The Ultimate In Birding Tours

Africa (and its islands)

ZAMBIA: AFRICAN PITTA SPECIAL – Zambian Endemics and Specialities

Wednesday 27th November – Monday 9th December 2024

Leader: Pete Morris

13 Days Group Size Limit 6
Saturday 27th November – Thursday 9th December 2027

Leader: to be announced

13 Days Group Size Limit 6


Birdquest’s Zambia birding tours are unusual in that, as well as many regional endemics and near-endemics, they include the much-sought-after African Pitta. This is a very special bird, for which there is a short window of opportunity when it arrives back in its south-central African breeding grounds just at the onset of the rainy season and starts to call (usually in early December). Seeing this secretive bird at any other time of year is usually hard or impossible.

Our Zambia birding tour, which features an African country that is still off-the-beaten-track for the birdwatching fraternity, includes Zambia’s two strict endemics, Black-cheeked Lovebird and Chaplin’s Barbet, as well as the lovely African Pitta and such additional specialities as Dickinson’s Kestrel, Whyte’s Francolin, Blue Quail, Black-rumped Buttonquail, Coppery-tailed Coucal, Racket-tailed Roller, Böhm’s Bee-eater, Pale-billed and Bradfield’s Hornbills, Anchieta’s and Miombo Pied Barbets, Bennett’s Woodpecker, Fülleborn’s Longclaw, Miombo Tit, Laura’s Woodland Warbler, Chirping Cisticola, Red-capped Crombec, Stierling’s Wren-Warbler, Böhm’s and Livingstone’s Flycatchers, Miombo Scrub Robin, Miombo Rock Thrush, Hartlaub’s Babbler, Burchell’s and Meves’s Starlings, Souza’s Shrike, African Spotted Creeper, Anchieta’s and Western Miombo Sunbirds, Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Weaver, the strange Bar-winged Weaver, Katanga Masked Weaver, Red-throated Twinspot, Locust Finch and Reichard’s and Black-faced Seedeaters. A major non-birding attraction is a visit to the awesome Victoria Falls.

Of all the wonderful birds of Africa, its two pittas stand out among the most sought-after species on the continent. Quite a lot of birders have seen the Green-breasted Pitta in Kibale Forest in Uganda, but far fewer have ever set eyes on the fabled African Pitta, a species that only becomes ’available’ for a short period around the onset of the southern tropical rainy season and for the rest of the year is effectively off the birding menu! The Zambezi Valley in Zambia is currently the best place for seeing this avian gem, and this special Zambia birding tour is timed optimally for seeing this very special bird.

Deep in the interior of southern Africa lies Zambia, a huge, stable and friendly country that straddles the ‘Spine of Africa’, the barely perceptible watershed separating the vast basins of the Zambezi and the Congo. As well as hosting a lot of breeding African Pittas, Zambia has a bird species list of over 750 that includes many exciting birds, including some endemics and other localized specialities that are impossible or extremely difficult to see elsewhere on the continent. Zambia is a key country to visit in order to see some of Africa’s most restricted-range specialities.

Within the borders of this amazing country sprawls a sparsely inhabited landscape. This exciting trip will take us to several different regions of the country, taking in open mopane woodlands and dense, dark ‘mushitus’ (evergreen forests), spectacular miombo wilderness, wide lacustrine floodplains and ‘dambos’ (marshes), the mighty Zambezi and the incredible Victoria Falls.

From Lusaka, Zambia’s capital, we head off northeastwards into the wilds at Kasanka National Park, where restricted-range targets include Chirping Cisticola and Katangan Masked Weaver. At this season, Kasanka hosts some 10 million African Straw-tailed Fruit Bats that come to feast on the local figs. The bats migrate great distances to Kasanka and this little-known movement represents the greatest mammalian migration on earth!

The next part of our Zambian adventure takes us to the vast and remote Mutinondo Wilderness, a vast private reserve in north-central Zambia with a lovely safari lodge. Here we will be looking in the dambos, grasslands and mushitus for such special birds as Dickinson’s Kestrel, Whyte’s Francolin, Blue Quail, Black-rumped Buttonquail, Fülleborn’s Longclaw, Red-capped Crombec, Hartlaub’s Babbler and Black-eared Seedeater. The miombo woodland harbours further specialities, including Anchieta’s Sunbird, the delightful Bar-winged Weaver (Mutinondo is surely the best site for this unusual, nuthatch-like speciality) and sometimes Miombo Rock Thrush.

