September 8, 2017
The wetlands of the Okavango Delta have an enviable reputation as Africa’s most desirable birdwatching paradise. The world famous aquatic scenery of the Delta sustains a myriad of species both local and migratory that attract keen birders from around the world. Here’s what you have to look forward to on Okavango Delta birdwatching tours.
The fan-shaped Okavango Delta is best known for its big game viewing, but out of all the sights and sounds discovered on daytime game viewing activities, birdwatching is a reliable constant adding colour to a safari. Birding by boat, on foot, by 4×4 or on a mokoro canoe offer fantastic photographic opportunities of water birds and ground fowls.
Although the Okavango does not have any endemic species of birds, it is one of Africa’s most abundant birding destinations, home to numerous threatened and endangered bird species. There is also a great seasonal variation in birding in the Okavango – a good thing to know when deciding on what time to visit.
The best season for Okavango Delta birdwatching tours for many of the migrant species, is during the wet summer months from November to March. Listen out for the distinctive call of the woodland kingfisher that signals the start of summer and the arrival of cranes, storks, herons and egrets that flock to feed off the insects disturbed by rising waters.
Botswana, and especially the Okavango, is also a refuge for the largest population of wattled cranes in Africa and the world’s largest slaty egret population. Other important species to look out for include the rare Pel’s fishing owl, white-backed night heron, kingfishers, African fish eagles and African skimmers. Although the summer months are considered the best time to visit for serious birders, you will still have plenty to see on a visit at another time of year.
Planning on exploring the waterways and floodplains of the Okavango Delta on a Botswana birdwatching safari? Maun is the gateway for most travellers heading for the Okavango and a convenient stopover point on the way into – or out of – the Delta. Choose Cresta Riley’s or Cresta Maun as your first choice of overnight accommodation in Maun. Enquiries can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org or by filling in our online contact form.