The Amazing Birdlife of Namibia


Namibia is home to 676 of Southern Africa's 887 species and the whole country is littered with endemic and interesting birds. There are many great spots for bird watching in Namibia - here are just three of them to give you a glimpse into birding paradise. 

The Zambezi (formally Caprivi) Region

The Zambezi or Caprivi Strip can be found in the extreme north east of Namibia and this region alone is home to over 425 species of birds. The network of rivers and deltas formed by the confluence of the Kwando, Zambezi and Chobe rivers create an ideal space for avid bird watchers to catch a glimpse of some of the unique birdlife on offer in Namibia.

Here are just some of the species you can find there: 

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The African Pygmy Goose
(image courtesy of Adrian Binns via 10000 Birds)


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The African Marsh Harrier in flight.
(image courtesy of Trevor Hardaker)


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Pel’s Fishing Owl
(image courtesy of the Internet Bird Collection)


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African Wood Owls
(image courtesy of Bird Forum)

For places to stay in the Zambezi / Caprivi Region click here. Or if you'd like to find out more about the region, click here.

 

Etosha National Park

Usually, when people think of Etosha they think of spotting big game, and while that is fair enough (as you will discover by clicking here) there are other attractions at the massive national park. The bird life is fantastic and varied in the park and depending on whether or not it is a dry season you can find different species of birds making their homes in the park.

During the drier times two of the best places to go birding are near the rest camps of Okaukuejo and Halali. Not only do these two camps offer wonderful accommodation and facilities but they also will give you the chance to see some of Namibia’s 13 endemic bird species.

Okaukuejo Camp is renowned for its resident Southern Pied Babblers and Crimson-Breasted Shrikes. And if you are staying at Halali you may catch a glimpse of the Bare-Cheeked Babbler or even a Violet Wood Hoopoe. Be sure to keep an eye out for the Kori Bustard - its quite something to watch the heaviest living animal capable of flight launch into the air.

 

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Southern Pied Babbler
(image courtesy of the Internet Bird Collection)

 

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Crimson-Breasted Shrike - commonly referred to as "The German Flag" by the locals
(image courtesy of Outdoor Photo)

 

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Bare-Cheeked Babbler
(image courtesy of Rock Jumper Birding)


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Violet Wood-hoopoe
(image courtesy of the Flacks)


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Carp's Tit
(image courtesy of Wilkinson’s World)

The park really comes alive for bird enthusiasts after good rains because as the Etosha Pan starts to fill up with water thousands of birds make their way to the newly formed water source. You can expect to see Flamingos, Pelicans and maybe even some rare Blue Cranes following rain in the region.

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Flamingos on the pan.
(image courtesy of Kruger 2 Kalahari)

 

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Pelicans
(image courtesy of Doug Breakwell via Flickr)

 

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Rare Blue Cranes
(image courtesy of Frank Will via Flickr)

For a listing of the various places to stay in Etosha click on this link to read our comprehensive “how-to” guide for a visit to Etosha National Park.

 

The Waterberg

The Waterberg plateau has an amazing array of birdlife and is just stunning in so many different ways. Have a look at our blog post on it and you will get a sense of the beauty that awaits at this location. The area is home to over 200 different species and is home to the only breeding colony of the critically endangered Cape Vulture.

 

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Cape Vulture in flight.

Click here to find out more about REST, a Namibian organisation trying
to help these majestic creatures back from the brink of extinction.

(image courtesy of Avian Leisure)

 

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Bradfield’s Hornbill
(image courtesy of Brian Scott via Flickr)

 

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African grey Hornbill
(image courtesy of Biodiversity Explorer)

If you want to stay overnight at the Waterberg Plateau park then click this link and read all about the different accomodation options available.


Go Namibia, Go Birding!

So there it is! A list of just three top birding spots in Namibia, where you can stay and what you can expect to find. While we haven't come close to describing all of the hundreds of species of birds you can find in Namibia (you can download a Namibia birding checklist for that) we hope its given you a taste of what's in store. One thing is for sure though, if you come to Namibia and want to do some bird watching, you will not leave disappointed.

 

What interesting bird species have you spotted in Namibia? Share them with us!

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More on Birding in Namibia

Download a Namibia birding checklist

 

Get a full list of great places to go bird watching in Namibia 

BIRDING CHECKLIST    MAP17

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