• From: $7,736pps
  • Accommodation Type : Lodge, Tented
  • Area : North-West Zambia
  • Tour Duration : 12 Days
  • We offer : Accommodation, Safaris, Activities

Spend 11 nights on the North-West Bird Tour, exploring the west and north-west of Zambia. You will be hosted by an expert bird-guide familiar with all the species and habitats of this region.

This tour is tailored towards photographers who are keen on bird photography and passionate about birding in general. Photographers can be from a beginner level to advanced DSLR users.

Zambia may only have one true endemic bird, but it is a convergence zone between Southern and Central Africa, allowing you to find birds from more northern and remote countries which are difficult to access as well as bird species from southern Africa.

You will spend some time birding in the Kafue National Park – which is one the world’s largest National Parks and hosts a variety of special and rare birds. The main habitats you will be birding in include Miombo woodland which covers about 50% of Zambia, grassland and dambos, riverine forest, wetlands and moist evergreen forest called Mushitu.

Some of the key birds include Chaplin’s barbet, pale-billed hornbill, miombo pied barbet, miombo rock thrush, yellow-bellied hyliota, Böhm flycatcher, rufous-bellied tit, grey-winged robin-chat, afep pigeon, Laura’s warbler, rufous ant thrush, Grimwood’s longclaw, Cassin’s flycatcher, honeyguide greenbul and even more.

-What to Expect

  • 11 nights’ accommodation in some of Zambia’s premier birding destinations
  • Rare bird viewing
  • Hosting by an expert bird-guide
  • Nature walks and game drives
  • Day trips to local birding spots
  • Various transport options available on request

-Itinerary

Day 1 – 6: Cassin’s Camp, Nchilla Wildlife Reserve

Take the morning flight from Lusaka to Solwezi – a mining town located in the far reaches of North-West Zambia. Your guide Frank Willems will be waiting to meet you and will transfer you by vehicle to Mwinilunga. Your birding officially starts on the road as we will come across some species already such as the red-throated cliff swallow, black saw-wing, bamboo warbler, and brown-headed apalis, and we’ll keep an eye out for sharp-tailed starling.

Daily activities while based at Cassin’s Camp in Mwinilunga include nature walks, game drives, and day trips to local birding hot spots, but there is also plenty to see from camp. These include the black river duck, Bate’s sunbird, Ross’ and Schalow’s turaco, African finfoot, blue malkoha, yellow-rumped tinker bird, golden and green-winged pytilia, African broadbill, olive long-tailed cuckoo, red-chested cuckoo, afep pigeon, shining- and blue-breasted kingfisher, black-collared bulbul, yellow-throated leaf- love, Laura’s warbler, bamboo warbler, honey-guide, little and Cabanis‘s greenbul, and of course the Cassin’s grey fly-catcher, and a special brown-eared woodpecker.

Meals: Full board, including local drinks

Day 6 – 7: Mutanda Nature Lodge, Solwezi

You will depart early to make your way back to Mutanda Town. Once again birding en-route and searching under bridges and in the riverine thickets alongside the road. On arrival at Mutanda Nature Reserve you will check into your room before spending the afternoon birding. There is some great birding in the gardens and alongside the river and waterfall in-front of the lodge.

Mutanda Nature Lodge lies a few kilometres outside Mutanda Town alongside the Mutanda River and Mutanda Waterfalls. When, birding in the nature reserve one can expect to see half-collared kingfisher, long-crested eagle, brimstone and black-faced canary, long-tailed paradise whydah, red-throated cliff swallow, African finfoot, and if you are lucky enough Bocage’s akalat.

Meals: Full board, including local drinks

Day 7 – 9: Ntemwa-Busanga, Northern Kafue National Park

After an early morning breakfast, you will pack-up and head further south to the Kafue National Park. Accommodation for the next two nights will be at Ntemwa-Busanga camp – a seasonal bush camp set-up each year by Jeffrey & Mckeith Safaris.

