Birding Africa
    Birding tours from Cape Town to Cameroon and Madagascar, with the only African Birding Specialist










    Cape Town Pelagics
    Cape Birding Route


African Pitta photographed on a Birding Africa tour, © Tertius A. Gous

Zambia Tours with Birding Africa

Our Zambia tours offer one of the best places to see one of Africa's most desired species, the African Pitta. Our leaders know how to reliably find the pittas here in December when they migrate into riverine forests to breed. As the pittas advertise themselves by their call, they lure us in to show their amazing colourful jump-display.

Besides the African Pitta, our tours also target Zambia's only true endemic, Chaplin's Barbet. This snowy-white bird occurs very locally and is keen on Fig trees. Also highly desired and localised is the virtually endemic Black-cheeked Lovebird, for which we search the mopane woodlands in the dry season.

In addition to these specials, more than 750 species recorded in Zambia. Perhaps thanks to Zambia's stable politics and vast tracts of intact wilderness.

Our tours focus on the Zambezi endemics found primarily in the Miombo woodlands that blanket large parts of the country. Baobab Trees, Sycamore Figs, Acacia parklands, wet open dambos and valleys make up the biodiverse scenery.

Indigenous mammals can also be seen here, such as regal Sable and Greater Kudu, elegant Southern Reedbuck, Oribi and Bushbuck, amusing Chacma Baboon and even secretive Bush Pig, Aardvark, Serval and Leopard.

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Featured Leader: Michael Mills

Michael Mills grew up "in the bush" in the Kalahari and Kruger National Parks where his parents were carnivore researchers. His incredible focus, dedication and ability to locate and show people Africa's toughest birds is probably unequalled on the continent.

Michael has led dozens of tours in Southern, East, Central, West and North Africa and his experience in locating birds on just the softest of calls or briefest of views impresses those who have travelled with him.

There is seldom a tour where Michael doesn't make an interesting discovery such as finding a new species for a country or record an undescribed bird call (and he has published these in the scientific literature).

Not only is Michael one of our principal leaders, but he also helps extensively with scouting and planning our most challenging itineraries.

Chaplin's Barbet © Claire Spottiswoode

Chaplin's Barbet endemic to Zambia is localised in open woodland where arthropods and fig trees provide fruit and nesting sites, as in Kafue National Park. Classified as vulnerable on the IUCN Red list © Claire Spottiswoode

2024 Tours

Tour name Dates in country Days Leaflet Tour report
Ultimate Zambia: Main (BA2468) 16 - 28 November  13 Leaflet USD 2019 report
Ultimate Zambia: Pitta (BA2468) 28 Nov - 5 Dec   8 Leaflet USD 2019 report

Black-cheeked Lovebirds © Lambert Nanzhila
Black-cheeked Lovebirds, a very localised Zambian endemic threatened by habitat loss can still be seen in southwest
Zambia at Kafue National Park. © Lambert Nanzhila.

Racket-tailed Roller on a BIrding Africa Zambia Tour © Trevor & Jenni Franks
The charchteristic racket-shaped tail feathers of Racket-tailed Rollers are only present during the breeding season. This
bird was photographed on a Birding Africa Zambia Tour © Trevor & Jenni Franks. It can also be seen on Birding Africa
tours to Angola, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa and Tanzania.

At Nchila Wildlife Sanctuary in North Western Zambia, we look for specials such as Bamboo Warbler and Red-throated
Cliff Swallow on a Birding Africa Zambia Tour © Michael Mills.

Near the source of the Zambezi, at Nchila Wildlife Sanctuary, we find the regal Sable antelope on a Birding Africa
Zambia Tour © Michael Mills

At the Chitunta plains, an IBA (Important Bird Area) in north western Zambia, we look for specials such as Grimwood's
Longclaw among countless termite mounds © Michael Mills on a Birding Africa Zambia Tour.

The Chitunta plains are fed by the Chitunta and the Luakera Rivers. Along the shrubs of these rivers, we look for
colonies of Bocage's Weaver (very localised in Zambia) on a Birding Africa Zambia tour © Michael Mills.

In between lush vegetation run the rapids of the Zambezi River © Michael Mills on a Birding Africa Zambia Tour.

Practical tour information

Focus For keen birders and mammal enthusiasts. Designed to focus on birds, but while on the walks we may also look for other aspects of wildlife. We can also customise any itinerary to suit to the keen birder, the wildlife enthusiast or both.
Photography Many participants on our trips are amateur wildlife photographers. And when we get excellent views of a bird or mammal, some time is usually spent watching and photographing it. However, this is not a photographic tour and once the majority of the people have felt that they have absorbed the animal or bird to their satisfaction, then we move on in search of the next encounter. Thus, while the photographic opportunities are very good, the group will only occasionally wait for somebody who wants to spend even longer getting better photos.
Fitness No fitness is required. The few walks are generally in relatively flat areas with occasional small inclines.
Timing Various times. Please enquire.
Climate Warm to hot.
Comfort A good standard of accommodation in guest houses, lodges and small hotels.
Transport We travel by minibus or four wheel drive vehicle.
Group Size Limited to 7 participants on the African Pitta Tour in December.
Top birds African Pitta, and the country's two only endemics, Chaplin's Barbet and Black-cheeked Lovebird.
Top mammals Sable, Greater Kudu, Oribi, Southern reedbuck, Bush Pig, Aardvark, Serval, Leopard
Booking Your booking can be secured with a booking form and deposit. You will receive confirmation and our tour information pack with practical information on what to expect and how to prepare for the tour. The balance is due 150 days before the tour. Contact us to enquire about availability.

About Birding Africa

Birding Africa is a specialist birding tour company customising tours for both world listers and more relaxed holiday birders. We combine interests in mammals, butterflies, dragonflies, botany and other natural history aspects and will guide you to Africa's and Madagascar's most diverse birding destinations. Our guides' knowledge of African birds and birding areas is our greatest strength and together we have rediscovered species, shared exciting observations with the birding community and had a fun time exploring our home continent. We've even written two acclaimed guide books on where to find Southern Africa's and Madagascar's best birds. Birding is more than our passion, it's our lifestyle, and we are dedicated to making professional, best value trips filled with endemic species and unique wildlife experiences. Since 1997, we've run bird watching tours in South Africa and further into Africa for individual birders, small birding groups and top international tour companies. We've run Conservation Tours in association with the African Bird Club and work with and consult for a number of other top international tour companies and the BBC Natural History Unit.

For feedback from our guests, please see our Client Comments. Please also browse our Latest News and Trip Reports.

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Black Harrier photograph courtesy of Keith Offord.
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[African Tailorbirding CC (CK2003/020710/23) trading as Birding Africa]
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