This trip was taken by my non-birding husband and myself. Another non-birding couple joined us for the first 6 days.
Flew to Harare from Naples, Florida via Miami and London. Arrived Harare on October 31. Our trip was divided into sections -- Zimbabwe national parks, a private game camp, and Botswana game reserves. All arrangements were made with Londa Mela Safaris. Except for our time in the Bulawayo, Zimbabwe area, when we resided in lodges or cabins, we camped in tents. Our tenting facilities were tents large enough to stand upright and for 2 cots and a small table between them. We had ensuite facilities -- i.e. each tent had a canvas enclosure at the back with a pit toilet with a box and toilet seat over it and a canvas bucket shower that was filled with water heated over the campfire. We had a guide and a staff of 3 -- a cook/driver, a server, and a helper. Most people who are not into camping consider what we did as "roughing it". However, we still had some of the comforts not found in the more primitive situations. The staff took care of our cooking, cleaning, and laundry. They even ironed our clothes, using an iron filled with hot coals.
We camped here for 5 nights. The daytime temperatures hovered around 100°F (38°C), nights got down to the mid-80's (29°C). We were able to stay relatively comfortable by keeping our clothes wet, draping wet towels over our heads or shoulders, and keeping our activity limited to early morning and late afternoon. We chose this time of year because it is the end of the dry season, when the ground water is at a minimum, bringing the game to existing waterholes. It worked, because animal viewing was superb before the rains started. We saw every species of mammal (see list at end of report) that we had hoped to see, except for Cheetah. We had fabulous viewing of elephants, lions, giraffes, sable, roan, and the ubiquitous impala. This park is lovely with mopane woodland and savannah woodland habitats. During this stay in Hwange NP, I saw and identified 72 species of birds, of which 21 were lifers.
Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiacus Gray Heron Ardea cinerea Goliath Heron Ardea goliath Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Hamerkop Scopus umbretta **African Spoonbill Platalea alba Yellow-billed Stork Mycteria ibis Abdim's Stork Ciconia abdimii Saddle-billed Stork Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis Osprey Pandion haliaetus **Cuckoo Hawk Aviceda cuculoides Yellow-billed Kite Milvus aegyptius African Fish-Eagle Haliaeetus vocifer White-backed Vulture Gyps africanus **Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres Lappet-faced Vulture Torgos tracheliotus White-headed Vulture Trigonoceps occipitalis Bateleur Terathopius ecaudatus **Gymnogene Polyboroides typus Tawny Eagle Aquila rapax **African Hawk-Eagle Hieraaetus spilogaster Martial Eagle Polemaetus bellicosus Dickinson's Kestrel Falco dickinsoni Helmeted Guineafowl Numida meleagris Swainson's Francolin Francolinus swainsonii Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus Blacksmith Plover Vanellus armatus Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis Cape Turtle Dove Streptopelia capicola Red-eyed Dove Streptopelia semitorquata Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove Turtur chalcospilos **African Green-Pigeon Treron calva Meyer's Parrot Poicephalus meyeri Gray Lourie Corythaixoides concolor Pearl-spotted Owlet Glaucidium perlatum Little Bee-eater Merops pusillus ***Swallow-tailed Bee-eater Merops hirundineus **European Roller Coracias garrulus Lilac-breasted Roller Coracias caudata Broad-billed Roller Eurystomus glaucurus Red-billed Woodhoopoe Phoeniculus purpureus Greater Scimitar-bill Rhinopomastus cyanomelas Red-billed Hornbill Tockus erythrorhynchus Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill Tockus leucomelas Southern Ground-Hornbill Bucorvus leadbeateri White-browed Robin Poecilodryas superciliosa **Eurasian Golden-Oriole Oriolus oriolus **Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio **Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach **White-crowned Shrike Eurocephalus anguitimens **Three-streaked Tchagra Tchagra jamesi Glossy Starling Lamprotornis nitens Meves's Long-tailed Starling Lamprotornis mevesii Yellow-billed Oxpecker Buphagus africanus Red-billed Oxpecker Buphagus erythrorhynchus **Lesser Striped-Swallow Hirundo abyssinica **Common House-Martin Delichon urbica Common (Black-eyed) Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus Arrow-marked Babbler Turdoides jardineii **Monotonous Lark Mirafra passerina **Southern Grey-headed Sparrow Passer diffusus **Melba Finch Pytilia melba Blue Waxbill Uraeginthus angolensis **Violet-eared Waxbill Uraeginthus granatina **Grassveld Pipit Anthus cinnamomeus White-browed Sparrow-Weaver Plocepasser mahali Southern Masked-Weaver Ploceus velatus Red-billed Quelea Quelea quelea Yellow-eyed Canary Serinus mozambicus **Yellow Canary Serinus flaviventris Golden-breasted Bunting Emberiza flaviventris**=Lifebird
