Mpumalanga’s water birds
he water birds of Mpumalanga and their habitats are well known to birders throughout the world. It’s in Mpumalanga that you will find the rare Pel’s fishing-owl, the highly endangered saddle-billed stork, the rarely glimpsed white-winged flufftail and many of their more common – but often as fascinating – cousins.
South Africa is known as one of the world’s most exciting destinations for birds and birding. There are many rewarding places to see over 800 birds of all shapes and sizes, but if you are after special species and special places then you’ll find the water birds of Mpumalanga particularly fascinating.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Wakkerstroom Wetlands, South Africa’s biggest grassland biome, cover 27% of the country.
You’ll find the water birds of Mpumalanga almost everywhere – at dams, in rivers, foraging along river banks, paddling along streams. You may even see more common ones such as the water-associated Cape wagtail bathing in a garden birdbath, or a sacred ibis flying over the motorway.
But if it’s fantastic water bird destinations you’re looking for, then Mpumalanga has several.
Of course, you just can’t beat the Kruger National Park for any kind of bird. Its sheer size (think Israel or Wales), its numerous ecological regions and its bird population – over 500 species – will have you ticking off water birds in no time.
Look for Pel’s fishing-owl along the banks of the Kruger’s great rivers, particularly where there are big riverine trees like jackalberry and nyala overhanging deep pools.
Pairs of endangered saddle-billed storks frequent the Kruger’s dams and rivers, as do woolly-necked and marabou storks.