Birds – Nxai Pan 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.

Nxai Pan is a very good destination for safari-goers interested in birding. More than 200 bird species have been recorded here. The different habitats – ranging from grassland, mopane woodland and acacia scrub – ensure a wide range of species. On the open pan, kori bustards and secretary birds mingle with the visiting white storks. Many migrants are added to the mix in the wet summer months, from November to April.

Notable Birds in Nxai Pan
Black bustard
Pale chanting goshawk
Pin-tailed whydah
Saddle-billed stork

Birding Rating

Birding Specials Treats for Avid Birders

  • Abdim’s stork
  • Barred owl
  • African fish eagle
  • Black bustard
  • Black-cheeked waxbill
  • Black-winged stilt
  • Blue-cheeked bee-eater
  • Bronze-winged courser
  • Burchell’s coucal
  • Burchell's courser
  • Capped wheatear
  • Dusky lark
  • Eastern paradise whydah
  • Gabar goshawk
  • Great white pelican
  • Greater flamingo
  • White-browed robin-chat
  • Kori bustard
  • Lesser flamingo
  • Martial eagle
  • Meyer’s parrot
  • Ostrich
  • Pale chanting goshawk
  • Southern pied babbler
  • Pied avocet
  • Pin-tailed whydah
  • Pink-backed pelican
  • Red-billed francolin
  • Red-necked falcon
  • Saddle-billed stork
  • Secretary bird
  • Shaft-tailed whydah
  • Southern anteater chat
  • Temminck's courser
  • Violet-eared waxbill
  • Wattled crane
  • White stork

Best Time for Bird Watching

Nxai Pan is a great park for bird watching any month of the year. The wetter months, from November to April, is when the park is at its finest for birders. This is the best time for migrants in general, and also the time when a lot of birds are breeding and show their breeding plumage. Wildlife viewing at the pans is at its best around the same time.

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 Nxai Pan NP?

Birding Rating

Facts & Figures

Birds in Nxai Pan NP
Bird Species
Migratory Birds
Nov to Apr