Namibia, Okavango, and Victoria Falls Birding Adventure
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Namibia, Okavango and Victoria Falls Birding Adventure
This is a truly marvelous 2.5-week birding adventure, during which we sample three different countries and spectacular, diverse scenery. We start in the coastal Namib Desert with its impressive dune fields (inhabited by a desirable, localized endemic) and lagoons filled with flamingos, pelicans, shorebirds, and some really localized species such as Damara Tern and Chestnut-banded Plover. The mountains of the beautiful Namib Escarpment are next on our itinerary, and here we search for Rosy-faced Lovebird, Herero Chat, Rockrunner, Monteiro’s Hornbill, Damara Red-billed Hornbill, the incomparable, batis-like (although largely terrestrial) White-tailed Shrike, and other charismatic species of northern Namibia.
The cute White-tailed Shrike is a sought-after Namibian near-endemic.
Eventually we leave the desert and enter the grassland, savanna, and woodland of one of Africa’s greatest game parks, Etosha National Park. This must surely be one of the world’s best places for seeing Black Rhinoceros and big cats, along with all the other African megafauna. It is also excellent for a good range of very special birds, such as Namibia’s dazzling national bird, Crimson-breasted Shrike, the world’s heaviest flying bird, Kori Bustard, the diminutive Pygmy Falcon, and stacks more.
Etosha National Park is full of game, and is an especially good area to see Black Rhinoceros.
After Etosha we head into an incredibly bird-diverse tropical corner of Namibia, the Caprivi Strip, and the adjacent panhandle of the Okavango Delta, which falls just within the borders of Botswana. The magnificent wetlands and woodlands in these parts support Pel’s Fishing Owl (this is the world’s most reliable place for this monster), White-backed Night Heron, Slaty Egret, Southern Carmine Bee-eater, and literally hundreds of other species, a rather large proportion of them spectacular. Finally, we bird around Livingstone in Zambia (with a brief foray to view Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwean side) for yet another rich assemblage of birds.
This birding tour covers a vast area and a huge range of habitats, from the coastal deserts to the land of big rivers. While Namibian distances are large, we minimize driving time and maximize birding time by starting in Walvis Bay, Namibia, and ending in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
This tour can be combined with our premium Comprehensive Subtropical/Eastern South Africa Birding Tour which precedes this tour, for a 35-day Southern African adventure and even, preceding that, our Best of Cape Town and Beyond Birding Tour for an even longer, 42-day Southern African mega tour. Another possibility is to combine it with our Best of Madagascar: 14-day Birding and Wildlife tour.
Itinerary (18 days, 17 nights)
Day 1. Arrival in Walvis Bay and coastal desert birding
Our birding guide fetches you from Walvis Bay airport, and we immediately start birding. The first site we usually visit is the picturesque red sand dune habitat across a (usually) dry riverbed around the village of Rooibank, right in the middle of the Namib Desert. Namibia’s sole endemic, Dune Lark, is the main target here, but we often also find the almost pure-white desert form of Tractrac Chat. Our accommodation for two nights is at a place where one can sometimes literally see thousands of Flamingos (usually about half-half Greater and Lesser), migratory shorebirds from Eurasia, Great White Pelican, and all the rest.
Overnight: Lagoon Loge, Walvis Bay
Dune Lark, Namibia’s only endemic bird, should be seen around Walvis Bay.
Day 2. Walvis Bay Lagoon, Swakopmund, and other areas
Today we take a boat trip on Walvis Bay Lagoon that is focused mainly on marine mammals, such as Cape Fur Seal, Common Bottlenose Dolphin, the localized Heaviside’s Dolphin, and sometimes Southern Right Whale. But one also often sees some good birds from the boat, not the least of which is Damara Tern. But there is also an incredible drive we do later in the day that usually gives us close-up views of all the target birds of the lagoon – these include not only this rare, tiny tern but also Chestnut-banded Plover, Black-necked Grebe (often in large rafts), and hundreds of thousands of migrant waders. Today we also look for Gray’s Lark, a very pale Namib Desert near-endemic.
Overnight: Lagoon Loge, Walvis Bay
Day 3. The Namib Escarpment via the Spitzkoppe (the “Matterhorn of Namibia”)
Heading inland and northward we start encountering some spectacular mountains. The Spitzkoppe in particular is a huge inselberg that rises abruptly from the desert plain. The flat surrounding areas are good for Burchell’s Courser, Rüppell’s Korhaan, Ludwig’s Bustard, a number of localized lark species such as Karoo Long-billed Lark (replaced by Benguela Long-billed Lark slightly farther north), etc. The mountains themselves are where we search for the enigmatic, bizarre Herero Chat, noisy little flocks of Rosy-faced Lovebirds, a couple of hornbill species basically restricted to the Namib and adjacent arid habitats, Bradfield’s Swift, and many others.
Another Namib Desert special we’ll search for on this tour, Rüppell’s Korhaan.
The rocky areas near Omaruru offer some great habitat for watching hunting raptors, including Verreaux’s Eagle and African Hawk-Eagle as well as Augur Buzzard. A diminutive antelope, Kirk’s Dik-dik, is often encountered in the area.
Overnight: Ai-Aiba – The Rock Painting Lodge, Omaruru
Day 4. Birding the Namib Escarpment
Today we have the full day to continue birding the mountains of central Namibia. White-tailed Shrike, Hartlaub’s Spurfowl, Rüppell’s Parrot, and Rockrunner are four of the superstars of the show – all of them are very localized (occurring only in Namibia and a small part of Angola) and full of personality, not to mention striking-looking. Quite a number of brightly-colored seedeaters also vie for attention around the lodge.
We will also head slightly farther west, targeting another Namibian near-endemic, Benguela Long-billed Lark, and may also have another shot at Herero Chat, if need be. We might, if we’re lucky, see Kaokoveld Slender Mongoose, Greater Kudu, Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra, or another mammal or two.
Overnight: Ai-Aiba – The Rock Painting Lodge, Omaruru
The stunning Rosy-faced Lovebird usually provide excellent views in the Namib Escarpment.
Day 5. Etosha National Park: birds and mammals
Etosha justifiably is rated as one of the best game parks in Africa. During our time in this amazing park, we will partake in an open-top game drive which is always a great way to experience the area’s birds and wildlife. This is big (and small) mammal country, where African Elephant, Black Rhinoceros, large herds of Springbok, Gemsbok, Plains Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, and many other herbivores lurk, meaning (excitingly) that there are also relatively high densities of predators and scavengers, such as Cheetah, Lion, Leopard, African Wildcat, Spotted Hyena, Black-backed Jackal, etc.
