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The 5800 Ha Botsalano Game Reserve is situated between Zeerust and Mafikeng on the Botswana border. It is run by the North West Parks Board primarily as a breeding place for White Rhino and other rare game, and has a bird list of well over 200 species. The localised Short-clawed Lark occurs commonly.

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Specials

Tawny Eagle, Coqui Francolin, Orange River Francolin, Burchell's Sandgrouse, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater (summer), Short-clawed Lark, Melodious Lark, Desert Barred Warbler, Tinkling Cisticola, Grey-headed Bush-Shrike, Red-billed Oxpecker, Violet-eared Waxbill, Black-faced Waxbill, Green-winged Pytilia, Comb Duck.

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Habitat

Open Kalahari thornveld with Camelthorn trees Acacia tortilis and grassland.

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Facilities

Facilities include a network of roads accessible to most vehicles (high clearance recommended), a tented camp, bush camps and a camping site.

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Birding

The Thutlwa road, running almost through the middle of the reserve traverses a variety of habitats and hosts birds like Crimson-breasted Shrike, Blue Waxbill, Namaqua Sandgrouse and Burchell's Sandgrouse, Orange River Francolin, Greater Kestrel, Kalahari Scrub-Robin and Short-clawed Lark. Raptors are represented by Whitebacked Vulture, Tawny Eagle, Secretarybird, Yellowbilled Kite (summer) and Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk.

Around the dams Hadeda Ibis, Egyptian Goose, Comb Duck, Yellow-billed Duck and Blacksmith Lapwing can be seen.

The open grassveld north and south of the Thutlwa road is good for larks like Eastern Clapper Lark, Melodious Lark, Short-clawed Lark, Rufous-naped Lark, Spikeheeled Lark and Sabota Lark, as well as Tinkling Cisticola, Brown-crowned Tchagra and Black-crowned Tchagra, Green-winged Pytilia, Violet-eared Waxbill and Black-faced Waxbill, and Yellow Canary.

Around the camps and near the dams watch White-throated Robin-Chat, Crested Barbet, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Brubru, Grey-headed Bush-Shrike, and Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler.

During the night Spotted Eagle-Owl, Pearl-spotted Owlet and Rufous-cheeked Nightjar can be heard.

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General

From Zeerust, take the N4 towards the Lobatse border post. After 27km turn left to Mathlhase and continue for 25km to the reserve. From Mafikeng take the N18 to the Ramatlabama border post, turn right just before the border and then left after 7km continue for a further 7km to the reserve.

Contact details
Tel 018 - 3815611
fax 018 - 3818663
e-mail:
North West Tourist Website

The Mafikeng Game Reserve near Mafikeng is also a good destination for birding. It has a network of roads, picnic sites and the Molopo River runs through it. For info contact 018-3815611 or .

The Kameelbult Safaris Game Farm near Stella offers accommodation and birding on the game farm. Contact or Elize le Roux at 083 2843356.

A range of accommodation is also available in Mafikeng.

Japie Claassen 2007



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