Best Time of Year for Bird Watching in Botswana

© Great Egrets over Savute at Sunset

Bird watching in Botswana is indeed a rewarding experience. And it is a year round activity. It just depends on what exactly you want to see.

Summer and Spring are probably the best seasons, as hundreds of migrant birds enter the country and make their home in and around the lakes, swamps and marshes of the area. On a birding trip to Botswana, you will witness spectacular displays of colour and sound.

October - March

The summer season in Botswana sees a large variety of migrant birds from the northern hemisphere come to Botswana, and more specifically the Okavango Delta, to breed and feed.

The first migrants arrive during September, and by December, there are 20% more birds in Botswana compared to the winter months. From December to March the area is very active and the colours, sights and sounds are spectacular.

The Okavango Delta is a birder's paradise, and will appeal to both the experienced birder and the eager amateur. The highlight during September and October, occurs when carmine bee-eaters arrive from Central Africa and are often seen in their hundreds on the Savuti Marsh.

Particularly fascinating is seeing these carmine bee-eaters making use of the large Kori Bustards by riding on their backs as they move through the grasses of the marsh creating, flurries of fleeing insects.

Another highlight of your birding trip in Botswana is the heronry at Gadikwe Lagoon, which provides nesting for hundreds of birds. Ideally situated between Camp Moremi and Camp Okavango and/or Xugana Island Lodge, the lagoon is a wonderful spot to visit as during your boat transfer between any of these lodges.

The heronry is being shared by a variety of species, making it active from July to March. The busiest time is from September to December, when breeding colonies of herons are joined by swallows, marabou, yellow and saddle-billed storks, sacred ibis and egrets. Flapping, noisy and colourful breeding displays can be enjoyed at a close range.

Savute is a safe haven for many migrant and resident water fowl due to the perennial pans which fill up with water during the summer months. This area is home to duck and geese species, as well as migrants like the Red Winged Praticole during January to March.

Find out the Best Places for Birdwatching in Botswana

November to March

These are great months for bird watching in Botswana, as the air is clear, trees begin rustling to life, new grass is green and lush, the skies are dramatic and baby animals are being born. This is a special time in the wild, and will present some of the most rewarding photographic opportunities.
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