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Ever Wondered How Carmine Bee-Eaters Respond to Predators?

Kafunta Safaris, in South Luangwa, Zambia, know the perfect places to find out



Africa Specialist
Published on

29 Nov 2018

Updated on

19 Feb 2021

Carmine Bee Eaters

Kafunta River Lodge bush camp manager Adam Parker made great use of his Go Pro by disguising it next to this vibrant colony of Southern Carmine Bee-Eaters in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.

Enjoy a very intimate look at these beautiful birds:

Keep watching to at least 52 seconds! Wait till you see what happens when a bird of prey lurks around!

“We often see the carmines take off suddenly when a kite or harrier flies by, but rarely have we seen that the bird of prey actually searches the nest holes. - Adam”
Carmine Bee Eater
Carmine Bee Eater
Carmine Bee Eaters In Flight
The Bee Eaters in Flight

These bright pinkish-red bee-eaters gather at the end of August, early September in large colonies, which can reach hundreds of birds, in search of nesting sites along the banks of the Luangwa River. The banks need to be steep and sandy but firm. Sometimes they use the same site as the year before.

Each male-female pair swiftly gets to the nest-building work by digging a tunnel about 2 meters deep in the bank.

Bushwalk Island Bush Camp
Bush Walk at Island Bush Camp
Kafunta Hide
Hide at Kafunta River Camp for a different perspective

These colonies can be seen up and down the Luangwa River and usually not far from any of the Kafunta camps (Kafunta, Island and Three Rivers). The birds are most active in the morning and in the late afternoon, and depending on the orientation with the sun, can make for amazing photos using the golden light of sunrise or sunset. But it’s a real challenge for photographers to get these flight shots.

Safari Idea? Photographic Workshop with Stephan Tuengler

Join Stephan on his next safari at Kafunta River Lodge, and hone your photographic skills. There's only a couple of rooms left for the tour (German & English speaking), which will take place from 18 June to 27 June 2019. Contact us today to begin planning your next safari.

Wondering when to visit? Take a look at our best time to visit Zambia guide.

Looking for some more inspiration? Take a look at our best safari holidays ideas, our favourite family safaris, our big five safari guide or our top African safari honeymoon suggestions.

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