The Crocodile Safari (Botswana)

10,000 Birds

Before it joins waters with the Matabele’s iliMphopho, the river of rapid rising and falling, known to the rest of the world as the ‘great, grey, green, greasy Limpopo’ of Rudyard Kipling’s writings, the Ngotwane River marks the boundary line between Botswana and South Africa.

Birding Botswana

10,000 Birds

We are currently filming in Botswana. have basically focused our filming efforts on three regions of northern Botswana: The Okavango Delta, The Chobe and the Makgadigadi Pans. Okavango sunset Almost 40% of all land in Botswana is under conservation either as wilderness areas, game reserves or national parks. Formed by a series of geological faults in the flat land of northern Botswana, the green fingers of the Okavango make up the largest inland delta in the world.

Birding Botswana’s Borders

10,000 Birds

I bring this up because birding the Chobe River in northern Botswana gave me the interesting opportunity to bird a country I technically wasn’t in. The floodplain of the Chobe is the only place in Botswana where the aquatic Puku is found, you may need the help of the guide to tell it from the other, more common water antelope, the Red Lechwe. Trips Botswana Caprivi Strip Chobe NP Chobe River cruise

Botswana’s Private Reserves

10,000 Birds

The reserve, in the eastern corner of Botswana near Zimbabwe and South Africa, isn’t open to the public in general, so I figured I’d share a few images here by way of showing off. Trips Botswana Private landWhile much of the attention that Africa’s tourism industry gets is for its (deservedly) popular national parks and game reserves, a lot of wildlife viewing is possible away from the big name places.

Birdwatching the Okavango Delta

10,000 Birds

In 2001 I was offered the chance to joint-lead safaris with my good friend Brian Gibson, owner of Capture Africa Safaris , a long established and well-respected Botswana based safari company. We look forwards to seeing you in beautiful Botswana. Destinations Birding Tourism Botswana

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa, 5th edition

10,000 Birds

And so, back to political entities, this field guide covers Namibia , Botswana , Zimbabwe , the southern half of Mozambique (south of the Zambezi River), South Africa , Lesotho and Eswatini ( Swaziland ).

2020 87

Everyone loves owls: African edition

10,000 Birds

So imagine my delight to seeing a pair of African Scops-owls on the side of the road on a recent trip to Botswana. Birds Botswana owlsWho doesn’t love a good owl? There are few families of birds where despite a cosmopolitan distribution I’m always so pleased to see any species of the family. owls aren’t rare, but they are seldom easy.

2016 72

Striding Snake-killers

10,000 Birds

Secretarybirds seem more crane than raptor as their four-foot frames stride across the open plains of places like the Makgadikgadi Pans of Botswana. A Sectretarybird stomps on a snake in Botswana Adrian Binns A Secretarybird employing its flapping hunting technique Adrian Binns On a recent filming trip to the Makgadikgadi Pans of Botswana we followed two Secretarybirds for several hours.

2012 79

Pel’s Fishing Owls, Phantoms of the Okavango

10,000 Birds

The Okavango Delta of Botswana, however, provides one of the very best opportunities to catch a glimpse. The elusive Pel’s Fishing Owl Although I had seen Pel’s Fishing Owls a couple of times since, I was a touch nervous when asked by the Botswana Tourism Organization to film one for our Birding Adventures TV Botswana series. Botswana truly is one of the most incredible wilderness destinations on the planet and it holds many avian treasures.

Owls 83

Wattled Cranes

10,000 Birds

But there is one place in Africa where Wattled Cranes still gather in fair numbers – the Okavango Delta of Botswana. A pair of Wattled Cranes that have dispersed onto the grasslands of the Makgadikgadi Pans of Botswana Besides the obvious reason for their scarcity (the disappearance of wetlands), there are other important factors that have contributed to the decline of Wattled Cranes. Birds Africa Botswana cranes Worldwide Birding Adventures

2012 63

African Pygmy Geese – Diminutive Ducks

10,000 Birds

For this reason, places like the Okavango Delta in Botswana and the pan systems of northern-eastern South Africa are good places to find these delightful ducks. Typical African Pygmy Goose habitat – a waterway in Botswana’s Okavango Delta On our filming trip to Botswana we found that one of the most productive areas for these birds was the Chobe River floodplain and we came across several parties of African Pygmy Geese.

