While much of the attention that Africa’s tourism industry gets is for its (deservedly) popular national parks and game reserves, a lot of wildlife viewing is possible away from the big name places. Many countries have private reserves and concessions, run for tourism or hunting, that provide outstanding wildlife watching opportunities. I had the amazing opportunity to visit one last year as the guest of a friend of mine who is a shareholder (not what you know but who!). The reserve, in the eastern corner of Botswana near Zimbabwe and South Africa, isn’t open to the public in general, so I figured I’d share a few images here by way of showing off.. I mean education.

Red-faced Mousebirds are common African specialities

The reserve had several francolins, like this Crested Francolin

Southern White-faced Scops Owl or African Scops Owl? You decide.

Red-crested Korhaans are attractive members of the bustard family

Brown-hooded Kingfishers hunt far from water

Spotted Eagle Owls are one of several owls that can be seen here

Crested Barbets come in close.

As well as birds, the reserve holds endangered species like African Wild Dogs

Baobab trees are perfect for sundowners

Written by Duncan
Duncan Wright is a Wellington-based ornithologist working on the evolution of New Zealand's birds. He's previously poked albatrosses with sticks in Hawaii, provided target practice for gulls in California, chased monkeys up and down hills Uganda, wrestled sharks in the Bahamas and played God with grasshopper genetics in Namibia. He came into studying birds rather later in life, and could quit any time he wants to.