Birding the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

by The Konkoit Team

Located in Botswana and South Africa’s dry lands is the stunning Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, a favorite spot for birdwatchers eager to see the many birds living in this remote desert area.

Established in 2000 through a pioneering collaboration between the two countries, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park encompasses over 38 000 square kilometers of pristine savanna, dunes and dry riverbeds. Despite the arid climate, this vast expanse of protected land provides sanctuary to a remarkable variety of bird species, attracting birding enthusiasts from around the globe.

Around 300 bird species have been documented within the park.

One of the must-see birdwatching targets in the park is the Sociable Weaver, a highly social bird known for its intricate communal nests. These remarkable structures, resembling apartment complexes for birds, can be seen clinging to acacia trees throughout the park.

Further highlights are the impressive raptors. Majestic birds of prey such as the massive Martial Eagle and the distinctive Bateleur soar high above the savanna, scanning the landscape for prey.  Smaller raptors are equally exciting, including the sometimes tricky to find Red-necked Falcon, pairs of Lanner Falcon hunting around waterholes and the diminutive Pygmy Falcon, often seen close to the huge Sociable Weaver nests.

The park’s open plains host many ground-dwelling species, including the Secretarybird, the iconic Kori Bustard, the world’s heaviest flying bird, and the world’s heaviest non-flying bird, the Common Ostrich.In addition to its resident bird species, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park serves as an important stopover point for migratory birds, with seasonal fluctuations in bird populations adding to the park’s dynamic biodiversity. 

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