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Mozambique Birding Adventures Winter 2009:
Due to popular demand, we are now running two Mozambique Trips in the winter of 2009 |
Join us and go on the birding trip of a lifetime! Mozambique is the last frontier for Southern African Birders, and offers a host of specials, which are not easily seen elsewhere in the world. This is a self-drive tour, although places will also be available for people without their own 4x4 vehicle.
The focus is on some of the more difficult species found in the region, and we will concentrate efforts on these species in each area.
About our Mozambique trips
Indicator Birding has been organizing Mozambique birding trips for 4 years, and Etienne Marais, who will be your leader knows the localities and the birds intimately. We provide 29Mhz CB radios to all vehicles in order to ensure a smooth and pleasurable trip with maximum birds. We do minimal birding in convoy, in order to ensure that everyone has an equal chance of seeing all the birds on offer! Our results in terms of actual birds seen are excellent, and we specialize in showing participants good views of all the birds concerned. All of our previous trip reports are available and we can (on request) also supply names and contact details of all those who have been our Mozambique trip previously.
For a full list of specials and birdlist click here.
Day 1: Johannesburg to Casa do Campo to Hyliota Camp
In a slight departure from previous itineraries, we head through the Mozambique border during the day and meet up and stay over at Casa do Campo just over the border in Mozambique. This provides for an easy first days drive and ensures that the border crossing is as hassle-free as possible.
(Overnight Hyliota Camp, Panda)
Day 2: Caso do Campo to Hyliota Camp
Making an early start to head north, we follow the very scenic and bird-rich Inkomati river Floodplain. This takes us past Maputo completely and will ensure that the trip starts with a big day list! Grey-rumped Swallow, Bataleur, Green-winged Pytilia and Purple Roller are some of the regulars on this route. We also make brief stops on the Limpopo River Floodplain where Rosy-throated Longclaw may be seen.
(Overnight Hyliota Camp, Panda)
Day 3: Panda area birding
Hyliota Camp offers the opportunity to bird in a diverse and spectacular area. The The main target species is Olive-headed Weaver, but bird parties are good and we can expect to see Southern (Mashona) Hyliota, Pale Batis and White-breasted Cuckoo-shrike and possibly Green-backed Honeybird. At this time of year, Mascarene Martin is also possible here. Other species possible include Stierling's Barred Warbler, Grey Penduline Tit, Racket-tailed Roller and Fawn-coloured Lark. In the afternoon we return to Hyliota Camp and will explore the lakes and forests in the area where a variety of good birds are to be had, including Pygmy goose, Wood Owl, African Broadbill and Pink-throated Twinspot. (Overnight Hyliota Camp, Panda)
Day 4: Hyliota Camp to Morrungulo
Early morning departure and after some more birding in the Miombo Woodland north of Hyliota Camp, we drive northwards to Morrungulo via Homoine. On arrival we have the opportunity to bird in the excellent Morrungulo area, where birds include Collared Palm-thrush (Overnight Morrungulo Holiday Resort)
Day 5: Morrungulo to Rio Save Game Reserve
Early morning departure towards Vilanculos En route we pass several Baobab forests where there are usually lots of Bohm's Spinetails and Mottled Spinetail Around Vilanculos, there are often good waterbirds and the main target species here is the Olive Bee-eater. We will also stop at Save Pan to look for Malagasy Pond-Heron, Plain-backed Sunbird, Mascarene Martin Livingstone's Flycatcher and others. We then head for our Camp in the Rio Save Game Reserve, which is set amidst wonderful giant Baobab trees. (Overnight Rio Save Game Reserve (Papagaio Camp)
Day 6: Rio Save to Rio Savane
The birding in the RIO Save Game Reserve can be excellent, with species such as Thick-billed Cuckoo, Collared Palm-thrush, Lemon-breasted Canary, Arnot's Chat and Southern Banded Snake-eagle on offer. We bird this area for a few hours and then drive up to Beira.
In the afternoon, we unpack our vehicles and cross the river to the Rio Savanne Resort. There is a choice of accommodation between sleeping in basic Barraca's or in fully equipped Chalets.
Day 7: Rio Savane area
Full day birding in and around Rio Savane. This is one of the most exciting birding areas in Mozambique and offers a host of specials. Top of the list are Locust Finch, Malagasy Pond-heron, Great Bittern, Short-tailed Pipit, Blue Quail and Black-rumped Buttonquail, but the area also offers species such as Mangrove Kingfisher, Plain-backed Sunbird, Mascarene Martin, Magpie Mannikin, Red-throated Twinspot, Wattled Crane, Rufous-bellied Heron, Senegal Lapwing and an assortment of waders.
Day 8: Rio Savane to Chinizua
After some early-morning birdng in the Rio Savane area, we depart to Chinizua, with excellent birding in the woodlands en route. The road between Dondo and Chinizua is long, but can be very slow as the birding is often so good, particularly on the last leg. This road has offered species such as Yellow-bellied Hyliota, Mascarene Martin and Speckle-throated Woodpecker, and one can expect to see more common species such as Black-eared Canary, Magpie Mannikin, Short-winged Cisticola and Southern Banded Snake-eagle. Of course there is are a wide variety of woodland birds along this stretch and one may encounter Green-capped Eremomela, Southern Hyliota, or Stierling's Barred-warber amongst others. As one approaches Chinizua, there is very good miombo-type woodland and here one may encounter species such as Cabanis's Bunting, Racket-tailed roller and Violet-backed Sunbird.
We camp next to a village in the Chinizua area.
