Bird Watching in Windhoek

Windhoek is an excellent place for an introduction to the history and culture of Namibia, and most likely the first place you’ll set foot on in the country. If you have a few days to spare before travelling onward to a wilderness destination like Etosha National Park, you can get your safari started with some awesome bird watching in Windhoek.
Namibia is one of the best places for bird watching in Africa, with around 300 species recorded in and around Windhoek alone. Here’s where you can start enjoying the show.
Arebbusch Travel Lodge
If you want to start experiencing Namibian nature right from the word go, the picturesque Arebbusch Travel lodge on the outskirts of the city is a great place to spend a few nights.
The onsite restaurant and pizzeria, overlooking lush gardens, water features and natural bush offers excellent opportunities for spotting some of the country’s best-known birds.  
You can expect to see southern masked weavers hard at work, glossy starlings on the hunt for crumbs,  Marico sunbirds visiting the blooms and many other attractive species while you enjoy your meal.
Daan Viljoen Game Park

The Daan Viljoen Game Park is located about 24km from the city center on a hill in the Khomas Hochland.

The bird list at Daan Viljoen Game Park is impressive. Keep your eyes peeled, and your binoculars focused, and you could see some of the following sought-after species:

  • Ashy Tit
  • Common Scimitar-Bill
  • Great Rufous Sparrow
  • Monteiro’s Hornbill
  • Red-Billed Francolin
  • Red-Crested Bustard
  • Red-Billed Buffalo-Weaver
  • Red-Headed Finch
  • Rufous-Crowned Roller
  • Sabota Lark
  • Short-Toed Rock-Thrush

A day spent among the acacia scrub and grassland of this reserve can also reveal sightings of blue wildebeest, red hartebeest, giraffe and oryx. You might even be lucky enough to spot a rare Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra.

The Sewage Works

While it might seem like an unsavory spot to spend some time in nature, Windhoek’s birds think the sewage works are great. It’s one of the best birding spots around, located close to the Daan Viljoen Nature Reserve and Goreangab reservoir on the east side of town.

Most of the ponds are easily accessible from the golf course side of the property. Arrive early, and you could easily tick 100 birds off your list during the course of the morning. These include:

  • African Crake
  • African Skimmer
  • African Water Rail
  • Blue-Cheeked Bee-Eaters
  • Brown Firefinch
  • Carmine Bee-Eaters
  • Chirping Cisticola
  • Collared Pratincole
  • Common Moorhen
  • Coppery-Tailed Coucal
  • Dwarf Bittern
  • European Bee-Eaters
  • Little Bee-Eaters
  • Little Bittern
  • Marsh Owl
  • Purple Gallinule
  • Quail Finch
  • Senegal Coucal
  • Slaty Egret
  • Spotted Crake
  • Swallow-Tailed Bee-Eaters
  • Swamp Boubou
  • White-Fronted Bee-Eaters
  • White-Fronted Sand Plover
  • White-Browed Coucal
  • White-Rumped Babbler

Avis Dam

On the other side of the city, on the way to the airport, one of Windhoek’s few bodies of water is a treat for fishing enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. There are 187 species of birds commonly seen around Avis Dam.

Some of the highlights of  bird watching at Avis Dam include: 

  • Black-chested Prinia
  • Black-cheeked Waxbill
  • Bradfield’s Swift
  • Brubru 
  • Burnt-necked Eremomela 
  • Crimson Boubou
  • Damara Rockrunner 
  • Desert Cisticola
  • Great Spotted Cuckoo
  • Green-winged Pytilia
  • Marico Flycatchers 
  • Namaqua Sandgrouse 
  • Palm Swift 
  • Red-billed Teal
  • Rock Kestrel
  • Shaft-tailed Whydah
  • Short-toed Rock-Thrush
  • South African Shelduck
  • Violet-eared Waxbill
  • Pririt Batis
  • Sabota Lark 
  • Yellow-bellied Eremomela

During the rainy season, you will get to see water-loving species like goliath herons, black storks, grey herons, three banded plovers, comb ducks and cormorants.

It’s best to visit Avis Dam during the week, as the walking trails are awash with dog walkers on weekends. Apart from dog walking and fishing, other popular Avis Dam activities include hiking, mountain biking and picnicking.

The Hofmeyr Walk

You’ll notice the ‘ice cream’ cone on the hill structure behind the city’s water tanks on the hill between Klein Windhoek and the city. Believe it or not, this is one of the best places to see birds in town.

Departing from the water storage containers, the Hofmeyr walk follows the ridge of the hill to this birding hot spot and rewards the avid birder with some great views over the city as well as the chance to tick some species off your list.

White-Tailed Shrike, Chestnut Weavers, Pririt Batis and Rosy-Faced Lovebirds are often seen here.

Just down the hill, the city itself is an excellent place to see Bradfield’s Swift.

Unlock the Wonders of Bird watching in Windhoek

Read more about the fun to be had in the capital city here and get in touch for all the advice you’ll ever need on visiting this vibrant and interesting destination.

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.