Botswana is a landlocked country in southern Africa bordering Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. About 80% of the country is on Kalahari sands at an altitude of around 1000 m. The main, and only perennial, rivers are in the north: the Okavango and the Linyanti/Chobe Rivers. Key habitats: Botswana is largely semi-desert covered by dry tree, shrub and grass savanna in the Kalahari-Highveld biotic zone. In the more tropical north there are Zambezian zone woodlands. The Okavango Delta, a Ramsar site, is the most important wetland in southern Africa. In some years the seasonally inundated Makgadikgadi Pans cover around 1.2 million ha. In the south-west, sand dunes form a transitional zone between the Kalahari and Namib-Karoo systems. Total number of species recorded: 560 Number of globally threatened species: 6 Number of Near Threatened species: 4 Number of Important Bird Areas: 12 Threats: Major concerns are projects by neighbouring countries to abstract water from the Okavango Delta which would reduce sediment run-off before it enters Botswana. Irrigation for agriculture, a proposed hydro-electric scheme and piping water from the Kavango in Namibia could seriously damage this dynamic system. Within Botswana, deforestation, overgrazing, poaching and overfishing, and bush fires threaten the avifauna. Number of National Parks and Game Reserves: 7 The BirdLife Affiliate: BirdLife Botswana. Date founded: 1980 (as Botswana Bird Club). Number of members: 200 Major programmes/ areas of work: 12 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) within Botswana have been identified. A particularly significant BirdLife Botswana programme has been to monitor the population and breeding success of Wattled Cranes Grus carunculatus in the Okavango Delta. A Species Action Plan for Wattled Cranes in Botswana was recently compiled. Monitoring of most IBAs is ongoing with detailed monitoring of the two Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres (Vulnerable) colonies and of smaller wetland IBAs. Bi-annual waterbird counts take place and results published in association with Wetlands International.

There are plans to monitor the most important IBA, the Okavango Delta, focusing on the Slaty Egret Egretta vinaceigula (Vulnerable), one of Botswana's most threatened species.

Breeding records of Botswana`s birds have been compiled for many years. Babbler, a biannual journal, publishes articles and notes on surveys and other aspects of birds in Botswana. BirdLife Botswana's website is www.birdlifebotswana.org.bw A Tour Division is being established to organise and operate birdwatching tours to Botswana. The proceeds will help BirdLife Botswana's conservation efforts. For more details, please contact: birdlifetours@dynabyte.bw

(text supplied by Birdlife International)

Wattled Crane

Wattled Crane, copyright Philip Precey

Fangs and Feathers

Lawson's Birding Wildlife and Custom safaris

Showing the 9 Most Recent Trip Reports Posted

Botswana, Zambia and South Africa - October 2012, author Peter Fraser (added November 18, 2012)
(Table Mountain to Victoria Falls, Pels Fishing Owl, African Hunting Dog)

Botswana, Namibia and Zambia Birding and Wildlife Tour, 15 - 23 February 2008, author Lawson's Birding (added June 26, 2008)
(Victoria Falls region from Zambia, Chobe region, Botswana and Ntwala Island, Namibia.)

Republic of Botswana & Victoria Falls, Zambia 2nd-16th June 2008, author James Walsh (added June 24, 2008)
(Okavango, Moremi, Savuti, Chobe, Slaty Egret, Lion, Cheetah, African Wild Dog, Leopard)

Botawana, Zimbabwe and Namibia - October 2018, author Tony Benton (added December 18, 2018)
(Pel’s Fishing Owl, African Eagle Owl, Southern Carmine Bee-eaters, cheetahs, leopards, lions and wild dogs)

Botswana and Zambia - 30th July - 13th August 2011, author Julian Thomas (added August 25, 2011)
(Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve, Chobe NP, Victoria Falls)

Botswana, Namibia and Victoria Falls September 2001, author Surfbirds Admin (added August 21, 2004)

Birding the Chobe river - Botswana (Photo Extravaganza), author Surfbirds Admin (added August 21, 2004)

Botswana - From the Okavango Delta to Victoria Falls - 3rd - 20th March 2020, author Christopher Hall (link created April 6, 2020)

Botswana - From the Okavango Delta to Victoria Falls - 5th – 22nd March 2019, author Christopher Hall (link created April 3, 2019)

No Sightings Have Been Posted for this Region Yet.