Geese 69

World Wildlife Fund Removes King Juan Carlos for Elephant Hunting

Critter News

King Juan Carlos may be the King of Spain, but he is no longer the honorary president of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Spain due to his hunting and killing of elephants in Botswana, Treehugger reports. Good for them! What a hypocrite! It's not like Spain has enough problems now, it has to have an idiot king. From EcoRazzi.

King Juan Carlos, Honorary Head of World Wildlife Fund Spain, Caught in Elephant Hunt

Critter News

King Juan Carlos of Spain, Honorary President of WWF Spain, is recovering in hospital after breaking his hip in Botswana where he was on an elephant hunt. From the Wildlife Extra News. April 2012. Apparently it isn't the first time the King has been shooting big game in Africa, or elsewhere (Apparently he killed a bear in Russia a few years ago too). Whilst not illegal, it shows a complete disregard for his 'subjects' and total contempt for his role as 'Honorary President of WWF Spain'.

Spain 135

Saturday Night Wild!

4 The Love Of Animals

The fun starts tonight with a show called “Swamp of the Baboons&# , which takes a look at the complex social network of baboons in Botswana. Among the forested islands and wildlife-rich floodplains of Botswana lies the highest concentration of baboons in Africa. The month of September is about to get wild each Saturday on the National Geographic channel!

2009 122

Duncan’s 2015 List

10,000 Birds

White-faced Whistling Duck ( Dendrocygna viduata ); Kasane, Botswana, 1 January. Knob-billed Duck, or Comb Duck ( Sarkidiornis melanotos ); Chobe NP, Botswana, 2 January. Egyptian Goose ( Alopochen aegyptiaca ); Chobe NP, Botswana, 1 January. Spur-winged Goose ( Plectropterus gambensis ); Chobe NP, Botswana, 1 January. Helmeted Guineafowl ( Numida meleagris ); Chobe NP, Botswana, 1 January. Marabou Stork ( Leptoptilos crumeniferus ); Kasane, Botswana, 4 January.

2015 70

The Last Lions

4 The Love Of Animals

First up, you can enter to win a trip to Botswana for a 12 day private safari! A new National Geographic movie, The Last Lions, opened this past weekend in Washington, DC. The movie is about saving lions, and they are doing some really fun promotions to help spread the movie around the country. Have an iPhone or iPad? Download the free (and very fun) photo app, The Last Lions. If you have ever wondered what you might look like as a lion, now is your chance to find out!

Lions 116

Fallout Continues Over Juan Carlos' Elephant Hunting Trip

Critter News

Adding Insult To Injury Spaniards can't decide which would be worse — whether their king might have spent public money on his jaunt to Botswana last week, or whether it was paid for by an Arab businessman courting favor, as some reports say. What an idiot. Read the full story on this NPR page.

Big Cat Week!

4 The Love Of Animals

Big Cat Odyssey chronicles their meticulous work over three decades of filming, photographing and documenting the behavior of big cat species in Botswana. Big Cat Week starts tonight on Nat Geo WILD! Are you ready? The seven-night television event features visually stunning and powerfully resonant stories of nature’s fiercest felines! Tonight’s premiere episode, Big Cat Odyssey , follows lions and leopards through Africa’s harshest climatic extremes.

2010 157

China Gets to Buy Elephant Ivory

Critter News

It will allow China to bid for more than 100 tonnes of ivory stockpiled in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe through culling and natural deaths. I don't know how to call this one.will it help or hurt the elephant population in the long run? Either way, I hate these incredibly intelligent animals being "harvested" as "product." The UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) meeting in Geneva voted in favour of China becoming a licensed importer.

2008 100

Wrapping Up Birding Tourism February

10,000 Birds

Botswana. We here at 10,000 Birds dedicated the month of February to highlighting a variety of birding tourism companies, destinations, and guides. We did this to help our favorite industry come back, to some small degree, from the ravages of COVID.

Collins Birds of the World by Norman Arlott

10,000 Birds

When I moved to Botswana, to learn my birds I got myself the thickest local field guide. Collins Birds of the World is “ a must for the travelling birder ,” as the BBC Wildlife Magazine reviewer has put it. And I cannot agree more.