From Hwange, we were supposed to fly to Kariba to pick up a charter flight to Matusadona National Park. Easier said than done. Because President Robert Mugabe felt that he needed troops to be sent to The Congo to protect his personal financial interests there, airplanes, jet fuel, and spare parts were also being sent. That left Air Zimbabwe without. On our first try, we did not get out at all. Air Zim put all the passengers up at Hwange Safari Lodge, a lovely hotel on the edge of Hwange NP and a far different category than our tent! After one night in delightful air-conditioned quarters with swimming pool, we returned to the airport. After a delay, a plane from Uganda Airways was borrowed by Air Zim, and we were taken to Victoria Falls (about 50 miles from where we started). Later, we were flown to Harare. From there, Air Zim offered to bus the passengers to Kariba -- a five-hour drive. We would have missed our connection with our charter, so we hired the charter directly from Harare to Matusadona NP. When we deplaned in Matusadona, it was 114 °F (46°C) in the shade. Since it was late afternoon, it cooled down to 90°F (32°C). We made it to our campsite, which was a 1 1/2-hour drive from the landing strip.
At dinner that evening, we watched a forest fire burning down a hillside about 10 miles away, while lions roared at our backs. Because it was before moonrise, it was totally black beyond the range of our lanterns. The lions sounded very close, and I felt like they were breathing down my neck, although they were probably on the far side of a wide ravine by which we were camped. The next morning, the other couple who was with us and our guide drove to headquarters and arranged for us to leave. While they worked on arrangements, my husband and I remained in camp, where we were visited by an elephant and 19 species (5 lifers) of birds. By 11:00 AM, it was 122°F (50°C). Of the 18 campsites that had been occupied, we were the next to last to depart. Only one group opted to stay in the heat. The other couple with us went on their way to South Africa. We flew to Bulawayo, where it was only 64°F (17°C) and got down to the mid-50's (about 12°C) at night. There has to be a happy medium!!
African Fish-Eagle Haliaeetus vocifer Crested Francolin Francolinus sephaena Double-banded Sandgrouse Pterocles bicinctus **African Palm-Swift Cypsiurus parvus Little Bee-eater Merops pusillus Southern Carmine Bee-eater Merops nubicoides Lilac-breasted Roller Coracias caudata Broad-billed Roller Eurystomus glaucurus Red-billed Woodhoopoe Phoeniculus purpureus Red-billed Hornbill Tockus erythrorhynchus African Gray Hornbill Tockus nasutus Southern Ground-Hornbill Bucorvus leadbeateri African Paradise-Flycatcher Terpsiphone viridis Fork-tailed Drongo Dicrurus adsimilis **Gray-headed Bushshrike Malaconotus blanchoti **Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata **Collared Palm-Thrush Cichladusa arquata Common (Black-eyed) Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus **Southern Black-Tit Parus niger
We stayed in several places around Bulawayo. We started out at the private game reserve, Camp Amalinda, owned by Londa Mela Safaris. Because we were supposed to be at Matusadona and Mana Pools National Parks during this time, there was room at Amalinda for only the first 2 nights. After that, we spent one night at Farmhouse Cottages, about a mile from Amalinda, and Paddy's Retreat on the other side of Bulawayo. Our activities were still arranged by Londa Mela. We visited the Museum of Natural History, Matopos National Park, the grounds of Camp Amalinda, Bulawayo, Aiselby Municipal Sewage Treatment Facility (requisite sewage plant!). We watched 51 species (12 lifers) of birds at Matopos NP, 58 (16 lifers) at Aiselby, 28 (9 lifers) at Camp Amalinda. In Matopos NP, we also got very close to 3 Black Rhinos while we were walking! The numbers and species of animals were less, but we had some nice sightings.