Day 9: Chinizua
The mosaic of lowland forest, riverine forest, thickets and dambos around Chinizua is legendary amongst birders for the variety of birds on offer, which include White-chested Alethe, Red-winged Warbler, Green-backed Honeybird, Lesser Seedcracker, Plain-backed Sunbird, Little Spotted Woodpecker, East coast(Gunnings) Akalat, Barred Longtailed Cuckoo, White-breasted Cuckooshrike, Blue Quail, Barred Owl Mozambique (Pale) Batis, Mashona and Yellow-breasted Hyliota, Yellow-breasted Hyliota, Red-throated Twinspot, African Broadbil, Violet-backed Sunbird, Cabanis's Bunting, Black-eared Canary, Chestnut-fronted Helmetshrike, Black and White (Vanga) Flycatcher, Livingstones Flycatcher, Delegorgue's Pigeon, Blue-spotted Dove, Pied Mannikin, Eastern Saw-wing, Mascarene Martin, Ayre's Hawk-Eagle, Slender Bulbul and Miombo Blue-eared Starling. We spend a full day in this area.
(Overnight Bushcamp Chinizua)
Day 10: Chinizua to Catapu
Catapu is just as exciting and possibly even more diverse than Chinizua, but without as many Miombo specials. However this region also offers the Zambezi river floodplain at Caia, where a host of new birds can be expected. Excellent patches of lowland forest hold East Coast Akalat, White-chested Alethe, Narina Trogon, Woodwards Batis, Narina Trogon, Black-headed Apalis, Slender Bulbul, Chestnut-fronted Helmet-shrike, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo and Vanga Flycatcher, Red-winged Warbler, Violet-backed and Plain-backed Sunbird. More open woodland is the preserve of species such as Grey-headed Parrot, Ground Hornbill, Kirk's Francolin and Crested Guineafowl, while Bateleur, Hooded Vulture and possibly Ayre's Hawk Eagle, Cuckoo Hawk and Crowned Eagle patrol the skies above.
(Overnight Mphingwe Camp, Catapu)
Day 11: Catapu area birding.
Full day birding in the diverse Catapu area with an excursion to the Zambezi floodplain at Caia. The wetlands and riverine habitat offer species such as Lesser Jacana, Long-toed Lapwing, Black-winged Bishop, Anchieta's Tchagra and Moustached Grass-Warbler. Other species in the area include Red-necked Falcon, Black-throated Wattle-eye, Southern Banded Snake-Eagle and Lemon-breasted Canary. African Citril, Speckle-throated Woodpecker and Shelley's Sunbird have also been reported nearby.
(Overnight Mphingwe Camp, Catapu)
Day 12: Catapu to Gorongosa Mountain and NP
Early morning departure for Gorongosa to climb the mountain via the western route. The main target of the climb is of course Green-headed Oriole, but it also offers a variety of other good birds including as Orange-winged Pytilia, Variable Sunbird, Blue-spotted Wood Dove, Eastern Saw-wing, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Pallid Honeyguide, White-tailed Crested-Flycatcher, Moustached Grass Warbler, Singing Cisticola and Anchieta's Tchagra. After completing our hike, we head back to Gorongosa NP and stay at Chitengo.(Gates close at 6:00pm)
(Overnight Chitengo Camp Gorongosa NP)
Day 13:Gorongosa NP area
All day birding in the Gorongosa National Park area. We will spend some time visiting the Urema River Floodplain, where extensive wetlands can hold vast numbers of waterbirds including African Skimmer, Longtoed Lapwing, Rufous-bellied Heron, African Openbill, Collared Pratincole and others. Woodland in the park can offer species like Arnot's Chat, Black and White Flycatcher, Broad-tailed Paradise Whydah and if we are lucky, Mascarene Martin.
(Overnight Chitengo Camp Gorongosa NP)
Note that the second trip follows a different different itinerary from the previous trip and does not include Zimbabwe. It is also a more adventurous trip with a focus on camping and new lesser known sites, including Mount Tsetserra, and Moribane Forest in the exciting Chimanimani Conservation area in Mozambique.
NOTE THAT DUE TO ONGOING UNCERTAINTY REGARDING ZIMBABWE, WE HAVE A VERY GOOD BACK-UP OPTION, WHICH INVOLVES BIRDING MOUNT TSETSERRA IN MOZAMBIQUE AND AVOIDING ZIMBABE ALTOGETHER)
Day 14: Gorongosa to Mutare and Seldomseen
Early morning departure for the border, the afternoon will be taken up with birding in the Mutare area. We then proceed through to Seldomseen. This offers a host of montane and Miombo specials including Cabanis's Bunting, Miombo Rock-thrush, Cinnamon-breasted Tit, Miombo Tit, Grey Penduline Tit, White-breasted Cuckoo Shrike, Southern Hyliota and Augur Buzzard. Spotted Creeper, Scarce Swift, Mottled Swift and Orange-winged Pytilia as well as Whyte's Barbet are also possible in this area.
Day 15: Seldomseen area
Full day birding in the Seldomseen area. Seldomseen is a small resort in the Vumba with some good forest patches, which was made famous by the local guide, Peter Madziwana, with his legendary knowledge about the local birdlife. Walks, under the guidance of local guides are aimed at finding the local specials and these include Swynnerton's Robin, Orange Ground Thrush, Red-faced Crimsonwing, Stripe-cheeked and Yellow-streaked Greenbul, Buff-spotted Flufftail, Chirinda Apalis and Briar Warbler. Within the grounds sunbirds such as Bronzy, Miombo Doublecollared, Western Olive and Variable occur. A visit to Vumba Botanical Garden is an optional extra on this trip, and may increase chances of seeing species such as Bronzy Sunbird and Silvery-cheeked Hornbill.
Day 16: Seldomseen - Masvingo and back to Johannesburg
Time permitting we will do some birding in the Masvingo woodlands, where we search for Wood Pipit, Miombo Glossy Starling and others.
For more information on cost, booking etc. please Send us an e-mail here.