11-Day Zimbabwe Birding Tour
With a birding list of more than 670 species and some of the most beautiful birding areas in Southern Africa, Zimbabwe is a wonderful birding destination. The main birding attraction is the Eastern Highlands consisting of the Nyanga Highlands, Honde Valley and Vumba Highlands and is home to some of the most south after specials in Southern Africa. Birding habitats in this country varies from Miombo Woodland, Montane Grassland, Forest, Riverine Woodland, Wetlands and Savannah. A birding trip to Zimbabwe can easily be combined with a Zambia, Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique
Full Itinerary – Zimbabwe Birding Tour
Start of safari in Harare, birding around the capital
Welcome to Zimbabwe! Your fantastic birding tour in one of the most beautiful and diverse countries on the continent will start as soon as you touch down at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, located southeast of the country’s capital city of Harare.
You will be met by your Nature Travel guide who will help load the bags into our comfortable, airconditioned vehicle before we set off for our guesthouse situated on the other side of the capital.
*Please note that we advise arriving in Harare as early in the morning as you can, to ensure a full afternoon of activities on our first day.
On the way to the guesthouse, it might be a good idea to learn a little more about where we are. Renowned for being one of Africa’s most beautiful destinations with a superb year-round climate, Zimbabwe’s tourism industry is bouncing back in a big way! The country boasts 10 national parks, 9 recreational parks, 4 botanical gardens, 4 safari areas and 3 wildlife sanctuaries. These areas are collectively called the Wildlife Estate which covers an area of about 47,000 km2 (18,000 sq mi), which is equivalent to an astonishing 12.5% of the total land area of the country. There are around 200 species of mammals that can be found in Zimbabwe, including Africa’s famed Big Five (Lion, Leopard, African Elephant, African Buffalo and rhino), Cheetah, African Wild Dog, Brown Hyaena, Giraffe, Hippopotamus and many species of antelope and smaller mammals. The country also boasts many reptile species, almost 700 bird species (including 10 globally threatened species as well as specials like African Pitta, Dickinson’s Kestrel, Roberts’s Warbler, Chirinda Apalis, Blue Swallow, Swynnerton’s Robin, Boulder Chat, Southern Hyolita and Miombo Rock Thrush), 131 fish species (including the highly prized Tiger Fish) and many other fascinating species of fauna and flora.
Harare, known until 1982 as Salisbury, sits in the northeast of the country, on a plateau at about 1,483 metres (4,865 feet) above sea level, with a subtropical highland climate. The “sunshine city” is Zimbabwe’s leading financial, commercial, trading, manufacturing and communications centre. It is more laid-back than most other southern African capitals, and boasts wide avenues lined with indigenous plants and jacaranda trees. It has some excellent fine dining restaurants, museums, galleries, craft markets and a great nightlife scene.
Of significant importance for us is that Harare offers excellent wetland and miombo habitats close by, and is even home to some wonderful garden birds.
Speaking of gardens, our chosen accommodation is a beautiful guesthouse in a quiet neighbourhood, with manicured lawns and many indigenous plants and trees. We will check in, unpack our bags and enjoy a meal. Always have your binoculars at hand, even while eating, as we have seen some really cool birds in the guesthouse gardens in the past. These include Purple-crested Turaco, Eastern Miombo, White-bellied, Scarlet-chested and Variable Sunbird, Gabar Goshawk, White-browed Robin-chat, Southern Yellow White-eye, Black-collared Barbet and many more. We have this afternoon and the full day tomorrow to explore all the fantastic birding spots around the capital.
Depending on our target species, the current weather conditions and recent sighting reports, we will make a decision as to where to go on a specific time to optimise our chances of seeing some of the star birds that are possible here.
