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Harare in August? (1 Viewer)

Derektron

Part Time Birder
Hi all,

I will be in Harare during the end of August this year and I have freed up 3-days to dedicate solely to birding. Any suggestions to make the most of such a short visit? This will be my first trip to Africa, so I'm a complete newbie to the birds in this region. Any help/tips would be appreciated :)

Regards,
Derek
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
Derek, no knowledge of the subject, just want to wish you welcome to Birdforum!

Niels
 

amears

Well-known member
Hi, Derek. I’m recently back from a trip so can relay my experience…

Gosho Park is a couple of hours away – well worth making a very early start and planning a day in the miombo woodland there (dawn in Zimbabwe last month was at 4.30!).

Boulder Chat occurs in Gosho but is perhaps more reliable at Christon Bank in Harare – again, try early morning.

Then there are the Harare lakes and marshes, which I don’t know so well. Even for a short trip though, I think it would be worth getting hold of a copy of Sasol’s Southern African Birdfinder book. This contains loads of info and a lot of it is still relevant despite its 2006 publication date. Around 9 sites close to or in Harare are covered – it’s one of the most concentrated areas of gen in the whole book.

In Harare, we stayed at Crake Cottage (easily found on the web). Just the job for birders and the owner knows the birding sites well.

I hope you get more postings as there should be no shortage of more up to date info. Extracts from my soon-to-be-published report follow.
Have a great trip,
Andy.

Ps. Also see previous post in this forum...

Gosho Park
The reserve seems to be open 24/7 but there’s a day charge at the gate and a night charge from 6pm. We had great birding during a long day’s visit but we later discovered that in a recent intensive survey, only two Cinnamon-breasted Tits were found in the entire park. Our many highlights included Striped & Wood Pipits, Pygmy Kingfisher, Miombo Tit, Spotted Creeper, more hyliotas, barbets, seedeaters and rock-thrushes; plus two quality birds for Marc, brief Collared Flycatcher and Arnott’s Chat.

Christon Bank (former botanical gardens), Harare
Boulder Chats were almost silent and definitely invisible in Gosho (nesting perhaps). A dawn visit to Christon Bank on our last day did the job though where a bird was calling and seen well in the nature reserve. Whyte’s Barbet was also seen again but we then failed to find Rosy-throated Longclaw when quickly visiting a couple of the local lakes near Harare. A Western Marsh Harrier was interesting and Crake Cottage was a great place to spend our final night. The owner, Dorothy, seems very knowledgeable on the local birds.
 
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Derektron

Part Time Birder
My wife and I ended up hiring Etienne Marais from Indicator Birding as a guide. We cannot recommend him enough as a bird guide for this region. He handled all the arrangements for travel and lodging, and his expertise with the birds of Southern Africa was greatly appreciated. We'll be contracting with him again the next time we visit the area.

Good birding,
Derek
 
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