Birds – Zambia

Alan Murphy
Expert
By Alan Murphy

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

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

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

Alan has authored the Lonely Planet guide to Zambia.

Zambia offers over 750 bird species, of which 120 or so are not found south of the Zambezi. It is, arguably, the best place to search for one of Africa’s most desired specials: the African pitta. Zambia is also a good place to look for the famous shoebill. Migratory birds are present from October to April.

Notable Birds in Zambia
Böhm's bee-eater
Locally common
Hooded vulture
Common
Little bee-eater
Common
Three-banded courser
Locally common
Verreaux's eagle owl
Locally common

Birding Rating

Endemic & Near-Endemic Birds

(E) endemic = only lives in Zambia
(NE) near-endemic = also lives in neighboring countries

Other Birding Specials– Treats for Avid Birders

Facts & Figures

Birds in Zambia
Bird Species
750+
Migratory Birds
Oct to Apr

Best Time for Bird Watching

The best time for birding in Zambia is between October and April, when local birds are nesting and migratory birds land here. But this is the country’s Wet season, so getting around remote areas is going to be difficult. You’ll need to do some careful planning to give your trip the best chance of success.

Best Parks for Birding Includes Birding Rating

North Luangwa and South Luangwa parks are excellent places to see waterbirds and raptors. You should also go to Kafue because it has a huge variety of birds. Bangweulu Wetlands is another spot where waterbirds congregate, and it’s home to the elusive shoebill as well.

Recommended Birding Books

  • The Birds of Zambia: An Atlas and Handbook
    Francoise Dowsett-Lemaire and Robert J. Dowset

Want to Visit Zambia?

Birding Rating

Facts & Figures

Birds in Zambia
Bird Species
750+
Migratory Birds
Oct to Apr