Tuesday
Sep022014

Top Luxury Safari Spots for Birding

In addition to large game animals, the spectacular landscape of the African continent is home to a wide range of rare, exotic and colorful bird species. The diverse environments in this vast geographic region support numerous endemic and migratory bird populations. The habitats include coastal wetlands, deserts, mountains and forests. An extended African safari holiday provides the opportunity to explore every aspect of the beautiful natural surroundings. These remarkable excursions enable birders to witness some of the most extraordinary sights on earth, such as majestic birds of prey soaring high above the savannah or the elusive little brown jobby hiding in the thick brush. Prime birdwatching locations are dispersed throughout southern and eastern Africa.

Namibia

Situated on Africa’s Atlantic coast and extending to the east, Namibia boasts a remarkably diverse landscape, including the Central Plateau, Bushveld and Great Escarpment as well as the Namib and Kalahari Deserts. This must-see country actively pursues habitat and ecosystem conservation, which results in fantastic bird areas, such as Etosha National Park, the Caprivi Strip and Walvis Bay. These natural settings support a large permanent bird population and attract numerous migratory species. A luxury safari enables you to spot the endemic dune lark and the endangered ground-nesting Damara tern as well as flocks of blue crane, lesser flamingos and eastern white pelicans.


namibia safari

Zambia

Home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Victoria Falls, landlocked Zambia offers some of the planet’s best African safari opportunities. The country provides a storybook glimpse into Africa’s awe-inspiring natural beauty with its high plateaus, dissecting river valleys, grasslands and evergreen forests that create nine eco-regions. As a result, Zambia boasts a wide number of endemic and migratory species, such as the massive shoebill stork and the African pitta, whose breeding ground is found in the Zambezi River catchment. Birders can see a diverse mix of east, south and central African birds, which includes more than 750 different species, such as herons, ibises and wattled cranes as well as the Chaplin’s barbet with its distinctive red eye patch.

zambia safari

Mozambique

Situated on the Indian Ocean and extending more than 1,200 miles from north to south, Mozambique is divided by the Zambezi River. The two topographical regions encompass coastal lowlands, inland plateaus, mountain highlands and lush woodlands. Home to the Pel’s fishing owl and the endemic green-headed oriole, the Gorongosa National Park is a diverse habitat with excellent birdwatching opportunities. During a luxury safari, birders can see spectacular migratory and native species like the white-tailed blue flycatcher, olive-headed weaver and mangrove kingfisher as well as the endangered Thyolo alethe. Birdwatchers are frequently recording new sightings in the unspoiled Quirimbas Archipelago located in the country’s far north.

 

Mozambique safari

Tanzania

In addition to famous topographical features, such as the Serengeti, Mount Kilimanjaro and the Great Rift Valley, Tanzania is home to a host of bird species endemic to East Africa, including the yellow-collared lovebird, Pemba green pigeon and Mrs. Moreau’s warbler. More than one-third of the country has been set aside as nature reserves, marine parks and conservation areas to protect the local flora and fauna. Over 1,100 species of birds have been recorded in Tanzania, including 35 that are listed as globally threatened. Along with eagles, flamingos and ospreys, the country’s diverse ecosystem also supports two introduced species, the house crow and the rock pigeon, a variety of accidental species, such as the white-chinned Petrel and the vulnerable grey-crowned crane.

Tanzania safari

Kenya

From the low coastal plain along the Indian Ocean to the central highlands bisected by the Great Rift Valley, Kenya has designated a significant amount of land as natural wildlife habitats. While Kenya is a popular destination for Big Five safaris, the country also boasts a significant population of other animals, including reptiles and avifauna including country’s national birds, the rooster and lilac-breasted roller. Kenya’s range of climates and landscapes as well as its location on migratory paths makes it a prime year-round birdwatching destination. The country holds the world-record bird watch with 342 species observed in 24 hours. Along with weavers, magpie shrikes and the rosy-throated longclaw, you can view the yellow-billed stork, goliath heron, ostriches and the little grebe as well as the rare pink-breasted lark and pygmy falcon during an African safari.

kenya safari

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