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Botswana Sights

Lake Ngami

  • Body Of Water/Waterfall

Updated 12/03/2014

Fodor's Review

When flooded (December–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.

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Sight Information

Address:

97 km (60 miles) from Maun via Lake Ngami Rd., Maun, Botswana

Updated 12/03/2014

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Aug 9, 2014

LAKE CRUISING AND BIRD VIEWING

Lake Ngami is nestled between 5 small fairly remote villages on the south-western side of the Okavango Delta, and forms the western edge of Thamalakane Fault. It is about 100kilo metres from Maun, and is easily accessible by modern tarred road, which runs close to the shore line quite right round (Toteng through Sehitwa to Bodibeng). Though very small relative to many African lakes, it stands out head and shoulders above most in terms of sustaining

thousands of bird species (the highest concentration in the Okavango Delta). Lake Ngami is currently at the height of its flood period,presenting an enigmatic sea like panoramic view,and has had maintain this level(June to October)since 2010. The Lake reached the highest level in 2012 (approx 8 miles wide by 20 miles long) after it was completely dry in the 1990s. Since 2007 Lake Ngami flow levels have been rising steadily till part of its shoreline almost touched part of the tarred road at Legotlhwane village and threatened Sehitwa Primary and the Police Station in August 2012. Today in August 2014, we see Lake Ngami still maintaining a consistently healthy flood leve 7 years since 2007. With the rest of the Delta now being a World Heritage Site, as well as efforts to declare the lake itself a Bird Santuary and a Community Trust, there is a promising indicator that the lake is here to stay. Tish Moruimang

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By rozi1

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Jan 29, 2014

Disappointing

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.

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