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.
There 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.
In 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.
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!
The drive to and from Pafuri can be very birdy and you may get lucky with some animal sightings too.
Lilac-breasted Rollers are some of my favourite birds and are easily seen in Kruger.