**Little Grebe (Dabchick) Tachybaptus ruficollis Reed (Long-tailed) Cormorant Phalacrocorax africanus Great (White-breasted) Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo African Darter Anhinga rufa Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiacus Comb Duck (Knob-billed) Sarkidiornis melanotos **African Black Duck Anas sparsa Red-billed Duck (Teal) Anas erythrorhyncha **Hottentot Teal Anas hottentota **Great White Egret Casmerodius albus Little Egret Egretta garzetta Gray Heron Ardea cinerea Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Hamerkop Scopus umbretta Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus African Spoonbill Platalea alba Yellow-billed Stork Mycteria ibis Saddle-billed Stork Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis Yellow-billed Kite Milvus aegyptius African Fish-Eagle Haliaeetus vocifer Brown Snake-Eagle Circaetus cinereus **Augur Buzzard Buteo augur **Black Eagle Ictinaetus malayensis **Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina **Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis Wahlberg's Eagle Aquila wahlbergi African Hawk-Eagle Hieraaetus spilogaster Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus Helmeted Guineafowl Numida meleagris **Natal Francolin Francolinus natalensis Swainson's Francolin Francolinus swainsonii **Black Crake Amaurornis flavirostra Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus Red-knobbed Coot Fulica cristata Kori Bustard Ardeotis kori African Jacana Actophilornis africanus **Common Redshank Tringa totanus Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes **Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola Common Sandpiper Tringa hypoleucos Water Thick-knee (Dikkop) Burhinus vermiculatus Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus **Kittlitz's Plover Charadrius pecuarius Three-banded Plover Charadrius tricollaris Blacksmith Plover Vanellus armatus White-headed Lapwing Vanellus albiceps **Wattled Lapwing (Plover) Vanellus senegallus **Crowned Lapwing (Plover) Vanellus coronatus Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove Turtur chalcospilos Namaqua Dove Oena capensis **Red-faced Mousebird Urocolius indicus Gray Lourie Corythaixoides concolor **Pied (Jacobin) Cuckoo Oxylophus jacobinus **Dideric (Diederik) Cuckoo Chrysococcyx caprius **Brown-hooded Kingfisher Halcyon albiventris Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis Little Bee-eater Merops pusillus European Bee-eater Merops apiaster Lilac-breasted Roller Coracias caudata African Hoopoe Upupa africana Red-billed Woodhoopoe Phoeniculus purpureus Greater Scimitar-bill Rhinopomastus cyanomelas Red-billed Hornbill Tockus erythrorhynchus African Gray Hornbill Tockus nasutus **Pied Barbet Tricholaema leucomelas Black-collared Barbet Lybius torquatus Crested Barbet Trachyphonus vaillantii African Paradise-Flycatcher Terpsiphone viridis Fork-tailed Drongo Dicrurus adsimilis **White-necked Raven Corvus albicollis African Black-headed Oriole Oriolus larvatus Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach Common Fiscal Shrike Lanius collaris **Black-backed Puffback Dryoscopus cubla **Tropical Boubou Laniarius aethiopicus Crimson-breasted Gonolek (Shrike) Laniarius atrococcineus Gray-headed Bushshrike Malaconotus blanchoti White Helmetshrike Prionops plumatus **Groundscraper Thrush Psophocichla litsipsirupa Kurrichane Thrush Turdus libonyanus Red-winged Starling Onychognathus morio Glossy Starling Lamprotornis nitens **Plum-coloured Starling Cinnyricinclus leucogaster **Mariqua (Marico) Flycatcher Bradornis mariquensis **Mocking Chat Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris Wire-tailed Swallow Hirundo smithii Common (Black-eyed) Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus **Bar-throated Apalis Apalis thoracica **Red-faced Crombec Sylvietta whytii **Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus Southern Black-Tit Parus niger **Dusky Lark Mirafra nigricans **Yellow-throated Petronia (Sparrow) Petronia superciliaris Jameson's Firefinch Lagonosticta rhodopareia Blue Waxbill Uraeginthus angolensis **Bronze Mannikin Lonchura cucullata **Pin-tailed