Birds – Chobe NP

Anthony Ham
By Anthony Ham

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

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Lonely Planet guide to Botswana.

Anthony is the author of the Lonely Planet guide to Botswana.

Chobe is a great birding destination – more than 450 species have been recorded within its borders. Boat trips on the river are excellent for checking off many waders and other water-associated birds. Birds often let boats come very close making photography remarkably easy. There are many fish eagles on the river, and their call is one of the most iconic sounds of Africa. Several species, including skimmers, are on their southern-most limit, making a sighting particularly exciting for southern Africa bird watchers.

Notable Birds in Chobe
African darter
African skimmer
Long-toed lapwing
Saddle-billed stork
Squacco heron

Birding Rating

Birding Specials Treats for Avid Birders

  • African hobby
  • African marsh harrier
  • African skimmer
  • Black-winged pratincole
  • Broad-billed roller
  • Brown firefinch
  • Collared pratincole
  • Crimson-breasted shrike
  • Greater painted-snipe
  • Green-capped eremomela
  • Half-collared kingfisher
  • Knysna turaco
  • Meyer’s parrot
  • Swamp nightjar
  • Pel’s fishing-owl
  • Red-necked falcon
  • Rosy-throated longclaw
  • Rufous-bellied heron
  • Slaty egret
  • Souza's shrike
  • Swamp boubou
  • Thrush nightingale
  • White-backed night heron
  • Yellow-bellied greenbul

Best Time for Bird Watching

Chobe is a great park for bird watching throughout the year, but the best months are from November to April. This is when migrants swoop into the park. Also, during these months a lot of birds are breeding, and large colonies of waterbirds can be found nesting on the sandbanks in the river. The best time for mammals, however, is in the dry months from May to October.

Best Parks for Birding Including 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.

Want to Visit Chobe NP?

Birding Rating

Facts & Figures

Birds in Chobe NP
Bird Species
Migratory Birds
Nov to Apr