Birding Factoids

685 species
 in 71 families

No endemic species
14 speciality birds
9 endangered species
3 week trip expectation -
about 400 species 

Checklist of Zimbabwe BirdsTours and GuidesEco-LodgesSpeciality BirdsMap and General Country Information
Check out Guiliano Gerro and Silvio Sommazzi's Zimbabwe Birds
as well as images of Zimbabwe's Birds on Stamps
Zimbabwe Specialities
Fish Eagle
Photo copyright Eddie Horvath
Brimstone Canary - Photo copyright Peter Nilssen
Photo copyright Peter Nilssen
White-fronted Bee-eater - Photo copyright Hans Martens
Photo copyright Hans Martens
Spur-winged Goose - Photo copyright Eric Van Poppel
Photo copyright Eric Van Poppel
Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill - Photo copyright David Geale
Photo copyright David Geale
Three-banded Plover - Photo copyright Lieuwe Dijksen
Photo copyright Lieuwe Dijksen
Golden-tailed Woodpecker - Photo copyright Nigel Blake
Photo copyright Nigel Blake
Black-headed Heron - Photo copyright Paul and Helen Harris
Photo copyright Paul and Helen Harris
Trumpeter Hornbill - Photo copyright Tony Galvan
Photo copyright Tony Galvan
Cape Grass-warbler - Photo copyreight Stefan Tewinkel
Photo copyright Stefan Tewinkel
Black-backed Puffback - Photo copyright Peter Nilssen
Photo copyright Peter Nilssen
White-browed Coucal - Photo copyright John Parr
Photo copyright John Parr
Black-collared Barbet - Photo copyright Safaricamlive
Photo copyright Safaricamlive
Blacksmith Lapwing - Photo copyright Eric Van Poppel
Photo copyright Eric Van Poppel
Bronze-winged Courser - Photo copyright Jean-Sébastien Rousseau-Piot
Photo copyright Jean-Sébastien Rousseau-Piot
    ....Zimbabwe Birding Spots - information is included on:
      • Bulawayo
      • Chimanimani 
      • Chipinge 
      • Honde Valley 
      • Nyanga 
      • Vumba 
      • Ewanrigg Botanical Gardens 
      • Harare 
      • Hwange NP 
      • Kariba 
      • Lake Kyle 
      • Mana Pools 
      • Matobo NP 
      • McIlwaine Rec Park 
      • South-east Lowveld 
      • Victoria Falls 
    ....Peter Ginn's Zimbabwe Birding - Peter is the author of several  ....
    ....Birding in Zimbabwe - Info on the size, location and habitats to 
      be found in Zimbabwe. Also a few of the nasties to avoid!
    ....The Birds of Zimbabwe - The diversity of habitats and the 
      presence of European and African migrants in summer gives Zimbabwe a total list of well over 600 species. Many of these can also be found in adjoining countries (South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique).
    ....Best Birding Destinations: Harare's Grassland Birds
      The virtual absence of grazing pressures on areas of open grassland within the Harare municipal area has made for a healthy and diversified grass cover which supports a rich avifauna, with several unusual birds.
    ....Magnificent Birding in Botswana and Zimbabwe -
      Botswana - Zimbabwe Overland tour: August/September 1996. Article and photos by Lynette Oxley
    ....Lake Kariba and the Lower Zambezi - Article and photos by 
      Lynette Oxley. Zimbabwe is situated close to South Africa (within easy driving distance) and offers a wide variety of adventure activities, game, birds and best of all - friendly people.
    ....Hwange National Park - is a huge slice of Zimbabwe which has 
      been set aside purely for the purpose of conserving wildlife in its natural habitat. With a land area of more than 14,000 square kilometers, Hwange boasts over a hundred different species of animal and four hundred species of bird - a concentration which makes this National Park one of the finest in the world.
    ....Birding at Gleneagles - Gleneagles Mountain Reserve is a 2 000
      Hectare block of land that stretches from the Gleneagles boundary near the 5th green of the Aberfoyle Club golf course, up as far as the eastern boundary of the Rhodes Nyanga National Park, Tsumba sub-division, 1 000 metres higher up. It includes a wide variety of different flora, ranging from primary forest through evergreen montane and tropical rain forest similar to the Chirunda forest, to Nyanga parkland.
    ....Mana Pools - the Zambezi River is home to one of Zimbabwe's 
      two world heritage sites, the Mana Pools National Park. Here the river has left behind the remains of old channels, forming small seasonal pools scattered over 2000 square kilometers.
    ....Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas -
      Birdlife on the river and in the bush is prolific with over 380 species.
    ....Birds of Southern Africa - With so many different habitats in Southern
      Africa, the bird life is diverse with over 950 species. There are photos, maps, slide shows, satellite images, and recorded bird songs. 
    ....Out of Goleta, California and into Africa - June 13 - 21, 2001. Tony
      Galvan's richly illustrated account of an eclipse chasing expedition through Botswana and Zimbabwe and the birds and critters encountered along the way.
