Birding Factoids

694 species
in 71 families

No endemic species
9 endangered species 
30 speciality species
2-3 week trip expectation -
about 350 species

Checklist of Malawi BirdsTours and GuidesEco-LodgesSpeciality BirdsMap and General Country Information


Malawi Specialities
Lilian's Lovebird - Photo copyright Birdlife On-Line
Photo copyright Birdlife On-Line Magazine
(Senegal) Wattled Lapwing - Photo copyright Nigel Blake
Photo copyright Nigel Blake
Swallow-tailed Bee-eater - Photo copyright Zoo in the Wild
Photo copyright Zoo in the Wild
Silvery-cheeked Hornbill - Photo copyright Pat Goltz
Photo copyright Pat Goltz
Red-billed Oxpecker - Photo copyright Peter Miller
Photo copyright Peter Miller
Stanley's Bustard - Photo copyright Bruce Marcot
Photo copyright Bruce Marcot
    ....Malawi's National and Provincial Game and Nature Reserves
      includes links to information on:
      • Elephant Marsh (bird list - 300+)
      • Kasungu National Park (bird list - 300+)
      • Lake Malawi National Park (white-breasted cormorant colonies)
      • Lengwe National Park 
      • Lilongwe Nature Sanctuary (bird list - 200+)
      • Liwonde National Park (bird list - 300+) 
      • Majete Wildlife Reserve
      • Michiru Mountain Conservation Area
      • Mulanje Mountain
      • Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve
      • Nkotakota Wildlife Reserve
      • Nyika National Park  (bird list - 350+)
      • Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve (bird list - 250+)
      • Zomba Plateau
    ....Trip Report: Malawi, November 2002, by Warren McCleland. 
      A fairly comprehensive trip, covering most of Malawi’s birding hotspots, was undertaken from 10 November to 1 December 2002. The trip was tailor-made for a group of fairly hardcore British birders, most of whom had birded quite extensively in Africa before. Thus, emphasis was placed on range-restricted species and miombo endemics, and little time was spent at Malawi’s better-known wetlands. A total of 22 days were spent on tour and 434 species were seen, with an additional 13 species heard only. This total could have been at least 20 species higher had more time been spent in wetland habitats, but as mentioned above, that was not the focus of this trip. 
    ....Trip Report: Malawi and Zambia, July 10 - August 2, 1999 - by Jan
      Vermeulen. In July 1999 I spent more than three weeks in Malawi and the Luangwa Valley in Zambia. The main objective of the trip was to see as many birds as possible. The two major habitats we covered during our visit were (Brachystegia) woodland and montane forests. We recorded 367 species during this time.
    ....Trip Report: Malawi, March 5-15, 1997. By Jon Hornbuckle
      Malawi is relatively safe, cheap (apart from vehicle hire) and hassle-free, with very friendly people, many of whom speak English. Most of the specialities can be seen by visiting a mere handful of localities, so that even a short trip can be highly rewarding. Hence, Malawi is thoroughly recommended as a birding venue, especially with an additional 5-7 days in Zimbabwe, birding Harare and the Vumbas, for anyone who has not already been there. 
    ....Trip Report: Malawi, August 31 - September 6, 1997
      By Tom Harrison. Imagine: an all-expense paid trip to Africa. 
      Better still, to Malawi -- a country with 653 reported bird species. 
      Just one problem: it's a business trip where we work from dawn to dark every day, and it is impossible to arrive or depart in such a way as to tack on a day or two for birding (don't ask why, just trust me, it's Africa). Such was my opportunity/dilemma, and I was determined to make the best of it. 
    ....Trip Report: Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi, February 1996
      'Cheating' for Southern African Species North of the Zambezi River by Mike Pope and Grant Dunbar. This trip report is provided courtesy of Urs Geiser's Trip Report Archive. It was the following extract of an article about birding in Kenya that caught my attention about what really does lie north of the Zambezi. It comes from "Where to watch birds in Africa."  'Expect to see more birds than you can possibly imagine in Kenya. Some bird tour companies notch up to 600 species in 2 weeks and 700 species in 3 weeks. In 1991 Brian Finch set the African record by notching up a staggering 797 species in just 25 days, this also included 70 mammal species...' 
    ....Trip Report: Malawi - 15 June - 22 July 1996, by Michiel de Boer. 
      A backpacker birding report with sites for Cholo Alethe and White-winged Apalis, including checklists for 4 National Parks. Malawi is a small narrow country between East Africa and South Africa. The land is known as the "warm heart of Africa". This is absolutely true if you compare it with East Africa (Kenya and Tanzania) when it is referring to the people. This country is not at all spoiled by tourism and the people are more hospitable and less thinking about money when they see a white face.
    Factoids taken from Where to Watch Birds in Africa - by Nigel Wheatley.

Choose another countryChoose another continentAdd or change a URL

Top of Page

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 Malawi Birding Pals, or join to be a Birding Pal!
Southern Carmine Bee-eater - Photo copyright Zoo in the Wild
Photo copyright Zoo in the Wild
    **..Tours of Malawi with Tropical Birding. Our trips are generally 
      for keen birders, both experienced and inexperienced. It is not necessary to be an expert or a super-lister to enjoy yourself. Our tours are designed for enthusiastic travellers who enjoy spending most, if not all, of their holiday time birding. Our goal is to get birders to the world's most amazing places, seeing the world's most amazing birds, in as much comfort as possible. Our trips range from shorter day-trips out of Cape Town to intensive three-week birding safaris throughout the continent and we offer both set departure and custom-made tours.

Choose another countryChoose another continentAdd or change a URL

Top of Page



Choose another countryChoose another continentAdd or change a URL

Top of Page


Endemics and Specialities

in Malawi

Information on endemics and specialities is derived from Sibley & Monroe checklists and bird distribution lists in Thayer's Birder's Diary - Version 2.05, 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 Malawi. 

Endemics in Malawi
Endangered Birds in Malawi

Breeding Birds

Non-Breeding Birds

___ Blue Swallow
___ Cholo Alethe
___ East Coast Akalat
___ Spotted Ground-Thrush
___ Taita Falcon
___ Wattled Crane
___ White-winged Apalis
___ Corn Crake
___ Lesser Kestrel

Other Speciality and Spectacular Birds in Malawi
(adapted from Where to Watch Birds in Africa - by Nigel Wheatley.)

___ Babbling Starling
___ Bertrand's Weaver
___ Black-lored Cisticola
___ Blue Swallow
___ Boehm's Bee-eater
___ Buff-shouldered Widow-bird
___ Chapin's Apalis
___ Cholo Alethe
___ Churring Cisticola
___ Collared Palm-Thrush
___ Fuelleborn's Boubou
___ Green-headed Oriole
___ Lesser Jacana
___ Lesser Seedcracker
___ Malawi Batis
___ Miombo Barbet
___ Olive-flanked Robin-Chat
___ Olive-headed Weaver
___ Pel's' Fishing-Owl
___ Racket-tailed Roller
___ Rufous-bellied Heron
___ Sharpe's Akalat
___ Sharpe's Greenbul
___ Shelley's Greenbul
___ Spot-throat
___ Stierling's Woodpecker
___ Wattled Crane
___ White-chested Alethe
___ White-winged Apalis
___ Yellow-browed Seedeater

Choose another countryChoose another continentAdd or change a URL

Top of Page