An all-round colourful spectacle along the Zambezi

May 27, 2020

Carmine Colony flooded

The breeding area of the Carmine Bee-eaters is now under water after the mighty Zambezi flooded.

Thousands of colourful Carmine Bee-eaters commenced their annual breeding season between Zambezi Mubala Lodge and the Zambezi Mubala Camp on the bank of the Zambezi, during September to November last year. A mere six months later, the whole area is now under water after the mighty Zambezi flooded. The water is more than a meter deep and the barriers which were put up last year to keep cattle and people out of the breeding areas, have now also been flooded.

The tunnels dug out by the Bee-eaters and used as nesting places, have most probably collapsed due to the floods, and the soil has settled again. In August, the Carmine Bee-eaters will return again after spending winter in equatorial Africa. The birds use the same breeding sites annually, although they dig up new tunnels each year. Once the water subsides next to the original nesting places, a huge wetland is formed where many bird species can be observed.

Although the Carmine Bee-eaters may have relocated for the time-being, the striking white water lilies now transform this area into a beautiful visual spectacle.

Dirk Heinrich

Carmine Colony Zambezi

During September to November each year, thousands of colourful Carmine Bee-eaters are breeding on the bank of the Zambezi River.