Birds – Kafue NP

Alan Murphy
By Alan Murphy

Alan is a renowned Africa expert and has authored many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including a guide to Zambia.

Alan is a renowned Africa expert and has authored the Lonely Planet guide to Zambia.

Alan has authored the Lonely Planet guide to Zambia.

With its diversity of habitats, Kafue is Zambia’s best birding destination – more than 480 species have been recorded here. The rivers, wetlands, floodplains and miombo woodland offer a variety of environments for different species. The most sought-after species are the near-endemic black-cheeked lovebird, which is quite easily seen in the south of the park, and Zambia’s only endemic, the elusive Chaplin’s barbet. Migrants are present from November to April.

Notable Birds in Kafue
African darter
African green pigeon
Knysna turaco
Malachite kingfisher
Wattled crane

Birding Rating

Birding Specials Treats for Avid Birders

(E) = endemic to Zambia & (NE) = near-endemic to Zambia

  • African finfoot
  • Black-cheeked lovebird (NE)
  • Böhm's bee-eater
  • Brown-headed apalis
  • Chaplin's barbet (E)
  • Chestnut-backed sparrow-weaver
  • Collared palm-thrush
  • Denham’s bustard
  • Grey crowned crane
  • Grey tit-flycatcher
  • Miombo pied barbet
  • Miombo rock thrush
  • Narina trogon
  • Olive woodpecker
  • Pale-billed hornbill
  • Pel’s fishing-owl
  • Purple-crested turaco
  • Racket-tailed roller
  • Ross's turaco
  • Southern white-faced owl
  • Souza's shrike
  • Spotted creeper
  • Wattled crane
  • Yellow-throated leaf-love

Best Time for Bird Watching

Kafue is a great birding destination year-round. However, the best time is during the wet, summer months, from November to April, when migrants are present. At this time, a lot of birds are in breeding plumage as well. General wildlife viewing is best in the dry months, from July to October.

Best Parks for Birding Including Birding Rating

North and South Luangwa are excellent for waterbirds and raptors, while Kafue has a great variety of birds. Bangweulu Wetlands is home to the elusive shoebill as well as significant numbers of waterbirds.

Want to Visit Kafue NP?

Birding Rating

Facts & Figures

Birds in Kafue NP
Bird Species
Migratory Birds
Nov to Apr