May 2017 – Wilderness Safaris Botswana has enhanced its privately-guided safari division with a range of expertly-trained birding guides available to host avid birdwatchers and dedicated twitchers on tailor-made, specialist birding safaris throughout Botswana’s wilderness highlights in the Linyanti, Okavango Delta and Kalahari.
“With more and more safari enthusiasts realising that there is so much more to discover in pristine wilderness areas rather than just racing after the Big Five, our specialist birding guides are well placed to deliver life-changing journeys that focus on the guests’ specific interests and expectations. Equipped with in-depth knowledge and skills for bird-call identification and their habitat niches, they are also passionate about sharing these wonders with our guests”, said Cilas Mafoko, head of guide training for Wilderness Safaris Botswana.
Private guiding also offers flexibility and the opportunity to tailor-make each game drive, allowing birders the opportunity to devote their entire safari to spotting and photographing some of the rarer birds found in the Delta, Kalahari and Linyanti regions, such as the wattled crane and rosy-throated longclaw. In addition to Wilderness Safaris private guides, many of its in-camp guides are also expertly trained in spotting and identifying birds and take great pleasure in introducing guests to the delights of birding.
“Botswana is not just a phenomenal wildlife destination, but also one of the best places in southern Africa for birdwatching”, enthused Francis Kudumo, one of Wilderness Safaris’ top birding private guides. “With over 590 bird species recorded in Botswana, there is very rarely a time on safari when you can’t spot beautiful plumage or fascinating feeding or nesting behaviour. The variety of habitats, from arid semi-deserts to wetlands, and salt pans to woodlands, means that guests will be able to see a range of different species during their safari in Botswana”.
The Okavango Delta is home to the hallowed Pel’s fishing-owl, African skimmer and important populations of Endangered bird species such as southern ground-hornbill and wattled crane. Sought after for birders are the ‘papyrus swamp specialists’ such as coppery-tailed coucal, brown firefinch, greater swamp warbler, and chirping cisticola amongst others. Further, the near-endemic slaty egret has approximately 85% of its population restricted to the Delta. In the woodlands of the Linyanti, the likes of Arnot’s chat, Bradfield’s hornbill and fawn-coloured lark can be found. The Central Kalahari offers a bird community with high rate of endemism in southern Africa and thus is not to be missed on any comprehensive Botswana birding safari.