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Worth a detour
Rating 1.8 (173 votes)

Birdwatching along the Upper Okavango River

Listed under Birdwatching in NW Botswana, Botswana.

  • Photo of Birdwatching along the Upper Okavango River
  • Photo of Birdwatching along the Upper Okavango River
  • Photo of Birdwatching along the Upper Okavango River
  • Photo of Birdwatching along the Upper Okavango River
  • Photo of Birdwatching along the Upper Okavango River
  • Photo of Birdwatching along the Upper Okavango River
Photo of Birdwatching along the Upper Okavango River
Photo by flickr user Sara&Joachim
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For many birders visiting the famed Okavango is a dream realised. For me it was two dreams - as I had wanted to see a Carmine Bee-eater ever since missing out on seeing them in West Africa more than a decade ago.

In 2006 I stayed briefly at Drotsky's Cabins right on the Okavango River and enjoyed a boat trip up and down the Upper Okavango not seeing one Carmine Bee-eater but stopping six feet from a colony of hundreds of these stunning birds. So beautiful it nearly moved me to tears - but I was saved by being with some of my oldest friends who would never have let me forget the overt emotions.

That day on the river produced many birds, among them such sought after 'specials' as Pel's Fishing Owl and Slaty Egret, Black Crake and Semi-collared Kingfisher. There were too many to name here and who wants to read a long list... birders want to add to their own long lists... and anyway one needs to imagine the whole experience. This is one of Africa's great birding areas and a boat trip is a brilliant way of getting up close and personal... with crocs and hippos too if you aren't careful!

At the end of the day one can also watch a spectacular sunset over the tall stands of papyrus, cool beer in hand [I recommend the Namibian ones] and hope to see Giant Kingfishers scooting by, see Coucals among the reed tops and watch enigmatic warblers peep out of the rushes before being deafened by the frog chorus as the sun disappears.

Add it to the ten places you need to see before you die!

Written by  Bo Beolens.

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