Lukanga Swamp

Country/territory: Zambia

IBA Criteria met: A1, A4iii (2005)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 330,000 ha

BirdWatch Zambia
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2019 high very unfavourable low
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
Despite its proximity to the main railway line, this enormous wetland remains one of Zambia’s least-explored areas. It comprises swamp, open water and seasonally inundated flood-plain and access is difficult. It is part of the Kafue drainage system and, whilst it usually drains into that river, there are occasions when the reverse occurs. There is much small-scale fishing and presumably much human habitation, but further exploration is required.

Key biodiversity
See Box for key species. The site is very poorly known, but is likely to be very rich in waterbirds. It almost certainly holds important numbers of Grus carunculatus (a breeding resident) and is presumably an important breeding area for many other species. Circus macrourus occurs; Gallinago media and Egretta vinaceigula have not been recorded, but are likely to occur. There have been two sightings of Balaeniceps rex, probably wandering individuals, and there is a record of the very localized Charadrius forbesi. Seven species occur that are restricted to the Zambezian biome (see Table 3).

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals known to occur include Tragelaphus spekii (LR/nt).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lukanga Swamp. Downloaded from on 11/08/2022.