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Vulture Restaurant

A Vulture Restaurant is an area of bush away from human habitation where carcasses and carrion are placed to attract and feed vultures in their natural manner. On the Ranch we selected such a site in early 2020, provided carrion and have been rewarded with a constant presence of the vultures.

These birds are fast loosing their opportunities to eat elsewhere as the numbers of wild animals in Africa continues to plummet as do the number of their predators. Traditionally the abundant game on the Kafue, Lockinvar and Blue Lagoon game reserves supported a healthy number of vultures of differing species each of which had a different role in the eating and disposing of carrion. A signature sight of the Africa bush is a cyclone of vultures descending to clean up some predator’s messy kill; a threatened activity worth saving.

While keeping the birds sustained is the first aim of our Restaurant, the major goal is to attract them to a habitat where they can breed safely and sustainably away from human habitation in which presently they are being harassed and disturbed. The vultures found in our area do not rely upon cliffs as their prime habitat but need to nest and roost in tall trees, which are being felled at an alarming speed in the Province. The Ranch has a substantial area of bush comprising large climax trees and open savannah, which is the natural habitat of our endemic vultures and where increasingly the human interference is being reduced.

Do Feed Me


The key requirement of a Vulture Restaurant is food and we need a constant supply to encourage these birds to become resident and breed.

Our “Do Feed Me” TM initiative is a campaign that we have developed to increase awareness and appeal to the community for support.

Although Gamamwe Ranches allocate all it’s untreated dead cattle to the Vultures, there is not enough food from that source to sustain the increasing number of hungary clients appearing at the Restaurant.

From it’s inception the response from our local farmers has been remarkable and we would like to encourage others to donate any dead mammals that have not been treated with the drug Diclofenic, a pharmaceutical used in the treatment of livestock.
We commit to collecting any “Vulture Safe” offerings within 25 kms radius of the Ranch.


The vulture is one of the most sadly misunderstood creatures yet despite their lack of sweet song or beauty, they areincrediblebirds. Asnaturesclean-upagents,thesebirdsprovideanimalsandhumansaninvaluableservice while feeding on dead, rotting carcasses which might otherwise bring disease.

They are equipped with a digestive system that contains special acids that will dissolve anthrax, botulism and cholera bacteria. Furthermore, the efficient rate in which they consume the dead, helps prevent the spread of diseases such as Rabies which could infect local animals and be transmitted humans.

Despite their service to communities, vultures have become the indirect victims of big game poaching throughoutSouthernAfrica. Thepoachersbelievethatthevulturesdrawunnecessaryattentiontotheirkilland poison them to avoid detection.

We are privileged to have four of these magificent birds in our vicinity that do visit the our Restaurant. Our hope is that more of them will become permanent residents, nest and raise their young ones undisturbed.

White-Backed Vulture

The White-Backed Vulture (Gyps africanus), despite being classified as Critically Endangered is the most numerous vulture around the area and visit our Restaurant in their hundreds.

The expanse of the Ranch has allowed them hunt freely and undisturbed by human habitation. Thenaturalbushinthe area hosts numerous established Acacia trees which are typically their choice for nesting. Their nests are large, around 1 meter in diameter, and are made of large sticks and lined withleavesandgrasses. Itlaysonlyoneegg. White-backed vultures are monogamous breeders and pairs may stay together for life, which can be upto 20 years.
They eat the carcasses of large grazing animals found in the wooded savannah in which they live.

However,they can only eat soft tissue, as their beak is not adapted for tearing through tough skin and so rely on the lappet faced to open up the carcass.


White-Headed Vulture

The White-headed Vulture (Trigonoceps occipitalis) are the most hunted of all Zambian vultures. There is a very high demand for the head of this vulture for use in traditional medicines, witchcraft and charms.

These birds are often seen alone or in pairs, perched in trees or near carrion on the ground. This vulture is usually the first to find a carcass, to land and start feeding. It prefers to walk off with a piece and feed alone. They feed mainly on carrion, but it also consumes freshly killed prey such as small mammals and lizards.

White-headed Vultures are able to eat any piece of carcass including ligaments and bones, except for the skin.
This long-lived species lives up to 20 years and generally loyal to a territory where it remains resident.

This species nests solitary in trees, such as the Acacia where the female lays only 1 egg.

LicenceFile/Trigonoceps occipitalis -Kintzheim, Alsace, France -captive-8a.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Hooded Vulture

The Hooded Vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus) is dramatically declining in numbers, due to increasing use of poisoning, as well as hunting for use in traditional medicine, as bushmeat and the deliberate mis-selling as chicken.

This vulture is typically unafraid of humans, and frequently gathers around habitation. It is sometimes referred to as the “garbagecollector” by locals.

In southern Africa they are generally solitary and secretive, making them hard to spot when nesting.

Hooded vultures are monogamous and pairs remain together for life. The nest is built up in a tree and reused year after year. A single egg is laid. Birds may form loose colonies and rarely moving more than 200 km.

Image by Kevinsphotos from Pixabay

Lappet-Faced Vulture

The Lappet-Faced Vulture (Torgos tracheliotos), is a huge species which has been spotted at our Restaurant. Besides being ranked as the longest and largest winged vulture in its range it is also the most powerful and aggressive of the African vultures.

More so than many other African vultures, they often find carrion on their own and start tearing through the skin. This is often beneficial to the less powerful vultures as they can tear through the tough hides and knotty muscles of large mammals that the others cannot penetrate. They have been known to also feed on small mammels, birds and reptiles.

Lappet-faced vultures are one of the most solitary and shiest of birdsanddonotnestincohesivecolonies. Generally,theydo not breed until around 6 years of age and can live for between 30 and 50 years.

_File/Lappet-faced Vulture (Torgos tracheliotos) (33317710636).jpg - Wikimedia Commons


Vultures are prominent in ancient mythology. They were amazed by the vultures ability to only consume death and still produce life. The vulture became associated with rebirth and many gods featured vulture wings or faces. Vultures were also believed to being the creature that kept the balance of life and death in order. As long as the vultures consumed the dead and were able to reproduce the balance of life was in working order. Vultures also became a feminine symbol because of its rebirth myths.

The Vulture has also been revered by other cultures throughout history. The Hebrews chose to compare God with a vulture, because of the birds’ being able to “float” on the air for long spans of time, without so much as flapping a wing. In ancient Egypt, one of the most famous goddesses of the early Nile was Mut, the female counterpart of the king of the gods. Her name means “mother,” and she is most commonly depicted with large wings and the head of a vulture. In Native American culture, the vulture was regarded as a very important totem animal; representing cleansing of the spirit and strength to accept difficulty. In India Vultures assist the Parsi religion to dispose of their dead adherants which they expose on top of their Towers of Silence.

The first Saturday in September each year is International Vulture Awareness Day.

The initiative has grown from Vulture Awareness Days run by the Birds of Prey Programme of the Endangered Wildlife Trust in South Africa and the Hawk Conservancy Trust in England, who decided to work together and expand the initiative into an international event.

Please contact us to participate in our activities that highlight Vulture conservation and awareness.