We could spend our afternoon in the “vleis” (a South African colloquialism for a wetland) and dambos of Harare’s famous birding wetlands, specifically Monavale and Marlborough. Both are excellent after it has rained, and if our timing is right we hope to find Striped, Baillon’s and Spotted Crake, Streaky-breasted Flufftail, Black-rumped Buttonquail, Black Coucal, Lesser Moorhen, Yellow-mantled, Red-collared and White-winged Widowbird, Yellow Bishop, African Yellow Warbler, Cuckoo Finch, Rosy-breasted, Cape and Yellow-throated Longclaw, Orange-breasted Waxbill, Pale-crowned, Zitting and Croaking Cisticola, Greater Striped and Grey-rumped Swallow, African Grass and Marsh Owl and many others. After this exciting start to our birding trip we will return to the guesthouse for dinner and a good night’s sleep. Welcome to Africa!
Birding in and around Harare
We will be up very early this morning with a quick cup of coffee and a hearty breakfast to get us going.
We will go out birding in the morning and return to the guesthouse for lunch and a short siesta, and then go out to a different spot in the afternoon.
In the morning it might be a good idea to head north, towards the small settlement of Christon Bank, set in rolling hills that overlook the Mazowe river. The habitat here is primarily miombo woodland with some riverine thickets along the river itself. We will get our first taste of miombo birding, an experience to savour if you have never done it before. It is often a game of patience as we search for feeding parties, not seeing much and not even hearing a lot of activity. And then, suddenly, when a party arrives, all hell breaks loose and it becomes difficult to keep track of all the new species popping up around us. A highlight indeed!
Our top targets here will be Boulder Chat and Collared Flycatcher (in summer), and some of the other special species we could see here include Long-crested Eagle, Brown Snake Eagle, African Cuckoo-hawk, Augur Buzzard, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Coqui Francolin, Purple-crested Turaco, Levaillant’s, Red-chested and Common Cuckoo, Broad-billed Roller, Half-collared Kingfisher, African Spotted Creeper, Whyte’s Barbet, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Green-backed Honeybird, Black and White-breasted Cuckooshrike, African Golden Oriole, Miombo and Southern Black Tit, Miombo Rock Thrush, Southern Hyliota, Red-faced Crombec, Green-capped Eremomela, Stierling’s Wren-warbler, Grey Tit-flycatcher, Grey Penduline Tit, Wood, Striped and Tree Pipit, Purple-banded, Eastern Miombo and Western Violet-backed Sunbird, Black-eared Seedeater, Chinspot Batis, Yellow-breasted Apalis and Red-throated Twinspot.
In the afternoon we might visit the Mukuvisi woodlands. It is a 270 hectare protected area in the city suburbs, providing fantastic miombo birding in a very convenient location. Apart from the miombo, there is a stream entering the southeast and exiting the southwest corner, where there is a stand of gum trees and a small acacia section. Furthermore, a game viewing hide overlooking a small savannah patch, and a bird hide over a small dam provides further excitement. Specials here include African Spotted Creeper, Whyte’s Barbet, White-breasted Cuckooshrike, Miombo Tit, Miombo Rock Thrush, Green-capped Eremomela, Stierling’s Wren-warbler, African Golden Oriole, Southern Hyliota, Miombo Blue-eared Starling, Wood Pipit, Black Cuckooshrike, Cardinal Woodpecker, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Variable Sunbird, African Cuckoo-hawk, Red-faced Crombec, Green-backed Honeybird, Little Rush Warbler, Red-collared Widowbird, Thick-billed Weaver and many others. We will also see our first mammals of the trip, as Mukuvisi boasts quite a good list! We could see Giraffe, Common Eland, Greater Kudu, Plains Zebra, Common Wildebeest, Impala, Bushbuck and even the beautiful Sable Antelope.
We will return to our guesthouse to freshen up and then get together for dinner and to update our trip lists. Then we retire to bed, hopefully having ticked some special birds today. Get some good shut-eye, because tomorrow we head east!
Harare to Nyanga Highlands
We will meet up for breakfast and then check out of the guesthouse, thanking the wonderful staff as we head out.
We are aiming southeast, making our first stop at the famous Gosho Park after about an hour and a half of driving. During this drive on a previous trip we were treated to the incredible sight of thousands of Amur Falcon overhead and on the powerlines along the road.
We will spend the rest of the morning birding at Gosho Park. It is undoubtedly one of the best miombo birding spots in all of Zimbabwe, and here we will clean up on all the species we might have missed out on so far. Apart from the beautiful miombo, the habitat in the small (340 hectares/3.4 km2) park also includes rocky granite outcrops and several streams and small dams. Almost 250 species of birds have been recorded here! We will do a mix of driving and walking to cover as much of the area as we can.
