Ron Magill Bateleur

Turn your gaze towards the skies

Bird watching

The essence of bird watching

Birds at Savute are an attraction to behold. Travellers will marvel at the multitude of birdlife within and surrounding the Chobe National Park. With over 450 bird species, most of which are native, the region is teeming with feathered inhabitants. The past dry spell, coupled with a new era of lush marshes, has ensured that new species frequent Savute, resulting in a colourful mix of land birds and aquatic dwellers. Bird lovers will be spoilt for choice when confronted with birdwatching opportunities. The African sun highlights a multitude of flying figures as they circle overhead in pursuit of prey, to quench their thirst or simply to stretch their magnificent wings across the endless sky.

Keen birders should take note of the different seasons, migration patterns and possible sightings. The wet summer season stretches from November to March and is considered to be the best time for birding, due to the arrival of legions of migrants, as well as to fare and prey being bountiful.

Savute is home to some of the world’s largest flying birds, the elegant, long-legged kori bustard and the stately secretary bird. These incredible birds prey on unaware snakes and rodents that slither through the long grasslands. The migration of carmine bee-eaters atop the roomy backs of the kori bustards will thrill the avid birdwatcher. Other local birding attractions include the endangered ground hornbill, which meanders through the tall grass sporting tangerine eye shadow and a bulging throat. Raptors dominate the sky and the tree tops with their razor-sharp talons. The astounding sight of the bateleur eagle swooping down with ivory wings to capture unsuspecting prey is simply stunning. Pin tailed whydahs glide through the clear sky with their ribbon tails swishing low across the grasslands, while stout, speckled korhans summersault in the air amid mating cries, attracting potential mates.

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