Pafuri – A Kruger Birding Hotspot

Pafuri is situated on the Luvuvu River at the northern tip of the Kruger Park. It is an exciting birding spot with a high concentration and variety of birds. Birding Big Day teams have recorded 24-hour lists of over 260 species for the area. The prime habitat is riverine forest, and this is backed up by the sandy river bed itself, patches of acacia woodland, cliffs, and all surrounded by dry mopane and baobab woodland. The nearest camp is Punda Maria, although there is a very attractive picnic site on the river. Birding is best if you leave Punda Maria when the gates open, and drive straight down to Pafuri (about 60 km).  There’s more information here about specific birds in this area.

IMG_1284There is an amazing ranger based at Pafuri named Frank.  He knows all the local birds and is happy to help you identify what you see there or point you in the right direction if you are seeking any particular species.

IMG_1300In my case, I was seeking Brown-headed parrots.  They are frequently seen in this area and Frank did his best to help me find some but no luck.  At one point he thought he heard some across the river but they refused to come any closer.

IMG_1299 IMG_1317 IMG_1303 IMG_1301 IMG_1265 IMG_1258

The picnic area is really nice and if you got up early to leave Punda Maria for the drive here, it’s a great place for breakfast.  But beware of theiving monkeys!

IMG_1283 IMG_1285 IMG_1288 IMG_1290 IMG_1305

The drive to and from Pafuri can be very birdy and you may get lucky with some animal sightings too.

IMG_1353 IMG_1349 IMG_1348 IMG_1344 IMG_1341 IMG_1340 IMG_1338 IMG_1334 IMG_1333 IMG_1331 IMG_1330 IMG_1329 IMG_1324 IMG_1321 IMG_1312 IMG_1265 IMG_1258

Lilac-breasted Rollers are some of my favourite birds and are easily seen in Kruger.

IMG_1275 IMG_1274 IMG_1272 IMG_1256 IMG_1253