Botswana Sights


Lake Ngami

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Lake Ngami Review

When flooded (Dec.–March), Lake Ngami is one of the greatest bird-viewing areas in sub-Saharan Africa. Thousands of flamingos, huge flocks of pelicans, herons, storks, ducks and geese, and many other migrants flock here to drink and feed. Traditional Herero and Yei villages cluster around the lake; book a tour with a reputable operator. There are no accommodations around the lake, so rent a car or hire a local tour operator, take a picnic, and make it a day trip. If you plan to make the trip, first check in Maun for water levels and numbers of birds.

Updated: 10-08-2012

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    As keen amateur birders, we were excited to visit this much written about and raved about attraction which is said to be a "top birding spot in southern Africa" as per Birdlife Botswana and "When flooded (Dec.–March), Lake Ngami is one of the greatest bird-viewing areas in sub-Saharan Africa" according to Fodor's, as well as many sources both printed & Internet based which I had researched.

    The lake is currently flooded so should be in the "prolific" stage, sadly although we saw some birdlife, it was not at all anywhere near as much as what we had expected.

    The reality is that the lake is surrounded by thousands of what we in South Africa refer to as "squatters", all of whom live in makeshift tented communities in every conceivable spot & quite honestly this made us feel quite unsafe whilst trying to get to the shoreline or surrounds. The cattle which I believe number up to 80 000, graze freely & the shores are literally lined with cattle carcases which are left to rot in the blazing sun.

    We were later told that the Chinese have now "employed" many of these people to fish on their behalf and that the sustainability is dropping drastically & hence this adversely affects the bird life. The government has apparently imposed a moratorium on fishing for 3 months of the year from 1st January, which is when the fish are spawning, but from what we could see this is having little effect as fishing appeared to be carrying on as normal with every makeshift camp drying out hundreds of fish regardless.

    Very sad indeed for what is supposedly a major birding attraction.

    by rozi1, 1/29/14

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