Pafuri – The Makuleke Contractual Park

The Makuleke Contractual Park forms the nothern border of the Kruger National Park.
Trip Report & Images by: Ben Fouche

I was blessed to visit the Makuleke Contractual Park from 12 to 16 February 2015 with Theuns Botha and Hubert Kingston. Theuns is a keen birder with approximately 600 birds on his personal bird list and Hubert is an outstanding bird photographer, focusing on the quality of each shot.

We were fortunate to have the services of a really excellent birding guide by the name of Godfrey Baloyi. Godfrey manages the camp for one of the 2 Safari Companies in the Makuleke Contractual Park.

During the 5 days of our visit, we managed to do one self-drive trip (entering the Pafuri) and 8 guided trips covering 8 pentads, 2220_3100, 2220_3105, 2220_3110, 2220_3115, 2225_3100, 2225_3105, 2225_3110 and 2225_3115.

Click to enlarge pentads:

Most habitat areas were covered which can be viewed on the map

Vegetation Types (Musina & Rutherford) Norther Kruger NP 1

We counted 179 species over this 5 day period which is not bad taking into account the time spent for on photography and the fact that we did most of the birding from the vehicle.

We recorded species such as :


Black CuckooshrikeBlue WaxbillBurnt-necked Eremomella
Emerald-spotted Wood DoveYellow-billed OxpeckerArrow-marked Babbler
Dark-capped BulbulRed-billed OxpeckerParadise Flycatcher
Cape Turtle DoveMosque SwallowRetz’s Helmet-Shrike
Fork-tailed DrongoBrown-headed ParrotAfrican Openbill
Grey HornbillGreat EgretSpotted Flycatcher
Chinspot BatisYellow-billed StorkCommon Cuckoo
White-browed Scrub RobinGreen-backed HeronBlue-cheeked Bee-eater
BrubruEgyptian GooseBlack-winged Stilt
White-fronted Bee-eaterSpur-winged GooseSacred Ibis
Southern Carmine Bee-eaterWhiskered TernMalachite Kingfisher
Lilac-breasted RollerSaddle-billed StorkKnob-billed Duck
Green Wood-hoopoeHadeda IbisAfrican Jacana
Red-billed QueleaAfrican Pied WagtailJacobin Cuckoo
Rattling CisticolaPied KingfisherRed-faced Mousebird
Tawny-flanked PriniaWhite-crowned LapwingLittle Sparrowhawk
Meve’s StarlingThree-banded PloverPearl-spotted Owlet
Southern Ground-hornbillWood SandpiperTawny Eagle
White-backed VulturePel’s Fishing OwlSwainson’s Spurfowl
Goliath HeronHarlequin QuailBlack-crowned Tchagra
Woodlands KingfisherRufous-cheeked NightjarWhite-crested Helmet-Shrike
African Fish EagleSquare-tailed NightjarWhite-browed Scrub Robin
European RollerFreckled NightjarBlack-headed Oriole
Orange-breasted BushshrikeFiery-necked NightjarGolden-breasted Bunting
Laughing DoveSenegal LapwingWhite-winged Widowbird
Tropical BoubouAfrican Wood OwlLemon-breasted Canary
Pintailed WhydahAfrican FirefinchWahlberg’s Eagle
Lappet-faced VultureAfrican HoopoeAfrican Darter
Violet-backed StarlingCommon ScimitarbillArnot’s Chat
Long-crested EagleBrubruBlack Cuckooshrike
Red-eyed DoveLong-billed CrombecAfrican Harrier-Hawk
Bearded WoodpeckerSouthern Black TitTambourine Dove
Black CuckooGreen-winged PytiliaNamaqua Dove
Purple Indigo BirdYellow-fronted CanarySabota Lark
Southern BoubouGreen-capped EremomelaSpoonbill
Yellow-breasted ApalisScaly-feathered FinchWhite-fronted Plover
Grey-backed CamaropteraBarn SwallowDwarf Bittern
European Bee-eaterDiederik CuckooSouthern White-crowned Shrike
Speckled MousebirdCut-throat FinchCrowned Lapwing
Broad-billed RollerOlive-tree WarblerGrey Go-away-bird
Red-backed ShrikeHelmeted GuineafowlBrown Snake Eagle
Spectacled WeaverCommon GreenshankGrey-headed Kingfisher
Yellow-bellied GreenbulCommon SandpiperWhite-breasted Cormorant
Cinnamon-breasted BuntingBurchell’s CoucalReed Cormorant
Southern Grey-headed SparrowWire-tailed SwallowSpotted Crake
Verreaux’s Eagle OwlRed-faced CisticolaGreat Reed Warbler
Black-backed PuffbackWater Thick-kneeLesser Moorhen
African Green PigeonGrey-headed ParrotBlack Crake
Crested FrancolinAfrican GoshawkHamerkop
Long-tailed Paradise WhydahSombre GreenbulRiver Warbler
Cardinal WoodpeckerTerrestrial BrownbulBohm’s Spinetail
Trumpeter HornbillLizzard BuzzardBlack-throated Wattle-eye
Black-collared BarbetWhite-browed Robin-chatLittle Swift
Willow WarblerLesser Striped SwallowLavaillant’s Cuckoo
Village Indigo BirdMarico SunbirdGreat Spotted Cuckoo
African CuckooWhite-bellied SunbirdWhite Stork
Bearded Scrub RobinDouble-banded SandgrouseCattle Egret
Martial EagleAfrican Barred OwletPurple Roller
Giant KingfisherBrown-crowned Tchagra
Yellow-billed Kite
Red-crested KorhaanSouthern Black Flycatcher

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