Although we stop to look at all the mammal species, birding is still the main focus. An isolated population of South Africa’s national bird, the beautiful Blue Crane, inhabits Etosha. Kori Bustard and its smaller relative, Northern Black Korhaan, are both common. Secretarybird and an absolute stack of raptors and vultures are always much in evidence. This is one of the best places in southern Africa for owls, and we often find the tiny African Scops Owl, the giant Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, and then also others such as the beautiful Southern White-faced Owl at their daytime roosts (usually in Halali Camp, where we sometimes stop for lunch on one of the days). Etosha must be one of the few sites where one has to kick Double-banded Courser from one’s feet. The unbelievably huge nests of Sociable Weaver are features of some areas, sometimes with Pygmy Falcon taking up residence in the same nests.
Overnight: Okaukuejo Camp, central Etosha
We’ll search for the scarce Burchell’s Courser in Etosha National Park.
Day 6. Bird and wildlife viewing in Etosha National Park
We will have the full day in this impressive park birding the open plains and various waterholes. We hope to find a multitude of Lark species, including Eastern Clapper, Stark’s, Sabota, Pink-billed, Fawn-colored, and Rufous-naped, as well as larger and more brightly colored species such as Crimson-breasted Shrike, Gabar Goshawk, Greater Kestrel, Lappet-faced Vulture, and Namaqua Sandgrouse.
Overnight: Okaukuejo Camp, central Etosha
Day 7. Central to eastern Etosha National Park
Today we make our way from the central section of the park to the eastern edge. As we head farther east the bird species change gradually, and we hope to find Blue Crane, Secretarybird, Red-necked Falcon, Burchell’s Courser, and Caspian Plover among the usual suspects. Around Mokuti Lodge we should see Black-faced Babbler, Crimson-breasted Shrike, White-browed Scrub Robin, Black-faced Waxbill, Bearded Woodpecker, Pearl-spotted Owlet, and other woodland species.
Overnight: Mokuti Etosha Lodge, eastern Etosha
Etosha National Park is one of Africa’s great game parks, and is a major highlight on the tour!
Day 8. Full day in eastern Etosha National Park
We will have the full day to enjoy the birds and wildlife of eastern Etosha today. We will likely head up to the grasslands of Andoni Plains to look for Blue Crane, Pink-billed Lark, Eastern Clapper Lark, and Burchell’s Courser, while also having some time to bird the woodlands around our lodge for Black-faced Babbler and many others.
Overnight: Mokuti Etosha Lodge, eastern Etosha
Day 9. Transfer to and birding around Rundu
As we continue eastward the landscape becomes less arid, and today we start seeing some well-developed woodlands for the first time during our tour. The tall woodlands east of Rundu are home to some tricky birds, such as Rufous-bellied Tit (which can be very thin on the ground and tough to find). Sharp-tailed Starling (along with the more common but also more spectacularly plumaged Greater Blue-eared Starling) and Souza’s Shrike are two tough birds of human-modified woodland sometimes in poor condition. There is a plethora of other great birds to be found here, both woodland birds and waterbirds, such as cuckooshrikes, orioles, Green-capped Eremomela, Tinkling Cisticola, Swamp Boubou, Dwarf Bittern, Rufous-bellied Heron, and a rich assemblage of others.
We will also bird the wetlands around Rundu for Collared Pratincole, White-backed Duck, Baillon’s Crake, Greater Painted-snipe, and perhaps even Lesser Moorhen and Lesser Jacana.
Overnight: Taranga Safari Lodge or similar, Rundu
The relatively large Rufous-bellied Tit is one of the prized denizens found in the tall woodlands of the Caprivi Strip.
Day 10. Into the Caprivi Strip
After some early-morning birding we will make the relatively short transfer to the Mahango area, which is incredibly biodiverse. We will have another shot at Souza’s Shrike, Sharp-tailed Starling, and Rufous-bellied Tit as we head east through the tall woodlands. We stay at a lodge near the tiny but impressively diverse Mahango Game Reserve, a protected area within Bwabwata National Park. Species to look for around the lodge include Meyer’s Parrot, White-breasted Cuckooshrike, African Golden Oriole, White-browed Robin-Chat, Brown Firefinch, and many others.
Overnight: Mahangu Safari Lodge or Ndhovu Safari Lodge, Divundu
Day 11. Mahango birding
We spend the day in the Mahango Game Reserve, enjoying birds such as Rock Pratincole and any of the birds mentioned for the previous day that we may have missed. Here we also add a great many new birds to our list, along with new mammals. African Buffalo occurs here but not in Etosha, and this is also one of the best places in the world to find the rare Roan Antelope and Sable Antelope. Wattled Crane, Slaty Egret, Western Banded Snake Eagle, Tinkling Cisticola, the oversized Coppery-tailed Coucal, several spectacular weavers with their bright yellow plumage and amazing nests, Greater Painted-snipe, and Grey-rumped Swallow are just a few of the many birds we’re likely to encounter at Mahango.
Overnight: Mahangu Safari Lodge or Ndhovu Safari Lodge, Divundu
African Skimmer is regular around the Okavango Panhandle.
Day 12. Into Botswana: the Okavango Panhandle
The Botswana border is only a short drive away. After crossing it one immediately enters a more open, overgrazed habitat, which is, interestingly, the best place to see the localized Bradfield’s Hornbill. At Drotsky’s Cabins the loud grunts of Hippopotamus startle you as you fall asleep in your cabins; while in the water during the day, they do lurk around the lodge grounds at night eating grass – it’s not advisable to walk around after dark, as this is Africa’s most dangerous animal. The lodge grounds are a haven for birdlife, and we can expect to find Hartlaub’s Babbler, White-browed Coucal, and Meves’s Starling, with African Barred Owlet in the nearby woodlands. Brown Firefinch and its more common cousins, Red-billed Firefinch and Blue Waxbill, often feed on the lawns. The liquid calls of Swamp Boubou and coucals add greatly to the atmosphere.