Our top targets here are Boulder Chat, Cinnamon-breasted Tit and Collared Flycatcher (in high summer). Other fantastic species we will search for include African Sacred Ibis, Hamerkop, Black Crake, Wood Sandpiper, African Spotted Creeper, Miombo Rock Thrush, Black and White-breasted Cuckooshrike, Black-collared Barbet, Southern Hyliota, Grey-backed Camaroptera, Green-capped Eremomela, Red-faced Crombec, Miombo Tit, Western Violet-backed Sunbird, Cabanis’s Bunting, Black-eared Seedeater, Rufous-naped Lark, Wood, Striped and Tree Pipit, Yellow-fronted Canary, Bar-throated Apalis, Cinnamon-breasted and Golden-breasted Bunting, Common Waxbill and many others. On a previous trip we even managed Shelley’s Francolin here! The park also holds some game, and mammals we could see include Giraffe, Sable Antelope, Greater Kudu and several smaller mammal species.
After our time at Gosho Park we will make our way to the beautiful Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe, birding along the way and stopping for interesting species or landscape photographs. On our last trip we saw Black-chested Snake Eagle and Pallid Harrier on this stretch of road.
The highlands consist of three main mountain groups, the Nyanga, Bvumba, and Chimanimani mountains, along with several smaller ranges. The mountains are mostly sparsely populated, covered in rich grasslands, shrublands, woodlands, exotic plantations and forests. The highlands extend north and south for about 300 kilometres (190 mi) through Zimbabwe’s Manicaland province and neighbouring Mozambique’s Manica province. They actually form part of a much larger mountain chain complex that runs all the way from Ethiopia’s highlands to the Drakensberg mountain range in South Africa and Lesotho.
The montane grasslands of the Nyanga mountains will be our first destination in the eastern highlands. These mountains lie in the north of the highlands and contain Zimbabwe’s highest mountain, Mount Nyangani (2,592 m/8,504 ft above sea level), and the stunning Mutarazi Falls, Africa’s second longest waterfall (772 metre/2,533 ft drop). The area is actually part of the Nyanga National Park, one of the first parks to be declared in Zimbabwe, in 1926. The 472 km2 (182 sq mi) park contains some great birding habitat, mostly rolling montane grassland and rainforest. There are also numerous streams and rivers, further adding to the diversity. Several important archaeological, historical and cultural sites are to be found in the park too. Even though Nyanga is not primarily a game park, there is a variety of wildlife to be seen, especially in the central and western parts of the park. It is a great place for hiking, horse riding and fly fishing.
Apart from the excellent birding opportunities in the area, there is much excitement for all naturalists here. Several range-restricted species of fauna occur in the eastern highlands, including Blue Duiker and Blue Monkey, along with other species of mammals like Leopard, Bushpig, Chacma Baboon, African Palm Civet, Red Bush Squirrel and Thick-tailed Greater Galago. Rare and range-restricted reptiles of the area include Southern Tree Agama, Yellow-spotted Tree Frog, Marshall’s Stumptail Chameleon, several skinks, geckos, lizards, toads and some snakes. The latter group include species like Gaboon Viper, Forest Cobra and Green Mamba.
We should arrive at our accommodation for a late lunch, depending on how much roadside birding we did on the way. We have chosen a beautiful, characterful resort with a rich history, to stay in. The food and service are top class, and the resort grounds are very impressive.
In the afternoon we will go out for our first birding outing in the area. We have today and the full day tomorrow to explore this very scenic area which also offers some spectacular waterfalls and views over the valleys far below.
The main birding attractions here include the endangered Blue Swallow, Chirinda Apalis, the orientalis subspecies of Black Saw-wing (until recently a full species), Scarce and Mottled Swift, Stripe-cheeked Greenbul, Barratt’s and Roberts’s Warbler, Bronzy Sunbird, Gurney’s Sugarbird, Red-faced Crimsonwing and Singing Cisticola.
