Posted by & filed under James (Okuti Guide), Okuti, Omphile Kaluluka (Specialist Guide).

The African Darter (Anhinga rufa) is an aquatic species of bird found abundantly in the Okavango Delta and other parts of sub-Saharan African. You will usually see the darters perched on top of papyrus stalks lining the waterways or lurching out of the water as it makes a hasty flight away from the approaching motor boat.

AfrDartFlying OkMor 5314

African Darters are also commonly known as Snakebirds - named so for the way their thin, elongated, serpent-like necks are often seen sticking out of the water as the rest of their bodies is submerged, or when mated pairs twist their necks during their bonding displays


Unlike many other aquatic species, the darter does not have an oily substance between its plumage which enables it to dive deeper whilst fishing. This also means that they are not waterproof and their wings are easily waterlogged hence the reason why they are often seen drying themselves in this angel-like position.

AfrDartPairWingsOut OkMor 5316

James, professional guide at Okuti, took this photo of a darter silhouetted against the late afternoon sun on the Xakanaxa lagoon – Arguably one of the best places to have a sun downer in the Moremi Game Reserve


Blog and images by James (Professional guide at Okuti)