    ....Trip Report: Southwestern Zimbabwe, November 30 - December 8, 
      1999 by Mike Pope (author) and Grant Langton. Zimbabwe, land of crimson sunsets, the smoke that thunders and great tracts of wilderness areas - in fact 13% of Zimbabwe's land is preserved as a wildlife estate. Man added a wonder to this natural paradise in the form of the magnificent 300km long Lake Kariba, an incredible inland sea raised from the waters of the mighty Zambezi River that flow from the unforgettable Victoria Falls.
    ....Trip Report: Eastern Zimbabwe and Central Mozambique
      In search of the Angolan something Safari, November 27 - December 6, 1998 - by Mike Pope. The thoughts and planning for this trip began months ago after reading many mouth-watering articles by previous pioneering groups that worked their way through the largely unspoiled habitat of the central Mozambique Region in search of the 'abundant' and locally common specialties. 
    ....Trip Report : South Eastern Zimbabwe Lowveld. Senuko - Mahenye
      16-19 January 1998 - by Etienne Marais. I was priveleged to be invited by Zimbabwe Sun for a short birding trip to two prime birding localities in the south-eastern Lowveld of Zimbabwe. 
    ....Eastern South Africa and Zimbabwe - 3rd Feb - 5th March 1997
      by Jon Hornbuckle. I spent a month birding in southern Africa, mainly Natal, Lesotho and Zimbabwe, with Ashley Banwell and Mike Archer. We recorded 524 species during this time, including 3 species of flufftail and twinspot, Corncrake, Blue Bustard, African Broadbill, Blue Swallow, Orange and Spotted Ground-Thrushes, Boulder Chat, all the Drakensberg endemics and 100s of Amur Falcons. 
    ....Trip Report: Botswana, Namibia and Victoria Falls "Deserts, 
      Wetlands and Wilderness" - September 2001, by Ian Broadbent. This was the first trip to Africa for my wife and I, and it proved to be an excellent introduction to the wildlife and culture of the region. This was not intended to be an all out birding holiday, and so some key sites were not visited and a few of the Namibian endemics missed, but the tour still facilitated a lot of great birding and game viewing and we had a wonderful time. We ended up with a bird list of 318 species and a mammal list of 40, both of which exceeded all expectations considerably. 
    ....Trip Report: Zimbabwe (including parts of Botswana & South Africa),
      18 February - 5 March, 2000 by Gruff Dodd. This was an excellent trip, with loads of birds (382 species including 179 lifers in 2 weeks), and we escaped almost unscathed from Cyclone Eline, the fuel shortages and the political uncertainty afflicting Zim at present. The most lasting memories, among all the birds, are of a stunningly beautiful country, and some of the friendliest people I've ever been privileged to meet.
    ....Trip Report: Namibia, Botswana & Zimbabwe - September 27 -
      October 24, 1998 by David Kelly. This is a report on my visit to Southern Africa this autumn. On this trip the first part was an overland tour of Namibia with Kumuka, this was on a MAN truck and there were twelve passengers. This meant that birding was done where we stopped and that some of the classic Namibian sites and endemics were missed. I did, however, thoroughly enjoy the trip and was very happy with the birds (and mammals) I could see. The overland ended with two days in Chobe NP in Botswana and two days at Victoria Falls.
    ....Trip Report - Mukuvisi Woodlands by Michael Mills. The Mukuvisi
      Woodlands are in Harare and thus are readily accessible to all birders visiting Harare. It is 270ha in extent and is predominating Miombo woodland. At the main entrance there is a nominal entrance fee and there is also a public walk area that may be entered free of charge. This is the area I have visited five times and thus will be concentrating on this area.
    ....Trip Report: Zimbabwe & Botswana, October 29 - December 4, 1998
      by Linda Lee Baker. This trip was taken by my non-birding husband and myself. Our trip was divided into sections -- Zimbabwe national parks, a private game camp, and Botswana game reserves. 
    ....Trip Report: Zimbabwe and South Africa. The pictures were taken 
      during a three-weeks trip in Botswana and Zimbabwe Aug/Sept. 1999
    ....Trip Report: Cape Town (South Africa) and Zimbabwe
      October 2-25, 1996. By David Kelly. This trip report covers my second trip to southern Africa.
    ....Trip Report: Zimbabwe - August 3 - 19, 1999 - By James Packer. 
      This report details the birding and mammal highlights of our trip during August 1999. The trip was not a 'hard-core' birding holiday. Time was spent birding and experiencing the fantastic culture and friendship of Zimbabwe and its residents. 
    ....Zimbabwe Trip Reports - you can find Zimbabwe trip reports on John
      Girdley's BirdTours website.
    Factoids taken from Where to Watch Birds in Africa - by Nigel Wheatley.

