Without a doubt the best birding location in Botswana is the Okavango delta, however
there are a number of locations in the Game Reserves where birding is particularly
rewarding. These include Khwai in Moremi (noted for its raptors during the summer),
the Tuli Block along the Limpopo River and along the Chobe River. During the summer
months the CKGR and Transfrontier Park are also good for raptors with the available
grass seeds and resultant mouse boom. Apart from the Game Reserves there are a number
of other locations where birding is fruitful and these are listed below:
Dams & Sewage Ponds
Gaborone, Shashe and Letsibogo Dams all have a good variety of birds with Shashe
Dam being perhaps the better of the three. With reedbeds, open water and mopane forest
this area has a wide range of species that have been recorded here. Sewage ponds
don't sound like the most exhilarating place to spend an afternoon but they can be
very rewarding. During our trips to the Swaneng Sewage Ponds in Serowe we had sightings
of unusual birds such as Whiskered Tern, Ruff and Knobbilled Duck as well as the
more usual ones of Blacksmith Plover (pictured), Blackwinged Stilt and Dabchick.
Over 330 species of birds have been recorded in this area and I have seen many birds
here outside of their range in the bird guides. The abundance of water combined with
diverse plant & tree life renders this area particularly attractive to birds. Fruit-eating
birds such as the Black-collared Barbet enjoy the many fig species that grow here.
The cliffs are inhabited by Black Eagle, Cape Vulture (two breeding colonies can
be found here) and Black Storks. Redwinged Starlings, Mocking Chats, Meyer's Parrot
(pictured) and Rock Buntings among others are frequently seen.
Dry River Beds
Another unusual location for a birding expedition but once again this can be rewarding.
The two rivers that I have walked in like this are the Metsimasweu River in Serowe
and the Lotsane River in Palapye. The tall trees that line the river bed provide
ideal habitat for many species including Orangebreasted Bush Shrike, Terrestrial
Bulbul, Whitethroated Robin and Brownhooded Kingfisher.