Vultures at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge waiting for dinner | Photo by Chris Canuck

The Vulture Restaurant is open every day at 1300 hrs. We feed the birds with leftover meat from the Boma and Vic Falls Safari Lodge kitchens.

Aleck Zulu the hotel guide invites the residents to join him below the Lodge balcony to view the birds enjoying their meal.

The Restaurant attracts the hooded and white backed vultures as well as the marabou storks, and yellow billed kites and occasionally the tawny eagle. There is extra excitement when the side striped jackal who appears now and again comes to steal some of the vultures food, and the hyena will arrive in the evenings to clean up any bones left behind.

The guests thoroughly enjoy watching the birds circling above then swooping down to fight over the meal laid out for them. Aleck Zulu has a good knowledge about the birds and enjoys answering all their various questions. We have visiting tagged white backed vultures with a GPS from Pilansburg that add to the excitement.

A short description from VFSL of last year’s count:

On the 5TH Of September our intrepid guides Alec Zulu and Tendekai Madzivanzira conducted a count of the vultures that regularly attend our Vulture restaurant here at The Victoria Falls Safari Lodge.

Our feeding programme is conducted daily at 1.00 pm from below the terrace facing the ever busy watering hole. The vultures began circling the feeding area at about 12.30pm in anticipation of a tasty prepared meal courtesy of the leftovers and off cuts from the world renowned Boma restaurant. Some of the more experienced birds wasted no energy by joining the aerial traffic above, but rather lounged around in an African star chestnut tree overlooking the feeding site. The whirlwind of birds resembling the dust devils that are common around the waterhole at this time of year began to swoop in lower as Tendekai and Aleck laid out the meal for the circling scavengers.

Dinner Time

Aleck was given the task of counting the hooded vultures and Tendekai counted the White backs. During the feeding frenzy a total of 97 White backed vultures and 66 Hooded vultures were counted, also joining in the mêlée on the ground was a delegation of 22 Marabou storks. In the sky above an aerial battle was taking place between the taking off vultures and 5 Yellow billed kites eager to snatch a tasty morsel from the talons of the vultures. A single Tawny eagle swooped around the feeding site occasionally challenging a vulture for its share of the meal. Within twenty minutes the feeding site was cleared accept for a few engorged white backs that were struggling to take off after such a hearty feast.

Total Tally
White backed vultures 97
Hooded vultures     66
Marabou storks      22
Yellow billed kites   5
Tawny eagle           1