Birding Safaris in Botswana
Birding safaris in Botswana, Botswana is greatly known for being a wildlife habitat, with a range of landscapes from desert to delta but it is also a great birding destination and one of the top-ranked birding destinations in Africa. Unfortunately, Botswana is habitat to no endemic bird species but this does not stop Botswana from being a rewarding birding destination in Africa.
Botswana birding tours, Botswana is a semi-arid country largely covered by dry trees, shrub, and grass Savannah providing a home to over 500 bird species, in Botswana there are numerous excellent birding destinations/sites scattered around the country, birding safari in Botswana offers travelers an opportunity to spot numerous species protected in various destinations. This article lists some of the best birding sites in Botswana, safari Botswana okavango delta
Top Birding sites in Botswana
Chobe National Park
Chobe national park is a great birding site in Botswana, this park is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Botswana and South Africa located in the northern region of Botswana with its main gateway as Kasane a small town near the border of Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Namibia.
Chobe national park boasts a huge concentration of bird species with over 450 bird species inhabiting the floodplains covered with reeds, riverine woodland, and mixed broadleaved woodland dominating the landscape of the park.
Birding in Chobe national park offers a great opportunity for enjoying sights many bird species such as African Finfoot, White-backed Night and Rufous-bellied Herons, Slaty Egret, Bradfield’s and Trumpeter Hornbills, Narina Trogon, Pennant-winged Nightjar, Racket-tailed Roller, Half-collared Kingfisher, Green-capped Eremomela, Angola Rock Thrush, Broad-tailed Paradise Whydah, Golden-backed Pytilia, Eastern Bearded Robin, Red-faced Cisticola, Collared Palm Thrush, Coppery and Purple-banded Sunbirds, Pink-throated Longclaw and many more.
Makgadikgadi Pans is another great birding destination in Botswana, this site covers an area of 16,000 square kilometers which is made up of a shallow alkaline lake system. Makgadikgadi pans is one of the largest salt flats in the world located in north-eastern Botswana lying southeast of the Okavango Delta and surrounded by the Kalahari Desert. Makgadikgadi pans are famous for large flamingo breeding colonies which make birding safaris in this site more fascinating.
Other birding living and sighted on a birding safari in Makgadikgadi pans include White Pelican, Secretary-bird, Montagu’s and Pallid Harriers, Marshal and Tawny Eagles, Red-necked Falcon, Greater, Lesser and Red-footed Kestrels, Burchell`s and Yellow-throated Sandgrouse, Wattle and Crowned Cranes, Ground Hornbill, Bronze-winged courser, Red-winged and Black-winged Pratincoles, Spike-heeled, Pink-billed, Rufous-napped and Clapper Larks, Chestnut-backed Finchlark, Capped Wheatear and many more.
Okavango Delta is an inland delta of 18,000 square kilometers located in the northwestern region of safari in Botswana Africa, Okavango delta is where Kavango river spreads into amaze of channels, lagoons, and backwaters forming the largest Ramsar site in the world. The Okavango delta is dominated by open grasslands which are seasonally flooded, palm-fringed islands dotted with tall stands of mature woodland, papyrus, phragmites lining the waterways, lagoons, and a lush riverine forest along the riverbanks.
Okavango delta is a habitat to over 400 bird species, this huge concentration of bird species is a reason why the delta offers incredible birding sessions. Birds sighted in Okavango delta include Pink-backed Pelican, Rufous-bellied and White-backed Night Herons, Pygmy Goose, African Skimmer, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Coppery-tailed Coucal, Pink-throated Longclaw, Red-winged Pratincole, Chirping Cisticola, Long-toed Plover, Swamp Boubou, Bat Hawk, Western Banded Snake, and Long-crested Eagles, Southern Carmine Bee-eater, Narina Trogon, Brown Firefinch and many more.
