Zambezi Voyager: Massive Numbers of Carmine’s Create a Blaze of Colour

From Brendon:

We all arrived at the Zambezi Voyager during the afternoon. Some arrived in the area quite early and opted for the four hour journey up the river to Kalizo where we have gathered to photograph the Carmine Bee-eaters. Latecomers arrived by road and by mid afternoon we all enjoyed a snack together on the boat and after a short briefing we were ready for our first trip.

We set out for the Carmine Colonies and as we arrived our breath was completely taken away. There are more Carmines this year than I have ever seen before and in addition to the large colony that we expected to see, there are two other slightly smaller colonies close by. The massive numbers seemed to turn the entire area into a blaze of pink.

                                   Wim van den Heever ZK-001

We were very delighted to see a colony of White-fronted Bee-eaters along the river bank, but as the sun was in an awkward position for photography we intend to start here at first light.

We returned to Carmines and once again the staggering numbers seemed to be everywhere … a true photographers delight! They whirled all around, catching insects, then bathed at the river’s edge, and took to the skies to battle and chase on another.

We spent most of the afternoon at this wonderful sight. We only left once, to check on some nearby African Skimmers, but the allure of the Carmine’s was too strong and once again we returned to them.

As the sun began to set we could see a few fires in the distance and the glorious sunset with the colours of the fires created a breathtaking backdrop for the beautiful birds. 

After this awe-inspiring, beautiful day, we are back on the Zambezi Voyager, gloating over our images and enjoying the gentle lap of the small waves against the boat.

The White-fronted Bee-eaters should be in a perfect position for photography in the early morning …