Now that’s a spectacle worth a trip! These bright pinkish-red bee-eaters gather at the end of August, early September in large colonies, which can reach hundreds of birds, in search of nesting sites along the banks of the Luangwa River. The banks need to be steep and sandy but firm. Sometimes they use the same site as the year before.
Each male-female pair swiftly gets to the nest-building work by digging a tunnel about 2 meters deep in the bank. Once comfortably settled in the nest, the female will lay her eggs and the male will spend his days hunting for insects to feed his lady.
These colonies can be seen up and down the Luangwa River and usually not far from any of our camps (Kafunta, Island and Three Rivers). The birds are most active in the morning and in the late afternoon, and depending on the orientation with the sun, can make for amazing photos using the golden light of sunrise or sunset. But it’s a real challenge for photographers to get these flight shots.
Well done to Andy Richardson and Will Burrard for these spectacular photos!