Whydah Vidua macroura African Pied Wagtail Motacilla aguimp Cape Wagtail Motacilla capensis Grassveld Pipit Anthus cinnamomeus **Scaly-feathered Finch Sporopipes squamifrons Lesser Masked Weaver Ploceus intermedius Southern Masked-Weaver Ploceus velatus **Red-headed Weaver Anaplectes rubriceps Red-billed Quelea Quelea quelea **Yellow-rumped Widow Euplectes capensis **Scarlet-chested Sunbird Nectarinia senegalensis **Miombo Double-collared Sunbird Nectarinia manoensis **Mariqua (Marico) Sunbird Nectarinia mariquensis Yellow-eyed Canary Serinus mozambicus **Streaky-headed Seedeater (Canary) Serinus gularis **Black-eared Seedeater (Canary) Serinus mennelli Golden-breasted Bunting Emberiza flaviventris
Since the heat had still not abated at Matusadona and Mana Pools, we opted to return to Hwange NP and to camp in a different part of the park. Game viewing was still excellent. We had elephants, baboons, and giraffes visit us at the campsite. Our first night back in Hwange, it rained hard for about 2 hours. Everything that our guide predicted to happen following the first rain took place. The flying ants (termites) and red velvet spiders came out of the ground. Most species of birds and some animals (including some humans) find the former very tasty. The spiders look like red velvet and were beautiful. Some of the dry waterholes began to retain water, which attracted animals to them. Ground water began to collect in depressions. Game viewing was still excellent, because there was not yet enough water away from the main waterholes. (However, reports from safari-goers one week later, after additional rain, was that the animal sightings were very few, and the numbers of animals seen were small.) 75 species of birds; 16 lifers.
Ostrich Struthio camelus Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiacus Spur-winged Goose Plectropterus gambensis Red-billed Duck (Teal) Anas erythrorhyncha Great White Egret Casmerodius albus Gray Heron Ardea cinerea Goliath Heron Ardea goliath Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Hamerkop Scopus umbretta Yellow-billed Stork Mycteria ibis **Black Stork Ciconia nigra Saddle-billed Stork Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis Yellow-billed Kite Milvus aegyptius African Fish-Eagle Haliaeetus vocifer Hooded Vulture Necrosyrtes monachus White-headed Vulture Trigonoceps occipitalis Bateleur Terathopius ecaudatus Gabar Goshawk Melierax gabar Tawny Eagle Aquila rapax Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis African Hawk-Eagle Hieraaetus spilogaster Secretary-bird Sagittarius serpentarius **Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus Helmeted Guineafowl Numida meleagris **Red-billed Francolin Francolinus adspersus Swainson's Francolin Francolinus swainsonii **Southern Crowned Crane Balearica regulorum **Red-crested Bustard (Korhaan) Eupodotis ruficrista Common Redshank Tringa totanus Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola Common Sandpiper Tringa hypoleucos Ruff Philomachus pugnax Water Thick-knee (Dikkop) Burhinus vermiculatus Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus Three-banded Plover Charadrius tricollaris Blacksmith Plover Vanellus armatus Crowned Lapwing (Plover) Vanellus coronatus Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis Cape Turtle Dove Streptopelia capicola Red-eyed Dove Streptopelia semitorquata Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove Turtur chalcospilos Namaqua Dove Oena capensis African Cuckoo Cuculus gularis Pearl-spotted Owlet Glaucidium perlatum Swallow-tailed Bee-eater Merops hirundineus Lilac-breasted Roller Coracias caudata Broad-billed Roller Eurystomus glaucurus **Purple Roller Eurystomus azureus Red-billed Hornbill Tockus erythrorhynchus Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill Tockus leucomelas **Crowned Hornbill Tockus alboterminatus African Gray Hornbill Tockus nasutus Southern Ground-Hornbill Bucorvus leadbeateri **Cardinal Woodpecker Dendropicos fuscescens **Bearded Woodpecker Dendropicos namaquus **Lesser Gray Shrike Lanius minor Tropical Boubou Laniarius aethiopicus Crimson-breasted Gonolek (Shrike) Laniarius atrococcineus