Overnight: Drotsky’s Cabins, Shakawe, Botswana
Day 13. A full day in Botswana
We spend a lot of time birding by boat today as we slowly cruise the upper panhandle of the Okavango Delta. This day is usually excellent for photography, as we are able to approach many birds and animals really close from the boat, and highlights include Pel’s Fishing Owl, Slaty Egret, White-backed Night Heron, African Skimmer, African Pygmy Goose, Long-toed Lapwing, Coppery-tailed Coucal, and Southern Carmine Bee-eater. We may also be lucky enough to encounter the rare, swamp-dwelling Sitatunga antelope.
In the nearby woodlands we hope to find African Barred Owlet, Narina Trogon, Retz’s Helmetshrike, Grey-headed Kingfisher, African Golden Oriole, and Crested Francolin, among others.
Overnight: Drotsky’s Cabins, Shakawe, Botswana
The Okavango Delta is surely the best place in the world to find Pel’s Fishing Owl – we stand a good chance of finding one on this tour!
Day 14. Back into Namibia and continuing east through the Caprivi Strip
We continue birding the wetlands and woodlands of this bird-rich corner of Namibia. We spend two nights on the banks of the Zambezi River, from where we can do boat trips and birding/game drives. A late-afternoon boat trip along the Zambezi is extremely productive and usually produces great sightings of African Finfoot, White-backed Night Heron, Half-collared Kingfisher, White-crowned Lapwing, African Skimmer, and Rock Pratincole. We often head out this evening to look for night birds such as African Wood and Western Barn Owls and a host of Nightjars including Fiery-necked, Square-tailed, and the spectacular Pennant-winged!
Overnight: Caprivi Houseboat Safari Lodge or similar, Katima Mulilo
Day 15. Birding around Katima Mulilo
Today we have the full day to explore the productive woodlands in the far-eastern Caprivi. Yellow-throated Leaflove was discovered as a breeding bird on the Namibia/Zambia border (the Namibian side) in 2015, hundreds of kilometers south of its previously known range, and is one of today’s targets. Olive Woodpecker, Schalow’s Turaco, and Western Banded Snake Eagle all occur in the riparian vegetation along the banks of the Zambezi River.
In the surrounding woodlands we search for Racket-tailed Roller, Arnot’s Chat, Copper Sunbird, Striped Kingfisher, Grey-headed Bushshrike, Grey Penduline Tit, Wood Pipit, and Lizard Buzzard.
Seasonal pans in the area are explored for Hottentot Teal, Rosy-throated Longclaw, White-backed Duck, Lesser Jacana, Rufous-bellied Heron, Luapula Cisticola, and perhaps even Black Coucal.
Overnight: Caprivi Houseboat Safari Lodge or similar, Katima Mulilo
The spectacular Pennant-winged Nightjar can be seen breeding around Katima Mulilo.
Days 16 – 17. Into Zambia and birding Victoria Falls
After some early morning birding around Katima Mulilo we will make our way through the border into Zambia. As we head further east we will pass through more broad-leafed woodland, where we may see Southern Ground Hornbills as they move around in small family groups. We eventually reach the busy little town of Livingstone, where we will be based for the next two nights on the banks of the Zambezi River. The woodlands outside of Livingstone hold good numbers of Racket-tailed Roller along with Miombo Pied Barbet (here at its southern extent), Miombo Rock Thrush, Stierling’s Wren-Warbler, Green-capped Eremomela, Cut-throat Finch, Lizard Buzzard, and Pale Flycatcher.
We spend some time admiring Victoria Falls, ‘the smoke that thunders’, from the Zimbabwean side, but it’s important to note that the whole area has spectacularly rich birdlife, so we’ll add a lot of good new birds to our list near the end of the tour. Birding around camp is extremely productive with regular sightings of Collared Palm Thrush, Natal Spurfowl, Bearded Scrub Robin, Schalow’s Turaco, Western Banded Snake Eagle, Trumpeter Hornbill, Olive Woodpecker, Broad-billed Roller, and other species along the Zambezi River.
We usually find about 400 bird species on this tour of varied habitats – and we also get one of the highest mammal lists of any of our tours on this transect.
Overnight: Camp Nkwazi, Livingstone, Zambia
Racket-tailed Roller can be seen in the broad-leaved woodlands around Livingstone.
Day 18. Departure
Your flight can leave Livingstone any time today.
Please note that the itinerary above cannot be guaranteed as it is only a rough guide and can be changed (usually slightly) due to factors such as availability of accommodation, updated information on the state of accommodation, roads, or birding sites, the discretion of the guides and other factors. In addition, we sometimes have to use a different international guide from the one advertised due to tour scheduling.Download Itinerary
Namibia, Botswana and Victoria Falls Trip Report
02 – 19 NOVEMBER 2022
By Dominic Rollinson
DOWNLOAD TRIP REPORT
Our visit to a Southern Carmine Bee-eater was one of the many highlights of the tour.
This 18-day birding and wildlife safari covered a vast distance and variety of habitats, from the coastal Namib Desert at Walvis Bay, in Namibia, to the subtropics of Victoria Falls, in Zimbabwe and Zambia. Due to the diversity of habitats visited on this tour, we usually record a high list of birds, and this tour was no different, with an impressive 438 bird species recorded. Of course, it was not only about the quantity of species seen but also the quality, with a great many Namibian near-endemics and regional specials encountered. This tour is generally an enjoyable one for guides and clients alike, with good infrastructure geared towards eco-tourism and high-quality accommodation (with delicious and varied meals) and easy access to areas with high diversities and abundances of birds and other wildlife.
Some of the crowd-favorites on this tour included Pel’s Fishing Owl, Schalow’s Turaco, Secretarybird, Southern Carmine Bee-eater, Southern Ground Hornbill, Three-banded Courser and Kori Bustard. Some of the near-endemics and regional specials included Hartlaub’s Spurfowl, Slaty Egret, Ludwig’s Bustard, Rüppell’s Korhaan, Blue Crane, Burchell’s Courser, Bradfield’s Swift, Damara Red-billed and Monteiro’s Hornbills, Pygmy Falcon, Rüppell’s Parrot, Souza’s Shrike, Dune, Stark’s, Gray’s and Benguela Long-billed Larks, Rufous-eared Warbler, Sharp-tailed Starling and many others.
A small group of Southern Ground Hornbills were seen in the Zambezi Region of Namibia.
We also saw many charismatic and fascinating wildlife such as Lion, African Elephant, Black Rhinoceros, African Buffalo, Hippopotamus, Sable Antelope, Roan Antelope, Spotted Hyena, Spotted-necked Otter, Cape Fox, Giraffe, and (Hartmann’s) Mountain Zebra.
