The Nata Bird Sanctuary, located 170 kilometres northwest of Francistown and on the eastern tip of the Makgadikgadi Pans, is the perfect place to stop when you are on a Botswana safari travelling to Kasane or Maun. It has been recognized by UNESCO as one of the “largest breeding sites of lesser and greater flamingo in the world”.
History and geography of the Nata Bird Sanctuary
The idea for the bird sanctuary was first raised in 1988 by the Nata Conservation Committee and four years later the sanctuary was established. The funding for this conservation project came from the Kalahari Conservation Society and a few national and international organisations.
The bird sanctuary becomes a wonderful paradise for the water-loving birds especially when the Nata River flows into the terrain, making it a must-see destination on your Botswana holiday. The physical beauty of this area of Botswana is magnificent and almost half of the sanctuary lies in the Sowa Pan. This makes it a particularly important part of the Botswana ecosystem and allows for maximum wildlife concentrated in a relatively small area.
Wildlife to spot on safari at the Bird Sanctuary
Visiting the bird sanctuary while on safari in Botswana, will bring you to the home of more than 160 bird species. These include flamingos, pelicans, ducks, geese, ostriches, spoonbills and eagles, of which the African fish eagle is a standout. Grasslands birds, such as ostrich, kori bustard, secretary bird and black korhaan may also be observed throughout the year.
Even though there is an abundance of birds in the sanctuary there is also a great variety of mammal species to be encountered on your Botswana vacation. Animals like hartebeest, kudu, reedbuck, springbok, steenbok, springhare, eland, gemsbok, zebra, jackal, monkeys and squirrels can be spotted in this wildlife haven.