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Tucked away on the eastern side of the newly proclaimed Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Mabuasehube is not only an exciting birding destination, but offers the visitor a unique wildlife experience. The birdlife is typical of the dry kalahari woodlands and as with any dry habitat, birding opportunities vary according to rainfall. Game viewing can also be very rewarding with Lion, Cheetah and Leopard and various antelope species seen regularly around many of the pans.



Red-necked Falcon, Orange River Francolin, Monotonous Lark, Eastern Clapper Lark, Southern Pied Babbler, Rufous-eared Warbler, Kalahari Scrub-Robin, Pririt Batis.



Mabuasehube consists primarily of mature kalahari woodlands and open grasslands interspersed with a number of attractive pans.



The Park is well managed and offers very basic camping facilities at designated campsites. Campsites are situated at Khiding, Mabuasehube, Mpayathutlwa, Bosohogolo, Monamodi and Lesholoago Pans. Roads are generally in good condition, but can be sandy in parts.



1. The mature kalahari woodland consisting primarily of acacia erioloba and acacia luderitzii hold a variety of species typical of the dry sandy west including Kalahari Scrub-Robin, Pririt Batis, Southern Pied Babbler, Common Scimitarbill, Marico Flycatcher, Red-billed Spurfowl, Violet-eared Waxbill, Ashy Tit, Brubru, Lesser Grey Shrike, Crimson-breasted Shrike and Fawn-coloured Lark. In the open woodland interspersed with grassy areas listen out for the characteristic call of the Orange River Francolin (Monamodi Pans) as well as species such as Ant-eating Chat, Red-footed Falcon (summer), Red-crested Korhaan, Northern Black Korhaan, Monotonous Lark, Sabota Lark and Rufous-naped Lark. Birds of prey found in the woodland include Gabar Goshawk, Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk, Tawny Eagle and Bateleur.

2. Many of the pans scattered throughout the Park are covered in shorter grassland and low scrub. Species such as Spike-heeled Lark, Eastern Clapper Lark, Grey-backed Sparrowlark, Rufous-eared Warbler, Desert Cisticola, Capped Wheatear, Pallid Harrier and Montagu's Harrier (summer) and Double-banded Courser can be found in the vicinity of the pans. During the midday heat, the man-made water holes at some of the pans attract Lappet-faced Vulture, White-headed Vulture and White-backed Vulture. In good rainy seasons, some of the larger pans gather standing water attracting waterfowl such as Ruff, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Egyptian Goose and Black-winged Stilt. The possibility of finding an exciting vagrant at one of the water holes can not be discarded. Tall trees on the edges of the pans should be checked for Eurasian Hobby, Cape Crow, Red-necked Falcon and Greater Kestrel.



The Park is only accessible by 4X4 vehicle. It can be accessed from the south via Tshabong, the north via Tshane or via an eastern cut line. From South Africa, the best route is through the village of Tshabong, where visitors should take the turnoff north to Tshane. This sand road soon meets a Y-junction, where travelers to Mabuasehube take the right hand fork and travel for 80 km before reaching the Park border. Summer temperatures in the Park can soar well into the forties, while in winter temperatures can plummet to below freezing. Visitors should be totally self-sufficient in fuel, water and food, although water can sometimes be obtained from the Game Scout Camp. Traveling parties should consist of at least two vehicles. Before reaching Mabuasehube, the last places where fuel (petrol and diesel) can be bought is Tshabong and Sekoma. The trip from Gaborone to Mabuasehube takes approximately 7 hours.

Andrew Hester 2001.

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