Day 1, 2nd November 2022. Arrival and Walvis Bay birding
Most of the clients had arrived during the previous couple of days and so after breakfast we headed out to get a start on our bird list and spent time birding the lagoon and salt works. At the Walvis Bay lagoon, we saw huge numbers of both Greater and Lesser Flamingos and worked our way through the shorebirds on offer and found Curlew and Terek Sandpipers, Little Stint, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Grey, Common Ringed and White-fronted Plovers, Common Greenshank and Bar-tailed Godwit. We then made our way south of town to the salt works where we found many Chestnut-banded Plovers as well as Black-winged Stilt, Pied Avocet, Marsh Sandpiper, Eurasian Whimbrel, Cape Teal and a few Cape Gannets flying along the coast. We were very pleased to find our target bird in the form of Damara Tern, which showed well for us. Throughout the morning we also found Caspian, Greater Crested, Sandwich and Common Terns.
Chestnut-banded Plovers were numerous in Walvis Bay.
We then headed back to Walvis Bay where we enjoyed a sit-down lunch and then made the obligatory stop at the local sewage works. The sewage works were very productive and we added many new fresh water birds. Some of the highlights included Little and Black-necked Grebes, South African Shelduck, Blue-billed Teal, Common Moorhen, Red-knobbed Coot, Three-banded Plover, Blacksmith Lapwing, Grey and Black-headed Herons, Whiskered Tern, African Reed Warbler and Southern Masked Weaver.
After the sewage works, we popped into the nearby shopping mall to exchange and draw money and to buy a couple of things before Dom headed out to the airport to collect Bob and Gail. We ended the day with a lovely meal as we overlooked the lagoon, which was packed with flamingos and other water birds.
Day 2, 3rd November 2022. Walvis Bay boat cruise and birding
We were up before dawn for our first full day of Namibian birding and headed inland into the Namib Desert to the red dunes of Rooibank. We searched for Namibia’s only endemic bird species, Dune Lark, which we found without too much difficulty. They provided us with stellar views as they went about feeding in the low dunes. The general birding was good and we also managed to find Bokmakierie, Ashy Tit (heard only), Pale Chanting Goshawk (the first of many, soon to be known as ‘PCGs”), Namaqua Dove, Diederik Cuckoo, Pririt Batis, Little Swift, Southern Fiscal, Black-chested Prinia and Southern Masked Weaver. A quick scan of the lagoon mudflats on our way back added Bar-tailed Godwit, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Common Greenshank and Caspian Tern.
After an enjoyable breakfast, we made our way to the small craft harbor and took a boat cruise around Walvis Bay lagoon. While waiting for our boat, we had a single House Crow fly over us. These invasive corvids are seen occasionally around Walvis Bay and are likely ship-assisted birds which hopefully won’t establish a population here. The boat cruise itself was (as always) an enjoyable few hours out on the water and we managed good views of Black-necked Grebe, White-chinned Petrel, Sooty Shearwater, Cape Gannet, Crowned, Cape and White-breasted Cormorants and Great White Pelicans, literally eating fish out of our hands. The massive tern roost included Greater Crested, Sandwich, Common and Black Terns and it was good fun to work through the different species as they flew overhead.
We had good looks at White-chinned Petrels on our Walvis Bay boat cruise.
After our boat cruise we headed north, beyond the pretty town of Swakopmund and into the white, open plains of the Namib Desert. We easily found many Gray’s Larks, some of which were very confiding. Up next were the 5-Mile Salt Works, which were full of birds and we found Cape Teal, Grey, Common Ringed and White-fronted Plovers, Eurasian Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit and a few Damara Terns. The massive numbers of Cape Cormorants here were something to behold!
Gray’s Larks were seen well in the desert plains north of Swakopmund.
To finish off the day’s birding, we headed further into the Namib Desert and enjoyed spending some time with the bizarre Welwitschia mirabilis plants, estimated to live up to 1,500 years old and only grow two leaves their entire lives. These fascinating plants obtain most of their moisture from desert fog, although it is thought that they also tap into underground water supplies because they mostly grow along dry watercourses. On our drive out here, we enjoyed looks at the almost pure-white form of Tractrac Chat. We ended the day with another tasty meal, overlooking the bird-filled lagoon.
Day 3, 4th November 2022. Walvis Bay to Erongo Mountains, Spitzkoppe birding en route
It was another pre-dawn start this morning as we wanted to get deep into the Namib Desert before it heated up too drastically. As we made our way through the desert the shout of ‘bustard’ came from Christiane and had us turning around and enjoying good looks at Ludwig’s Bustard, a bird which is often very tricky to find, owing to its nomadic habits. Not long thereafter, we turned the vehicle around again, this time for a pair of the Namib-endemic Rüppell’s Korhaan and our first of many Stark’s Larks.
Once we turned north on the dirt road towards Spitzkoppe, the birding got even better which made the going very slow (a good thing) and resulted in sightings of Black-winged Kite, Northern Black Korhaan, Namaqua Sandgrouse, White-backed Mousebird, Cape Penduline Tit, Spike-heeled and Sabota Larks, Grey-backed Sparrow-Lark, African Red-eyed Bulbul, and Karoo Chat. We then spent the next couple of hours birding around the impressive Spitzkoppe massive in the hopes of finding Herero Chat. Despite a few hours of searching, and even employing the services of local bird guides, we could not find this Namibian near-endemic and had to eventually accept defeat. We did however find some other good birds during our search, including the likes of Rosy-faced Lovebird, White-tailed Shrike, Ashy Tit (seen today!), Carp’s Tit, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Layard’s and Chestnut-vented Warblers, Pale-winged Starling, Short-toed Rock Thrush and Yellow Canary.
After having finally given up on finding Herero Chat we headed west to the Erongo Mountains where the habitat changed slowly, with the desert scrub being replaced by taller trees and impressive rock formations. As the habitat changed, the bird life changed too and we steadily added Grey Go-away-bird, Long-billed Crombec, Chat Flycatcher and Green-winged Pytilia. After checking into our beautiful lodge, we had some downtime in the extreme heat of the mid-afternoon, before meeting later in the afternoon for a walk along the edge of some impressive granite koppies. The birding was slow to begin with but did steadily pick up, and we managed to add Pearl-spotted Owlet, Common Scimitarbill and the large and distinctive Monteiro’s Hornbill.
Monteiro’s Hornbills were common in the Erongo Mountains.
