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Birding in Africa

Birding in Africa

The birding in Africa is absolutely beyond compare. Game parks are full of fascinating birds, and each tree branch seems to hold a different species—and, in fact, that would seem to be true: there are well over 2,000 species of birds here.

The bush is a paradise for spotting these colorful and diverse Africa safari creatures. Micato's Safari Directors and Driver Guides are experts in spotting them, and you'll likely be grabbing your binoculars and camera quite often to catch a glimpse. Here are just a few of the species you might find:

Go-Away Bird
Species of this bird include the white-bellied and the gray varieties. A member of the turaco family, the Go-Away is a social animal, living in groups of up to 30. It gets its name from the distinctive call it makes when predators are near-which sounds like "Go away." (Don't take it personally…we hear it all the time!)

Red-billed Hornbill
Found in Kenya, this unique-looking bird is a common sight on savannah. The males and females of the species look very similar, and can often be differentiated only because the male is larger. Red-billed hornbills are fairly tame, and can be seen in areas where humans congregate. One interesting fact: Zazu, a character voiced by Rowan Atkinson in the movie The Lion King, was a red-billed hornbill.

Helmeted Guineafowl
Aptly named for their signature ‘headgear,’ the Helmeted Guineafowl gathers in woodland and shrubbed grassland areas. These birds gather in large groups, and tend to stay on the ground in looking for food—often consuming ticks, which might otherwise spread lyme disease to other wildlife. Though they prefer to remain on the ground most of the time, they are strong and agile fliers that can hover and even fly backwards when necessary.

Kori Bustard
The heaviest flying bird in the world, the male of this species can weigh up to 42 lbs. reach up to 54”. Their coloring is mostly gray and brown, suiting their largely terrestrial habits—they are fairly inactive and generally walk at a slow pace. Though their numbers are declining, Kori bustards are still found in areas of Eastern and Southern Africa, usually in wooded savannahs and grasslands.

Colorfully plumed with long wings and a curved beak, Bee-eaters catch their eponymous prey while flying, and then bring their quarry to a branch to consume it. There are 25 species of the bird, with 18 endemic to Africa. The Southern Carmine Bee-eater is an interesting variety—flocks of them are attracted to bush fires, where they feed on the insects fleeing from the smoke. They are also sometimes seen riding on the back of the aforementioned Kori Bustard, as the bushwalkers unintentionally flush insect prey from the bush.