Chestnut-banded  Plover in water - Nata Sanctuary

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Nata Bird Sanctuary


This 230-sq-km community-run wildlife sanctuary was formed when local people voluntarily relocated 3500 cattle and established a network of tracks throughout the northeastern end of Sowa Pan. Although the sanctuary protects antelope, zebras, jackals, foxes, monkeys and squirrels, the principal draw is the birdlife – more than 165 species have been recorded here. It's at its best in the wet season when the sanctuary becomes a haven for Cape and Hottentot teals, white and pink-backed pelicans and greater and lesser flamingos.

Visitors should pick up a copy of the Comprehensive Bird List & Introductory Guide from reception at the entrance, although supplies often run short.

In the dry season (May to October), it’s possible to drive around the sanctuary in a 2WD with high clearance, though it’s best to enquire about the condition of the tracks before entering. During the rainy season, however, a 4WD is essential.

The entrance to the sanctuary is 15km southeast of Nata.