In the far north of the Kruger National Park, at a point where the sandy Limpopo and crocodile infested Luvhuvhu rivers merge within the Makuleke concession, is where you may find a suite of highly sought after S.A. bird species of ‘lister’ sighting significance.

The highly sought-after Pel’s Fishing Owl 

This unique point of geographical convergence between South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe is infamously known as ‘Crook’s Corner’, a conveniently located outpost free of the law frequented by elicit diamond dealers and gold smugglers, ivory poachers and outlaws on the run from the police or custom authorities around the turn of the 20th century.

Low-lying at 200 metres above sea level and malaria-infested with yellow-barked fever tree forests and stately baobabs dotted about in a scrubland of acacias and riverine forests flanking scattered granite outcrops, this landscape is home to a significant population of Nyala, by far the most striking of Africa’s suite of spiral-horned antelope.

It is also the environmental host to Crested Guineafowl in the riverine understorey, Pel’s Fishing Owl roosting in the larger trees in vicinity of quiet lagoons on the Luvhuvhu, Black-throated Wattle-eyes and Green-capped Eremomela in tangles of riverside vines, Racket-tailed Roller in the fever tree forests and Bohm’s and Mottled Spinetail circling the baobab trees or hawking over the Luvhuvhu river as daytime sighting delights.

Summer rains combined with a dusk safari drive could usher in sightings of Bronze-winged Courser in areas of acacia scrub while the Three-banded Courser is a possible lucky sighting if conditions within mixed woodland are right…

On our recent trip to Pafuri we were delighted to find some of these specials, well assisted by our excellent lodge guide, Alweet (Ali) Hlungwani, who was the best mimic of the White-browed Scrub Robin and Diederik Cuckoo that we have come across!!!

Night-time sounds were dominated by the ongoing calls of Hyena interspersed by duetting Wood Owls …

All this and more to see from the convenient comfort of the Pafuri River Lodge overlooking the Luvhuvhu river as it winds its lazy way eastwards to the confluence with the Limpopo at ‘Crook’s Corner’ – the near perfect spot for the sundown moment accompanied by the grunting of hippos at days end!

Pafuri is very much a ‘must go to’ destination for any dedicated birder visiting the Kruger National Park.

For more info on Pafuri, how to get there, where to stay and who to go birding with, contact us enquiries@avianleisure.com

Baobabs at sunset

  Baobabs at sunset