Gorges Lodge and Little Gorges Tented Lodge
Bomani Tented Lodge
Zambezi Sands River Camp
Activities at Gorges and Little Gorges
Birding at Gorges and Little Gorges
How to find Nehimba
How to find Jozibanini
BIRDING AT CAMELTHORN
FIND OUT MORE
At the Southeast corner of Hwange, lies the Ngamo plain – a fossil lakebed almost 10 km across, which has become one of Hwange’s biggest wetlands. The area is split almost evenly between the Park, Tsholotsho – where Camelthorn nestles – and the Forest where Bomani hides.
This seasonally flooded savannah grassland – dotted with Hyphaene palms and Combretum leadwoods – is surrounded by Acacia and Baikiea woodlands, and creates a mosaic of habitats that are a birders dream.
Birding in this area at any time of year is exciting. Our two favourite periods are the beginning (around end of November and early December) and the end (usually March and early April) of the rains. The wet season brings with it all our migrants –Palaearctic and Intra African – as well as an eruption of alate and amphibians that quickly appease their appetites and travel weary bodies. Three months later, as the rains slowly dissipate, fledglings leave their nests, the migrants prepare to take flight, and gorge once more on the bounty created from the flooded wetlands, before embarking on their long journeys.
But Hwange’s most important and impressive factor is the variety of closely knitted habitats it houses and the diversity this encourages. For example:
Acacia woodlands: are perfect for species such as Crimson breasted shrike and Pied Babbler.
Kalahari Sandveld: encourage birds like the Red Crested Korhaan and Dark Chanting Goshawks.
Palm Savannah: are a particular favourite of the Dickinson's Kestrels and Red necked Falcons.
Flooded Grasslands: fill quickly with species like Whiskered terns, Painted Snipe and Pygmy goose.
Open Grasslands: house species like Kori Bustards and Red billed Francolins.
The arrival of the rains creates a spectacle that for any naturalist is awesome, but for a birder is staggering - literally hundreds of Eagles can be seen every day, huge flocks of mixed storks and clouds of bee-eaters. Into this picture, add all the varied large mammals of the area and the result are scenes that are literally breathtaking.
At the Batoka Gorge the resident raptors are a highlight but here too the raptors do not disappoint. A pair of Martial Eagles nest a short walk from Bomani, as do a pair of Secretary birds and multiple species of smaller woodland raptors.
Whether you are a passionate twitcher or just a naturalist, the birds of the Ngamo area never disappoint.