Birds – Botswana

Anthony Ham
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the 'Botswana & Namibia' guide.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the 'Botswana & Namibia' Lonely Planet guide.

Anthony is the author of the 'Botswana & Namibia' Lonely Planet guide.

With over 550 recorded species, Botswana is a superb birding destination. It doesn't have endemic species, but several have limited distribution. The habitat ranges from wet delta to desert bush, and both waterbirds and dry-country specials can be seen. Great numbers of migratory birds are present from October to April.

Notable Birds in Botswana
African darter
African skimmer
Rare, localized and migratory
Green-winged pytilia
Long-toed lapwing
Rare , locally common
Pel's fishing-owl

Birding Rating

Endemic & Near-Endemic Birds

(E) endemic = only lives in Botswana
(NE) near-endemic = also lives in neighboring countries

Other Birding Specials– Treats for Avid Birders

Best Time for Bird Watching

The birdlife in Botswana is good year-round, but at its best in the Wet season, from November to April, when the migratory birds from Europe and northern Africa are present. At this time, many resident bird species are nesting and in breeding plumage. Except for January and February, rains are mostly short showers in the afternoon and seldom have a negative impact on your trip. For wildlife viewing, the Dry season is better.

Best Parks for Birding Includes Birding Rating

Birdlife is especially rich in the northern parks, where permanent water is present. The other semi-arid parks still offer reasonable birding and the opportunity to see dry-country specials.

Recommended Birding Books

  • Roberts Bird Guide
    Hugh Chittenden, Greg Davies, Ingrid Weiersbye
  • Sasol Birds of Southern Africa
    Ian Sinclair
  • Newman’s Birds of Southern Africa
    Kenneth Newman and Vanessa Newman
  • Birds of Botswana (Princeton Field Guides)
    Peter Hancock and Ingrid Weiersbye
  • Pocket Guide: Birds of Southern Africa
    Ian Sinclair

Want to Visit Botswana?

Birding Rating

Facts & Figures

Birds in Botswana
Bird Species
Migratory Birds
Oct to Apr