- All Year Round
- SATSA (Southern Africa Toursim Services Association)
- BirdLife South Africa
Experience Birding Tours
- Test: No
The African Pitta Tour is tailored towards birders and bird photographers who are keen on seeing and photographing this rare species; we will journey to the Zambezi valley to try to locate it at the start of its breeding season.
The Nkanga River Conservation area is one of Southern Africa’s most important bird areas and is an excellent place to see Zambia’s only endemic bird, the Chaplin’s Barbet, as well as around 440 other bird species, including Miombo specials.
No skill level is required, and we will assist you in all areas, all passionate birders and photographers are most welcome. We will search for the pitta in its breeding location, and spend quite a bit of time specifically focussing on attempting to photograph this rare creature.
What to Expect
- 6 nights’ accommodation at two of Zambia’s premier lodges
- Two of Southern Africa’s most important bird areas
- Personal guides and local birding experts
- Brilliant photographic opportunities
- Optional pop-up hides
- Days dedicated to searching for the African pitta
- The endemic Chaplin’s barbet
- Game viewing
- Various transport options available on request
- Game drives, walking safaris and more
Day 1 – 2: Masuku Lodge, Nkanga Conservation Area, Choma
You will be met at Livingstone International Airport by your guides before setting off on your journey north to Masuku Lodge in the heart of the Nkanga Conservation Area.
Once there you will freshen up and can enjoy some birding around the lodge. Near the lodge you can expect to see Arnot’s chat, tropical boubou, green-winged pytilia, blue waxbill, village weavers, broadbill, purple and lilac-breasted rollers, Bennett’s-, cardinal-, and golden-tailed woodpeckers, Meyers’ parrots, red-throated twinspots, miombo- and greater blue-eared starlings, Cabanis’s bunting, and many more bird species.
Day 2 – 5: Lake Kariba Inn, Siavonga
You will rise early for breakfast, then pack up your gear and head to Lake Kariba Inn through the Lower Zambezi Valley – birding en-route. The lodge is situated in the town of Siavonga, on the edge of Lake Kariba, around 40 kilometres from the prime pitta sighting area in the Mutalanganga Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA).
Each morning you will make your way through the dense thickets of the Mutalanganga area listening for the morning calls of the African pitta. Once the bird has been located, you will quietly sit and watch it as it continues to call, flicking its wings and popping up into the air at the same time.
For any serious photographers, pop-up hides can be set up to capture the birds from a camouflaged lookout. In the area, we will also look for a few special birds like Livingstone’s flycatcher, African broadbill and bar-tailed cuckoo. After birding the area, we will make our way back to the lodge to relax or to continue birding in the surrounding areas.
Meals: Full board
Day 5 – 7: Masuku Lodge, Nkanga Conservation Area, Choma
On the final morning, you will pack up early and head to the pitta site for one last opportunity to try spot the African pitta and grab some great photographs. After spending the morning birding, you will make your way back to Masuku Lodge in the Nkanga Conservation IBA. You can settle into your rooms and then enjoy some evening birding around the lodge.
Spend the mornings on game drives around the Nkanga Conservation area; the prime bird target being the endemic Chaplin’s Barbet.
The area boasts a large diversity of habitats and is home to a variety of Zambezian endemics which include the racket-tailed roller, miombo pied barbet, Arnot’s chat, miombo grey tit and Black-eared seed-eater. Other birds to keep an eye out for include Fullerborn’s longclaw, green-capped and Burnt-necked eremomela, African black duck, African broadbill, black-bellied bustard, Narina trogon, Shallow’s turaco, red-throated twinspot, African pygmy geese, lesser jacana, crowned eagle, brown eagle, the black-chested and Western-banded snake eagle, and so much more.
Day 7: Departure
After your final night at Masuku Lodge, you will be transferred back to Livingstone International Airport for your return flight home. Should you want to add on an extra few nights in Livingstone to view the Victoria Falls, or spend some time birding on the Zambezi River, this can be arranged as an add-on package.
Masuku Lodge, Nkanga River Conservation, Choma
Masuku Lodge is set in the beautiful, unspoilt bush of the Nkanga River Conservation Area. It overlooks Dam and is surrounded by miombo woodland, dambo and thicket. This wide range of habitats supports a high diversity of bird and animal life.
The lodge boasts six thatched chalets, with twin or double beds, and en-suite facilities. Each has a veranda where you can sit and enjoy the view of the bush. Meals are taken family style, in the main lodge dining room, and there is a spacious lounge in which to relax.
Herds of kudu, sable, zebra and numerous bushbuck wander along the edge of the garden next to the dam both night and day during the dry season, alongside vervet monkeys and chacma baboons. A game drive around the conservancy to Lake Meg, finds the puku, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, eland, waterbuck, reedbuck, impala, common duiker, and Sharpe’s grysbok near the thickets.
Lake Kariba Inn, Siavonga
The Lake Kariba Inn is found on 33-hectares of green hillside overlooking the magnificent Lake Kariba. The lodge offers tropical gardens, with four swimming pools, conference and boardrooms, a luxury spa, and a gym, tennis- and squash court. You can relax at the bar and enjoy an evening sundowner, have a meal at the open-air restaurant, or join a boat trip to some of Siavonga’s sights and historical spots.
Inspire your appetite for adventure at Lake Kariba Inns Resort. The lodge has a vast range of activities to choose from, including organised excursions and cultural tours, fishing, boating, game walks, and bird watching.
All prices are subject to change due to availability, season, number of guests and special requests.
It is advised that guests take out the necessary travel insurance to cover any costs of lost baggage, flight cancellations or curtailment. Navigate Africa Safaris cannot be held responsible for any costs incurred by airlines.
It is compulsory for guests to have comprehensive medical insurance to cover them for any medical costs that may result in injuries or illnesses.
All guests travelling with Navigate Africa Safaris are covered for emergency evacuation. Should there be a situation where you are ill or injured and the conditions are life threatening – we will arrange an emergency evacuation for you.
SATSA (Southern Africa Tourism Services Association)
BirdLife South Africa
** Terms & conditions apply **