There are many birding destinations in southern and east Africa. Here are some of our favourites:
With 13 Important Birding Areas covering 130,000 square km, Botswana offers diverse bird viewing ranging from the arid Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, to the lush green papyrus-lined channels of the Okavango Delta. In addition to this other Botswana birding highlights are Lake Ngami, the Okavango Panhandle, Moremi Game Reserve, Savuti Marshand Channel (recently filled with water for the first time in 30 years), Chobe National Park, Nata Bird Sanctuary and Kazuma Pan. Combined with Botswana extraordinary wildlife, it makes it any birders dream destination!
Specials in Botswana include the endangered Wattled Crane, Pel's Fishing Owl, African Skimmer, Slaty Egret, Rufous-bellied Heron, Rock Pratincole, Southern Brown-throated Weaver, Pallid Harrier, Black-faced Babbler, Sharp-tailed Starling, the rare Garganey, Red-faced Cisticola, Collared Palm-thrush, Rosy-throated Longclaw, Great Swamp Warbler, Great Bittern andvBrown Firefinch .
Of the +/- 850 bird species recorded in South Africa, about 725 are resident or annual visitors, and 50 of these are endemic or near-endemic and can only be seen in South Africa. This is one of the reasons why South Africa ranks as one of the top birding destinations in the world.
Some of the most popular bird watching spots are:
The north-eastern part of Kwazulu Natal with specials including Woodward's Barbet, Palmnut Vulture, Delegorgue's Pigeon, Knysna Turaco, Livingstone's Turacos, Rudd's Apalis, African Broadbill, Neergaard's Sunbird and Southern Banded Snake Eagle.
Mpumalanga's Lowveld region is the place to see Africa's birds of prey. Raptors occur here in good numbers and some of the specials include Martial Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Brown Snake Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, African Hawk Eagle, Steppe Eagle and Walhberg's Eagle. Also keep an eye out for some of the other large birds like Southern Ground Hornbill, Saddlebilled Stork, Ostrich and Kori Bustard.
Birding enthusiasts from all over the world visit South Africa to experience both the great variety of typically African birds, migrants, and endemic birds. Bird watching in South Africa is rewarding and satisfying.
offers 19 Important Birding Areas that covers 111,000 square km. Birding is rewarding across this amazing country but the Walvis Bay and Swakopmund areas deserve a special mention due to the extraordinary number of birds found here during the summer months.
Namibia's Birding Hotspots
The Eastern Caprivi - Mamili National Park, Kwando River, Mudumu National Park, Katima Mulilo on the banks of the Zambezi River
The Western Caprivi - Mahango National Park, Okavango River, Popa Falls, Shamvura Lodge, Roy's Camp, Rundu
North-Central - Etosha National Park and surrounds, The Waterberg Plateau Park
The West - Brandberg, Spitzkoppe, Erongo Mountains, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay.
Some of the specials in Namibia to look out for are the
Secretarybird, Blue Crane, Rosy-faced Lovebird, Bennett's Woodpecker, Meves's Starling, Chestnut Weaver, Bare-cheeked Babbler, Black-faced Babbler, Southern Pied Babbler, Pallid Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Red-necked Falcon, Pygmy Falcon, Kori Bustard, Ludwig's Bustard, Yellow-throated Sandgrouse, Black-winged Pratincole, Monteiro's Hornbill, Bradfield's Hornbill, Stark's Lark, Carp's Tit, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Chestnut-banded Plover, Caspian Plover, Burchell's Sandgrouse, Sociable Weaver, Violet Wood-Hoopoe, Barred Wren-Warbler, Southern Pied Babbler, Marico Flycatcher, , Hartlaub's Francolin, Scaly-feathered Finch, Violet-eared Waxbill, Shaft-tailed Whydah, Rockrunner, Herero Chat, Chestnut Weaver, Ruppell's Parrot and Ruppell's Korhaan.