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Tours and Guides

>>>>> A Birding Pal is not a paid guide, but someone who likes to help out of town visitors. You can become a Birding Pal today! Help someone to enjoy your local birding spots and find a pal to help you when you travel. Click here for Zimbabwean Birding Pals, or join to be a Birding Pal!
Terrestrial Brownbul - Photo copyright Peter Nilssen
Photo copyright Peter Nilssen

Namaqua Sandgrouse - Photo copyright Eric Van Poppel

Photo copyright Eric Van Poppel

Bateleur - Photo copyright Ron Eggert

Photo copyright 
Ron Eggert
    **..Peter Ginn Birding Safaris - Peter Ginn Birding Safaris pride themselves
      in arranging tailor made, personalised tours for individuals, couples and groups of up to 12 people who wish to visit Zimbabwe to observe African wildlife in it's natural habitat. We offer tours of varying duration and can plan add-on tours to the Okavango (Botswana) or to Etosha (Namibia). Visitors coming to Zimbabwe on business can have a short tour planned for a period before or after business. Peter is probably best known as the conceptualiser and general editor of  "THE COMPLETE BIRDS of SOUTHERN AFRICA".  Peter is also the author of 8 other books on the birds of southern Africa. These are all illustrated by photographs, many of which are his own.
    **..Zimbabwe extension to Namibia & Botswana with Victor Emanuel
      Nature Tours (VENT). Little known, but among the last great wildlife strongholds on earth, Namibia and Botswana offer fabulous game-watching, a host of special birds, and abundant photographic opportunities. This tour provides a cross section of southern Africa that contrasts the arid hills and plains of Namibia with the lush swamps and woodlands of Botswana, ending at Zimbabwe's famed Victoria Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world. We stay at camps and lodges within prime wildlife habitat, traveling between them in small aircraft. These camps and lodges offer an unforgettable wilderness experience, with the luxury of comfortable accommodations and great food. Other tourists are few, and here one truly has the feeling of visiting the old Africa.  VENT offers nearly 140 tours to over 100 land-based destinations each year and is the largest tour company in the world specializing in birding and natural history.

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Mourning Collared-Dove - Photo copyright Anke Poggel
Photo copyright Anke Poggel

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Endemics and Specialities

in Zimbabwe

Information on endemics and specialities is derived from Sibley & Monroe checklists and bird distribution lists in Thayer's Birder's Diary - Version 2.5, supplemented by material found in Where to Watch Birds in Africa - by Nigel Wheatley. African speciality birds, while not endemic, are those that can only be found in three or less countries of Africa. Information on endangered birds is derived from the IUCN Red List, Birdlife International.  The endemic, endangered and speciality birds may be uncommon, extremely rare vagrants, may be extirpated in the country now or may only be present in migration. However, documented sightings of each species noted below have been made in Zimbabwe. 

Endemics in Zimbabwe
Endangered Birds in Zimbabwe
(endemics are printed inbold italic)

Breeding Birds

Non-Breeding Birds

___ Black-cheeked Lovebird
___ Blue Swallow
___ Cape Griffin
___ Swynnerton's Robin
___ Taita Falcon
___ Wattled Crane
___ White-winged Flufftail
___ Corn Crake
___ Lesser Kestrel

Other Speciality and Near-endemic Birds in Zimbabwe
(adapted from Where to Watch Birds in Africa - by Nigel Wheatley.)

___ Angola Babbler
___ African Scrub-Warbler
___ Brown Firefinch
___ Chirinda Apalis
___ Coppery-tailed Coucal
___ Gurney's Sugarbird
___ Latakoo Lark
___ Lemon-breasted Seedeater
___ Pale Batis
___ Robert's Prinia
___ Slaty Egret
___ Swee Waxbill
___ Swynnerton's Robin
___ Zululand Batis

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