White Helmetshrike Prionops plumatus Glossy Starling Lamprotornis nitens Red-billed Oxpecker Buphagus erythrorhynchus Lesser Striped-Swallow Hirundo abyssinica **Rufous-chested Swallow Hirundo semirufa **Tawny-flanked Prinia Prinia subflava **Gray-backed Camaroptera (Warbler) Camaroptera brevicaudata **Cape (Long-billed) Crombec Sylvietta rufescens Arrow-marked Babbler Turdoides jardineii Blue Waxbill Uraeginthus angolensis **Shaft-tailed Whydah Vidua regia Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver Bubalornis niger Red-billed Quelea Quelea quelea **Black-throated Canary Serinus atrogularis Golden-breasted Bunting Emberiza flaviventris
We returned to Camp Amalinda, where we enjoyed a voluntary respite from game viewing. It was lovely to sit in the lounge and read; relax by the pool overlooking the beautiful scenery; take leisurely walks.
Our guide from Zimbabwe joined forces with 3 other guides from Botswana to learn the parks and camps there. He is expanding his business into Botswana, so this was exploration for him, as well as for us. Our first park was the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, which is part of the Kalahari Desert. The weather was 70°F in the early morning to 95°F at mid-afternoon. Skies were partly cloudy. We saw 45 species of birds (15 lifers). We also saw some interesting animals. We are glad that we got to spend a couple of days here, but that is enough. The terrain is very arid and just what I expected from a desert. Well, maybe there was a little more vegetation than I had anticipated. It is not our favorite locale, partly because it is not nearly as pretty as some of the other parks.
Ostrich Struthio camelus Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Yellow-billed Kite Milvus aegyptius Lappet-faced Vulture Torgos tracheliotus Black-chested Snake-Eagle Circaetus pectoralis Bateleur Terathopius ecaudatus **Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus Dark Chanting-Goshawk Melierax metabates **Pale Chanting-Goshawk Melierax canorus Gabar Goshawk Melierax gabar Secretary-bird Sagittarius serpentarius **Greater Kestrel Falco rupicoloides Kori Bustard Ardeotis kori Red-crested Bustard (Korhaan) Eupodotis ruficrista Black-bellied Bustard (Korhaan) Eupodotis melanogaster Common Sandpiper Tringa hypoleucos **Temminck's Courser Cursorius temminckii **Caspian Plover Charadrius asiaticus Crowned Lapwing (Plover) Vanellus coronatus Burchell's Sandgrouse Pterocles burchelli Cape Turtle Dove Streptopelia capicola Namaqua Dove Oena capensis **Common (European) Swift Apus apus **Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus European Bee-eater Merops apiaster Lilac-breasted Roller Coracias caudata Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill Tockus leucomelas White-browed Robin Poecilodryas superciliosa Fork-tailed Drongo Dicrurus adsimilis **Cape (Black) Crow Corvus capensis Pied Crow Corvus albus Lesser Gray Shrike Lanius minor Crimson-breasted Gonolek (Shrike) Laniarius atrococcineus Glossy Starling Lamprotornis nitens Mariqua (Marico) Flycatcher Bradornis mariquensis **Southern Anteater-Chat Myrmecocichla formicivora **Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler Parisoma subcaeruleum **Ashy Tit Melaniparus cinerascens **Clapper Lark Mirafra apiata **Fawn-colored Lark Mirafra africanoides **Gray-backed Sparrow-Lark (Finchlark) Eremopterix verticalis **Red-capped Lark Calandrella cinerea Scaly-feathered Finch Sporopipes squamifrons Southern Masked-Weaver Ploceus velatus Red-billed Quelea Quelea quelea
This is one of the world's greatest parks for game and scenery viewing, and we did get some awesome sights. This was our third visit to this park, and the animals continue to astound us. Among our activities here was a search for the campsites that are open to only tour operators from Botswana who have the proper credentials. Even though our Botswana guides had them, we opted to stay in a public camping area, because of logistical problems with 2 large vehicles (one for touring, one for support materials and staff). Three of the men had GPS with them, which is what they used to locate and mark each campsite.
