Country/territory: Zambia

IBA Criteria met: A1, A3 (2005)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 100,000 ha

BirdWatch Zambia
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2005 medium unfavourable negligible
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
An area of floodplain, woodland and mutemwa stradling the wester end of the Livingstone-Sesheke road.The Zambezi marks the southern boundary (as well as the Namibian border) and a complex system of channels and ox-bows flank its main course. Both Papyrus and phragmites swamps are found in some of the more permenent wetlants and further away from the river are several ephemeral pans. A broad, sandy floodplain extends back for several kilometres and this is dotted with small elevations some of which become islands in years of heavy flood. Characteristic trees of these islands are Phoenix reclinata and very large Acacia albida. Beyond the plain is woodland of various types. Some areas are dominated by Terminalia sericea, but of more interest are the stands of Acacia woodland, a habitat that is uncommomn in Zambia. To the North of the main road, the land rises and here the vegetatio is principally mutemwa( forest dominated by Zambezi Teak.Most of this section falls within a National Forest (No 194) and it includes some of the finest remaining examples of this endagered forest type. Where burnt and degraded mutemwa becomes Kalahari woodlad and there are also small scattered, grassy plains. The area has a relatively small human population, although the densit is higher along the Zambzi where fishing is productive and cattle herding feasible.

Key biodiversity
A very wide variety of waterbirds occur, patcicularly as the floodwaters recede at the end of the rains when pools regularly atract Slaty Egrets. Further field work may show that both this species and African Skimer occur in numbers that exceed their 1% threshsholds. Both Southern Brown -thoaated weaver Weaver and Swamp Boubou occur in riparian growth and many bank-nesting species are atracted to the sand cliffs along the Zambezi. It is the only locality in Zambia from which there are several records of both Burchell's Sandgrouse and Kori Bustard. The former appears to be fairly coomon breeding resident whereas the later is scarce.Three other species of bustard have been recorded; White -bellied inhabits the driest parts of the plain, Black-belied Bustard is found throught the grassland and scrub and Red-crested Korhaan is in open woodland. Many other species with restricted Zambezian ranges occur.Both Burchell's Starling and Cape Glossy Starling occur around the edges of the plain and scrubby woodland often supports Scaly-feathered Finch. Red-eyed Bulbul is an unpredictable wanderer found throught the area but many species are more restricted to the Acacia woodland, including Acacia Pied Barbet, Tit-babbler, Marico Flycatcher, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Black-Cheeked waxbill and Shaft-taild Widow.

Non-bird biodiversity: Very poorly known.Spring Hare Pedetes capensis (Vu) is common and African Elephat Loxodonta africana (EN) wander through occasionally.An Aarwolf Protels cristatus was found dead on the main road close to the site in 1999 (P. Van Daele in litt.)

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Simungoma. Downloaded from on 03/10/2022.