One of the primary photographic subjects that you will encounter on our Wild Waterways Safari are birds. There are hundreds of different species breeding and living on the banks of the Zambezi (and Chobe) rivers. On our inaugural trip there in 2014 we had the opportunity to photograph many of these creatures, but the one species that had everybody “twitching” are the Carmine Bee Eaters. These migratory birds make their nests on the banks of the Zambezi every spring and with their bright red plumage and constant chirping they are certainly quite a spectacle!
Please click on the pics for larger versions.
However, whilst the bee eaters are colourful there are also many other colourful species to photograph, not least of which is probably one of the most photographed birds in Southern Africa, the Lilac Breasted Roller. You will see many of these on the Wild Waterways Safari. They are best photographed with a lens that gets you to around 600mm.
In America they call it the Bald Eagle, but here in Africa it’s known as the Fish Eagle. All along the river you’ll see these majestic birds perched high in the trees, waiting for an opportunity to nab a fish.
On our first trip to the Chobe we came across a lone Marabou Stork sitting on the bank of the river with the sun setting behind it. I practically yelled at our boat pilot to “Whoa! Back up!” so that we could photograph this quite amazing scene. It took a few goes as the river was pulling the boat downstream, but this is one of the images I was most happy with on that entire trip.
Speaking of storks, you’ll also see quite a few Yellow-billed storks on the Chobe. They use the confluence area (where Namibia, Zambia, Botswana & Zimbabwe meet) as a nesting site.
My friend and business partner Pepe has taught me a lot about birds over the 6 years of our safari collaborations. One thing she hasn’t taught me (yet) is how to photograph the incredibly beautiful and minute Malachite Kingfisher. These extremely petite birds are found in the reeds of the river banks, but they are so small and skittish that getting a good shot of them requires a great deal of patience. This is something Pepe has a lot more of than I do, as can be seen in this great shot she got.
We’re just over a month away from our second visit to the Wild Waterways region of Botswana and Namibia and I am itching to get more amazing photos of the birds we see there. Pepe has already booked our trip for 2016, so if birding is your thing and you’d like an opportunity to get onboard what will be our third group safari to the area, please get in touch with us ASAP. We’d love to show you some of Africa’s birds (and more!).