Moving eastwards, we shall stay at one of the cattle ranches of the Kafue basin with its large, spreading fig trees that support the striking Chaplin’s Barbet, one of two species endemic to Zambia. Other good birds here include the spectacular Racket-tailed Roller, Stierling’s Wren-Warbler, Souza’s Shrike and African Spotted Creeper.

The next part of our Zambia birding adventure features the city of Livingstone and a visit to the stupendous Victoria Falls.

The southwestern region of Zambia, to the west of Livingstone, is the haunt of the endangered endemic Black-cheeked Lovebird. Needless to say, the Zambezi valley is rich in many other bird species, including African Finfoot, Coppery-tailed Coucal, Bradfield’s Hornbill and Burchell’s and Meves’s Starlings, so our rewarding journey through southwest Zambia will include both a scenic wonder of the planet and some great birding.

Finally, we return to the Zambezi Valley at the shores of Lake Kariba, where we shall, of course, be concentrating on the stunning African Pitta. The breeding season should just be beginning with the onset of the rains, and the early rains stimulate the African Pittas to call and display. Another highlight is the perky little Livingstone’s Flycatcher.

Birdquest has operated Zambia birding tours since 2004.

Mwinilunga Extension Option: The far northwest of Zambia, which we have visited on several Birdquest tours, offers three range-restricted specialities which we do not see on our Angola tours. These are Grimwood’s Longclaw, Bamboo Warbler (the latter at a stop en route and a species that is rarely seen in Uganda) and Dambo Cisticola (a species we also see in Gabon). All the other specialities of the Mwinilunga region are nowadays regularly seen during our Angola tours. If there are enough participants who would like to visit this distant but interesting area in far northwestern Zambia, we will arrange an extension. The cost will depend on the number of participants. Please inform us at the time of booking if you are interested in visiting the Mwinilunga region.

Accommodation & Road Transport: The hotels and lodges are all of a good standard. We will be travelling in a 4×4 safari vehicle on a mixture of well-surfaced tarred roads and dirt roads.

Walking: The walking effort is easy almost throughout our Zambia birding tour, only occasionally moderate.

Climate: The weather is normally hot with a mixture of sunny and overcast conditions during this season. Rain is likely, and when it occurs it can be heavy.

Bird Photography: Opportunities during our Zambia birding tour are quite good.


  • A special tour to find some of the most sought-after or range-restricted birds in Africa
  • Watching Katanga Masked Weavers not far from Kasanka National Park
  • Hoping to see zillions of African Straw-tailed Bats at Kasanka, part of the world's greatest mammalian migration
  • The unusual Bar-winged Weaver and pretty Black-necked Eremomela in the forests of Mutinondo Wilderness
  • Birding the dark mushitu forest for the charming Laura’s Woodland Warbler
  • Finding the range-restricted Whyte's Francolin at Mutinondo
  • Endemic snowy Chaplin’s Barbets in the Sycamore Figs on the ranches of the Nkanga Conservation Area.
  • A visit to the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls
  • A journey into remote country to see the endangered endemic Black-cheeked Lovebird, which sometimes gather in their hundreds around the drying pools.
  • The hunt for the awesome, much sought-after African Pitta


  • Day 1: Morning tour start at Lusaka. Drive to Kasanka.
  • Day 2: Edge of Bangweulu swamps, then drive to Mutinondo Wilderness.
  • Days 3-4: Mutinondo Wilderness.
  • Day 5: Mutinondo, then drive to Mkushi area.
  • Day 6: Drive to Nkanga Conservation Area, Choma.
  • Day 7: Nkanga Conservation Area and Chaplin's Barbet.
  • Day 8: Drive to Livingstone.
  • Day 9: Visit Victoria Falls. Drive westerwards to our lodge by the Zambezi river.
  • Day 10: Explore Upper Zambezi region for Black-cheeked Lovebird.
  • Day 11: Drive to Siavonga at Lake Kariba.
  • Day 12: Siavonga/Lake Kariba area. African Pitta Quest.
  • Day 13: Siavonga, then drive to Lusaka airport for afternoon tour end.

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Birdquest Inclusions: Our tour prices include surface transportation, accommodations, meals and entrance fees.

We also include all tipping for local guides, drivers and accommodation/restaurant staff.

Deposit: 20% of the total tour price. Our office will let you know what deposit amount is due, in order to confirm your booking, following receipt of your online booking form.

