Birds – Okavango Delta

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.

More than 400 bird species have been recorded in the delta. With a constant water presence, this is a prime birding destination, especially for waders and other water-loving species. Birding tends to be productive because walking is one of the main activities in the delta, and the guides are knowledgeable. Sliding through the channels in a mokoro (dugout canoe) is a great way to get close to many species, such as malachite kingfisher and African jacana.

Notable Birds in Okavango Delta
African fish eagle
African green pigeon
Saddle-billed stork

Birding Rating

Birding Specials Treats for Avid Birders

  • African pygmy goose
  • African red-eyed bulbul
  • Black coucal
  • Black-chested snake eagle
  • Coppery-tailed coucal
  • Fulvous whistling duck
  • Greater swamp warbler
  • Lesser jacana
  • Martial eagle
  • Pel’s fishing-owl
  • Rosy-throated longclaw
  • Senegal coucal
  • Slaty egret
  • Swamp boubou
  • Wattled crane
  • White-rumped babbler

Best Time for Bird Watching

The Okavango Delta is excellent for bird watching throughout the year, but the ideal time is in the Wet season, from November to April, when summer migrants swoop into the delta. April might be the best compromise, as from January to March many areas become inaccessible. Otherwise, it is essential to choose your lodge within the delta carefully. Wildlife viewing is better during the dry months from July 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 Okavango Delta?

Birding Rating

Facts & Figures

Birds in Okavango Delta
Bird Species
Migratory Birds
Nov to Apr