We will arrive back at the resort in time for a short walk in the beautiful gardens, and then it’s dinner time. The lodge owners pride themselves on excellent, personal service and top cuisine, so we are in for a treat. After our exciting day we will all have a good night’s sleep.
We have a full day of birding in this northern part of the highlands.
The highlands form a major part of the globally important Eastern Zimbabwe Mountains Endemic Bird Area (EBA) which has a number of near endemic species. A total of 20 sites in Zimbabwe have been identified as Important Bird Areas (IBAs) representing some 30,000 km2 or 7.7% of the land surface. The eastern highlands area contains eight of these IBAs, which include the Nyanga Mountains, Honde Valley, Bvumba Highlands and more.
We will explore all that this stunning area has to offer for the whole day today. There is much to see here, both in terms of birds, rare mammals and amazing scenery. We will either return to the resort for lunch and some relaxation time, or enjoy a packed picnic lunch somewhere in a nice spot with a view.
During our full day here we will look for all the specials of the area that we looked for yesterday, along with species such as Crowned, Verreaux’s and Long-crested Eagle, Augur Buzzard, Peregrine and Lanner Falcon, Pallid Harrier, Eurasian Hobby, Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk, White-necked Raven, African Black Duck, the white-faced humboldtii subspecies of Red-necked Spurfowl, Livingstone’s Turaco, Tambourine and Lemon Dove, Orange Ground Thrush, Whyte’s Barbet, Black-fronted Bushshrike, Olive Bushshrike, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Cape and Fan-tailed Grassbird, Green-backed Honeybird, Yellow-streaked Greenbul, Red-capped and Cape Robin-chat, White-tailed Crested Flycatcher, Miombo Tit, Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, African Yellow Warbler, African Black and Alpine Swift, Malachite, Olive and Eastern Miombo Sunbird, Wailing and Levaillant’s Cisticola, African Firefinch, Cape Canary and Yellow-bellied Waxbill, to name just a few. If enough rain has fallen recently, we could even get lucky and find the elusive Striped Flufftail.
We will return to the lodge in the late afternoon or early evening to freshen up and relax. We will update our growing trip lists and then have dinner together, followed by a good night’s rest after a productive day.
Nyanga Highlands to Honde Valley
We start our day with another hearty breakfast and some quality coffee, after which we check out and hop into the vehicle.
We are heading southeast, birding as we go, towards the Honde Valley. The road into the valley twists and turns steeply as it drops 800 meters in about 20 km. The average altitude of the valley is around 900m above sea level. The habitat is largely tea estates but interspersed are rivers with riparian forest, some remaining belts of lowland forest, and miombo woodland. The valley floor is extensively cultivated with maize.
We will arrive at our lodge in time for lunch and some time to acquaint ourselves with our stunning surroundings. With rolling tea plantations, riparian forests and the Nyamkombe river surrounding the lodge, you might not want to leave. It really is beautiful here! Apart from the fantastic birding (almost 400 species have been recorded in the area), there are a bunch of other activities offered at the lodge. These include golf, hiking, mountain biking, white-water rafting, kayaking, fishing, tennis, table tennis, swimming and much more. We guarantee you won’t be bored!
In the afternoon we will do our first birding excursion. The different types of vegetation, warm weather, high rainfall and pristine forests mean that there are a wide range of birds in very close vicinity to the lodge. There is much to search for in the area, but a walk in the extensive grounds might be a good idea as an introduction to the species of the Honde Valley.
Even before we start the walk we might see our first very special species, Palm-nut Vulture. Breeding pairs have been at the lodge for many generations, and we should see them fairly easily. Other birds we have encountered before on our first afternoon walk include Crowned Eagle, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Burchell’s Coucal, Green-backed Woodpecker, White-eared Barbet, Dark-backed Weaver, Arrow-marked Babbler, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Retz’s Helmetshrike, Mountain and African Pied Wagtail, Giant Kingfisher, Variable Sunbird, Green and Red-throated Twinspot, Brimstone Canary and Common House Martin to name just a few.