TO BOOK THIS TOUR: Click here (you will need the tour dates)

2024: provisional £4430, $5690, €5170, AUD8590. Lusaka/Lusaka.
2027: provisional £4670, $5990, €5450, AUD9040. Lusaka/Lusaka.

Single Supplement: 2024: £420, $540, €490, AUD810.
Single Supplement: 2027: £440, $570, €510, AUD860.

The single supplement will not apply if you indicate on booking that you prefer to share a room and there is a room-mate of the same sex available.

This tour is priced in US Dollars. Amounts shown in other currencies are indicative.

Air Travel To & From The Tour: Our in-house IATA ticket agency will be pleased to arrange your air travel on request, or you may arrange this yourself if you prefer.


Zambia: Day 1   Our Zambia Specialities birding tour starts this morning at Lusaka, from where we have a long drive northeastwards to Kasanka National Park for an overnight stay.

At this season Kasanka hosts some 10 million African Straw-tailed Fruit Bats that come to feast on the local figs. The bats migrate great distances to Kasanka and this little-known movement represents the greatest mammalian migration on earth!

Zambia: Day 2  This morning we will reach the southern edge of the huge Bangweulu swamp complex (which consists of a series of large lakes, rivers and marsh systems). Our main target here is the restricted-range Katanga Masked Weaver. We can also expect to find Coppery-tailed Coucal and Chirping Cisticola this morning, as well as many other wetland birds. This is also one of the few places in the world where one can see the beautiful but threatened Black Lechwe, an antelope that prefers swampy grasslands. Away from the marshes, we will be keeping a lookout for the pretty and range-restricted Böhm’s Bee-eater.

Afterwards, we head southeastwards to Mutinondo Wilderness, a vast private reserve with a comfortable safari lodge, where we will spend three nights.

Zambia: Days 3-4  The huge, private Mutinondo Wilderness reserve is a beautiful area of woodland and scattered rocky inselbergs in north-central Zambia. Over 360 bird species have been recorded, including many specialities.

Large predators are thin on the ground, so walking can be done anywhere. Even so, a number of ungulates should be seen, including the splendid Sable and Roan Antelopes, Reedbuck, the shy, marsh-dwelling Sitatunga, Hartebeest and Bushbuck, as well as Common Warthog and Bush Pig. Giant Elephant Shrew may also be encountered.

The pride and joy of Mutinondo are its Brachystegia (miombo) woodlands, which hold a superb set of miombo specialists. Our major targets here are going to include Whyte’s Francolin,  the noisy Pale-billed Hornbill, the striking Black-backed Barbet, Bushveld Pipit, Miombo Scrub Robin, Arnot’s Chat, Long-tailed Cisticola, the pretty Black-necked Eremomela, the unassuming Böhm’s Flycatcher, Rufous-bellied Tit and Black-eared Seedeater. We may also find Miombo Rock Thrush.

Tall trees dripping with lichens and moss holding two very desirable restricted-range but fairly uncommon miombo specialities; Anchieta’s Barbet and the delightful Bar-winged Weaver. The weaver, which is surely easier to find at Mutinondo than anywhere else in its range, favours Usnea or ‘old man’s beard’ lichens and can be found creeping along the branches of trees that are festooned with it, in nuthatch-style. For the barbet, we shall have to try to find a fruiting or flowering tree that the birds are favouring.

Other good birds we shall be on the lookout for include Miombo Wren-Warbler, Red-capped Crombec, the lovely Anchieta’s Sunbird and Western Miombo Sunbird.

Grassy plains and marshy dambos are home to some exciting birds, including Dickinson’s Kestrel, Black-rumped Buttonquail, Blue Quail (uncommon), the brightly-coloured Fülleborn’s Longclaw, Hartlaub’s Babbler and Locust Finch. If we are in luck we will encounter African Grass Owl here or in the northwest.

Banded Martins hawk insects and African Marsh Harriers quarter the damp grasslands, clumps of trees and marshy areas that also hold such species as Black-bellied Bustard, African Wattled Lapwing, Marsh Owl, Swamp Nightjar, Flappet Lark, Sooty Chat, Fan-tailed Grassbird, Moustached Grass Warbler, Stout Cisticola, African Dusky Flycatcher, Anchieta’s Tchagra, Copper Sunbird, Red-headed Quelea, Marsh Widowbird, Fawn-breasted Waxbill and Quailfinch.

