Safaris & stories
Africa Geographic
Wildlife . People . Travel
Africa Geographic Travel

Written by: Shannon Airton

On an African safari most people are focused on the wildlife. And rightfully so, as Africa boasts some of the most impressive animals in the world. But, if you pause for a minute and look beyond the beasts, you will find another layer of beauty in the African bush.

The dazzling variety of birds that can be seen on safari adds a whole new level of appreciation for Africa’s wildlife. At Rhino River Lodge we are lucky to have some of the most beautiful and rare species of birds in southern Africa. The colours of some species alone are enough to take your breath away.

Little bee-eaters © Heidi Watson
Little bee-eaters © Heidi Watson
The teeny tiny pygmy kingfisher © Heidi Watson
The teeny tiny pygmy kingfisher © Heidi Watson
A birder’s dream: the pink-throated twinspot, a seasonal visitor that spends lots of time in the lodge grounds. Photo by Em Gatland
A birder’s dream: the pink-throated twinspot, a seasonal visitor that spends lots of time in the lodge grounds © Em Gatland
Scarlet-chested sunbird by Malcolm Sutton
Scarlet-chested sunbird © Malcolm Sutton

Then there are birds that capture the imagination with their flamboyant plumage or features:

Crested guinea-fowl by Heidi Watson
Crested guinea-fowl © Heidi Watson
Paradise fly-catcher by Malcolm Sutton
Paradise fly-catcher © Malcolm Sutton
Yellow-billed hornbill © Heidi Watson
Yellow-billed hornbill © Heidi Watson

The sky isn’t the only place one looks for birds on safari. Many species spend much of their time on the ground foraging and nesting.

Black-bellied bustard by Malcolm Sutton
Black-bellied bustard © Malcolm Sutton
Crowned plover and chicks
Crowned plover and chicks © Malcolm Sutton
The ostrich, an African Icon. © Heidi Watson
The ostrich, an African icon © Heidi Watson

Finally, there are those birds that everyone wants to see – the birds of prey.

White-backed vultures by Malcolm Sutton
White-backed vultures © Malcolm Sutton
Martial eagle by Malcolm Sutton
Martial eagle © Malcolm Sutton
Wahlberg eagle By Malcolm Sutton
Wahlberg eagle © Malcolm Sutton
Scops owl by Kyle Naude
Scops owl © Kyle Naude

So the next time you are on safari, get out those binoculars, sharpen those ears and try taking a look at all the wild and wonderful birds that call this beautiful continent home! You’ll be amazed by what you see.

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Rhino River Lodge

Rhino River Lodge is a Big 5 safari lodge in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is situated along the shore of the Msunduze River in the southern section of the Manyoni Private Game Reserve. This 23,000 hectare private game reserve is located in the very heart of Zululand – just 30kms north of Hluhluwe Game Reserve. It’s in an area renowned for its African wildlife and rich cultural heritage. The private game lodge offers you an intimate and comfortable safari experience, with excellent game viewing and luxury accommodation.