Aisleby Farm

is owned by the City of Bulawayo, who several years ago formally declared it as a Bird Sanctuary. This farming area includes one of the water and sewerage reticulation plants for the city. Travelling the 12km from the city centre to this large farm, which extends from north of the suburb of North Trenance, right up to the Bulawayo Airport boundary, to this rich birding area is well worth it. The farm habitat is mixed, composed of some sewage ponds, irrigated pastures, irrigated and ‘dry’ land cropping lands, acacia scrub, mixed woodland, exotic plantations such as eucalyptus, wetlands, muddy puddles and the Upper Umgusa Dam.

The area has been monitored by members of BLZ-Matabeleland Branch regularly for over 40 years, with uninterrupted monthly species counts being undertaken at this farm for the past 12 years. Records show that Aisleby supports in the region of 325 species, ranging from bush birds, to raptors and waterfowl. Several rarities and vagrants have been recorded over the years. Flamingo and Great White Pelican have been known to use Aisleby as a ‘stop over’ on their flights. As part of the African Waterfowl Census conducted January and July annually, a total of 3941 water birds of 32 species were counted in January 2012, with 1908 birds of 27 species counted in the winter month of July 2012. These numbers are included here are to give the visitor an idea of the high numbers of waterfowl that may be seen all year round – of which there are often huge flotillas.

On a cold, overcast day in June 2013 the census produced a total of 69 species. Of particular interest were the sighting of Peregrine Falcon, African Purple Swamphen, Pied Avocet, Capped Wheatear, and a total of 5 Black-chested Snake-eagles making it apparent that this is a farm well-worth visiting, and regularly produces something different or surprising for the bird lover.

Any further information required, please contact or any member of Matabeleland Branch committee.