Areas of dense evergreen forest, known as mushitus, hold two major specialities; the secretive Bocage’s Akalat and the charming Laura’s Woodland Warbler. Ross’s Turaco, Evergreen Forest Warbler, White-tailed Crested Flycatcher and Green Twinspot are also present.

Other species that favour this habitat are Narina’s Trogon, Pallid Honeyguide, Purple-throated Cuckooshrike, Little and Cabanis’s Greenbuls, the restricted-range Brown-headed Apalis, Black-fronted Bushshrike and the handsome Black-bellied Seedcracker.

Additional birds of the area which are of particular interest include the spectacular Pennant-winged Nightjar, Brown-necked and Meyer’s Parrots, Thick-billed Cuckoo, the reichenowi form of Black Saw-wing, Striped Pipit, the fairly restricted-range Grey-olive Greenbul, the distinctive, restricted-range stormsi form of the African Thrush, Grey Waxbill and Reichard’s Seedeater.

More widespread species we may encounter during our visit to Mutinondo include Yellow-billed Duck, African Harrier-Hawk, African Goshawk, Shikra, Little and Black Sparrowhawks, Ross’s Turaco, Spotted Eagle-Owl, Common Swift, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, the ‘little spotted’ form of Green-backed Woodpecker, Grey-rumped Swallow, Buffy Pipit, Black Cuckooshrike, Yellow-throated Leaflove, Groundscraper Thrush, African Stonechat, Trilling Cisticola, Green-capped Eremomela, Yellow-bellied Hyliota, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, Black-throated Wattle-eye, White-winged Black Tit, Northern Fiscal, Grey-headed Bushshrike, Retz’s Helmetshrike, Western Violet-backed and Olive Sunbirds, Red-collared Widowbird, Orange-winged Pytilia, Red-backed Mannikin and Golden-breasted Bunting.

Zambia: Day 5  After a final morning at Mutinondo Wilderness we will head westwards to the Mkushi area for an overnight stay at the pleasant Forest Inn.

The attractive miombo woodland at the Forest Inn is a good place to find three great birds; Southern Hyliota, African Spotted Creeper and Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Weaver.

Zambia: Day 6  After some early morning birding at Mkushi, we head southwards to the Choma region of southern Zambia for a two nights stay in the Nkanga Conservation Area. We will be staying in stylish and very comfortable accommodations and join our hosts in the main house each evening for our meals, an experience that makes for a most welcoming and friendly stay. We may arrive at Nkanga in time for some initial exploration.

Zambia: Day 7  The Nkanga Conservation Area contains several cattle ranches and farms that have been actively protecting the local wildlife and are involved in mammal reintroduction schemes.

Our interest here lies primarily with the striking endemic Chaplin’s Barbet. This threatened barbet occurs only in a restricted area of Zambia. Although its range extends to several thousand square kilometres, it is generally erratic at the periphery and the regularly inhabited areas may only amount to some hundreds of square kilometres. The bird needs plenty of Ficus sycomorus fig trees for its source of food and it is threatened when these are cleared for cultivation. We shall be scanning the fig trees scattered across the open grasslands in search of bright white dots that could ultimately prove to be the bird itself.

The ranch house overlooks an attractive small dam surrounded by dense thickets and beautiful open miombo woodland, which is an excellent place to find the sparsely distributed Racket-tailed Roller and Miombo Pied Barbet. Further special birds of Nkanga include Bennett’s Woodpecker, Luapula Cisticola, Stierling’s Wren-Warbler, Souza’s Shrike and African Spotted Creeper (but we will need some luck to find the last two). At this season migrant Amur Falcons are fairly regular visitors.

Other species that may well be found here include Little Grebe, Little Bittern, Rufous-bellied Heron, African Spoonbill, White-faced Whistling Duck, White-backed Duck, Red-billed and Hottentot Teals, Black-winged Kite, African Cuckoo-Hawk, Long-crested Eagle, Hooded Vulture, Coqui and Shelley’s Francolins,  Natal and Red-necked Spurfowls, Common Moorhen, Three-banded Plover, Blacksmith Lapwing, Red-chested, African and perhaps Common Cuckoos, Black and Senegal Coucals, Fiery-necked Nightjar, the spectacular Pennant-winged Nightjar, Malachite Kingfisher, Crowned and Trumpeter Hornbills, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Brown-backed Honeybird, Greater and Lesser Honeyguides, and Golden-tailed, Bearded and Cardinal Woodpeckers.