We enjoyed dinner as we overlooked a small floodlit waterhole where dozens of Double-banded Sandgrouse flew over and were also entertained by many calling Freckled Nightjars and had fantastic views as they gave their ‘bow-wow’ call.
Day 4, 5th November 2022. Erongo Mountains and Uis birding
This morning we did another walk through some koppies and bushveld and it was much more productive this time around. Some of the highlights of our morning’s walk included Rüppell’s Parrot, Gabar Goshawk, Brubru, White-tailed Shrike, Grey-backed Camaroptera, Cape Bunting, amazing views of Rockrunner. We heard the distant call of Hartlaub’s Spurfowl but it would remain unseen (for now). A mammalian highlight was a brief Kaokoland Slender Mongoose.
After perhaps the best breakfast of the trip, some of the group decided to relax around the lodge. The others took the long drive out towards Uis, where we found our target, Benguela Long-billed Lark, relatively easily and enjoyed prolonged views. While birding the desert plains we also saw the trip’s only African Hawk-Eagle. The drive also yielded our first Kori Bustards and Double-banded Coursers!
Once it had cooled down a bit we took a drive out into the Erongo Conservancy, which proved rather productive and we managed to see Red-crested Korhaan, Double-banded Sandgrouse, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Southern Red-billed and Southern Yellow-billed Hornbills, Acacia Pied Barbet, Wattled Starling, Kalahari Scrub Robin, Marico Flycatcher and Red-headed Finch. Along the drive we also saw many new and exciting mammals such as Giraffe, Gemsbok (southern Oryx), Springbok, Steenbok, Klipspringer and Kirk’s Dik-dik.
This female Double-banded Sandgrouse was rather confiding.
After another enjoyable dinner (with complimentary Double-banded Sandgrouse and Freckled Nightjars on show) we did a night drive through the conservancy. Night drives are often hit-or-miss, although this time around we added Spotted Thick-knee as well as some interesting mammals such as Scrub Hare, Springhare and (Hartmann’s) Mountain Zebra.
Day 5, 6th November 2022. Erongo Mountains to Etosha National Park
With Hartlaub’s Spurfowl still on the target list we did yet another walk from the lodge and within ten minutes we had scope views of the spurfowl as a pair called high up from the top of a koppie. Other highlights of the morning walk included a few Black-faced Waxbills and a confiding Barred Wren-Warbler. We then decided to head back for an earlier breakfast and take our time driving out through the conservancy.
After another delicious breakfast we packed the vehicle and set out north towards Etosha National Park. Still in the conservancy, we enjoyed some very productive birding. Some of the highlights of the drive included Red-billed Spurfowl, Black-chested Snake Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Purple Roller, Wattled Starling, Southern Pied Babbler, Marico Sunbird, Black-throated Canary and the near-endemic Damara Red-billed Hornbill. Once through the conservancy, while refueling the vehicle, we noticed a low group of swifts containing Little, White-rumped and most importantly, the tricky Bradfield’s Swift.
Purple Rollers were surprisingly widespread on this tour.
We made it into Etosha National Park in the early afternoon and, after checking into our accommodation at Okaukuejo Rest Camp, we decided to have a couple of hours of downtime during the extreme heat. Later that afternoon we headed out for a drive and made our way north of the camp, along the western edge of the bone-dry pan. Sightings were slow to start with but soon picked up, and we added Common Ostrich, Northern Black Korhaan, Crowned Lapwing, Greater Kestrel, Cape Crow, Grey-backed Sparrow-Lark, Desert Cisticola, Rufous-eared Warbler, Sociable Weaver (complete with massive colonial nests) and our first African Pipit. As is the norm in Etosha, there were large numbers of animals around, with some of the more interesting sightings including Banded and Yellow Mongooses, Spotted Hyena, Plains Zebra, Common Wildebeest (Gnu) and Giraffe. A quick nocturnal visit to Okaukuejo’s floodlit waterhole after dinner gave us fantastic views of Black Rhinoceroses as they came down to drink and bathe and our first Rufous-cheeked Nightjars as they hawked insects in the floodlights.
Day 6, 7th November 2022. Central Etosha; birds and large game
We were out of the camp gate just after sunrise this morning and headed east of Okaukuejo, where we birded the open plains and some of the mopane woodlands. Highlights of the morning’s drive included Bateleur, Tawny, Martial and Booted Eagles, the massive Kori Bustard, Spotted Thick-knee, Double-banded Courser, the Critically Endangered White-backed Vulture, Cape Penduline Tit, Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark, Ant-eating Chat, Great Sparrow and the bizarre Secretarybird. The avian highlight of the morning drive was probably a large group of Burchell’s Coursers which showed well and kept edging closer and closer to the vehicle. We had some great mammal sightings on this drive too, including the likes of Black-backed Jackal, Cape Fox, Kudu, Impala, many African Elephants and fantastic close-up views of two female Lions walking right past our vehicle.
A small group of Burchell’s Coursers was seen well in Etosha National Park.
In the afternoon we decided to try the areas northwest of camp, which resulted in some more interesting birds. We stopped to enjoy a young Pale Chanting Goshawk at point-blank range, before we added a distant White-headed Vulture (another Critically Endangered vulture), soon followed by European Bee-eater, African Grey Hornbill and Pink-billed Lark. While driving amongst large acacia trees with many active Sociable Weaver nests, we were lucky enough to find a distant Pygmy Falcon – a tricky bird in Etosha. We also had another (distant) sighting of a Black Rhinoceros – Etosha is surely the best place to see this charismatic and rare species.
Okaukuejo’s floodlit waterhole again had Black Rhinoceros as well as a few African Elephants and more Rufous-cheeked Nightjars.
Day 7, 8th November 2022. Central Etosha; birds and large game
Today we moved east across the park to Etosha’s easternmost camp, Namutoni, where we were based for the next two nights. The morning got off to a great start when we saw a large male Lion as it quickly walked past us at a waterhole. A little further down the road, another large male Lion was seen right next to the road and gave us incredible, prolonged views and even gave some impressive roars! A stop at another waterhole further east had some good waterbird activity which included Red-billed and Cape Teals, Little Grebe, Squacco Heron, Black-winged Stilt, Wood Sandpiper, Little Stint and White-fronted and Kittlitz’s Plovers. The drive also produced our first (Red) Hartebeest of the trip.
This male Lion gave us incredible views!
