Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex)


This enormous (measuring 120-140 cm), strange-looking bird with its massive bill is placed in its own family. Their diet consists of mainly fish but they will also prey on Nile Monitors, baby Crocodiles, frogs and snakes with their main hunting technique standing motionless for long periods. They are endemic to Africa and are found in fresh water marsh habitat but due to human disturbance and habitat destruction they are classified as vulnerable.

There are currently just two places where they are reliably found. The first is the Bangweulu swamps of northern Zambia extending into the DRC. We visit this fascinating wetland as an extension on our Zambia Birding safari and is a destination for the adventurous birder with a charter flight the best way of getting there. The second and by far the most reliable and easier to get to destination is Uganda and we currently have a 100% success rate with this species on our Uganda Birding Safari.

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