The essence of the experience
Birds at Hwange are an attraction to behold. With over 470 bird species, most of which are native, the region is teeming with feathered inhabitants that can be viewed during morning, afternoon and evening drives. The past dry spell, coupled with a recent era of lush bush, has ensured that new species frequent Hwange, resulting in a colourful mix of land birds and aquatic dwellers.
Bird lovers will be spoilt for choice when confronted with birdwatching opportunities. The African sun silhouettes numerous flying figures as they circle overhead in pursuit of prey, to quench their thirst or simply to stretch their magnificent wings across the endless sky.
Keen birders should take note of the different seasons, migrations and possible sightings. The pans draw hundreds of feathered residents, including flocks of crowned cranes, clearly discernible thanks to the blond, spiky plumage atop their stately heads and their deep crimson chins. Hwange is home to some of the largest flying birds, the elegant, long-legged kori bustard and the stately secretary bird. These incredible birds prey on unwary snakes and rodents that slither and race through the long grasslands. Raptors dominate the sky and the tree tops with their razor-sharp crimson talons. The astounding sight of the martial eagle swooping down on its ivory and slate wings to capture unsuspecting prey is simply stunning.
The landscape acts as a canvas for the multitude of birds that dots the clear, blue sky, sitting on tree branches, wading in the translucent waters or hopping along the ground.