Birding on the Chobe floodplains is like falling into a big bowl of ice-cream, without the negative side effects of eating too much of it. Being a boatman for a bird watcher or bird photographer must be exhausting. Stopping every few metres for yet another bird. Imagine how tiring it must be for the photographer!
The Busanga Plains in western Zambia have been on our wish list for some time now. Not least because they are one of those remote areas that host low-density tourism, in a world where many â€˜remoteâ€™ places are becoming overrun by indiscriminate tourism. Due to Busangaâ€™s remoteness, inaccessibility and few accommodation options, itâ€™s likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future.
Mushrooms are magical because they appear and disappear in an instant, and toadstools are the residence of various elves and fairies. This magical â€œplantâ€ acted as a wonderful substitute to my usual bird watching during a visit to Nambwa Tented Lodge in the Zambezi Region. Having seen very few of my favoured avian pastime goodies, most probably due to the ample amount of rain that fell in the region, the mushrooms replaced the birds (I will add some bird/mushroom recipes at the end of the article). As a result of the limited birding opportunities, my wife Helga had a field-day stopping me every five minutes to take pictures of all the beautiful flowers.
Cattle graze peacefully in the green pastures, and traditional reed and mud huts stand out between fields of mahangu and sorghum, some right next to the main roads â€“ to allow better access to resources and transport. Activities can be observed from your vehicle, or better still, from one of the designated picnic spots under the abundant trees. The area is wild and untamed, giving a glimpse of the â€˜realâ€™ Africa. The biggest attraction of the Kavango and Zambezi regions is still the rugged, rural life that can be observed even when only passing through.
Deep in the Zambezi Region, on the protruding southernmost tip of the former Caprivi Strip, lies an abundant landscape dominated by Mopane woodland and floodplain grasslands. Itâ€™s an environment that boasts a large diversity of exotic bird species â€“ many of which are unique to the area â€“ and plenteous wildlife, including four of Africaâ€™s Big Five.