Robin Pope Safaris – See the world’s most elusive bird

October 4, 2019 | Robin Pope Safaris

Robin Pope Safaris

The swamp-dwelling shoebill bird, found in only five countries throughout the world, stands at five feet tall and has an almost prehistoric appearance. Its stare is intense; its silence too, save for when it makes a machine-gun-like mating call.

Robin Pope Safaris, renowned for its expertly-run safaris in remote wilderness, has tailor-made a trip in Northern Zambia to track (both by boat and on foot, in the Bangweulu Swamps) the shoebill, considered by ornithologists to be one of the most sought-after and elusive birds in Africa. And it’s certainly one of the strangest birds. An enormous primeval-looking creature, with a wingspan in excess of six feet, its wing-flapping rate (at an estimated 150 flaps per minute) is one of the slowest of any bird. Normally silent, shoebills perform bill-clattering displays, sounding remarkably like machine guns, as well as emitting cow-like moos.

And it can swallow a crocodile whole, having impaled and decapitated it first…

 

Shoebill Safari: departing 12 June 2020

In June the shoebill is as good as a sure sighting. In the glorious Bangweulu Swamps you’ll stay at Shoebill Island Camp, which has recently reopened after management of the camp was taken over by the NGO African Parks. The trip also covers the South Luangwa National Park and Kasanka National Park, where you’ll encounter elephants, lions, giraffes, black lechwe, buffalo and a host of other species. Led by one of Robin Pope Safaris’ top guides, activities include walking, game drives (day and night) and some cultural and conservation options, too.

Robin Pope Safaris

The eight-day Shoebill Safari costs from £4,834 pp (two sharing) including seven nights’ accommodation (full board), domestic flights and transfers, game drives and birdwatching. Long-haul flights extra. Single supplement from £825. Only six places available.

Here are four other specialist safaris organised by Robin Pope Safaris, all taking place in late 2019 and 2020:

 

Kasanka Bat safari: departing 15 November 2019 / 11 November 2020

Every November something utterly incredible occurs in Zambia’s Kasanka National Park. Around ten million straw-coloured fruit bats congregate from all across central Africa to feast on forest fruits. Join the Kasanka Bat Safari and see them swooping in from The Congo rainforest, roosting in woodland and, at sunset, blackening the sky as they collectively take off to begin their foraging mission.

Robin Pope Safaris

The eight-day Kasanka Bat Safari costs from £4,159 pp (two sharing) including seven nights’ accommodation (full board), domestic flights and transfers, game drives and birdwatching. Long-haul flights extra. Single supplement from £580. Only six places available. Images below.

 

Carnivore Week: departing 21 November 2019 / 21 November 2020

During Carnivore Week, you’ll spend time with the Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP) team in Zambia’s South Luangwa. Not only will you track wild dogs and other large carnivore species, but you’ll also learn about anti-poaching activities, habitat maintenance, and lion identification and prey surveys. There are game drives and walking safaris, too, plus a visit to a wildlife orphanage.

Robin Pope Safaris

The eight-day Carnivore Week costs from £2,984 pp (two sharing) including seven nights’ accommodation (full board), domestic flights and transfers and a ZCP donation. Long-haul flights extra. Images below.

Travel this year and you’ll enjoy FREE DOMESTIC FLIGHTS AND UPGRADED ACCOMMODATION – a saving of over £700 pp. Only four places available.

 

River Journeys: available 22 January – 31 March 2020

Zambia’s ‘Emerald Season’ is a remarkable time to enjoy a safari – and more affordable than any other time, too, with the River Journeys trip half price during the green season. The rains arrive, the bush explodes into colour and new life abounds. The Luangwa River overflows, filling numerous lagoons and enabling game viewing by boat as well as on foot. Baby hippos bask in the water, birdlife is prolific (including cuckoos, kingfishers, rollers and bee-eaters), and zebra foals and young impala stagger to their feet immediately after having been born.

Robin Pope Safaris

The eight-day River Journeys trip costs from £3,490 pp (two sharing) including seven nights’ accommodation (full board), domestic transfers and all activities. Flights extra. Images below.

 

Photographic Safari: departing 14 February 2020

Join David Rogers Photographic for a workshop you will never forget. David, a well-known wildlife photographer and author of several books, will often lead the safari, taking guests on all game drives, giving advice, analysing results, and looking at how best to use Adobe Lightroom. In addition to wildlife, you will also look at landscapes, macro work, birds, insects and people.

Robin Pope Safaris

The eight-day Photographic Safari costs from £4,477 pp (two sharing) including seven nights’ accommodation (full board), domestic flights and transfers and all safari costs. Long-haul flights extra. Only two places available. Images below.

For further information on Robin Pope Safaris, see www.robinpopesafaris.net.

Press: For more information, high-resolution photography or to discuss a commissioned press trip with Robin Pope Safaris, contact Charlotte Griffiths or Mischa Mack at Travel PR on 020 8891 4440 (c.griffiths@travelpr.co.uk; m.mack@travelpr.co.uk).

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