We then made it to Halali Rest Camp for lunch and had a good walk around, as we had several birds to target here. One of our two main targets, Violet Wood Hoopoe, proved straightforward and we soon saw a feeding flock, however Bare-cheeked Babbler proved tricky. We eventually all had good views as a small group fed in the shade during the midday heat. Other interesting birds seen around Halali included African Cuckoo, Western Barn Owl, Acacia Pied Barbet, White-crested Helmetshrike, Southern White-crowned Shrike, Red-billed Buffalo Weaver, Violet-eared Waxbill and Southern White-faced Owl (chick and an adult seen). We enjoyed watching cheeky Smith’s Bush Squirrels as they searched the camp for any left-over lunches.
This adult Southern White-faced Owl was seen close to its nest which had a small chick in it.
After checking into our accommodation at Namutoni Rest Camp, we took some time off to escape from the heat before enjoying a late afternoon drive. Our drive started well when Christiane showed us the Red-necked Falcon she had seen during her afternoon swim. Some of our better sightings on the drive included Groundscraper Thrush, Burchell’s Starling, Capped Wheatear and the cute Blue Waxbill.
As we sat outside and enjoyed our dinner that evening, we were serenaded by Pearl-spotted Owlets and Fork-tailed Drongos – a lovely way to finish the day!
Day 8, 9th November 2022. Eastern Etosha
The day started with us making our way north to the grasslands of the Andoni Plains where we hoped to add a few more key species. On our way north we stopped at a waterhole which had a single Greater Painted-snipe with Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Fawn-colored Lark, Rattling Cisticola, White-browed Scrub Robin, Black-crowned Tchagra, Crimson-breasted Shrike and Shaft-tailed Whydah seen in the surrounding bushveld. Blue Cranes did not prove difficult, and we saw a couple of dozen birds, some with color bands on their long legs. A stop at a nearby waterhole added South African Shelduck, African Spoonbill and Marabou Stork as well as repeat views of Chestnut-banded and Kittlitz’s Plovers and Cape Teal. Driving through the grasslands resulted in some great views of Lappet-faced Vulture as well as Eastern Clapper Lark (at last!) and brief views of a Common Buttonquail for Hilary and Dom.
After a quiet afternoon drive (although we had good views of Buffy Pipit) and an early dinner, we enjoyed a fantastically productive night drive. The evening started magically when we spotted a Three-banded Courser which showed exceptionally well for us. We then spent an enjoyable 30 minutes waiting at a waterhole as we listened to African Elephants wallowing in the shallows and enjoyed the impressive night sky. Another waterhole had a drinking Black Rhinoceros as well as a showy Spotted Eagle-Owl. The drive ended with us hearing a Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl calling close to camp, and after ending the drive we headed to the waterhole where we managed distant views of this giant owl!
Three-banded Courser in Etosha National Park was an unexpected bonus!
Day 9, 10th November 2022. Etosha National Park to Zambezi Region
Today was to be a significant move eastward as we made our way to the edge of the Zambezi Region (formerly Caprivi Strip) where open desert plains were replaced with tall woodlands and lush riparian vegetation. As we left the park, we saw African Paradise Flycatcher, Black-backed Puffback and Red-headed Weaver. The drive immediately east of the park soon added the first of many Lilac-breasted Rollers. Our lunch stop at Roy’s Camp quickly added our target bird, Black-faced Babbler, as well as our first White-bellied Sunbird, Orange-breasted Bushshrike and Wahlberg’s Eagle.
We then arrived at our pretty lodge on the edge of the Okavango River and took a late afternoon walk around camp, which added lots of new birds, many here at their western limit. Some of our highlights included African Openbill, African Wattled Lapwing, White-browed Coucal, Black-collared Barbet, Swamp Boubou, Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Arrow-marked and Hartlaub’s Babblers, Kurrichane Thrush and Holub’s Golden Weaver.
We enjoyed dinner that evening with the sounds of Fiery-necked and Square-tailed Nightjars calling from the edge of the river, with brief views of Square-tailed as it flew over the deck.
Day 10, 11th November 2022. East through the Zambezi Region
The early morning was spent birding around camp where we were hoping to connect with the long-staying Ross’s Turaco which gave us the run-around – we always seemed to be a few minutes late with other birders and staff having just seen the bird before we arrived. We did however have other good birds around camp including Striated Heron, Senegal Coucal, Woodland Kingfisher, Terrestrial Brownbul, Ashy Flycatcher and Amethyst Sunbird.
We made our way through the bustling town of Rundu before popping into the local sewage works (our second sewage works of the trip – a birding tour wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the poop ponds) which was a little on the disappointing side as the floodplain was bone dry. We did however manage to see Glossy Ibis, Brown Snake Eagle, Collared Pratincole, Little Bee-eater, Mosque Swallow, Lesser Swamp Warbler and a small group of Temminck’s Coursers.
This vagrant Northern Carmine Bee-eater was another surprise sighting.
After eventually giving up on the turaco, we pressed on eastwards through the Zambezi Region and arrived at a lodge after lunchtime, where we were to enjoy a boat trip to a Southern Carmine Bee-eater breeding colony. The Southern Carmine Bee-eaters, of course, obliged and we were also treated to its rarer cousin from the north in the form of a vagrant Northern Carmine Bee-eater which was trying its best to shack-up with one of the residents. Whilst enjoying the bee-eaters we also saw other interesting species such as Osprey, African Jacana, Rock Pratincole, Whiskered Tern, Coppery-tailed Coucal, Levaillant’s, Jacobin and Black Cuckoos, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Magpie Shrike and Yellow-billed Oxpecker. A non-avian highlight included good, but brief, looks at a Spotted-necked Otter.
After what had been a busy and birdy day, we decided to relax on the deck at Mahangu Safari Lodge, overlooking the Okavango River, with a drink in hand and enjoy the many birds and animals which working their way up and down the river. Some of the better birds seen during this relaxed birding session included Great and Intermediate Egrets, African Darter, African Skimmer, Mourning Collared Dove, Meyer’s Parrot and the only Bradfield’s Hornbill of the trip!
Souza’s Shrike occur in low densities in Namibia’s Zambezi Region.