Passerines include Rufous-naped Lark, Red-breasted Swallow, Wood and Plain-backed Pipits, White-breasted Cuckooshrike, Black-crowned Tchagra, Kurrichane Thrush, Croaking, Short-winged and Zitting Cisticolas, Neddicky, Red-capped Crombec, Long-billed Crombec, Southern Black and Pale Flycatchers, Grey Tit-flycatcher, Chinspot Batis, Miombo Tit, Grey Penduline Tit, Greater Blue-eared, Miombo Blue-eared and Violet-backed Starlings, Amethyst and White-bellied Sunbirds, Yellow-throated Petronia, Spectacled and Red-headed Weavers, Southern Red and Yellow Bishops, Yellow-mantled Widowbird, Common and Orange-breasted Waxbills, Bronze Mannikin, Cuckoo-finch (previously known as Parasitic Weaver), Yellow-fronted Canary and Cabanis’s Bunting.

Zambia: Day 8  After some final birding at Nkanga we travel westwards to the city of Livingstone, situated on the Zambezi river in southwestern Zambia, where we will stay overnight.

Zambia: Day 9  First thing this morning we will visit the world-famous Victoria Falls. This spectacular and breathtaking place still has a stunning impact even after one has seen innumerable films or photographs. The falls themselves are magnificent and, as David Livingstone himself once declared, “On sights as beautiful as this, angels in their flight must have gazed”. Here the mighty Zambezi widens to nearly two kilometres broad before plunging vertically downwards. As we approach the falls, dense clouds of water vapour hang over the area and the sound of millions of tons of water dropping into chasms over 100m deep is awe-inspiring.

Rock Martins and Red-winged Starlings fly through rainbows that arch across the fine spray before vanishing into the gloom of the gorges. The area protected by the national park is not as extensive as on the Zimbabwean side and bird song is difficult to hear above the deafening rumble and pounding of cascading water. The falls were once known as a regular haunt of the rare Taita Falcon, but these days, with increased disturbance, the birds have retreated to the inaccessible gorges downstream. Perhaps the most interesting birds that live here are the African Black Swifts of the paler race hollidayi that is endemic to Victoria Falls.

After our visit to the falls, we shall head westwards to our comfortable lodge, idyllically situated on the banks of the Zambezi, where we will stay for two nights.

Around the lodge, we should find Collared Palm Thrush and perhaps Green-backed Honeybird, as well as Red-eyed Dove, Schalow’s Turaco, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Little, European and White-fronted Bee-eaters, Eurasian Hobby, Orange-breasted Bushshrike, Black-backed Puffback, Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Terrestrial Brownbul, Dark-capped Bulbul, Red-faced Cisticola, Grey-backed Camaroptera, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Ashy Flycatcher, African Paradise Flycatcher, White-browed Robin-Chat, Southern Yellow White-eye, Collared and Scarlet-chested Sunbirds, Thick-billed, Holub’s Golden and Village Weavers, and Red-billed Firefinch.

At night we may find Western Barn Owl, African Wood Owl and Square-tailed Nightjar.

At some point during our stay, we plan to take a boat trip along the Zambezi near our lodge in search of African Finfoot, Rock Pratincole and Half-collared Kingfisher, not to mention the fascinating Hippopotamus. There is even a slim chance of finding the rare, restricted-range Slaty Egret.

More widespread species along the Zambezi include Reed Cormorant, African Darter, Striated, Black (uncommon), Squacco and Purple Herons, Little, Intermediate and Great Egrets, African Openbill, Yellow-billed Stork (uncommon), Glossy, Hadada and African Sacred Ibises, Hamerkop, Egyptian and Spur-winged Geese, Knob-billed Duck, Western Osprey, African Fish Eagle, Western Banded Snake Eagle, Black Crake, Lesser Moorhen (uncommon), African Jacana, Water Thick-knee, White-crowned Lapwing, Common Sandpiper, Grey-headed Gull, White-winged Tern, Pied and Giant Kingfishers, Sand Martin (or Bank Swallow), Wire-tailed and Barn Swallows, Lesser Swamp Warbler and African Pied Wagtail.

Zambia: Day 10  Today we shall explore mopane woodland well to the northwest of Livingstone that is home to the Black-cheeked Lovebird. This delightful little parrot is now treated as a Zambian endemic, as any valid records outside the country are now thought to refer either to vagrants or else to feral birds. The species particularly favours mopane woodland and it has a patchy distribution in southwestern Zambia, being restricted to an area between the Zambezi and Kafue Rivers, with a total population numbering no more than 10,000 individuals.

