African Skimmers and their Habitat

In October we celebrate World Habitat Day and World Animal Day. We would like to share a story that relates to these important events. The African skimmer is a magnificent aerial acrobatic flyer that can be seen gliding over the waters of the mighty Chobe River. It is one of the most popular birds to photograph from the CNP Safaris boats because it is such a challenge to capture these flying skills. However, these birds are struggling due to the loss of their habitat.

Despite this challenge, African skimmers can still be found in the Caprivi Strip, northern Botswana and Zimbabwe, and central Mozambique. They form loose colonies of up to 50 pairs and breed in a scrape in the ground on a sandbar. The small sandy islands that form in the river used to be the perfect habitat for them to nest and raise their chicks.

Now the African skimmer population is suspected to be in decline. Their habitat is in danger of degradation caused by dam-building and farming practices. Other causes include the vast amounts of large mammals, like buffalo and elephants, residing in the Chobe National Park, who trample these islands and the skimmer’s nests when crossing the river. Even tourist boats on the river can cause damage if reckless skippers flood nests with their boat’s wake, and erode the sand banks.

By being mindful of our actions, we can help preserve the majestic beauty of these birds and the natural world around us. Let us remember to respect and be considerate to all animals, great and small. Together, we can positively impact the environment and the creatures who call it home.

Shopping Basket
A note to our visitors

This website has updated its privacy policy in compliance with changes to European Union data protection law, for all members globally. We’ve also updated our Privacy Policy to give you more information about your rights and responsibilities with respect to your privacy and personal information. Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our updated privacy policy.

Scroll to Top