This camp gives quick and easy access to the well-known Busanga plains. One can expect to find in the surrounding miombo woodland – western-banded snake eagle, miombo pale-billed hornbill, racket-tailed roller, miombo pied barbet, miombo scrub robin, Böhm’s flycatcher and bee-eater, Souza’s shrike. On the floodplains, keep an eye out for wattled and crowned crane, Fülleborn’s and rosy-throated longclaw, collared pratincole, corn crake, Denham’s bustard, great snipe, yellow-billed stork, Caspian plover and much more.

Meals: Full board, including local drinks

Day 9 – 12: Mayukuyuku, Central Kafue National Park

Next, you will make your way down to the central area of the park to spend the remaining three nights at Mayukuyuku Camp. Muyukuyuku Camp is located on the Kafue River where you will enjoy your days; continuing to search for more miombo specials – with a good chance of finding Zambia’s only true endemic bird species the Chaplin’s (Zambian) barbet.

You will also explore the birdlife in the riparian forests on the edge of the river. Keeping an eye out for African finfoot who will be skulking in the thick dense branches of the Jackalberry trees. African skimmers are also found on the sandbanks in the river, and you can expect to see species like bateleur, martial and fish eagles, western osprey, lappet, white-backed, white-headed and hooded vulture, mayor’s parrot, red-throated twinspot, Retz helmetshrike, slaty egret, Schalow’s turaco, pallid harrier and more.

Meals: Full board, including local drinks

Day 12: Departure

This is the final day and you will rise early for breakfast and make your way back to Lusaka. The journey back to Lusaka will take at least 5 – 6 hours where you will be dropped at your choice of accommodation or at the airport for your onward travel plans.

Meals: Breakfast

-Accommodation

Cassin’s Camp, Nchila Wildlife Reserve

Cassin’s Bush Camp is situated on a 15 000 Ha reserve and resting on the banks of the West Lunga River just 15 kilometres south of the DRC Border, where the river is infringed with Mushitu forest, palms, orchids and grassy dambos, provides habitat for variety of birds.

The camp gets its name from the normally elusive Cassin’s Grey Flycatcher, who has been a welcome resident and can be seen flying up and down the river daily.

Cassin’s Camp consists of five classic safari tents with rustic en-suite bathrooms. The dining area is also tented, with fly screen doors and a large dining table, and there is an alfresco bar counter on the veranda.

Mutanda Nature Lodge, Solwezi

Located in Solwezi – the capital of the North-Western Province of Zambia – Mutanda Nature Lodge provides accommodation en route to the Northern Kafue National Park. This cute lodge offers free WiFi, a full English breakfast, a communal barbeque area, and a beautiful inner-city garden to wind-down and relax in.

Ntemwa-Busanga, Northern Kafue National Park

Ntemwa-Busanga Camp is a brand-new seasonal camp on the southern edge of the famed Busanga Plains; a never-before-seen sector of this unique area. With just four tents, this intimate, rustic camp offers the ideal location for exploration.

Whilst maintaining its rustic charm – each luxury tent is comfortable and offers en-suite bathrooms with bucket showers and flushing toilets.

The communal deck overlooks the vast Busanga Plains, where wildebeest and zebra can be seen from camp. Game drives are the activity of choice here, both morning and afternoon (and even into the night). You can also hope to see leopard, wildebeest and roan antelope to name but a few, with birdlife being as spectacular and widely varied too.

Mayukuyuku, Central Kafue National Park

Mayukuyuku is situated between the lightly wooded tree line and the Kafue riverbank, giving you spectacular views in many directions, with regular wildlife sightings right from camp. This intimate camp offers just four luxury, en-suite tents, each with a private deck and hammock overlooking the river. Giving the camp a truly rustic, old style “safari feel”.

The main communal area has an open-sided dining room with a small lounge and bar for an alfresco dining experience. Its location affords fabulous views down the Kafue River in the daytime and often hippo or antelope can be seen grazing on the banks.

Includes

  • Accommodation in luxury en-suite rooms
  • Activities as specified in itinerary
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • All local beverages
  • All internal charter flights
  • Private specialist bird guide – Frank Willems
  • Private tour vehicle for birding circuit
  • Park fees
  • Conservancy fees
  • Emergency evacuation

Excludes

  • Meals not specified in itinerary
  • Visas
  • Premium branded drinks
  • Gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance
  • Activities not specified

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