Download Bird List
There are lots of birds in the area around
Sioma Camp. In the attached file you will find a list of bird
species observed during a few days in March 2008 by Bob
Stjernstedt, one of Zambia’s best ornithologists. The list is
far from complete and that is why we have attached also a list
of birds observed in the nearby Sioma Ngwezi National Park. The
full list of birds registered in the whole of Zambia is attached
Especially during the rainy season from the
end of October to the beginning of April you will see a
multitude of birds – and insects, including huge beetles and
colorful butterflies – around Sioma River Camp as well as around
the Bush Camp.
I am sitting here writing - with a fabulous view over a bend of
the Zambezi River and with a big sandbank in front of me - I can
both hear – they have a very characteristic call – and see two
African fish eagles in a tree on the other side of the river.
A few moments ago a yellow billed kite
was gliding through the air and hovered over the sandbank. The
kite however quickly had to withdraw as two pied crows started
harassing it. The two crows are frequent guests at our camp.
They show little fear and they have on several occasions been
snatching breadcrumbs from my table while I was seated there –
one meter away. (I remember the ravens at Mutinondo; they were
able to open ‘locked’ boxes and containers where baboons and
vervet monkeys had failed but up to now the crows here are less
audacious). When the crows landed on the sandbank – tired from
the kite bashing – they were chased off by some white headed
lapwing plovers. In front of me I can see a small group of blue
waxbills, in the trees above me I see a pair of chinspotted
batis and a very noisy group of arrow marked babblers has just
landed. Birds are always fun to watch and especially along the
banks of the river you will see lots of activity. Pied
kingfisher hovering over the river before diving for prey, the
bee eaters – little and white fronted are the most common, but
also blue checked and carmine bee eaters can be seen – carry out
quick raids from bushes growing on the slopes towards the river.
One of the most impressive birds I have seen along the banks of
the river is the giant kingfisher. ‘Giant’ is no exaggeration;
compared to for example a malachite kingfisher it is really
enormous. I have seen it fly at low altitude over the river with
a 25 cm long tiger fish in its beak. Parrots, especially Meyers
parrot and grey hornbills fly over our camp every day. Ground
hornbills have been spotted close by on several occasions. On
the two small peninsulas in front of the main camp building we
have quite a number of owls including pearl spotted owl and
barred owlet. I could carry on, but will rest my case…….
On top of the many birds you are likely to
see just by staying at Sioma Camp special bird trips with
experienced bird guides can be arranged. Bob Stjernstedt is one
of these bird guides.
Activities for birders:
Apart from the almost compulsory trip to
Sioma (or Ngonye) Falls - where there are also plenty of birds -
a bird oriented stay at Sioma Camp could include river cruises
on the Zambezi say for a day or two while observing the bird
species living along the banks of the river, on the sand and
rock islands and on the river itself. One or several days could
be spent in the bush camp.
The main activity could be bird walks in the
surrounding area where the vegetation is open woodland, bush and
grass savanna. Viewing platforms have been constructed in tall
trees close to water holes at the bush camp offering good bird
viewing possibilities. Another option could be to take a drive
to the Kwando River (apart from being the south border of Sioma
Ngwezi National Park it is also Zambia’s border to Angola) which
is very different from the Zambezi River.
The Zambezi is clearly demarcated and fast
flowing while Kwando more resembles a slow flowing and
meandering Okavango River in the middle of a huge wetland area.
In addition to the many birds found there you may also see
hippo, crocodile, buffalo and sitatunga.
(Pick up in Livingstone at hotel/lodge or at
the airport, or as a possible alternative at the airstrip close
to Sioma Camp).
Day 1: Arrival in the early afternoon.
Boat trip to Sioma Falls. Lunch at the falls
before heading back to camp.
Day 2: River cruises and bird watching.
Day 3: Transfer to Bush Camp via Ijobwe
Pools. Lunch on the way. Arrive in the afternoon.
Day 4: Bird walks in the area. Lunch at
waterholes with nearby viewing platforms.
Day 5: Bird walks in the area. Lunch on the
way. Back in the bush camp late afternoon.
Day 6: Transfer to Sioma Camp. From here by
car or by plane (from airstrip) to Livingstone or other
We remain very open towards alternative
suggestions/wishes. Send us a mail and we will have a look at it
and give you a feedback.
Download Bird List