Kgoro pan is a great birding destination located in the southeast of Botswana near the village of Goodhope, Kgoro pan is a famous birding destination in Botswana and a perfect place for sights of a short-clawed lark. Other bird species found and sighted in Kgoro pan include sociable weavers, pink-billed lark, Egyptian goose, south African shelduck, cape shoveler, yellow-bellied duck, Cape teal, red-billed duck, helmeted guineafowl, rock pigeon, speckled pigeon, laughing dove, Namaqua dove, red-crested bustard, white quilled bustard, gray go-away bird, African palm swift, black-winged stilt, blacksmith lapwing, crowned lapwing, kittliz’s plover, common greenshank, black-headed heron, African sacred Ibis, white-backed vulture and many more.
Bokaa Dam is an excellent birding destination in Botswana found on Metsimotlhabe river a tributary of the Ngotwane river and located north of Gaborone, this dam is was built in 1990/1991 by damming on the Metsimotlhabe river south of Bokaa village, Bokaa Dam covers a surface area of 6.6 square kilometers when full and the catchment area is of 3,750 square kilometers.
Bokaa Dam is a habitat for a variety of bird species and the best site for sights of waterbirds in Botswana, the most remarkable bird species sighted at this site are the waders best seen when water levels tend to drop. Other birds found in Bokaa Dam include black-winged pratincoles, natal francolin, red-eyed bulbul, bar throated Apalis, rock-loving cisticola, black chested Prinia, gray tit-fly catcher, Kalahari scrub robin, short-toed rock thrush, cape white-eye, violet-backed starling, striped pit, and many more.
Birding in Bokaa Dam is done after acquiring a permit from the water utilities headquarters found in central Gaborone at a small affordable fee.
Moremi Gorge is located in the central district of Botswana East of Palapye, Moremi gorge is part of Moremi village lieing in a bend of the Lotsane river a seasonal tributary of the Limpopo river and lies just north of the dramatic Tswapony hills. Moremi gorge is a deep gorge crossed by streams, the gorge is a famous breeding colony of cape vultures, there are also other bird species found in this gorge and they include African black swift, Alpine swift, boulder chats and many more.
The Limpopo river
The Limpopo River is a river of 1,750kilometers in length located along the Botswana and South Africa border flowing generally eastwards through Mozambique to the Indian ocean, Limpopo river in Botswana is found in the east region dominated by riverine woodland along its banks habiting a variety of birds with over 400 species. Birds found and sighted on Limpopo river include black stork, woolly-necked stork, saddle-billed stork, greater painted snipe, white-crowned lapwing, lesser moorhen, Allen’s gallinule, tropical boubou, broad-billed roller, meve’s starling, and many more.
Khutse game reserve
Khutse game reserve is a large conservation area of 2500 square kilometers located on the tribal lands of the Bakwana and 200 kilometers northwest of Gaborone bordering Central Kalahari game reserve to the north. Khutse game reserve is an excellent birding site in Botswana perfect for sights of a variety of raptors, bustards, and other numerous species typical of the Kalahari. Birding in Khutse game reserve offers an opportunity for enjoying sights of birds such as ostrich, Kori bustard, flocks of sandgrouse, black-chested snake eagle, common kestrel, double-banded sandgrouse, eastern paradise whydah, Kori bustard, martial eagle, Namaqua dove, Namaqua sandgrouse, Marico Flycatcher, red-billed quelea, shaft-tailed whydah, yellow-throated sandgrouse and many more.
Kgalagadi trans-frontier park
Kgalagadi trans-frontier park is a large wildlife conservation area straddling along the border between South Africa and Botswana, this park is 38,000 square kilometers comprising of two adjoining national parks that are Kalahari Gemsbok national park in South Africa and Gemsbok national park in Botswana. Kgalagadi trans-frontier park is a great birding destination habiting over 200 bird species which are spotted while on birding safari, these birds include vultures and raptors such as eagles, buzzards, and secretary birds. Other birds spotted in Kgalagadi trans-frontier park include
Other birding sites to go for birding in Botswana include Nata, Rysana Pan, Lake Ngami, Shakwe, Savuti Marsh, The Kasane area, and many more,
Best time for birding in Botswana
The best time to go for birding in Botswana is in the summer months (dry months) of May to October, in the summer months migratory birds arrive in various birding sites of Botswana. Though dry winter months are the best months for birding, travelers get an opportunity to spot birds gathering around permanent water sources and pools.