Sumbu National Park and Tondwa Game Management Area

Country/territory: Zambia

IBA criteria met: A1, A3, A4i (2005)
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Area: 260,300 ha

BirdWatch Zambia
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2005 favourable high low
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Site description (2005 baseline)
The park sits at the southern end of Lake Tanganyika and includes about 100km of its shoreline.This is a typical Rift valley lake with dramatic steep sides for much of its lenght and a maximum depth of 1470m. In most places the shore is rocky but there are also sandy strecthes. Other features of the Lake shore are two promontories known as Cape Nundo and the Inangu Penisula. The park is bisected by from south-west to north-east by the Lufubu River in what's known as the Yendwe valley. Where this and other similar valleys broaden and meet the Lake there are groves of riparian trees such as Acacia albida and Trichillia emetica. Elsewhere in the river valleys there is pteleopsis anisoptera woodland and the remainder of the park comprises variuos woodland types (including miombo and area dominated by Pteleocarpus angolensis) and large stretches of Itigi thicket. Itigi thicket is also found in small pockets in DRC and more extensively in Tanzania and characteristic plants include Bussea masaiensis subsp. floribunda (Casesalpinioideae), Pseudoprosopsis fischeri ( Mimosoidae) and Burttia prunoides (Connaracea). Tondwa GMA (No 29) lies immediately to the west of the park. It acts as a buffer zone and is also a relatively popular hunting area. At its heart is a very large pan which supports an abundance of wildlife and rich diversity of aquatic vegetation. there is a samll fishing settlemet beside the pan.

Key biodiversity
The broad range of habitats hold a wide diversity of species, though the woodland has not been well explored. many waterbirbirds can be found along the lake shore and both african Fish Eagle and palmnut Vulture aere regular. Lesser Black-winged Plover is probably a regular breeding visitor and the first Zambian records of Spur-winged Plover came from Kasaba's Bay area in 1999. Pel's Fishing Owl is occasiona, in thick riparian vegetation and both species of Oxpecker are regular. Typical birds of the Itigi thickets include Crested Guineafowls, Green Coucal, Bohm''s Bee-eater, African Pitta, White-throated Nicator and Red-capped Robin. Tondwa Pan supports enormous concertrations of waterbirds and species recently recorded in very large numbers include Little Grebe, white-backed Duck, African Pygmy Goose, Common and Leser Jacana (1000-2000 in Dec 1999). Sadle-billed Stok, Shoebill and Wattled Crane are probably all regular and lesser Flamingo has occasionally occured in good numbers.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Sumbu National Park and Tondwa Game Management Area. Downloaded from on 29/02/2024.