Pafuri Rest Camp in Kruger: A birder’s paradise

Posted by John Smith on 3 July 2012
The Pafuri region in the very north of Kruger National Park is renowned for its birdlife. If birds are your thing then Pafuri is one of the best places to see the unusual ones you don’t see anywhere else.

Pafuri is one of those places that is miles from nowhere and it’s usually a long, hot drive to get there. Shaded by ancient Jackalberry and Leadwood trees, Pafuri rest stop is a cool, green oasis in a desert of dry lowveld bush. It is located on the banks of the Luvuvu River, just off the road running alongside the river that leads to Crooks Corner.

Nyala, normally shy, wander through the rest stop

The rest stop area is a wildlife and birders paradise. Birdlife in the camp is unbelievably prolific, with at least fifty species waiting to be spotted. An almost endless stream of animals make their way down to the pools of water in the river below the camp providing excellent opportunities to photograph them from the benches along the top of the riverbank. It’s one of those places where time has no meaning. A perfect place for a break from the road, a long leisurely lunch or a late afternoon tea.

The Yellow Breasted Apalis inhabits the area round the rest stop.

But for those in the know, the real jewel in the camp comes in the form of Frank Mbasa, the camp attendant. Frank is a legend. He is the “Bird Man” of Pafuri. Frank is one of those SANParks staff members that is dedicated to doing his job well. Somehow he manages to juggle the demands of keeping the camp clean and functional with chasing away monkeys intent on stealing food and accommodating birders wanting to spend some time with him.

If you are into birds and you find yourself at Pafuri, you can’t go wrong heading for the rest stop and looking up Frank. Not only does he have eagle eyes, but he knows every bird and bird call. An hour with him is equal to a week on your own and you are guaranteed to see birds you probably won’t spot otherwise.

I guarantee that you’ll look back on time spent here as being one of the best times of your birding life.


Click here for more exciting accommodation options in Pafuri.

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