Home ยป Birding in Kariba

Lake Kariba’s vast expanse of fresh, unpolluted water – thanks to the lack of industry and extensive agriculture on the periphery, is 5,580 sq kilometres in extent making it twice the size of Wales, Belgium! With a shoreline of over 2000 kms.

Stretching 320 kms (including the Devil’s Gorge) and 40km wide at its widest point, Kariba encompasses many a varied geological feature resulting in a smorgers board of habitats for our avian friends. From marshes, forests, mountains, valleys, gorges, vleis, grasslands, mud flats and sand banks, not forgetting the huge watery expanse  – Kariba has it all.

Kariba fluctuates seasonally with as much as 9 meters being recorded, these rise and falls in lake level help to create these wonderful expanses of grasslands (Panicum - which sustains the majority of our grazing mammals   through tough times), and mudflats – a huge magnet for birds.

Resident birds, including the myriad of migratory birds that descend into Southern Africa from August through to April, are drawn to this Avian Heaven. Peak migratory period would be October – January. Some are mere visitors, transient en-route to the shores of South Africa but Kariba is a “must stop and see” place for them.

As a result birders lucky enough to be in Kariba at the right time have recorded some seriously special birds, with Kariba holding the record for the most “obscure” species seen in Zimbabwe.

Kariba is blessed with many top birding spots, these include safari and fishing camps, National Parks, Safari Areas, Forests and Communal lands all dotted along the shoreline.  Boasting over 400 species of birds some safari camps have resident expert birders only too pleased to introduce visitors to the wonders of Kariba’s Bird Heaven.

Some of the rarer birds recorded in Kariba:

  • Sooty Falcon
  • Lesser Grey Backed Gull
  • Great White Pelican
  • Greater Flamingo
  • Caspian Tern
  • Baird’s Sandpiper
  • Denham’s Bustard
  • Eurasian Curlew
  • Rosy Breasted Longclaw
  • Spotted Creeper
  • Ruddy Turnstone
  • Terek Sandpiper
  • Caspian Plover
  • Grey Plover

Some Kariba specials:

  • Narina Trogon
  • Mottled Spinetail
  • Bohm’s Spinetail
  • White-backed Night Heron
  • Black-Crowned Night Heron
  • Bat Hawk
  • Lillian’s lovebirds
  • Pel’s Fishing Owl
  • Long-Toed Lapwing
  • Horus Swift
  • Arnot’s Chat
  • Racquet-Tailed Roller
  • Cabanis’s Bunting