After our walk we will relax at the lodge and then have dinner. Almost all the ingredients of all our meals are organically grown right on the lodge grounds, including the fruits, vegetables, honey, chickens and eggs, as well as the coffee and tea. We will chat about trips we would all like to do in the future to exotic places on the planet and socialise in the beautiful bar area. Then we are off to bed for a good night’s rest.
We have two full days to explore all the wonderful birding locations around the area. We will make a decision on where to go with everyone’s input, taking into account recent sighting reports, weather conditions and which species we might still need to tick.
Both days will follow the same pattern, with breakfast and lunch at the lodge. After lunch there will be some time to relax or partake in an optional activity at the lodge. Birding will take place in the mornings and afternoons.
We will spend a good deal of time in the beautiful forests of the area, looking for special species like Chirinda Apalis, Barratt’s Warbler, Lesser Seedcracker, Square-tailed Drongo, African Broadbill, Red-faced Crimsonwing, Black-throated Wattle-eye, Scaly-throated and Pallid Honeyguide, Black-fronted Bushshrike, Narina Trogon, Pale Batis, Blue-spotted Wood Dove, White-eared Barbet and Dark-backed Weaver. Every now and again a rarity pops up here, and if luck is on our side we could see something like Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo or even Chestnut-fronted Helmetshrike.
We might also venture up to the evergreen forest of the Gleneagles estate above the lodge grounds and golf course. A hike up here could yield some special species, including African Emerald, Klaas’s and Diederik Cuckoo, Black and Grey Cuckooshrike, Black-headed, Eurasian Golden and African Golden Oriole, Bokmakierie, and Gorgeous and Olive Bushshrike.
We will get together in the early evening for updating our lists, socialising and dinner, with hopefully the call of the resident African Wood Owl pair to relax us before we retire for a good night’s sleep.
We have another full day to bird all the wonderful locations in the Honde Valley.
After breakfast (and some excellent locally-grown coffee) we will head out and return for lunch and some relaxation time. We will go out in the afternoon again for some more birding.
We will definitely visit the nearby Wamba Marsh and the surrounding areas to look for specials like the famous Marsh Tchagra (known locally as the “Wamba bird”), Red-chested and Buff-spotted Flufftail, African Fish Eagle, African Rail, Giant and Malachite Kingfisher, Magpie Mannikin, Black-winged Red Bishop, Red-winged Prinia, Moustached Grass Warbler, Garden Warbler, Grey Waxbill, Pale Batis, and Short-winged and Red-faced Cisticola.
We will also remind ourselves to glance skywards regularly. Interesting raptors we might come across include Crowned, Steppe, Tawny, Booted, Lesser Spotted and Wahlberg’s Eagle, Brown and Black-chested Snake Eagle, Ayre’s Hawk-eagle, Eleonora’s and Amur Falcon, African and Eurasian Hobby, Lizard and European Honey Buzzard, African Harrier-hawk, Black Sparrowhawk, African Cuckoo-hawk, African Goshawk, Bat Hawk and many others. Another top target we should see flying overhead every now and again is the Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, along with Trumpeter and Crowned Hornbill.
We will again return to the lodge to relax, update our lists and enjoy a fantastic dinner. Then we are off to bed for a good night’s rest, because tomorrow we head to another top spot in the eastern highlands.
Honde Valley to Bvumba Highlands
We will have breakfast at the lodge, followed by a short walk in the gardens to look for more species or to get some good photographs of some fauna and flora.
We then check out and say our farewells to the wonderful staff at the lodge. We will make our way slowly out of the area, birding along the way, as we head south to the Bvumba mountains, our final location of this amazing birding tour.
The Bvumba mountains (sometimes spelled and called Vumba) are not called the “Mountains of the Mist” (Bvumba being the Shona word for “mist”) for nothing, as very often the early morning starts with a cover of thick mist, which luckily clears by mid-morning. The mountains are the middle portion of the eastern highland chain, with Nyanga to the north and the Chimanimani mountains to the south. The mountains are dominated by savannah woodland, and there are also extensive sub-montane grasslands, local mist belts and sub-montane evergreen forest in the deeper ravines. The altitude ranges from 650 to 1,850 metres (2,132 to 6,070 ft) above sea level, creating a variety of habitats for birds and other wildlife within a fairly small area.
