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Zimbabwe updates?

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Old Saturday 12th January 2019, 13:25   #26
GDK
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Originally Posted by Shaun Coyle View Post
Just a brief note for those intending on heading to Masoka Village, Zimbabwe this winter for African Pitta:

Jon Gallagher and myself did this trip in December 2013. We camped at Small World Backpackers in Avondale, Harare http://smallworldlodge.com/ (walking distance to Monavale Vlei – though this site may have succumbed to development now). Staff at the backpackers arranged a taxi to take us to a roadside stop ($5) for minibuses to Guruve ($5 pp). From Guruve another minibus took us to Mushumbi Pools ($5 pp), and from here one to Masoka Village, then onto the lodge ($8 pp) a few km's away. The whole route can be done in a day. We did this trip on 'speck' (the only info I had at the time was from the South African Birdfinder) and were pretty surprised when we arrived at the village and told there was a guide called Mackenzie: [email protected] mobile number +26377980726, and a lodge. The next surprise was that Birdquest were there. As they had booked all the rooms we just camped in the kitchen area ($10 pp/night including some meals & coffee). We saw African Pitta briefly the evening we arrived and again the following morning. Mackenzie will help arrange transport from the village back to Mushumbi Pools (vehicle, or by motorbike). He can also make travel arrangements from Harare if you need it.
AFRICAN PITTA in Masoka Area

Some update contact details for Mackenzie at Masoka Village: +263 77 980 7261 - I would probably avoid the email address and the best way to contact is probably via whatsapp.


Another good option for the Masoka area is to use the services of local bird guides Derek & Deirdre Adams who also work with Doug Kok. These guys have access to Murara Camp in the Masoka area. They can organise trips from Harare to the camp & Masoka Village, and general birding trips throughout Zimbabwe. Contact via this website link (again you should be able to whatsapp via the phone number on that link) or via facebook.

The pitta season generally starts sometime from latter part of Nov onwards (depending upon rains) and can extend into January, especially if an active nest is located.

Cheers
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Last edited by GDK : Saturday 12th January 2019 at 15:18.
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Old Friday 15th March 2019, 18:08   #27
amears
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Gareth, did you go??
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Old Wednesday 9th October 2019, 11:01   #28
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Gareth, did you go??
Sorry, Andy, totally missed this question til now!!

Yes, went in Dec last year, had great views of about 5 Pittas displaying on the morning we were at Masoka Camp with Makenzie. In the end they turned out to be pretty straightforward (for a Pitta) if you can hit that early arrival and display period. The hardest bit was driving to Masoka, and the gps point I had was a little off so we ended up asking around local villages to find the place.

I know from a friend that Derek had an active Pitta nest staked out in Jan 2019 in the Masoka area (and in 2018 there and at another site), so they were as guaranteed as you can get earlier this year... He does make the effort to try and find an active nest every year.

Cheers,
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Old Wednesday 9th October 2019, 17:40   #29
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Great stuff, thanks for the update
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