Our most memorable experience occurred in this park. We went to investigate the carcass of an elephant that we had seen the previous day. When we got to the site, a male lion emerged from the bush and walked toward our vehicle. He stopped about 10 yards from the side of the vehicle and roared! It was so close, deep and loud that we could feel it in the marrow of our bones! He was answered by another male lion as he emerged from the bush and walked up to the lion standing by our vehicle. He proceeded to lie down about 15 yards in back of us. The 2 of them continued to roar back and forth to each other for about 5 minutes. What a sound in stereo!! Then they got up and walked casually back into the bush. A third male lion came out from a different direction, ran toward the carcass to chase off the vultures that had gathered at the feast, walked around the carcass as if claiming his property, and ran back into the woods, while a fourth male chased a female lion in the distance!
Habitat includes floodplains, riparian forest and savannah woodlands. The daytime weather for our stay here ranged from 65 to 100°F; mostly cloudy with thunder and lightning (but no rain) to clear and sunny; light to moderate winds. We saw 103 species of birds (13 lifers).
Ostrich Struthio camelus African Darter Anhinga rufa White-faced Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna viduata Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiacus Spur-winged Goose Plectropterus gambensis Comb Duck (Knob-billed) Sarkidiornis melanotos **Yellow-billed Duck Anas undulata Red-billed Duck (Teal) Anas erythrorhyncha Hottentot Teal Anas hottentota **Slaty Egret Egretta vinaceigula Black Heron (Egret) Egretta ardesiaca Great White Egret Casmerodius albus Little Egret Egretta garzetta Intermediate (Yellow-billed) Egret Mesophoyx intermedia Gray Heron Ardea cinerea Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides Rufous-bellied Heron Ardeola rufiventris Hamerkop Scopus umbretta Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus African Spoonbill Platalea alba **Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus Saddle-billed Stork Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis Marabou Stork Leptoptilos crumeniferus Yellow-billed Kite Milvus aegyptius African Fish-Eagle Haliaeetus vocifer Hooded Vulture Necrosyrtes monachus White-backed Vulture Gyps africanus White-headed Vulture Trigonoceps occipitalis Black-chested Snake-Eagle Circaetus pectoralis Bateleur Terathopius ecaudatus Tawny Eagle Aquila rapax Martial Eagle Polemaetus bellicosus Helmeted Guineafowl Numida meleagris Crested Francolin Francolinus sephaena Red-billed Francolin Francolinus adspersus Swainson's Francolin Francolinus swainsonii Black Crake Amaurornis flavirostra Wattled Crane Grus carunculatus African Jacana Actophilornis africanus **Lesser Jacana Microparra capensis Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola Common Sandpiper Tringa hypoleucos Ruff Philomachus pugnax Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus **Long-toed Lapwing (Plover) Vanellus crassirostris Blacksmith Plover Vanellus armatus Crowned Lapwing (Plover) Vanellus coronatus **African Skimmer Rynchops flavirostris Double-banded Sandgrouse Pterocles bicinctus African Mourning Dove Streptopelia decipiens Cape Turtle Dove Streptopelia capicola Red-eyed Dove Streptopelia semitorquata Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove Turtur chalcospilos Meyer's Parrot Poicephalus meyeri Gray Lourie Corythaixoides concolor Coppery-tailed Coucal Centropus cupreicaudus Senegal Coucal Centropus senegalensis Striped Cuckoo Tapera naevia Giant Eagle-Owl Bubo lacteus Pearl-spotted Owlet Glaucidium perlatum African Palm-Swift