuwa is probably home to the most splendid and vast variety of birds in Africa.
The Zambezi River is the thumping heart of the Lower Zambezi National Park and attracts a huge variety of rare water based birds. Here, you have the best chance of catching sight of the beautiful and much sought after Pel’s Fishing Owl, or on the smaller end of the scale the dainty African Jacana. There is so much to see here on the river other than hippos and crocs; for birders there is nowhere better than a boating safari, and there is nowhere better for a boating safari than the mighty Zambezi River.