We will drive through the small city of Mutare on the way. Being just 290 km (180 mi) from the Mozambican port of Beira, Mutare has the title of “Zimbabwe’s gateway to the sea”. It is sometimes also called “Gateway to the Eastern Highlands”. Many Zimbabwean locals refer to it as ‘Kumakomoyo’ (place of many mountains).
We will reach our accommodation in time for lunch. The lodge is set in secluded gardens with spectacular views into Mozambique, and is known as a birder’s paradise, with the local guide and owners all having a keen eye for our avian friends. The gardens usually teem with sunbirds, and we should see Bronzy, Olive, Variable and Eastern Miombo Sunbird.
After lunch and some time to relax in our cottages we will venture into one of the forest patches close to the lodge by foot, trying to pick up some of the special species of the area. Our top targets here are Swynnerton’s Robin, Chirinda Apalis, Orange Ground Thrush, White-tailed Crested Flycatcher, Stripe-cheeked and Yellow-streaked Greenbul, Roberts’s Warbler, Red-faced Crimsonwing and Buff-spotted Flufftail.
After another exciting day in the eastern highlands we will walk back to the cottages to update our lists and have dinner, afterwards chatting the evening away while the stars shine brightly from pollution-free African skies.
We have two full days here in the Bvumba mountains to explore as much of the region’s top birding locations as we can. We will decide where to go based on weather conditions, recent birding reports and depending on which species we still need for our trip lists.
We will have breakfast and dinner at the lodge, and maybe lunch too. Or we could take a packed picnic lunch if the morning birding keeps us going until after lunch time.
Stopping in forest patches as we traverse this beautiful area could yield any of the species mentioned before, along with African Olive Pigeon, Cape Batis, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Olive and Orange Ground Thrush, Black-fronted and Olive Bushshrike, Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, White-starred Robin, Cape and Red-capped Robin-chat, Lemon and Tambourine Dove, Red-necked Spurfowl and Livingstone’s Turaco to name a few.
We could visit the seemingly out-of-place, pink-hued, five star resort of Leopard Rock nearby. This golf course and hotel complex is a great place to have a lunch today, as it is also a good birding spot. Species we could see here include Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Green-backed Woodpecker, Pale Batis, Chirinda Apalis, Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher, Cinnamon-breasted Tit, Roberts’s Warbler and Yellow-bellied Waxbill.
We will also visit a secret spot for another top bird of the area, the Zambezi Indigobird. This taxonomically interesting species is often misidentified and only occurs in southeastern Tanzania, southern Zambia, southern Malawi, eastern Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
We will return to our accommodation and have some time to relax, or maybe take another stroll in the gardens or nearby forest. Then it’s dinner time and a chance for us to update our lists and socialise. Afterwards we are off to bed following an exciting Bvumba birding day.
Our day will start early with some breakfast and coffee. Then we set off for another full day of birding.
One of the spots we will definitely visit is Cecil Kop Nature Reserve, a beautiful area of miombo at the top of the Christmas pass that guards Mutare. Species we will look for here include Augur Buzzard, Livingstone’s and Purple-crested Turaco, Mocking Cliff Chat, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, African Spotted Creeper, Striped Kingfisher, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Black-crowned Tchagra, Miombo, Rufous-bellied and Cinnamon-breasted Tit, Red-faced Crombec, Southern Hyliota, Miombo Rock Thrush, Flappet Lark, Striped and Tree Pipit, Orange-winged Pytilia, Cape and Cabanis’s Bunting, Spotted Flycatcher, Green Twinspot, Bronze and Red-backed Mannikin, African Firefinch and Mottled Swift.
Another spot worth visiting is the Bunga forest reserve and the Bvumba Botanical Gardens right next door. Apart from the usual forest species we might have already seen, we can also scan Bunga for Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Blue-spotted Wood Dove, Tambourine and Lemon Dove, Livingstone’s Turaco, Square-tailed Drongo, African Emerald Cuckoo, White-eared Barbet, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird and many others. The botanical gardens boast beautiful views into neighbouring Mozambique, and here we could see Cardinal Woodpecker, Terrestrial Brownbul, Black Saw-wing, Red-throated Twinspot, Bronzy, Malachite, Collared, Amethyst, Olive, Variable and Eastern Miombo Sunbird, Gurney’s Sugarbird, Tree Pipit, Roberts’s Warbler and many others.
