Zomba Massif, part of the Shire Highlands in southern Malawi has breathtaking beauty and ecological richness with its verdant slopes, reaching a peak of about 1,800 meters and has an amazing diversity of flora and fauna.
Zomba Massif, part of the Shire Highlands in southern Malawi has breathtaking beauty and ecological richness with its verdant slopes, reaching a peak of about 1,800 meters and has an amazing diversity of flora and fauna. The mountain’s charm lies in its lush forests teeming with endemic plant species, along with Malawi’s only endemic, the Yellow-throated Apalis. The walking trails here are fantastic that wind through this captivating landscape and offer panoramic vistas of the surrounding plains and Lake Chilwa.
The birding focus here revolves around the residual enclaves of montane forest gracing the plateau, albeit much of this verdant expanse has regrettably succumbed to deforestation, mirroring the fate of other sites in the country, such as the forests encircling Thyolo. Despite these diminutive remnants, they remain vital bastions supporting diverse avifauna, notably sheltering some of Malawi’s most treasured species. Chief among these is the elusive Thyolo Alethe, a reticent forest robin demanding stealth and patience for observation. Of course, the Yellow-throated Apalis stands as another primary target, often found along the fringes of these forests. Within the canopy, the vocal Livingstone’s Turacos and Olive-headed Greenbuls thrive, while the exposed branches above house the Long-crested Eagle and White-eared Barbet. The forest’s interior, however, hosts a more extensive array of species, prompting our exploration for distinctive breeds such as the unique dimorpha subspecies of Cape Batis, the Black-throated Wattle-eye, Common Square-tailed Drongo, White-tailed Crested Flycatcher, Little and Placid Greenbuls, Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, Black-headed Apalis, Orange Ground Thrush, White-starred Robin, Dark-backed Weaver, Green Twinspot, and Red-faced Crimsonwing.
Expected bird count
60+ with 1 endemic species.
Easy/Medium – on-foot birding on walking trails but nothing too difficult.
The Sustainable Birding Company is a subsidiary of Far and Wild Travel, a tailor-made tour company based in Cumbria, UK. Far and Wild Travel offer sustainable, luxury, tailor-made tour itineraries throughout Africa and around the world.