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Bird Watching and Birding in Limpopo
The tranquility of Mopane Bush Lodge provides the ideal base from which to experience the Soutpansberg-Limpopo Birding route. The Limpopo Valley and the Soutpansberg Mountains host over 540 bird species. The area supports a high number of resident species, resulting in an abundance of birds all year round. A visit to the area in winter or summer will always be productive and rewarding. Several different biomes including riverine forest along the Limpopo River, wetlands, sandstone cliffs and mopane bushveld support an impressive diversity of birds. A birding hide and an elevated tree top walk in the riverine forest to the Limpopo River are available for birding. A hide overlooking a dam is also available for bird watching on Mapesu Private Game Reserve with a great variety of birds and wildlife frequenting the site.
Guests to Mopane Bush Lodge can visit the adjacent Mapungubwe National park which is considered an Important Birding Area (IBA) by Birdlife International for its protection of globally threatened species such as the White-backed Vulture (breeding) and the Kori Bustard (possibly breeding). The riverine forest habitat allows for the secretive, subtropical, river-dependent Pel’s Fishing Owl to occur here. 387 bird species have been officially recorded within the IBA and an excess of more than 400 species occur in the Limpopo Valley region.
The Limpopo and Maloutswa floodplain are important for many wetland-dependent and associated birds, such as Black Stork, Woolly-necked Stork, Saddle-billed Stork, Greater Painted-snipe and White-crowned Lapwing. Great White Pelican, Lesser Moorhen, and Allen’s Gallinule occur in small numbers when conditions are suitable.
The varied woodland communities on Mapesu Private Game Reserve and Mapungubwe National Park play host to Red-crested Korhaan, White-throated Robin-chat, Kurrichane Thrush and Burnt-necked Eremomela. Amongst the wide-ranging, large species found in the Limpopo Valley are the Martial Eagle, Bateleur Eagle, Tawny Eagle and Marabou stork.
The Limpopo Valley is the southern limit of many bird species Afrotropical range. Bird species such as Tropical Boubou, Broad-billed roller, and Meve’s Starling are extremely rare within South Africa but are considerably more common and widespread outside the country’s borders.
Mopane Bush Lodge has guides who can lead you to the birding sites.
Birders Checklist for the Mapungubwe National Park and area: