Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park and Batoka Gorge

Country/territory: Zambia

IBA criteria met: A1, A3, A4i (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 8,600 ha

BirdWatch Zambia
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2010 near favourable high medium
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Site description (2001 baseline)
The site comprises the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and the adjacent Batoka Gorge which extends downstream as far as the confluence of the Zambezi with the Kalomo river. At 6,600 ha, the park is Zambia’s smallest, but it is the most popular as it flanks a stretch of the Zambezi river just south of Livingstone that includes the Victoria Falls. As well as riparian habitats such as sandbars and fringing forest, there is woodland (mainly mopane) and the immense basalt gorge below the falls (much of which is over 100 m deep).

Key biodiversity
See Box and Table 3 for key species. The site is most important for the species occurring in and around the gorge. Falco fasciinucha has been recorded with some regularity and is known to nest here—Hartley (1993) estimated that 8–10 pairs occurred in the gorge along 60 km of its length—but it is perhaps not as common as some local tour operators might suggest, possibly due to confusion with other species such as Falco peregrinus. Other breeding species of interest include Ciconia nigra, Aquila verreauxii and Apus barbatus and, along the river above the falls, Gorsachius leuconotus, Podica senegalensis and Glareola nuchalis.

Non-bird biodiversity: A wide variety of mammals occur, including Loxodonta africana (EN).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park and Batoka Gorge. Downloaded from on 02/12/2023.