With hundreds of species to see, many of them endemic, Namibia is not only one of the best bird watching spots in Africa but is indeed one of the world’s best birding destinations. From huge ostriches all the way down, Namibia offers a diverse and interesting range of birds to see among its varied habitats.
The rainy season (November to April) is peak birding season in Namibia, but you will get much joy out of bird watching in Namibia at any time of year.
Depending on which criteria you follow, these are the species of bird which Namibia is proud to call her own:
The 100% endemic Dune Lark is found on the edges of the Namib dune-sea between the Kuiseb and Koichab Rivers.
If you go by the rule that a 90% occupation rate qualifies a bird as endemic, the list goes up.
Here’s where you’ll find these sought-after species:
- Herero Chat are found along the escarpment, while Rüppell’s Korhaan inhabits the lowland gravel plains in the west
- You’ll see Barlow’s Lark among the succulent scrubs of the southern Namibian lowlands.
- Gray’s Lark roams the low-lying areas between the Orange River in the south all the way to Angola.
- Southern Africa’s most endangered species, the Damara Tern is found along the Atlantic coastline.
- The mopane woodlands of the Highlands are home to Carp’s Tit, Rüppel’s Parrot, Rockrunner, Violet Wood-Hoopoe, Bare-cheeked Babbler, White-tailed Shrike, Hartlaub’s Spurfowl, Monteiro’s and Damara Hornbills.
You’d be missing out if you only focused on these few species though. Even familiar birds take on a new fascination against Namibia’s dramatic backdrops.
You can see Flamingos in Etosha National Park, Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.
No trip to Africa is complete without hearing the call of the Fish Eagle and watching this magnificent bird in action. You can see them at the Cunene or Kavango rivers, at Windhoek’s Hardap Dam, around the Fish River Canyon or in Etosha National Park.
Etosha is an excellent all-round destination for birding with about 400 species resident in the park. Keep a look out for the Bare-cheeked Babblers, Rockrunners, White-tailed Shrikes, lilac-breasted rollers, swallow-tailed bee-eaters, vultures and raptors during a visit to this wildlife haven.
Windhoek has its hideaway places where you can catch up on some birdwatching in between all the other attractions. Pop in for lunch at Arebbusch Travel Lodge or book a few nights’ accommodation. You’ll be surprised at the range of birds that the city limits have to offer.
Nearby, you can tick some species off your list at Daan Viljoen Game Park or Avis Dam. These spots are well-known for sightings of Monteiro’s Hornbill, Carp’s Tit, Shaft-tailed Whydah and Violet-eared Waxbi
Many of Namibia’s National Parks and top lodges offer specialized birding walks and drives with an experienced guide to help you discover elusive species. Ask at the time of booking about any specialized trips for birders, or get in touch with us and we’ll point you in the right direction.
Pack in your favorite bird book or get in touch with the Namibia Bird Club for a bird list. Binoculars are essential as is a good camera with a zoom lens. Sun protection is a must for all outdoor activities and depending on where you travel, you may need to take anti-malarial medication.
Where to go
Those who come to Namibia in search of birds should include the following on their list of places to see:
- Fish River Canyon
- Etosha National Park
- Skeleton Coast
- Sandwich Harbour
- Ais-Ais Richtersveld National Park
For more information about bird watching in Namibia or to book your next trip to Namibia, drop us a message via the Africa Travel Guide contact us page and we will gladly assist you.
Please Note: The details shared herein were correct at the time of publishing. However, with time some of this information may change. We recommend confirming information with suppliers prior to making final travel arrangements. If you do happen to find an issue with any information we’ve shared here, please feel free to contact us so that we can make the relevant changes.