Raptors we will keep an eye out for during our time here include Long-crested and Crowned Eagle, Augur Buzzard, Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk, African Goshawk, Peregrine and Lanner Falcon, Rock Kestrel and others.
We will return to the lodge in the late afternoon to relax and maybe enjoy another short walk in the surrounding forest for owls or other crepuscular creatures. We will have our farewell dinner after a wonderful Zimbabwe birding tour, finalise our trip lists, and then socialise into the evening. We certainly have made friends for life!
Bvumba Highlands to Harare and Departure
After a final breakfast we will pack our bags, check out and say our farewells to the friendly staff at the fantastic lodge in the forest.
We then head back in a northwesterly direction towards Harare. The drive will take about 4 hours. Depending on your flight time we will transfer you to the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport well in time for your onward or homeward flights. Here we will say our goodbyes after our fantastic time together in Zimbabwe.
*Please note: We offer several fantastic local extensions for this Zimbabwe Birding Trip. See below for some of the special species that you can see on the different extensions. Please don’t hesitate to ask for our expert assistance to create the perfect itinerary for you.
5 day extension to Mozambique.
We will cross into Mozambique at the border post close to Mutare in eastern Zimbabwe and make our way into one of Africa’s least explored countries, Mozambique. We will visit the woodlands around M’phingwe Camp and the Zambezi Delta for specials like African Pitta, White-chested Alethe, East Coast Akalat, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Narina Trogon, Green Malkoha, Lesser Seedcracker, Tiny Greenbul, Chestnut-fronted Helmetshrike, Mangrove Kingfisher, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Zambezi Indigobird, Black-headed Apalis, Plain-backed Sunbird and Southern Banded Snake Eagle, to mention a few. We will also visit the famous Mount Gorongosa, home to the much localised Green-headed Oriole, along with specials like Pallid Honeyguide, Lesser Seedcracker, Broad-billed Roller, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Brown-headed Parrot, Crested Guineafowl, Thick-billed and Black Cuckoo, Narina Trogon and many more. We will also spend time birding around Beira where our trip will end; your international flight home will depart from here.
4 day extension to the Lower Zambezi Valley in northern Zimbabwe
We will head north from Harare towards a rugged, remote, largely unexplored, real wilderness region of the Lower Zambezi Valley. The top target here is one of Africa’s most iconic species, the impossibly beautiful African Pitta. Other special species we hope to see here include Lilian’s Lovebird, Thick-billed Cuckoo, Eastern Nicator, Bohm’s and Mottled Spinetail, Livingstone’s Flycatcher, Bat Hawk, Brown-necked and Meyer’s Parrot, White-breasted Cuckooshrike, Crested Guineafowl, Narina Trogon, African Broadbill, Collared Palm Thrush, Orange-winged Pytilia and many more. We also have a chance to see some big game here, as this is proper, wild, unfenced African wilderness. We could see African Elephant, African Buffalo, Lion, Leopard and many other mammals.
3 day extension to Victoria Falls in western Zimbabwe
This UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World is simply one of the greatest spectacles of nature you are ever likely to see. Our trip involves a flight from Harare to Victoria Falls, from where you will again depart after the extension. Apart from a morning visit to the falls themselves, we will also enjoy an afternoon boat cruise on the mighty Zambezi river as well as one full afternoon of optional adventure activities in and around the town of Victoria Falls. From a birding perspective our 3 days here could yield specials like Western Banded Snake Eagle, Dickinson’s Kestrel, Augur Buzzard, African Skimmer, African Finfoot, White-backed Night Heron, Rufous-bellied Heron, White-crowned and Long-toed Lapwing, Allen’s Gallinule, Half-collared and Giant Kingfisher, Brown-necked Parrot, Rock Pratincole, Schalow’s Turaco, Trumpeter Hornbill, Collared Palm Thrush and many more.
Do you have a quick question about this birding tour? Speak to a specialist at