African Finfoot

Podica senegalensis

This uncommon resident of well vegetated streams and rivers is one of southern Africa’s most sought after bird species. Given this birds reclusive and skittish nature, it is not suprizing that it is also one of the most elusive and unreliable to find.

Our first moments with this species took place in September 2010 while visiting Ndumo Game Reserve. We were lucky enough to see it on two separate occasions; first by the bridge near Nyamthi and then again on the southern Pongola bush walk.

My best sighting, however, occurred in December 2012 with Samson Maludzi on the Luvuvhu River near Albasini Dam, where we watched a male finfoot for over 10 minutes as it swam  along the opposite river bank before doing a river crossing right in front of us. It will be hard to beat this experience! This particular spot near Albasini Dam must rank as one of the most “reliable” for this species in South Africa.


African Finfoot / Blyde River Wilderness Camp, South Africa / 22 July 2013 African Finfoot / Luvuvhu River near Albasini Dam Soutpansberg, South Africa / 15 December 2012 African Finfoot / Blyde River Wilderness Camp, South Africa / 22 July 2013 African Finfoot / Luvuvhu River near Albasini Dam Soutpansberg, South Africa / 15 December 2012 African Finfoot / Blyde River Wilderness Camp, South Africa / 22 July 2013 African Finfoot / Blyde River Wilderness Camp, South Africa / 22 July 2013 African Finfoot / Luvuvhu River near Albasini Dam Soutpansberg, South Africa / 15 December 2012 African Finfoot / Ndumo Game Reserve, South Africa / 19 September 2010
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