Madikwe Hills Birding
In addition to having every member of the Big 5 and an array of other exciting wildlife species, Madikwe Game Reserve is also home to an incredibly diverse aviary population. The reserve has come to be known as a birder’s paradise thanks to the variety of better-known and more rare species. Here are few of the notable species we are lucky enough to see out and about:
This is a particularly striking bird due to its bright yellow chest and striped head. These birds are monogamous solitary nesters and tend to build their homes in horizontal forks of Acacia or fingerleaf trees so keep an eye to the sky.
The Lilac-breasted Roller has to be one of the most popular birds around due to its beautiful appearance. Its colour combination is not only unique but consists of 8 different shades; green, white, black, yellow, turquoise, dark blue, reddish brown, and of course lilac.
Did you know that the Kori Bustard is arguably the largest flying bird? This particular member of the bustard family can reach up to 1.3m and a weight of 19kg – impressive!
Sighting this species would be a real feather in any avid birder’s hat! You would have thought it would be easier due to the bright red colouring of its breast, but it appears to have mastered stealth mode. Fortunately, the population has been reported to be increasing, so they may be easier to spot in future.
Another spectacularly bright bird, the Carmine Bee-Eater is present at Madikwe during the summer months thanks to its annual migration. An interesting fact: during mating season, females consume sand, shells and other calcium-rich items to produce stronger eggs.
Birds of Prey
Madikwe is fortunate enough to have an exciting array of prey birds from African Fish, Tawny and Black Eagle’s to Kestrel’s and stalkers of the night, owls.
No matter your favoured aviaries, birding at Madikwe Game Reserve will not disappoint. Keep your binoculars and bird book on hand because you never know when there will be a sighting – be it on your balcony, during lunch, or out on one of many game drives. We can also highly recommend heading out on a guided walk to experience the African bush in its true splendour.
Will Burrard Lucas and Adrian Steirn