The Best Birds of Africa!

Cori Bustard
Kori Bustard
According to my son, Pete, we saw FIFTY NEW BIRDS on our trip - and each one of those fifty species deserves an in-depth post all to itself. Since it will take a while to identify and research all the birds I want to post about, however, the least I can do is provide a few photos of the best birds we saw in Botswana and Zambia!  In depth information about the species pictured here will be coming soon, I promise!

We can thank Pete for finding the oh-so-exotic Kori Bustard shown above, and we can thank Tom for capturing such a magnificent photo of it!  The Kori Bustard is the largest bird in Africa that has the capacity to fly, but they spent most of their time on the ground.  They are HUGE birds.  The males can be 41/2 to 5 feet tall with a wingspan up to 9 feet across! This species can be found in Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, west-central South Africa and South-western Zambia. 

Sacred Ibis
Sacred Ibis
This is one of the birds I desperately wanted to see on our trip - and my wish was more than granted.  The Sacred Ibis is a very special species to me because of the symbolism related to Sacred Ibises that has existed since very ancient times.  Some of my very close friends and relatives will know exactly why the Scared Ibis, which symbolizes the Egyptian god Thoth, is so very important to me.  For those that don't, I'll explain more in a future post.  Since we all took very good images of this special bird, there will be plenty of illustrations in the Sacred Ibis blog post!

Little bee-eater
Little Bee-Eater
This stunning small fellow is the Little Bee-eater, the smallest member of the bee-eater Family.  All of the bee-eaters we saw were gloriously colorful, and although this tiny bird had fewer colors than most, he was still far too gorgeous to miss.  This outstanding photograph was taken by my husband, Tom.  In my opinion, it is a photo worthy of inclusion in a National Geographic Magazine!  The details are amazing!   We saw multiple species of bee-eaters in Botswana and Zambia, and when I finally get around to writing it, the Bee-eater blog post will be a post of many colors!

Southern Ground Hornbill
Our Muchenje Lodge guide in Botswana, KB, was more than willing to stop for every bird we saw during our safari drives and cruises.  Every time we went out with KB, all of our birding stops would make us late for meals and other activities.  Eventually we would tell KB to ignore our gasps and cries of wonder whenever a bird was spotted, because we were becoming troublemakers for the lodge and the other guests.  Pete would always have one caveat, however;  KB must ALWAYS stop if ever he spotted a Southern Ground Hornbill.  I thought it was a joke,since we had seen plenty of Hornbills already.  But when Pete came home from an afternoon game drive with photos of this amazing creature, it was obvious that one must ALWAYS stop for a Southern Ground Hornbill!  Congratulations to Pete for capturing dozens of perfect images of these unique and almost unbelievable birds. That is a post you won't want to miss!

African Open-bill Stork
African Open-bill Stork
I had never heard of this bird until we saw them in Botswana, but I fell in love with them in a heartbeat.  As KB explained, they are called Open-bills because their beaks won't close all the way!  Having mouths that are always open in no way interferes with the delight one feels when watching them fishing and flying, however.  They may not appear as regal and dignified as the Egrets and Herons species with whom they share the riverbanks, but they were far more entertaining to watch.  After all, you see herons everywhere, and even if you love them dearly, as I do, their silent stalking is hardly an exciting event.  A fabulous new bird like the African Open-bill, on the other hand, will keep you amused and interested for hours. Just wait and see if you agree when I post about them in the very near future!

That's it for today.  Tomorrow I go to an infectious disease doctor to be checked for Malaria and other nasty diseases that might be causing the sudden onset of arthritis-like pain and stiffness that I've been dealing with.  I'm not concerned.  Most of those illnesses clear up with no intervention required anyway. Wish me luck!


  1. Susan,
    these are so exciting! Can't wait to see more! I keep looking at your and Tom's photos and anticipating and planning my next bird quilt.

  2. Susan, I'm loving the posts. How did it go with the infectious disease doctor? It was great seeing you and Tom at the wedding and hearing about your amazing trip. Love, Karen

  3. Great Photos! It sounds like you had a great trip. So glad you enjoyed Zambia. I have had the privelege of living here for more than four years and I love the birds. You might enjoy my blog about birds here in Zambia as well.


    I will be looking for more great pictures to come in your future posts.



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