a paradise for birding enthusiasts. With habitats ranging from the dunes of the
Namib, coastal wetlands and vast areas of savannah to the floodplains and
waterways of Kavango and Caprivi, Namibia’s birding checklist boasts 676 of
Southern Africa's 887 species.
lush Caprivi Strip, you’ll find exotic lilac-breast rollers, pygmy geese and
African Jacanas. The pans of the Etosha National Park are a seasonal breeding
ground for flamingos and home to 35 different species of raptors, including the
lappet faced and hooded vultures.
desert regions, you’ll see huge nests in trees and on top of telephone poles –
these are the communal homes of the sociable weavers. Some of these homes have been recorded as
being in continual use for up to 100 years.
the Walvis Bay wetlands and Sandwich Harbor lagoons are RAMSAR sites, wetlands
of international importance, that provide dry season refuge for many species,
including much of Southern Africa’s population of flamingos and the rare chestnut
banded plover. Namibia’s coastline also
provides vital breeding grounds for the rare Damara tern.
Below is a
list of popular birding destinations within Namibia.
is a five-minute drive from Windhoek City centre en route to Hosea Kutako
International Airport. The area surrounding the dam offers visitors a range of
habitats to explore, including sweet-thorn savannah and open grassveld, as well
as the open water, shoreline and marshy areas created by the dam itself. Windhoek residents and their dogs frequently visit
Avis Dam to take long walks around the waters’ edge and the neighbouring
is also a paradise for bird watchers.
The sounds of the Kalahari scrub-robin, and the short-toed rock thrush often
welcome visitors entering from the parking area. Just across the dam in the
mountainous area, visitors may spot Monteiro’s hornbill, white-tailed shrike
and a grey louries. During the summer, the European bee-eater and
wallow-tailed bee-eaters migrate to the area.
is home to the glorious baobab tree that supports a wide variety of bird life. Visitors
can watch crimson-breasted shrikes, acacia pied barbets, red-billed buffalo-weavers
and fork-tailed drongos fly past from under the tree’s shade. The best time to
visit the Bushmanland is after a good rainy season. When the pan next to
Holboom is full, you can find whiskered terns, white-backed ducks, comb ducks, fulvous
ducks and Southern pochards. Marula trees attract fruit birds such as the
Meyer’s parrot. A visit to the Nyae Nyae Pan gives visitors the chance to see wattled
cranes as well as greater and lesser flamingos.
National Park is one of the best birding spots in Namibia. Birders who have
been coming to the area for over 30 years continue to see new species on each
visit. The Nambwa campsite is a popular area for birders to spot arrow-marked
and Hartlaub’s babblers, swamp boubous and hurricane trushes. African fish
eagle and African harrier hawks regularly patrol the skies over the along the
Kwando River. Spotting rare species such as the dwarf bittern can be a real
treat for the lucky visitor.
Kwando, Zambezi and Chobe rivers of the Caprivi region offer birders a once in
a lifetime opportunity to spot up to 425 species of birds. African fish eagle, long-crested eagle,
African marsh harrier and the western-banded snake eagle rule the skies over
this region. At night visitors may spot Pel’s fishing owl, African wood owls,
African barred owlets and black-crowned and white-backed night herons. African pygmy
geese can be seen moving between the water lilies. In the channels visitors can
find pied, malachite and half-collared kingfishers. Just watch out for crocodiles and hippos!
Viljoen is a popular birding spot just 30 km outside of Windhoek, and can be enjoyed
as a day trip or overnight experience. Day visitors will want to concentrate on
the areas surrounding the dam where they can find the black and white mountain wheatear
as well as golden-tailed, cardinal and bearded woodpeckers. Just behind the dam
offers a prime area for viewing “rockers” such as the speckled pigeon, rock martins
and pale-winged starlings. The endemic Monteiro’s hornbill is the star of Daan
Viljoen Game Park, a must see for avid birders.
National Park is one of Africa's greatest wildlife parks and home to
approximately 380 bird species. Of Namibia’s 13 endemic species, 8 can be
spotted in Etosha. The primary feature is the 6,000 square kilometer Etosha
Pan, covering almost one quarter of the park. After the rainy season when the
pan is full, it is spectacular and abounds with birds including flamingos,
pelicans and rare blue cranes. The Halali Camp is the best place in Etosha for
Namibian specials such as the bare-cheeked babbler, violet wood-hoopoe and
Carp's tit. The open flats of Springfontein are good for spotting both double-banded
courser and Temminck's courser while the Okaukuejo Camp holds several species
more typical of drier habitats such as the southern pied babbler and the crimson-breasted
Island lies at the eastern extremity of the Caprivi Strip and is bounded by the
converging Zambezi and Chobe Rivers and a natural channel known as the Kasai. It is also one of the best birding spots in
the world. A boat trip down the Chobe River is a memorable experience. Along
the shore you can see white-crowned lapwing and long-toed lapwing and in the
floodplains a variety of herons and egrets, including rufous-bellied heron and slaty
egret. A walk along the floodplain may provide views of long-toed lapwings, yellow-billed
storks and black-winged and collared pratincoles. A highlight of any visit to
Impalila Island is spotting a Pel’s fishing owl along the walking trail on the
is a charming town on the southern coast of Namibia known for its windy
conditions and the magnificent outings it affords avid birders. Along the
peninsula south of Lüderitz you will find greater flamingo and African black oystercatcher.
Lüderitz is the only easily accessible area on the Namibian coast where African
penguins are commonly found. Boat
cruises past Halifax and Shark Islands are a must for visitors and especially
birders, as they offer sightings of penguin, swift and Caspian terns, as well
as albatross and petrel.
Game Park is home to a range of habitats, from open water, floodplains and
swamps to dry, dense and broad-leveled woodland. This mixture of habitats means
that the park attracts over 410 different species of birds in an area less than
25,000 hectares. The woodland area is home to Swainson’s and red-billed spurfowls
and Meve’s Starling. Along the floodplains visitors will encounter the
endangered wattled crane and slaty egret. White-backed night heron are also
commonly seen in the area to the south of Kwetche picnic site. Bee-eaters
including the blue-cheeked, swallow-tailed and little Bee-eaters are a
Bay wetlands and nearby Sandwich Harbour, where fresh and salty water collide, are
two of Namibia’s Ramsar sites. Regarded
as two of the most important coastal wetland in southern Africa, not only for
the large numbers of resident species found here, but also for the vast numbers
of both intra-African and Palaearctic migrants found at these sites. The best
time to visit Walvis Bay is from October to April, when the migrant birds have
moved in from the Northern Hemisphere. Walvis Bay is renowned for the large
numbers of lesser and greater flamingos. The area is also home to rare species
such as the Damara tern, chestnut-banded plover, black tern, red-necked phalarope
and black-tailed godwit.
Waterberg Plateau lies east of Otjiwarongo and towers over the surrounding
plains. Over 200 different bird species have been recorded here including
spectacular black eagles and Namibia's only breeding colony of Cape vultures.
The morning wakeup calls from the Bradfield’s hornbill and African grey hornbill,
along with the spectacular scenery, make Waterberg Plateau a special place to
Click here to download a birding checklist of