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Lesser flamingos of Kamfer's Dam

Phoeniconaias minor


The lesser flamingos flock to this dam because it has an abundance of algae, the favoured food of these filter-feeders. Apparently the amount of algae in the dam has been put at 750 000kg. The problem was – would they, could they – breed here? Their continued existence at the dam depended on successful breeding. In cooperation with birding experts, a visionary and generous mining company, Ekapa, built an S-shaped artificial island in the middle of the dam. Everyone – conservationists, birders, concerned environmentalists, many of the general public – held their breath. Would the lesser flamingo take to this new man-made home? The birds loved it and set a record – this was the first time that the lesser flamingo had bred in South Africa. Now there is a large permanent breeding population here that has become a magnet for travellers and birders from all over the world. But the story continues, because now Kamfers Dam is under threat from an increased inflow of untreated sewage water. The Save the Flamingo Association and BirdLife South Africa are raising money and public awareness to stop the threats to this unique South African attraction.


This area is one of only four breeding sites in Africa for lesser flamingos and is a must-see for any birder. Kamfers Dam is a permanent wetland just minutes by road from the iconic old diamond mining town of Kimberley. Some years there are around 20 000 birds at the dam; but sometimes the population can rocket up to 50 000 birds and more.


What an awesome sight to behold! Unfortunately due to high rainfall in the area we weren't able to get near to the flamingos so my photos are from quite far away. I'll definitely be going back to see them sometime! Refs: 1) 2)

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Spotted by

Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa

Spotted on Dec 28, 2014
Submitted on Dec 31, 2014

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