Birding in Hluhluwe

Sunbird spectacle: Birdwatching in Hluhluwe

This May and June has seen a spectacle of sunbirds here at Umkhumbi Lodge, with a feeding frenzy in the neighbouring pineapple field. We have seen an amazing 8 species of sunbird in these few weeks in Hluhluwe, 3 of which were previously unconfirmed sightings – we have now added them to our bird list: The White-bellied Sunbird, Marico Sunbird and the Neergaard’s Sunbird, which is endemic to this area and to Southern Mozambique, and classed as near-threatened (a lifer for the excited author).

Sunbirds and pineapples

The birds in their dozens are seen flying from the trees at Umkhumbi across to the pineapple field, feeding on the pineapples, chittering and chasing each other around, and then flying back to the trees. A great many juveniles have been spotted with their plumage in the midst of changing, and it has been really fun trying to identify the females and the juveniles of all of the species.


Bird identification

For amateur birders such as ourselves, it has been a great exercise in the identification process, using several different books to be sure of the correct identification, with species such as the Marico, Purple-banded and Neergaard’s being confusing until compared side by side.

Bird photography

Bird photography is a challenging pastime, and attempting to capture images of the sunbirds has been both exciting and frustrating, requiring a decent camera, some luck and a great deal of patience! We hope you enjoy the results.


Umkhumbi Lodge birding

For more information on birding at Umkhumbi Lodge, Hluhluwe and in the surrounding area please click here. To find out more about the accommodation and facilities we offer please click here.

Hluhluwe Bird List

Updated 27 June 2019

  • Bearded Scrub-Robin
  • Red-capped (Natal) Robin-Chat
  • White-browed Scrub-Robin
  • Brown Scrub Robin
  • Sombre Greenbul
  • Terrestrial Brownbul
  • Yellow-bellied Greenbul
  • Dark-capped (Blackeyed) Bulbul
  • Olive Sunbird
  • Collared Sunbird
  • Grey Sunbird
  • Scarlet-chested Sunbird
  • Purple-banded Sunbird
  • White-bellied Sunbird
  • Amethyst Sunbird
  • Marico Sunbird
  • Neergaard’s Sunbird
  • Glossy Starling
  • Black-bellied Starling
  • Violet-backed Starling
  • Red winged Starling
  • Goldentailed Woodpecker
  • Cardinal Woodpecker
  • Green-winged Pytilia
  • Bluebilled Firefinch
  • Redbilled Firefinch
  • Magpie Mannikin
  • Redbacked mannikin
  • Village Indigobird
  • Blue Waxbill
  • Grey Waxbill
  • Common Waxbill
  • Pink-throated Twinspot
  • Green Twinspot
  • Wood owl
  • African Goshawk
  • Bathawk
  • Black-shouldered Kite
  • Bataleur Eagle
  • Yellow Billed Kite
  • Little Sparrowhawk
  • Crested Guineafowl
  • Helmeted Guineafowl
  • Crested Francolin
  • Water Thick-knee
  • Red-eyed Dove
  • Cape Turtle Dove
  • Tambourine Dove
  • Emerald-spotted Wood Dove
  • African Green Pigeon
  • Gorgeous Bushshrike
  • Olive Bush-shrike
  • Black Cuckooshrike
  • Grey Cuckooshrike
  • Orangebreasted Bushshrike
  • Grey-headed Bushshrike
  • Ashy (Bluegrey) Flycatcher
  • African Paradise Flycatcher
  • Pale (Mousecoloured) Flycatcher
  • Bluemantled Crested-Flycatcher
  • African Emerald Cuckoo
  • Redchested Cuckoo
  • Diederik’s cuckoo
  • Fork Tailed Drongo
  • Square Tailed Drongo
  • Trumpeter Hornbill
  • Crowned Hornbill
  • Barn swallow
  • Grey-rumped Swallow
  • Speckled Mousebird
  • Redfaced Mousebird
  • Spectacled Weaver
  • Dark-backed (Forest) Weaver
  • Brown-hooded Kingfisher
  • Pygmy Kingfisher
  • Red-fronted Tinkerbird
  • Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird
  • Cape White eye
  • African Yellow white-eye
  • Yellow-breasted Apalis
  • Rudd’s Apalis
  • African Hoopoe
  • Green (Red-billed) Wood-Hoopoe
  • Eastern Nicator
  • Kurrichane Thrush
  • Longbilled Crombec
  • Burchelle’s Coucal
  • Green Malkoha
  • Woolly Necked Stork
  • Tawny-flanked Prinia
  • Hadeda Ibis
  • Hamerkop
  • Purple Crested Touraco
  • Narina Trogon
  • Lilac-breasted Roller
  • European Roller
  • Broad-billed Roller
  • Southern Boubou
  • Redbilled Quelea
  • White-breasted Cormorant
  • Fiery-necked Nightjar
  • Mozambican Nightjar
  • European Bee-eater
  • Green Coucal
  • Scalythroated Honeyguide
  • Black Backed Puffback
  • Green backed Camaroptera
  • Southern Black Tit
  • Yellow-fronted Canary
  • Rattling Cisticola
  • Redbilled Oxpecker
  • African Pied Wagtail
  • Greater honeyguide
  • Brubru


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