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 Cuckooshrike Blue Waxbill Burnt-necked Eremomella
Emerald-spotted Wood Dove Yellow-billed Oxpecker Arrow-marked Babbler
Dark-capped Bulbul Red-billed Oxpecker Paradise Flycatcher
Cape Turtle Dove Mosque Swallow Retz’s Helmet-Shrike
Fork-tailed Drongo Brown-headed Parrot African Openbill
Grey Hornbill Great Egret Spotted Flycatcher
Chinspot Batis Yellow-billed Stork Common Cuckoo
White-browed Scrub Robin Green-backed Heron Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
Brubru Egyptian Goose Black-winged Stilt
White-fronted Bee-eater Spur-winged Goose Sacred Ibis
Southern Carmine Bee-eater Whiskered Tern Malachite Kingfisher
Lilac-breasted Roller Saddle-billed Stork Knob-billed Duck
Green Wood-hoopoe Hadeda Ibis African Jacana
Red-billed Quelea African Pied Wagtail Jacobin Cuckoo
Rattling Cisticola Pied Kingfisher Red-faced Mousebird
Tawny-flanked Prinia White-crowned Lapwing Little Sparrowhawk
Meve’s Starling Three-banded Plover Pearl-spotted Owlet
Southern Ground-hornbill Wood Sandpiper Tawny Eagle
White-backed Vulture Pel’s Fishing Owl Swainson’s Spurfowl
Goliath Heron Harlequin Quail Black-crowned Tchagra
Woodlands Kingfisher Rufous-cheeked Nightjar White-crested Helmet-Shrike
African Fish Eagle Square-tailed Nightjar White-browed Scrub Robin
European Roller Freckled Nightjar Black-headed Oriole
Orange-breasted Bushshrike Fiery-necked Nightjar Golden-breasted Bunting
Laughing Dove Senegal Lapwing White-winged Widowbird
Tropical Boubou African Wood Owl Lemon-breasted Canary
Pintailed Whydah African Firefinch Wahlberg’s Eagle
Lappet-faced Vulture African Hoopoe African Darter
Violet-backed Starling Common Scimitarbill Arnot’s Chat
Long-crested Eagle Brubru Black Cuckooshrike
Red-eyed Dove Long-billed Crombec African Harrier-Hawk
Bearded Woodpecker Southern Black Tit Tambourine Dove
Black Cuckoo Green-winged Pytilia Namaqua Dove
Purple Indigo Bird Yellow-fronted Canary Sabota Lark
Southern Boubou Green-capped Eremomela Spoonbill
Yellow-breasted Apalis Scaly-feathered Finch White-fronted Plover
Grey-backed Camaroptera Barn Swallow Dwarf Bittern
European Bee-eater Diederik Cuckoo Southern White-crowned Shrike
Speckled Mousebird Cut-throat Finch Crowned Lapwing
Broad-billed Roller Olive-tree Warbler Grey Go-away-bird
Red-backed Shrike Helmeted Guineafowl Brown Snake Eagle
Spectacled Weaver Common Greenshank Grey-headed Kingfisher
Yellow-bellied Greenbul Common Sandpiper White-breasted Cormorant
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting Burchell’s Coucal Reed Cormorant
Southern Grey-headed Sparrow Wire-tailed Swallow Spotted Crake
Verreaux’s Eagle Owl Red-faced Cisticola Great Reed Warbler
Black-backed Puffback Water Thick-knee Lesser Moorhen
African Green Pigeon Grey-headed Parrot Black Crake
Crested Francolin African Goshawk Hamerkop
Long-tailed Paradise Whydah Sombre Greenbul River Warbler
Cardinal Woodpecker Terrestrial Brownbul Bohm’s Spinetail
Trumpeter Hornbill Lizzard Buzzard Black-throated Wattle-eye
Black-collared Barbet White-browed Robin-chat Little Swift
Willow Warbler Lesser Striped Swallow Lavaillant’s Cuckoo
Village Indigo Bird Marico Sunbird Great Spotted Cuckoo
African Cuckoo White-bellied Sunbird White Stork
Bearded Scrub Robin Double-banded Sandgrouse Cattle Egret
Martial Eagle African Barred Owlet Purple Roller
Giant Kingfisher Brown-crowned Tchagra
Yellow-billed Kite
Red-crested Korhaan Southern Black Flycatcher


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