The habitat here encompasses part of the Zambezi floodplain and shallow pools, thorny thickets and stands of mopane are characteristic of the area, so there will be much to distract us along the way. Restricted-range species to look out for during our travels include Coppery-tailed Coucal and Meves’s and Burchell’s Starlings.

More widespread species include Helmeted Guineafowl, Great White Pelican, Marabou Stork, Western Cattle Egret, Grey and Black-headed Herons, Yellow-billed Kite, White-backed Vulture, Black-chested and Brown Snake Eagles, Bateleur, Lizard Buzzard, Gabar and Dark Chanting Goshawks, Martial, Wahlberg’s and Tawny Eagles, Crested and Swainson’s Francolins, Crowned Lapwing, Double-banded Sandgrouse, African Mourning, Ring-necked and Namaqua Doves, African Green Pigeon, Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Grey Go-away-bird, Jacobin, Black, Klaas’s and Diederik Cuckoos, White-browed Coucal, the huge Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Pearl-spotted Owlet, African Palm Swift, Böhm’s Spinetail, Red-faced Mousebird, Woodland and Striped Kingfishers, Swallow-tailed and Southern Carmine Bee-eaters, Purple (or Rufous-crowned) and Lilac-breasted Rollers, African Hoopoe, Green Wood-hoopoe, Common Scimitarbill, Southern Ground, Southern Red-billed and African Grey Hornbills, and Crested and Black-collared Barbets.

Passerines include Mosque Swallow, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Tropical Boubou, Brubru, White-crested Helmetshrike, Black-headed and African Golden Orioles, Fork-tailed Drongo, Pied Crow, Rattling Cisticola, Burnt-necked Eremomela, White-browed Scrub Robin, Arrow-marked Babbler, Southern Black Tit, Magpie and Red-backed Shrikes, Yellow-billed and Red-billed Oxpeckers, Southern Grey-headed Sparrow, Red-billed Buffalo Weaver, White-browed Sparrow-Weaver, Lesser Masked Weaver, Red-billed Quelea, White-winged Widowbird, Blue and Violet-eared Waxbills, Green-winged Pytilia, Jameson’s Firefinch, Long-tailed Paradise and Shaft-tailed Whydahs, Village Indigobird and Black-throated Canary.

The area borders on the much drier country to the west, marking the beginning of a rather different avifauna, and so there is always the chance of a surprise such as Red-billed Spurfowl or the nomadic Dusky Lark.

Zambia: Day 11  After some final birding in the Upper Zambezi region we will travel eastwards to Siavonga, on the shores of Lake Kariba (a dammed section of the Zambezi that straddles the borders of Zambia and Zimbabwe, forming the world’s largest man-made lake), for a two nights stay.

Zambia: Day 12  During the first hours of daylight we will seek out one of the most attractive and sought-after of all African birds, the glorious African Pitta. We will have to leave our lodge while it is still dark in order to arrive at the favoured area of dense thickets that hide this jewel of a bird so easily from sight. Our ears will be strained to catch the sound of the African Pitta’s frog-like display call and with persistence we have a very high chance of being able to track this fabulous bird down and watch as it leaps up from its perch with each and every note it utters. This part of Zambia is one of the most accessible places to see African Pitta, but even so, we may have to keep trying for some time.

During our visit to Lake Kariba, we will also be looking for some of the other interesting birds of the area and in particular the colourful Purple-crested Turaco, the strange, seemingly tail-less Böhm’s Spinetail, Bearded Scrub Robin and the delightful Livingstone’s Flycatcher.

Other species that occur in the area include Wooly-necked Stork, the shy Crested Guineafowl, Levaillant’s, African Emerald and Barred Long-tailed Cuckoos, Horus Swift, African Broadbill, Lesser Striped Swallow, Sombre Greenbul, Eastern Nicator, Marsh, Olive-tree and Garden Warblers, Common Whitethroat, Thrush Nightingale, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Purple-banded Sunbird, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Southern Grey-headed Sparrow, Southern Masked Weaver, Red-billed Quelea, African Firefinch and Red-throated Twinspot. With luck, we will encounter the attractive Three-banded Courser.

Zambia: Day 13  We have another opportunity to look for the pitta and other birds this morning before heading for Lusaka airport, where our Zambia birding tour ends this afternoon.


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