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Northern Tuli Game Reserve

Modified: 2009/01/20 08:56 by guygibbon - Categorized as: Botswana
Motloutse River at Sunset

Motloutse River at Sunset

Tuli Wilderness Trails is situated in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve in eastern Botswana and operates on an unfenced concession of 10000ha within the reserve. Birding at Tuli Wilderness Trails is excellent with over 370 species occurring in the area. Summer brings all the returning migrants while winter offers cooler temperatures for all-day birding. A three-night stay can produce a bird list of well over 100 species.



Species range from Pel’s Fishing Owl, Secretarybird, African Hawk Eagle and Southern Ground-Hornbill to Three-banded Courser and Dusky Lark. There is a resident pair of breeding Verreaux’s (Black) Eagles on the property.



Whilst the dominant cover is Mopane, the tall Apple-leaf and gigantic Mashatu (Nyala) trees are numerous and groves of Acacia occur in some areas. The Sesame bush grows prolifically alongside the rocky sandstone ridges. Molema Dam draws many waders. The floodplains of the Limpopo River provide riverine vegetation attracting a variety of insectivorous and frugivorous birds not found in the drier areas of the concession.



There is a choice of three distinct bush camps offering self-catering or fully catered accommodation and game drives and short walks. Professionally guided walking wilderness trails are the flagship activity at Tuli Wilderness Trails.



Birders at Eagle Rock

Birders at Eagle Rock

Musth Luxury Tented Camp is located along the shady floodplain of the Limpopo River under the many tall riverine trees. Besides the game like elephant and bush pig often seen drinking at the waterhole just below the camp, birders will be pleasantly rewarded with sightings of the many species occurring in this camp’s riverine habitat: Arrow-marked Babbler, Meyer’s Parrot, Meve’s Starling, Southern Black Tit, Natal Spurfowl, African Mourning Dove and African Scops-Owl visit all year, while summer brings visitors like Broad-billed Roller, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Woodland Kingfisher and Levalliant’s Cuckoo. Raptors include Little Sparrowhawk and Gabar Goshawk.

A visit to Pel’s Pool in the riverine forest on the Limpopo River can produce sightings of Pel’s Fishing Owl for the very quiet, very patient birder. Hamerkop, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, White-backed Vulture and Freckled Nightjar roost and breed in the area. Giant Kingfisher, African Spoonbill and African Fish Eagle occur here regularly.

Driving through the mopane veld to the other camps, birders can spot a variety of raptors, including African Hawk-Eagle, Bateleur, Black-chested Snake-Eagle, Verreaux’s Eagle and Lanner Falcon. Kori Bustard, Common Ostrich, White-fronted Bee-eater and Helmeted Guineafowl occur all over the veld. Southern Ground-Hornbill, Secretarybird and Great Sparrow are also found here. Monotonous Lark, Temminck’s Courser, Lesser Grey Shrike and Red-backed Shrike visit the mopane veld in summer. After rains in summer the emerging termites attract flocks of Steppe Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, White Stork, Abdim’s Stork, Commom Swift, Amur Falcon, Black Kite and Southern Carmine Bee-eater.

The unfenced Mohave Bush Camp is located under large trees on the bank of the small seasonal Mohave River, deep in the mopane veld. Birders will enjoy sightings of a mixture of bushveld and small riverine species in and around the camp, including Grey-headed Bush-shrike, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Chestnut-backed Sparrowlark, Cut-throat Finch, Kalahari Scrub-Robin, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Tropical Boubou, Meve’s Starling, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Kurrichane Thrush, White-throated Robin and White-browed Sparrow-Weaver. Great Spotted Cuckoo and Black Cuckoo are regular summer visitors. Guests woken by the sound of calling lions or passing elephants can also hear Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl and the occasional Barn Owl.

A game drive to Molema Dam is often rewarded with Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo, Little Grebe, Golden-breasted Bunting, Red-billed Teal, Black-winged Stilt and Painted Snipe. A guided walk up Eagle Rock gives the birder an opportunity to see Rock Bunting, Rock Kestrel, Rock Martin and Verreaux’s Eagle.

Rutt Rustic Tented Camp is primarily used to accommodate trailists participating on the professionally guided 4-day wilderness trails. This fly-camp is set deep in the wildest of places and moves from season to season, following the movement of game, available water and shade, so birding varies according to its location for the season.



Visit the Tuli Wilderness Trails and Bush Camps Website

Contact Details
Tel: +267 7 131 3449

GPS co-ordinates: S22 16 475 E02 85 95 40

Janet Wilkinson 2009

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