Surfbirds.com - Africa - Namibia

From the ochre dunes of the Namib Desert to the expansive plains of Etosha National Park, from the flamingo-thronged, coastal lagoons of the cold Atlantic Ocean to the land-locked papyrus swamps of the Okavango River, Namibia offers excellent birding in an amazing variety of bird-rich habitats. With sixteen near-endemics and a host of specials that are difficult to see elsewhere, a visit to Namibia is an essential part of the southern African birding experience.

The Namib is not only the world's oldest desert but has some of its tallest sand dunes and most arid expanses. The cold Benguela Current washing Namibia's long Atlantic coastline not only supports one of the world's richest marine environments, but also creates one of its driest deserts. Of the nine Benguela Current endemic seabirds that are essentially restricted to these nutrient-rich waters between Namibia and the Cape, the birder's main target will be the endangered Damara Tern, as the majority of the global population breeds along the desert coast. This marine current also bears northwards from the Orange River the silt-laden water that has formed the Namib Desert's spectacular dune sea, which stretches nearly 400 km north of Luderitz and some 120 km inland. It is here that the only bird entirely endemic to Namibia, the handsome Dune Lark, finds its home.

Near Walvis Bay, the dunes give way to the vast gravel plains of the Skeleton Coast. Although seemingly lifeless, this stony desert supports a host of highly specialised birds such as Gray's Lark, Burchell's Courser and Rüppell's Bustard. The coastal strip rises gradually to an altitude of 1,000 m above sea level at the base of the Namib escarpment, a discontinuous belt of broken mountains and inselbergs that forms the country's backbone. Incorporating such massifs as the Naukluft, Brandberg, Spitzkoppe and Erongo Mountains, this region holds the majority of the country's near-endemic birds, notably Hartlaub's Francolin, Monteiro's Hornbill, Rüppell's Parrot, Rosy-faced Lovebird, Violet Wood-hoopoe, Damara Hornbill (subspecies of Red-billed on ABC checklist although some authorities raise this to full species), White-tailed Shrike, Carp's Tit, Herero Chat , Damara Rockjumper, Bare-cheeked Babbler and Benguela Long-billed Lark

Above the escarpment lies a lightly wooded central plateau, where the world's only accessible site for the highly sought-after Cinderella Waxbill is located. Eastwards, the plateau slopes down towards the Kalahari, which reaches its western limit at the world famous Etosha Pan. (Text courtesy African Bird Club)

Damara Tern

Damara Tern, copyright Paul Donald, from the surfbirds galleries

Fangs and Feathers

Showing the 40 Most Recent Trip Reports Posted

Namibia and The Okavango Delta, Botswana - March 2015, author Birding Ecotours (link created September 29, 2015)
(From the outset, photography was our goal....)

Namibia, Okavango and Victoria Falls birding tour - 6th - 20th August 2011, author Chris Lotz, Birding Ecotours (added September 23, 2011)

Central and Northern Namibia - 19th December 2014 - 7th January 2015, author Oscar Campbell (link created October 5, 2015)
(Sites visited included several around Windhoek (Avis Dam, Dan Viljoen), Walvis Bay (lagoon and salt pans, plus other nearby wetland sites and Rooibank), Spitzkoppe, Erongo mountains, Waterberg, Caprivi Strip (Shamvura, Popa Falls, Mahongo Game Reserve, Ru)

Namibia, Okavango and Victoria Falls birding tour - 12th - 29th September 2011, author Chris Lotz, Birding Ecotours (link created October 4, 2011)
(Kaokoland, Spitzkoppe, Walvisbay, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl)

Namibia, Okavango, Victoria Falls, August - September 2018, author Chris Lotz, Birding Ecotours (link created November 4, 2018)
(A total of 360 bird species were seen)

Namibia - a dry season visit - September 2007, author Mike Powell (added November 24, 2007)
(We concentrated on central Namibia travelling from Windhoek to Etosha onto Walvis Bay and back to Windhoek)

Namibia and Botswana - 14 – 25 March 2017, author Chris Lotz, Birding Ecotours (link created November 23, 2017)

Namibia, Botswana & Zambia May 2009, author Rockjumper Birding Tours (link created March 9, 2011)

Namibia, Botswana & Zambia Jul-Aug 2010, author Rockjumper Birding Tours (link created March 9, 2011)

Namibia, Botswana & Zambia Oct 2010, author Rockjumper Birding Tours (link created March 9, 2011)

Namibia, Okavango and Victoria Falls Birding Safari - 2nd - 19th November 2013, author Chris Lotz, Birding Ecotours (link created March 8, 2014)

Eastern South Africa and Namibia - 18 July - 2 August 2017, author Chris Lotz, Birding Ecotours (link created March 4, 2018)

Lawson's ' Essential Namibia' Birding & Wildlife Safari, November 2013, author Lawson's Birding (link created March 3, 2015)
(Windhoek, Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Erongo, Etosha, Waterberg Plateau. )

Namibia - 2nd - 6th March 2016, author Chris Lotz, Birding Ecotours (link created March 10, 2016)
(Not only was the first ever Yellow-throated Leaflove discovered just inside the southern African listing region this year, but it was actually not just one individual but a pair of them.)

