Birds – South Luangwa 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.

The birdlife in South Luangwa is phenomenal. More than 400 species have been recorded here. Migratory colonies of southern carmine bee-eaters nesting on the banks of the river are a must-see if you are here around August and September. Pelicans and yellow-billed storks gather in the last puddles of water in the Dry season to scoop out the fish, and grey crowned cranes can sometimes be found in flocks of up to 300. Owls and nightjars are often spotted on night drives.

Notable Birds in South Luangwa
African skimmer
Rare migrant
Great white pelican
Little bee-eater
Southern carmine bee-eater
Common migrant
Verreaux's eagle owl

Birding Rating

Birding Specials Treats for Avid Birders

  • African broadbill
  • African crake
  • African pitta
  • African skimmer
  • Allen's gallinule
  • Barred long-tailed cuckoo
  • Black-throated wattle-eye
  • Cardinal quelea
  • Collared palm-thrush
  • Dwarf bittern
  • Horus swift
  • Lilian's lovebird
  • Moustached warbler
  • Narina trogon
  • Pel’s fishing-owl
  • Racket-tailed roller
  • Western banded snake eagle
  • White-fronted plover
  • White-headed black chat
  • White-headed lapwing
  • Woodland kingfisher

Best Time for Bird Watching

Birders will enjoy South Luangwa throughout the year – it’s wonderful for a variety of feathered treats. For those wanting to take advantage of the best bird-watching conditions, plan your trip in the wet months (from November to April). Migrants have settled in at this time, and a lot of birds are in breeding plumage.

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 South Luangwa NP?

Birding Rating

Facts & Figures

Birds in South Luangwa NP
Bird Species
Migratory Birds
Nov to Apr