“The Birder’s Guide to Africa” by Michael Mills

10,000 Birds

Since I used to live in and know Botswana, let’s see what the guide says on that country in one and a half pages. Let’s presume I am travelling to Botswana. Checking the accounts of other Botswana targets such as the near-endemic Slaty Egret and the Short-clawed Lark , I get the idea which areas to visit and on which sites to focus.

2017 67

I Remember Elephants

10,000 Birds

My adopted homeland of Botswana’s delegate said, “Poaching is so intense that… although Botswana has previously supported the limited, legal ivory sales from countries that manage their elephant herds sustainably, we now recognise that we can no longer support these sales… [we] now support a total, unambiguous and permanent international ban on the ivory trade.”

15 expat-friendly countries for a birder to move to

10,000 Birds

I used to live in Botswana, where there are about 450 bird species in an area a few dozen miles from the capital; then somewhat naively moved back to Serbia with mere 250 species around the capital. Birding by canoe in Botswana brings 60 birds in two hours (I am not even talking of the Okavango, but the southeast of the country), while two hour paddling in Serbia brings half of that number. Botswana (529 / 577). What are the best countries for a passionate birder to move to?

2015 81

Come to India With Babita Wildlife Tours!

10,000 Birds

You may have read my recent piece on Birding the Okavango Delta in Botswana here on 10,000 Birds. If you did you may have gathered that I have a love affair with that wonderful place. However, I have another ongoing love affair, with India.

India 81

Swallows. Swallowed

10,000 Birds

You probably have to go to a resturant in Botswana or South Africa to find Tigerfish on the menu. So, when they set out to study of the migration and habitat use of these animals in a South African lake in the Mapungubwe National Park, near the border with Botswana and Zimbabwe, they were not necessarily looking for fish flying out of the water. In fact, Tigerfishing is sometimes done with a dry fly, in Botswana.

2014 79

Birding the Kruger Park (5): Pafuri area part 1

10,000 Birds

One study found that birds living in Botswana had elevated levels of lead in their bloodstreams during hunting season, presumably coming from lead bullets used on animals killed by hunters.

Yellow-billed Kites in South Africa

10,000 Birds

I was told by some researchers that in Botswana trackers watch for this species when looking for Painted Wolves (or African Wild Dogs) as they follow packs to snatch up prey and scraps. Last weekend I finally caved and bought a new laptop to replace the one that swan-dived off my bed last November.

“Peacocks and Picathartes: Reflections on Africa’s Birdlife”

10,000 Birds

I’ll finish with a recent communication: a friend of mine told me that she booked a bird tour of the Okavango Delta in Botswana (the Pantanal of Africa), and asked if I think she should get a copy of Peacocks and Picathartes? When was the last time you chose a book by its covers?

Where Are You Birding This Second Weekend of June 2012?

10,000 Birds

Azure skies over the Okavango Delta of Botswana (Ever seen a Pel’s Fishing Owl ? One aspect of summer I absolutely love is the break from the routine. Obviously, that means a lot of things in a lot of contexts, but here, of course, I’m talking about birding. North of the equator, schools will be letting out for the summer and families will be packing up for adventure. Exotic locales make for exotic birding and even the most mundane territory can astound the first time visitor.

2012 57

Where Are You Birding This Second Weekend of March 2012?

10,000 Birds

Boy, Botswana is beautiful! To twitch or not to twitch… that is the question facing many listers in the northeastern United States this weekend. The directionally-challenged Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch that Corey documented so lovingly continues to abide where rosy-finches never do. As long as it persists, this Western species will prompt every birder within 400 miles to consider, however briefly, taking a run to see it. Have you thought about chasing this rarity?

2012 58

Definitively the Egyptians!

10,000 Birds

At the time, I was an active volunteer in an organisation soon to become the BirdLife Botswana and have noticed that Brown, Forbes and Symes quoted only two out of five Botswana observations accepted by the Rarities Committee, so I wrote to the Vulture News editor, suggesting that I write a short note on all five observations. Scientific papers are simply boring. That is why they have sections Abstract and Summary, to allow you to read the digested versions and skip the rest.

2013 80

Where America dreams of/goes birding?

10,000 Birds

Ecuador or Botswana, respectively). I had no intention of making a questionnaire or analysing the results. I was just curious what the US birders dream about, so I posted a question in the ABA’s FB group: a) what are the most popular foreign destinations and b) where would you go with unlimited funds? The number of answers (89) and respondents (about 71, if I counted them correctly) surprised me, as well as some answers. Or the lack of some expected answers.

