Not supposed to be there! – Bird of the Day – Malachite Kingfisher

It is always very exciting to see a bird in an area where it usually does not occur. Malachite Kingfishers are one of the aquatic Kingfisher species. They live on Rivers or other large bodies of water. Finding one on Thanda Safari – Private Game Reserve was a very special treat for our bird-loving guests. Bheki (my Zulu tracker) spotted it at the waterhole near my home.

These are not my best Malachite Kingfisher images, but they are very special to me!

To view more of my Malachite Kingfisher images go to

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The Malachite Kingfisher (Corythornis cristatus) is an aquatic, small Kingfisher which is widely distributed in Africa south of the Sahara. It is only 13 cm (5.1 in) in length. This species is common to reeds and aquatic vegetation near slow-moving water or ponds. The flight of the Malachite Kingfisher is rapid, with the short, rounded wings whirring until they appear a mere blur. It usually flies low over water. The call of this kingfisher is then a short shrill seek. The breeding song is a chuckling li-cha-cha-chui-chui.

Malachite Kingfisher


A bath to cool down – a drink to refresh …

I really enjoyed this one. Thanks to Ali (Thanda Safari Wildlife Department) for calling me in.

Elephants are smart. First the Thanda Safari Herd of Elephants had a refreshing bath at one waterhole (chasing away some Buffalo to get the tub for themselves). Then they moved to the next waterhole for a drink of clean – non-muddy – water.

How many Elephants do you count? It was the complete herd, and a few adult bulls joining the ladies and the youngsters for the refreshment.

Video and Pictures by Christian Sperka – Resident Wildlife Photographer – Thanda Safari

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