10 African birds to capture with your camera

Exploring the avian diversity of the Caprivi area is a fantastic opportunity for a photographer. Here’s a list of 10 captivating African birds you should consider photographing, along with reasons why they would make great additions to your portfolio.

Photo by Birger Strahl on Unsplash

1. African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer):

The iconic call of the African Fish Eagle is often associated with wild African landscapes. Capturing its majestic flight or a close-up of its distinctive plumage near a water source would evoke the feeling of being in the heart of nature. Once you hear that iconic chant - something happens with your insides. It's warm and fuzzy and it means you are going to want to remember the moment.

Photo by Birger Strahl on Unsplash

Lilac breasted roller

2. Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus):

With its vibrant colours and impressive aerial acrobatics during mating displays, the Lilac-breasted Roller is a photographer's dream. Its stunning appearance against the blue sky or perched on a branch makes for eye-catching shots.

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

3. Pel's Fishing Owl (Scotopelia peli):

This elusive and rare owl is a gem for birders and photographers alike. Its preference for riverbanks and nocturnal habits adds mystery to your photographic pursuit. Just think of how a fish eagle grabs its prey from the river in an impeccably timed maneuver. Now imagine this one doing that in the midst of night. Wow!

Photo by Derek Keats

Carmine bee eater

4. Southern Carmine Bee-eater (Merops nubicoides):

These brilliantly coloured birds gather in colonies, creating a mesmerising spectacle during the breeding season. Photographing them in flight or perched together on a branch would showcase their social behaviour.

Photo by Cheryl Jayaratne on Unsplash

5. African Jacana (Actophilornis africanus):

The African Jacana is known for its oversized feet that allow it to walk on water lilies. Capturing its unique feeding behaviour or elegant reflections in calm waters could offer intriguing visual narratives.

6. African Pygmy Kingfisher (Ispidina picta):

Despite its diminutive size, the African Pygmy Kingfisher's vivid plumage and hunting prowess make it a charming subject. Photographing it perched near water bodies would emphasise its aquatic lifestyle.

Photo by Johann Opperman shot right here at Kubu and Kwena

7. African Skimmer (Rynchops flavirostris):

The African Skimmer, a master of skimming water surfaces, promises dynamic shots. Its graceful flight over rivers, with lower mandible slicing the water's edge, presents a unique photographic challenge and opportunity.

Photo by John-Henry Opperman shot from one of Kubu and Kwena's boats on a photography excursion.

8. Malachite Kingfisher (Corythornis cristatus):

Found near waterways, the Malachite Kingfisher's vibrant green and blue colours are a delight to capture. Its habit of hovering before diving for prey provides an opportunity for action photography.

Photo by Bob Brewer on Unsplash

9. Secretary Bird (Sagittarius serpentarius):

This large, charismatic bird of prey is known for its distinctive appearance and ground-hunting behaviour. Capturing its unique method of stomping on prey could showcase its natural behaviour.

Photo by Ansie Potgieter on Unsplash

10. White-fronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides):

The contrasting colours of the White-fronted Bee-eater and their nesting habits in riverbanks offer great photo opportunities. Photographing their interactions during mating and nesting can tell a compelling story.

Remember, the key to successful bird photography is patience and understanding the behaviours of these species. Good luck! Your images will not only showcase the stunning avian life of the Caprivi area but also help with their conservation.

"In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand and we will understand only what we are taught."

-Baba Dioum.

Twice daily photography trips on your visit

Our comfortable suntracker boat is ideal for groups of photographers.