Birdlife SA believes there are 470 species to be seen in the Victoria Falls area, including some rarities found in few other places in the world. The river is an avian highway cutting through the savanna woodlands on either side of the watercourse.
There are a number of experienced birding guides who are available for hire - or you can bird on your own. For serious birders looking to add "lifers" to their lists, the Victoria Falls area specialties are illustrated here.
Each day at 1pm the Buffalo Bar at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge in Zimbabwe offers a free vulture feeding display. Meat is put out just below the decks of the bar and hotel and you can witness the incredible spectacle of hundreds of vultures and other birds of prey descending on this free picnic while you sit and enjoy your own lunch or drink.
Plan to arrive early to get a good viewpoint, as the circling vultures appear like clockwork at around 12.45pm. Once the meat is put out, the birds rapidly descend to the ground and join in the feeding frenzy. The main birds are white-backed vultures, marabou storks and yellow-billed kites (in summer). Warthogs also often dart out of the undergrowth to get a piece of the action.
A best selection of lodge and hotel accommodation on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls
On the Zambezi look out for:
African fish-eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer)
Distinctive raptor with white head and chest, chestnut underparts and dark back; piercing cry; perches on trees overlooking large expanses of water and swoops down to catch fish just below the water surface and then returns to its perch - or sandbank - to eat its prey.
In the rain forest look out for:
African paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone viridis)
Small, very active flycatcher with orange-chestnut upperparts, dark head and blue-grey underparts; distinctively long tail during summer breeding season.
In the woodland away from the river look out for :
Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudata)
Colourful resident with lilac throat, blue underparts and tail feathers and black bill; perches conspicuously on road-sides hawking insects; distinctive rolling flight and harsh call.
In the gorges, look out for:
Verreauxs' (Black) Eagle(Aquila verreauxii)
Large, black eagle with distinctive white v-shape on its back. Breeds in the gorges and feeds mostly on dassies.
Illustrations: Chip Snaddon