In August 2006 we were on the Chobe-Moremi tour with Kiddy and Toff Hill. Of course we went for the scenery and
wildlife in general, but being birdwatchers, we hoped to see some new species.
We were so lucky! It turned out that Toff is not only a very
experienced and excellent safari-guide, but also a birdwatcher since childhood. There are some 500 different kinds of birds in Botswana and he knows them all.
And what's more: he knows where to find them!
We had been in South Africa a couple of times before, so our Newman's Birds of Southern Africa was already filled with notes, but in
the fortnight with Toff and Kiddy we could add some 80 new species to our list.
Birds need water and there is a lot of water in Botswana, especially in the Okavango-delta and at the Chobe and Zambezi rivers.
In the Okavango-delta you glide with your mokoro through the shallow water and you see the magnificent African Fisheagle sitting in a tree,
sitting there for hours and watching the scenery. Above you in the air is the Bateleur, with his red face and legs.
In the water and on the banks you see lots of Spurwinged and Egyptian Geese, African Jacanas, and a variety of storks and plovers.
Driving through the savanna you meet the Secretarybird and the Kori Bustard.
Everywhere around is Botswana's national bird, the Lilacbreasted Roller. Sitting on a branch it is
beautifull, but flying in the sunlight it is breathtaking.
The Chobe river in the Northwest of Botswana is the border with Namibia. It has wetlands on both sides.
At sunset big herds of elephant and buffalo come to the waterside to drink. You find storks, egrets, ibisses, herons, spoonbills and lots
of other birds on the shores and in the water.
Botswana is a fantastic birding experience.
Nelly Verlaan and Auke Oosten, Peize, Holland