The Kruger National Park is known for its booming and beautiful array as bird life. From ground Franklin to breath taking fish eagles soaring above the Limpopo River. The secretary bird is one of the most terrestrial birds in Africa. When spotted in Kruger they command respect with their beautiful tall bodies and “crown of quills”.

The secretary bird has a maximum height of 137 cm and a maximum wingspan of 220 cm. Their quill like feathers behind their head resemble a security with quill pens behind their head (hence where they obtained the name, Secretary).

These birds are carnivores and pray on smaller animals such as mice, hares, mongoose, snakes and insects. They hunt on the ground, and usually stomp around in the long grass waiting to scare any prey. They are also known to pick up small animals and drop them from the sky.

Secretary Birds breed in monogamous pairs. They like to breed on the ground or in an Acacia tree, where they will also build their nests. It takes around 40 days for a secretary bird’s egg to hatch and the chicks can start to eat alone after 40 days of hatching. Birds such as owls, crows, ravens and horn bills prey on small secretary birds.

Secretary Birds are beautiful to see in real life, and Shikwari Safaris was lucky enough to spot a pair fighting for food for energy to survive. Like Ann, the founder of Shikwari, says “It’s not always about finding the lions.”

If you are interested in booking a Kruger Day Safari or Kruger Package with us please email us at