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An unusual but well-known private estate. At its heart is an enormous manor house around which has grown a thriving community with its own school, post office and clinic. It lies at submontane levels and the surrounding mountainous terrain is, in places, quite dramatic. Lake Ishiba Ngandu, a natural water-body, provides a somewhat rare plateau habitat, with fringing reedbeds and Cyperus papyrus swamp. Elsewhere, miombo is predominant, both in the flatter areas and on the hills, and there are also broad dambos, some mushitu and riparian forest. The soils are poor and, besides cattle production, other economic activity has included production of essential oils. Situated about 70 km north of Mpika, it is easily accessible and there are tourist facilities at Kapisha Hot Springs, some 10 km west of the main estate.
See Box and Table 3 for key species. With its wide range of habitats, the site supports a considerable diversity of birdlife. Gypohierax angolensis is regularly seen, especially around the lake, and Sarothrura lugens, Tyto capensis, Cisticola robustus and Ortygospiza gabonensis are all found in the dambos. Hirundo fuligula, Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris and Cisticola aberrans are regular in rocky areas and mushitu birds include Sheppardia bocagei and Lamprotornis splendidus. Podica senegalensis and Alcedo semitorquata are found along the rivers and Acrocephalus rufescens inhabits the papyrus swamp where Ardeola idae has been recorded once. Crex crex is occasionally noted, and Gallinago media winters in small numbers. Amongst the Zambezian biome endemics is Ploceus angolensis, at the very eastern edge of its range, and a single species of the Afrotropical Highlands biome, Trochocercus albonotatus, also occurs.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Shiwa Ng'andu. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 12/08/2020.