Day 11, 12th November 2022. Birding the Mahango area
We had another pre-dawn start, heading about an hour’s drive from Mahangu to bird some dry woodlands west of Divundu town. This morning we were armed with local birding expert Christoph, who knew the whereabouts of many of our targets and so we started walking the woodlands in search of our quarry. The rare Souza’s Shrike proved relatively easy today and we soon found a calling bird which showed well from the top of a tree. However, despite our best efforts, we could not find Rufous-bellied Tit (a theme which would persist throughout the trip). We did however have many other top-quality birds in the surrounding woodlands though including the likes of Brown-backed Honeybird, White-breasted Cuckooshrike, Icterine Warbler, Green-capped Eremomela, Tinkling Cisticola, Neddicky (Piping Cisticola), Klaas’s Cuckoo, African Golden Oriole, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Southern Yellow White-eye and Pale Flycatcher. Unfortunately, the calling Coqui Francolins would remain unseen. Christoph then took us to a nearby site where both Sharp-tailed Starlings and Arnott’s Chats were breeding in the same dead tree! On our drive back we encountered large storm clouds with impressive numbers of Eurasian Hobbies and Red-footed Falcons moving along with the rainstorm as well as a single African Hobby – always a tough bird to find!
The tricky-to-find Sharp-tailed Starling showed incredibly well on this trip.
After lunch and some downtime back at our lodge (with a White-backed Night Heron seen around camp), we headed out for a late-afternoon drive to Mahangu Game Reserve. This proved to be a wonderful afternoon and yielded some of the best birding and wildlife viewing of the entire trip. Some of the many avian highlights here included Swainson’s Spurfowl, Goliath Heron, Shikra, Little Sparrowhawk, Wattled Crane, Long-toed Lapwing, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Red-backed and Lesser Grey Shrikes, Dusky Lark, Burnt-necked Eremomela and Meve’s Starling. Of course, a visit to this impressive game reserve is not all about the birds and we also encountered Southern Lechwe, Roan Antelope, Sable Antelope, African Buffalo, Vervet Monkey, Slender Mongoose and both Leopard and Speke’s Hinged Tortoises. The day was capped off with a roughly three-meter-long Southern African Rock Python lying across the road. What a great day it was!
Later that evening, after another lovely dinner, we headed out for a quick night drive where we saw Square-tailed Nightjar and the tiny African Scops Owl.
Day 12, 13th November 2022. Mahangu to Botswana
This morning we birded the overgrazed grasslands outside our lodge which again proved incredibly productive, with several new birds encountered. Highlights of this short walk included Luapula Cisticola, Plain-backed Pipit, Lesser Jacana, African Sacred Ibis, Caspian Plover, Quailfinch, Grey-rumped Swallow, Brown and Red-billed Firefinches and better views of African Hobby. After our morning walk, we enjoyed a relaxed breakfast cruise on the Okavango River on which we mostly saw the regular riverine bird species but had a very enjoyable time.
Luapula Cisticola in the Okavango floodplain.
We again drove through Mahangu Game Reserve on the way to the Botswana border which, due to the intense heat of the late morning, was much quieter than yesterday afternoon, with the only new additions being Crested Barbet, Broad-billed Roller and Green Wood Hoopoe. The border crossing was quick and easy and before we knew it, we were into Botswana and soon arrived at our lodge to take it easy for a couple of hours. In the late afternoon, we took a stroll around the lodge grounds, with some of the group getting brief (and mostly unsatisfactory) glimpses of the elusive Pel’s Fishing Owl and excellent views of Narina Trogon.
Day 13, 14th November 2022. Okavango Panhandle boat cruise and birding
There was much excitement this morning as we boarded our small boat which would take us up and down the river, with Pel’s Fishing Owl being our main priority for the morning. As we moved up the river we had lovely views of African Skimmer, Whiskered Tern, Coppery-tailed Coucal, White-fronted Bee-eater, Common Cuckoo, Greater Swamp Warbler, Chirping Cisticola, Southern Brown-throated, Village and Thick-billed Weavers and Fan-tailed Widowbird. We checked all the regular haunts for Pel’s Fishing Owl but drew a blank and just as we were beginning to lose heart, our boat guide phoned a friend who had told him of a spot he had seen the owls recently. We then pressed on to this camp and it didn’t take long until some of the group again got brief views of this enigmatic owl before it flushed. Eventually, with lots of stealthy stalking, we all managed great views of Pel’s Fishing Owl and breathed a collective sigh of relief.
This juvenile African Skimmer was busy learning to fly.
After lunch and some downtime, we headed out for our second boat cruise of the day and this time we made our way downstream to a floodplain where Slaty Egret normally feeds. As we made our way towards the floodplain, we got to experience the barbel run: with dropping water levels, bait fish were forced out of the reeds and into the main channel where barbel (a type of catfish) congregated to predate on the small fish. Herons and egrets also took advantage of the surplus of food and we had large numbers of fishing Squacco, Goliath, Purple, Black Herons and Great, Little and Intermediate Egrets all enjoying the feeding frenzy. We had an impressive feeding flock of Common Swifts overhead which provided us with close-up views. Upon arrival at the floodplain, it did not take long to locate Slaty Egret and we all had good, prolonged scope views. Other good birds here included Collared Pratincole, Lesser Jacana, African Snipe, Hamerkop and African Swamphen. On the return trip back to our lodge, we had brief looks at African Pygmy Goose, Allen’s Gallinule and Little Bittern and enjoyed another beautiful African sunset.
Day 14, 15th November 2022. Transfer to eastern Zambezi Region
We had a quick walk around the lodge grounds before breakfast, which added African Barred Owlet and Crested Francolin, and were then soon on our way back north towards Namibia. The border crossing was again a casual affair and we then made our way east through the Zambezi Region towards Katima Mulilo. The long drive went smoothly with the odd stop for Southern Ground Hornbill, Booted Eagle and Dark Chanting Goshawk. Our lunch stop was at a site known for Rufous-bellied Tit, however the birds would not play along and we had to settle for Chinspot Batis, Golden-breasted Bunting and Yellow-throated Bush Sparrow.
We arrived at our lodge in Katima Mulilo, on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River, and soon thereafter boarded a boat to look for a few specials. As we were boarding our boat, we had a huge flock (1000+) of Black-winged Pratincoles fly overhead which was quite something to see! It did not take long to locate African Finfoot and Half-collared Kingfisher with White-crowned Lapwing proving relatively easy too. We also enjoyed views of Giant and Brown-hooded Kingfishers, Schalow’s Turaco and Trumpeter Hornbill, as the sun set over the Zambezi River.
Katima Mulilo is a good area to find the scarce Half-collared Kingfisher.