2019 70

Exploring the Uncharted Bird World

10,000 Birds

401-600 sp: Honduras, Guatemala, Guyana, Suriname and French Guyana, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay; the Sahel countries (Africa), Namibia and Botswana; Central Asian countries and Cambodia. Summer is normally the vacation season, for ordinary tourists at least. Birders follow different patterns of bird migration and their local activities and travel accordingly. But – where? I discovered this cover-photo map somewhere at the BirdLife International’s website.

2018 76

Landfill by Tim Dee: Review

10,000 Birds

At the time I was the Secretary of the Botswana Bird Club, and Claire was one of recipients of the club’s ornithological journal The Babbler. I have visited my local landfill for the last seven years, usually several times per winter, only to recently stumble upon a book called the Landfill! While I have written several blogs on the topic (e.g., here and here ), Tim Dee devoted an entire book to it and I just had to read it. “‘I haven’t met people who say, I quite like gulls.

2019 73

Madikwe; Paradise Restored

10,000 Birds

My books weren’t helping much so I had resorted to looking for large green areas on Google Maps on the border of South Africa and Botswana, and I happened on Madikwe. Great wildlife preserves, reserves and parks exist for a number of reasons.

2016 62

Disneynature Earth Q&A

4 The Love Of Animals

Linfield: Probably my favorite location was the Okavango Delta in Botswana for two reasons really. Disneynature’s first film, Earth , which comes out on Earth Day (April 22,2009), follows three animal families across the globe. It’s a beautiful film by the same directors that brought us the Planet Earth series. I was lucky enough to get a chance to speak to the directors and ask a few questions. Here they are! Me: I’m from

2009 100

What is a Palm-thrush?

10,000 Birds

These Collared Palm-thrushes were photographed in the Cresta Mowana Lodge in Kasane, pretty much the only place you’ll see the species in Botswana (according to one of the guidebooks I read). A post I wrote a few weeks ago where I made some disparaging remarks about America’s pseudowarblers (and poetry) generated a certain amount of negative feedback, and clearly some apologies are in order. Mum, Dad, I’m sorry I described my childhood as feral.

2015 65

How to Bird on Crutches

10,000 Birds

In both India and Botswana, I was at the very edge of the tropics (under the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, respectively), but in dry semi-desert zones, never deep in the true, humid tropics. Clearly, it is easier said than done. And after three decades of walking on crutches, I still do not know how to answer the title question.

2019 72

A morning in a Kalahari Leopard’s life

10,000 Birds

This 15,000 sq mi Kalahari desert reserve straddles the South African and Botswana border regions and was created when two national parks were merged – these being South Africa’s Kalahari Gemsbok National Park and Botswana’s Gemsbok National Park. Leeudril is a waterhole situated along the dry Nossob river north of Twee Rivieren in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.


10,000 Birds

It’s still dark at 5 am when the alarm on my mobile phone wakes me up in a spacious guest house room in Chikhaldara (Maharashtra, central India)… morning after morning after morning… I am getting tired, but the reason behind it was one rare bird – so rare that I have traveled 6000 kilometers to search tropical dry deciduous forests of the Satpura range just to look for the endemic and critically endangered Forest Owlet ( Heteroglaux blewitti ).

2019 69

What makes a good bird guide?

10,000 Birds

And, a dozen years later, I still remember his name: Steven Makala , working for the Limpopo River Lodge in the Tuli Block province of Botswana. Joining some travelling birders FB group, I’ve read a long list of dos and don’ts. One of many don’ts was: post no adverts. This made me think… I don’t think I’ve ever posted adverts – only recommendations. E.g., whenever I travel and use the services of local guides, if I was happy with them, I do recommend them.

2014 80

Shorebirds in Action: An introduction to waders and their behaviour, by Richard Chandler

10,000 Birds

18 years ago I moved to Botswana where that gloriously bright sunshine makes observing them easier, while shorebirds themselves ease things further by mostly sporting their wintering plumage. Hi, my name is Dragan and I do not know my shorebirds. If I were to give a speech at the shorebirds conference, those would have been my opening words. Anything else would be a lie. Not that I haven’t had an opportunity to learn them.

2017 54