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Okavango's 'Big 5' Birds

If you are visiting Botswana for the first time you will have heard about all the big game and wonderful landscapes, but what about the birds! Here are the 'Big 5' birds that you should look out for in the Okavango, among the many hundreds of species!


Africa's second-largest owl, russet coloured with black spotted wings - there are only around 100 pairs of that live in and around the Okavango Delta, so it is a rare gem! They like to perch high up on branches over lagoons and are most vocal at dawn.


Around 6 feet tall with a white neck and breast and a smooth grey back and wings this is unmistakeable and often seen in pairs. The Okavango Delta is home to over 1000 individuals so keep a look out on open floodplains and along the edge of shallow lagoons.


Virtually endemic to the Okavango these is a special find! It has grey feathers and yellow legs and mostly seen in shallow lagoons with short grass and feeds on small fish, frogs and invertebrates.


Another beautiful bird and unmistakeable with pink throat and crimson wings and trunk. It is gregarious and lives in flocks, sometimes large, and emerges from their nest after dawn to hunt on the wing.


The world's smallest duck has a white face, metallic green back and reddish belly. Most often seen in open water and lagoons from a boat or mokoro excursion.

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