Cypsiurus parvus **Woodland Kingfisher Halcyon senegalensis Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis Little Bee-eater Merops pusillus **Madagascar (Olive) Bee-eater Merops superciliosus Southern Carmine Bee-eater Merops nubicoides Lilac-breasted Roller Coracias caudata Broad-billed Roller Eurystomus glaucurus African Hoopoe Upupa africana Red-billed Woodhoopoe Phoeniculus purpureus Red-billed Hornbill Tockus erythrorhynchus Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill Tockus leucomelas African Gray Hornbill Tockus nasutus Southern Ground-Hornbill Bucorvus leadbeateri Crested Barbet Trachyphonus vaillantii Bennett's Woodpecker Campethera bennettii **Golden-tailed Woodpecker Campethera abingoni Bearded Woodpecker Dendropicos namaquus African Paradise-Flycatcher Terpsiphone viridis Fork-tailed Drongo Dicrurus adsimilis Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach Black-backed Puffback Dryoscopus cubla White Helmetshrike Prionops plumatus **Chinspot Batis Batis molitor Glossy Starling Lamprotornis nitens Greater Blue-eared Glossy-Starling Lamprotornis chalybaeus **Burchell's Glossy-Starling Lamprotornis australis Meves's Long-tailed Starling Lamprotornis mevesii Yellow-billed Oxpecker Buphagus africanus Red-billed Oxpecker Buphagus erythrorhynchus Arnot's Chat Thamnolaea arnotti Common (Black-eyed) Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus Gray-backed Camaroptera (Warbler) Camaroptera brevicaudata Cape (Long-billed) Crombec Sylvietta rufescens **White-rumped Babbler Turdoides leucopygius **Southern Pied-Babbler Turdoides bicolor Arrow-marked Babbler Turdoides jardineii Brown Firefinch Lagonosticta nitidula Blue Waxbill Uraeginthus angolensis Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver Bubalornis niger
Nxai Pan is also desert ecosystem, but prettier than Central Kalahari. We had rain while here, but it didn't interfere with our game drives. It did make for some interesting skies and scenes after the storms. Habitat is fossil lake bed covered with grass and islands of trees. We had only one full day here, during which we had some moderately heavy rain and 70°F. We saw 27 species of birds (3 lifers).
Ostrich Struthio camelus Red-billed Duck (Teal) Anas erythrorhyncha Black-chested Snake-Eagle Circaetus pectoralis Pale Chanting-Goshawk Melierax canorus Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis Kori Bustard Ardeotis kori White-quilled Bustard (Korhaan) Eupodotis afraoides Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola Spotted Thick-knee Burhinus capensis Crowned Lapwing (Plover) Vanellus coronatus Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus Madagascar (Olive) Bee-eater Merops superciliosus Pied Crow Corvus albus Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach Lesser Gray Shrike Lanius minor Three-streaked Tchagra Tchagra jamesi Crimson-breasted Gonolek (Shrike) Laniarius atrococcineus Wattled Starling Creatophora cinerea **Red-eyed Bulbul Pycnonotus brunneus **Rufous-naped Lark Mirafra africana Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver Bubalornis niger Scaly-feathered Finch Sporopipes squamifrons White-browed Sparrow-Weaver Plocepasser mahali Southern Masked-Weaver Ploceus velatus Mariqua (Marico) Sunbird Nectarinia mariquensis **Rock Bunting Emberiza cia
For the end of this spectacular trip, we rested at Camp Amalinda in Matopos, on the south side of Bulawayo. This was truly a trip to remember! We are looking forward to our fourth visit to this same area in a couple of years. If anyone wishes further details, please feel free to contact me. All I gave in this report is a skeleton of the excitement and adventure that we experienced.
Rock Dassie (Hyrax)
Return to trip reports.