Kafue Flats IBA; A breeding stronghold for White-backed Vultures

The Kafue Flats are an Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) that supports well over 450 species. Some of these species are endemic, threatened, endangered and/or migratory species including breeding raptors. The complex blend of grasslands and woodland (Savanna) zones are of much importance for the survival and safety of different species of birds, particularly the Vultures because they are a safe roosting (resting or sleeping) and nesting area.

Vultures, whose preference are sparsely vegetated areas, are seen perched/roosting and soaring over this savannah woodland area in search of food. In the dry season, the large scattered trees of these woodlands host a good number of breeding pairs. Apart from making this place their “home”, they also follow the water bodies within the flats where they go to wash.

Even though Vultures roost or soar over a wide variety of habitats and almost anywhere with large concentrations of big game animals, Kafue flats remains one of the strong holds for the roosting and breeding populations. This has been seen the from the tracked movements of tagged Vultures that were fitted with GSM transmitters. Tracks indicate that in Zambia, a good number of vultures spend more time feeding on farm blocks in Chisamba IBA and in different parts of the country, and fly back to their roost on the Kafue flats.


As a vital conservation tool, BWZ keeps up-to-date knowledge about the status of the Kafue Flats and vultures by monitoring populations and nests of Vultures biannually amidst habitat changes.

Chomba, Chansa & M’Simuko, Eneya. (2013) discuss in detail “Nesting patterns of raptors; White backed vulture ( Gyps africanus ) and African fish eagle ( Haliaeetus vocifer ), in Lochinvar National Park on the kafue flats, Zambia” follow the link to access the publication:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/272880220_Nesting_patterns_of_raptors_White_back ed_vulture_Gyps_africanus_and_African_fish_eagle_Haliaeetus_vocifer_in_Lochinvar_National _Park_on_the_kafue_flats_Zambia