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Katima Mulilo, which means, "dim the fire", is the capital centre of the Caprivi and is situated about 500 km east of Rundu and 120km from Kasane in Botswana. About 400 species have been recorded in the area and a three-day stay is normally adequate to cover the available birding habitats.

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Specials

Specials in the area are Schalow's Turaco, White-crowned Lapwing, Rock Pratincole, African Skimmer, Purple-banded Sunbird, African Emerald Cuckoo, Yellow-throated Sandgrouse, Böhm's Spinetail (very rare), Pennant-winged Nightjar, African Finfoot and Rufous-bellied Heron. Other species are Grey-headed Bush-Shrike, Bradfield's Hornbill, Crowned Hornbill, Trumpeter Hornbill, Grey-headed Parrot, Western Banded Snake-Eagle, Black Coucal, Rosy-throated Longclaw and Copper Sunbird. Shelley's Sunbird has been reported nearby and Bat Hawk are regularly seen over the river.

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Habitat

The habitat includes riverine woodland, mixed woodland, dense acacia thickets and mixed bush with mopane woodland and scattered baobabs.

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Birding

1. The best birding in the area is in and around Kalizo Lodge, about 38km east of Katima. Kalizo is situated on the main Zambezi River in the floodplain. Shelly's Sunbird, Coppery Sunbird, Hartlaub's Babbler, Brown Firefinch, and White-crowned Plover are all garden birds. Nearby, a large Carmine Bee-eater colony of approx 5,000 birds arrives around 22 August and leaves in the 2nd week of December. In May, large numbers of African Skimmers arrive and stay till November. After the annual floods in February-March, the river recedes and leaves behind water pans with Rufous-bellied Heron, Slaty Egret, Lesser Jacana, Pygmy Geese, White-backed Duck, and 4 species of Coucal (Coppery-tailed Coucal, Senegal Coucal, White-browed Coucal and Black Coucal). Bat Hawk are often seen at dusk, while Souza's Shrike is a rare visitor. The lodge offers birding trips to the flood plains, and boat cruises on the Zambezi River.

2. Zambezi Lodge and Caprivi Cabins are good spots for Schalow's Turaco and Copper Sunbird. The golf course has now fallen into disrepair but is still good for birding. Probably the best woodland birding in this area is the patch of riparian forest between the Ministry of Environment and Tourism offices (about 3 km east of the town) and the old golf course. eastern Bearded Scrub-Robin, Eastern Nicator, Half-collared Kingfisher and Copper Sunbird are all regularly seen here. Bat Hawk are seen over the river in the evenings.

3. The sewage works on the outskirts of town is normally very productive, with species such as Rufous-bellied Heron being recorded. The sewerage works have not been well maintained in recent years and the run-off is no longer channeled into small ponds and wetlands. It is still worth a visit but not as productive as it has been in the past. Beware of crocodiles.

4. A boat trip along sections of the Zambezi is a good idea as many species are observed more easily from the river. These trips can be arranged by Kalizo Lodge.

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General

Katima Mulilo is well-serviced by good tar roads from the west along the Caprivi strip to Rundu and eventually Windhoek, or from the south-east across Ngoma Bridge border post into Botswana, Chobe and Kasane.

There are many facilities providing accommodation in and around Katima Mulilo.

Kalizo Lodge
Tel +264(0)66-686802/3
fax + 264(0)66-686804
email
Website www.kalizolodge.com

To get to Kalizo Lodge, travel 12km on the B8 from Katima towards the Ngoma Bridge border, and turn left onto the D 3508 at the Kalimbezia sign. Follow this road for 20km, and turn left to the lodge which is 5km further on.

Val and Danny Sparg 2007
Chris Hines and Steve Brain 2002



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