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Kgale Hill, a prominent landmark on the southern side of Gaborone offers some excellent birding opportunities. The hill, characterised by its large rocky outcrops is a popular destination for many people in the City wishing to escape for a few hours. The Hill holds species typical of rocky hill slopes as well as species from the bird rich acacia thickets of the surrounding country.

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Specials

Olive-tree Warbler, White-throated Robin-Chat, Garden Warbler, Barred Wren-Warbler, Short-toed Rock-Thrush, Southern Pied Babbler, Mocking Cliff-Chat, Lazy Cisticola, Burnt-necked Eremomela.

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Habitat

The base of the hill holds a mixture of dense acacia thickets and open woodland. The slopes of Kgale Hill consist of open woodland interspersed with densely vegetated gullies and rocky outcrops.

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Facilities

Two well-worn paths lead up the hill from the carpark.

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Birding

1. Time spent amongst the larger Marula and acacia Trees at the base of the hill can be very rewarding. The area holds a wide variety of birds including Kalahari Scrub-Robin, Jameson's Firefinch, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Marico Sunbird, Southern Pied Babbler, Acacia Pied Barbet, Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler, Black-faced Waxbill, and Jacobin Cuckoo. The really dense stands of acacia mellifera and acacia tortillis hold numerous smaller species including Olive-tree Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Barred Wren-Warbler, Willow Warbler and european Marsh Warbler, Burnt-necked Eremomela, Fairy Flycatcher (winter) and occasionally species such as Grey Tit-Flycatcher and Common Whitethroat.

2. The rocky slopes on either side of the hill can produce Lazy Cisticola, White-bellied Sunbird, Short-toed Rock-Thrush, Natal Spurfowl, Neddicky, Arrow-marked Babbler, Red-billed Hornbill and Pearl-spotted Owlet. Wooded gullies on the western side of the mountain hold Cardinal Woodpecker, White-throated Robin-Chat, Black Cuckooshrike, Grey-backed Camaroptera, Southern Black Tit and Chinspot Batis.

3. Areas around the rocky summit produce Striped Pipit, Mocking Cliff-Chat and a number or raptors including Verreauxs' Eagle and Booted Eagle, Lanner Falcon and Rock Kestrel.

4. Near the summit on the thickly wooded southern side of the mountain Grey-headed Bush-Shrike, Garden Warbler and Grey-backed Camaroptera can be found.

5. A visit to Kgale at night can produce Spotted Eagle-Owl and Freckled Nightjar.

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General

Kgale Hill is situated on the southern side of Gaborone. The main road between Lobatse and Gaborone (A1) passes very close to the base of the hill. A carpark situated approximately 2km south of Gaborone is a good place to start a walk. From the parking area, one can take two routes to the top of the mountain. Walking clockwise around the base of the mountain (following the white markers), one is lead up the western side. Walking anti-clockwise from the carpark, one is lead up the slightly steeper southern face. A walk to the top of the hill and down again can take anything up to 4 hours. In summer, the hill is best climbed early in the morning while it is still cool. Animals seen on the mountain include Klipspringer, Kudu, Baboon and Steenbok.

Andrew Hester 2001.



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