Namibia - October - November 2004, author Steve Bird (added June 6, 2006)
(265 bird species recorded)

Namibia, Okavango & Victoria Falls I Mar 17, author Rockjumper Birding Tours (link created June 13, 2017)
(Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Okavango, Victoria Falls, Burchell's Sandgrouse, Pririt Batis, Shaft-tailed Whydah, Chestnut Weaver, Double-banded Sandgrouse, Herero Chat, Scaly-feathered Weaver, Bare-cheeked Babbler, Double-banded Courser, Northern Black Korh)

Namibia, Okovango and Victoria Falls - November 2015, author Chris Lotz, Birding Ecotours (link created June 10, 2016)
(Exploring the variety of habitats Namibia, Botswana and Zambia have to offer)

Namibia June - July 2008, author Benjamin Schwartz (added July 10, 2008)
(Almost all specialties including Shelley's Sunbird, Souza's Shrike, Herero Chat, Rockrunner, Hartlaub's Francolin)

Namibia, Okavango and Victoria Falls - November 2015, author Chris Lotz, Birding Ecotours (link created January 30, 2016)
(Most of the areas were under severe drought conditions, and so the birding as well as the heat were hard going.)

Namibia and the Okovango Panhandle - October 2009, author Mike Hunter (added January 3, 2010)

Namibia - October - November 2003, author John van der Woude (link created January 25, 2011)
(Ai Ais, Sossusvlei, Walvis Bay, Erongo, Etosha, Rundu, Mahango, Waterberg)

Namibia, Okavango and Victoria Falls - 2nd -19th November 2018, author Chris Lotz, Birding Ecotours (link created January 21, 2020)
(Walvis Bay, Kunene River, Etosha NP, Caprivi Strip - 410 species)

Namibia 5 - 22 March 2002, author The Travelling Naturalist (link created February 3, 2005)

Namibia - Okavango and Victoria Falls - 20th November - 2nd December 2015, author Chris Lotz, Birding Ecotours (link created February 27, 2016)
(Four eager birdwatchers were to join me and embark on one of Africa’s geatest 18 day birding safaris)

Namibia 2009: The Namib Desert, Namibian Escarpment and Etosha - 17th to 29th January 2009, author Ian Merrill (added February 24, 2009)
(Orange River and Hartlaub's Francolins, Burchell's Courser, Ruppell's Parrot, Monotonous, Dune, Dusky, Gray's, Benguela Long-billed and Stark's Larks, Herero Chat, Rockrunner and Bare-cheeked Babbler)

Namibia, Okavango and Victoria Falls - 2nd - 19th November 2016, author Chris Lotz, Birding Ecotours (link created February 21, 2018)

Namibia, Okavango Panhandle and Victoria Falls - November - December 2017, author Chris Lotz, Birding Ecotours (link created February 21, 2018)

Namibia and Botswana - October 5 to 25, 2010, author Paul Jones (added February 2, 2011)
(First Trip to Africa - Aardwolf to Zebra and lots of birds)

Namibia and Botswana - October 18th - November 4th 2008, author James Bray (added December 2, 2008)
(Erongo, Walvis Bay, Etosha, Mahango)

South Africa and Namibia - August and September 2017, author Chris Lotz, Birding Ecotours (link created December 16, 2017)

Namibia 24th October - 7th November 2004, author John Dempsey (added December 13, 2004)
(Hartlaub's Francolin, Damara Tern)

Namibia, October - November 1996, author Surfbirds Admin (added August 28, 2004)

Namibia Safari 2001 - Tour Report, author Surfbirds Admin (added August 28, 2004)

Namibia, August 8-20, 2014, author Jim Moulton (added April 3, 2015)

Namibia - Essential Birding - November 2019, author Lawson's Birding (added April 29, 2020)
(Windhoek, Sossusvlei, Walvis Bay / Swakopmund, Erongo Wilderness, Etosha and Waterberg Plateau)

Namibia and The Victoria Falls - 9th-28th September 2018, author Chris Lotz, Birding Ecotours (link created April 17, 2019)
(Caprivi strip, Okavango Panhandle, Etosha National Park, Zebra Mountains, Namib Escarpment)

South Africa (Cape and Western Cape) and Namibia with brief forays into Botswana and Zambia - 1st Dec -12th January 2011-2012, author Andy Adcock (link created April 16, 2012)
(A budget trip covering almost 13000km over six weeks in a Chevrolet Spark!)

Namibia December 2011, author Rockjumper Birding Tours (link created April 11, 2012)

Namibia, Botswana & Zambia August 2011 , author Rockjumper Birding Tours (link created April 11, 2012)

Namibia, Botswana & Zambia October 2011 , author Rockjumper Birding Tours (link created April 11, 2012)