The coastal region of KwaZulu Natal is renowned as a birding hotspot for nature lovers and avid bird-watchers in South Africa. The floodplains, forested woodlands and grasslands around Nibela provide an array of habitat for one of the most diversely populated birding areas in the country. Take a look at some of the top sightings on the Nibela Peninsula in our birding guide.
African broadbill (Smithornis capensis)
The African broadbill is mainly found in south-central and southern Africa, across Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Uganda and parts of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. It is commonly found in woodland or forested areas such as that around Nibela Lake Lodge, but is difficult to see as it sits motionless for long periods of time in the trees.
Green malkoha (Ceuthmochares australis)
The green malkoha – also known as the green coucal or whistling yellowbill – is a notoriously shy member of the cuckoo family. It is mainly found along a band extending across Kenya to Mozambique and KwaZulu Natal. The bird is mostly grey with green wings, back and tail, and can be spotted high up in the canopy of trees.
Pink-throated twinspot (Hypargos margaritatus)
The pink-throated twinspot is an endemic resident around the coastal forests of Nibela Lake Lodge. The generic name for the bird ‘hypargos’ means ‘possessing 100 eyes below’. ‘Hypo’ meaning under and ‘argus’ is the 100-eyed giant in Greek mythology. Twinspots are easily recognisable by their colourful spray of pink plumage around their neck and breast area.
Rosy-throated longclaw (Macronyx ameliae)
Rosy-throated longclaws are found mainly across southern central Africa and in a small pocket along South Africa’s east coast. Fine grasses in swampy or moist areas are their preferred habitat and the coastal areas of Natal are the only place it can be seen in South Africa. The bird was named after Amelie, the names of both the wife and mother of French nobleman and ornithologist, Marquis Leone de Tarragon.
Narina Trogon (Apaloderma narina)
The narina trogon occurs in Ghana, Ethiopia and down south to Angola, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Southern Africa. The bird’s interesting name is thought to be Khoikhoi in origin. It is believed to come from Narina, the mistress of renowned French ornithologist, Francois Le Vaillant. He named the beautiful bird after the Khoikhoi woman he met on his travels.
You can also look out for no less than nine species of sunbird, as well as flamingos, pelicans, bush shrikes and rare wood owl to name a few. Our fantastic guide, Lucky, is an expert on the local birdlife around Nibela and will help you pick out the rare species you’ve been hoping to tick off your list. Enquire about your stay with us at Nibela Lake Lodge here.
Paul van Giersbergen
The Flacks Photography