Birds – Kgalagadi TP

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip lives in South Africa and is the author many guidebooks to African destinations, including the Bradt and Insight guide to South Africa.

Philip lives in South Africa and is the author many Africa guidebooks, including the Bradt and Insight guide to South Africa.

Philip is the author of many Africa guidebooks, including the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Philip is the author of the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

The Kgalagadi has an impressive bird checklist of just over 300 species, but only 102 of those are resident. The park has a fair number of both arid area and bushveld birds and is particularly renowned for its birds of prey, with 46 species recorded. Some of the species you can expect to see are black-chested snake eagle, bateleur, white-backed and lappet-faced vulture and tawny eagle. Sociable weavers and their enormous nests are very conspicuous in the park. Pygmy falcons often live alongside the weavers and share their nests. This interesting co-dependency is currently under study. Migratory birds are present from November to April.

Notable Birds in Kgalagadi
Bateleur
Common
Double-banded courser
Occasional
Kori bustard
Locally Common
Lappet-faced vulture
Common
Martial eagle
Common

Birding Rating

Birding Specials Treats for Avid Birders

(E) = endemic to South Africa & (NE) = near-endemic to South Africa

  • Ashy tit
  • Black-chested snake eagle
  • Black-eared sparrow lark
  • Burchell's sandgrouse
  • Capped wheatear
  • Dusky sunbird
  • Fairy flycatcher
  • Great sparrow
  • Lanner falcon
  • Ludwig’s bustard
  • Martial eagle
  • Pink-billed lark
  • Pygmy falcon
  • Red-footed falcon
  • Red-necked falcon
  • Secretary bird
  • Sociable weaver
  • Southern white-faced owl
  • Swallow-tailed bee-eater
  • Verreaux’s eagle owl
  • Violet-eared waxbill
  • White-headed vulture
  • White-quilled bustard (NE)

Best Time for Bird Watching

Bird watching in Kgalagadi is always good, but especially so from November to April, when you can observe migrant birds, as well as resident species. The midday heat can be extreme at this time, however, so it is important to plan accordingly. General wildlife viewing is better from March to May, the end of the Wet season.

Best Parks for Birding Including Birding Rating

Kruger is great for general birding, while Mkhuze is a real birding hotspot, offering almost as many species in a much smaller area with an incredible number of specials. The dry Kgalagadi is known for its raptors.

Want to Visit Kgalagadi TP?

Birding Rating

Facts & Figures

Birds in Kgalagadi TP
Bird Species
300+
Migratory Birds
Nov to Apr