Day 15, 16th November 2022. Katima Mulilo birding
We headed out early before breakfast and it did not take long for us to find Yellow-throated Leaflove (which was only discovered as a Namibian breeding bird in the last few years) along with Tropical Boubou while unfortunately the calling Eastern Nicator would not show itself.
After breakfast, we birded the woodlands near our lodge which yielded Lizard Buzzard, Retz’s and White-crested Helmetshrikes, Grey-headed Bushshrike, Green Wood Hoopoe, Schalow’s Turaco and Lesser Honeyguide. The nearby wetlands proved equally productive and here we managed many exciting birds such as Rufous-bellied Heron, Dwarf Bittern (brief views), White-backed Duck, Lesser Jacana, African Pygmy Goose, Blue-billed Teal and Long-toed Lapwing. After lunch we had an interesting encounter with a Black Mamba. We watched it as it unsuccessfully hunted squirrels and birds in a nearby tree, but when it got too close to one of the cabins, Curt decided to catch it and release it further away from the lodge!
In the late afternoon we drove on a road through some beautiful broad-leafed woodland which was very enjoyable and here we added Racket-tailed Roller, Striped Kingfisher, Northern Grey-headed Sparrow, Long-tailed Paradise Whydah, Bennett’s Woodpecker, Southern Black Flycatcher, Purple-banded Sunbird, Red-headed Weaver, Black-throated Canary and Meyer’s Parrot.
Racket-tailed Rollers put on a show for us around Katima Mulilo.
After dinner we went out with Curt to try and find Pennant-winged Nightjar, but unfortunately the area the nightjars normally frequented was flooded and Curt suspected the birds must have found a new area to display in. We thus had to settle for good views of Fiery-necked Nightjar.
Day 16, 17th November 2022. Katima Mulilo to Livingstone
For our morning’s birding, we decided to head back to the same road as the previous afternoon, however it proved much quieter this morning with African Harrier-Hawk, Brown-backed Honeybird and Copper Sunbird being our best finds.
This was mostly a travel day and so after breakfast we packed the vehicle and started making our way east towards Livingstone, in Zambia. After chatting to locals, it was decided that the quickest route into Zambia was through Botswana and so we crossed the Namibia-Botswana border, without any hassles, and then made our way through the famous Chobe National Park which was very quiet for us. The Botswana-Zambia border crossing was not as easily negotiated and after a couple of hours of Dom running from counter to counter and paying all the different taxes imaginable, we were on our way to Livingstone.
We made it to our beautiful camp on the edge of the Zambezi River in the late afternoon and enjoyed a walk around the beautiful and lush lodge grounds. With the shift further eastwards, we easily found several new species including Olive Woodpecker, Bearded Scrub Robin, Red-faced Cisticola, Red-throated Twinspot and a calling Orange-winged Pytilia which would not show itself.
Day 17, 18th November 2022. Victoria Falls and Livingstone birding
Today was the final full day of the trip and we had the exciting prospect of visiting Victoria Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our only new bird of the morning’s walk was African Goshawk, although we had even better views of a pair of the gorgeous Red-throated Twinspot.
The beautiful Red-throated Twinspot (female).
On the drive to the border crossing, we added a single Western Banded Snake Eagle and the border crossing into Zimbabwe was thankfully relatively straightforward (a breeze compared to yesterday’s crossing) and we were soon enjoying the mighty falls and the cooling mist. We spent a good couple of hours enjoying the falls from all the different viewpoints and even managed Hooded Vulture, White-crowned Lapwing, Red-winged Starling and a calling African Emerald Cuckoo which would not show itself, despite our best efforts.
After easily getting back into Zambia and back to our lodge we decided to take it easy for the afternoon, with some of the group opting for a relaxed boat trip along the Zambezi and others preferring to start packing bags or wandering around camp. The boat trip yielded some good birds such as Knob-billed Duck, Pink-backed Pelican, Hooded Vulture, Rock Pratincole and African Skimmer – a relaxing way to end our highly successful and fun birding tour.
Impressive views of Victoria Falls, from the Zimbabwean side.
Day 18, 19th November 2022. Livingstone birding and departure
For our final morning of birding, we headed into a nearby patch of miombo forest to see if we could find any last-minute ticks for the trip. The morning started well with a couple of Stierling’s Wren-Warblers showing almost immediately, as well as a few White-winged Widowbirds. As we moved deeper into the miombo we managed to find good numbers of Collared Flycatchers and eventually we found a male Miombo Rock Thrush which showed well for us.
We headed back to our lodge for a final breakfast and said our goodbyes as some of us caught lunchtime flights out of Livingstone, with others catching late-afternoon flights. This ended a highly enjoyable and successful 18 days across Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe with many good laughs and lots of lifers for all.
Bird List – Following IOC (12.2)
Birds ‘heard only’ are marked with (H) after the common name, all other species were seen.
The following notation after species names is used to show conservation status following BirdLife International: CE = Critically Endangered, EN = Endangered, VU = Vulnerable, NT = Near Threatened. The Namibian endemic is bolded.
|Common Name||Scientific Name|
|Common Ostrich||Struthio camelus|
|Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)|
|White-faced Whistling Duck||Dendrocygna viduata|
|White-backed Duck||Thalassornis leuconotus|
|Spur-winged Goose||Plectropterus gambensis|
|Knob-billed Duck||Sarkidiornis melanotos|
|Egyptian Goose||Alopochen aegyptiaca|
|South African Shelduck||Tadorna cana|
|African Pygmy Goose||Nettapus auritus|
|Blue-billed Teal||Spatula hottentota|
|Cape Teal||Anas capensis|
|Red-billed Teal||Anas erythrorhyncha|
|Helmeted Guineafowl||Numida meleagris|
|Pheasants & Allies (Phasianidae)|
|Crested Francolin||Ortygornis sephaena|
|Coqui Francolin (H)||Campocolinus coqui|
|Hartlaub’s Spurfowl||Pternistis hartlaubi|
|Red-billed Spurfowl||Pternistis adspersus|
|Swainson’s Spurfowl||Pternistis swainsonii|
|Rufous-cheeked Nightjar||Caprimulgus rufigena|
|Fiery-necked Nightjar||Caprimulgus pectoralis|
|Freckled Nightjar||Caprimulgus tristigma|
|Square-tailed Nightjar||Caprimulgus fossii|
|African Palm Swift||Cypsiurus parvus|
|Common Swift||Apus apus|
|Bradfield’s Swift||Apus bradfieldi|
|Little Swift||Apus affinis|
|White-rumped Swift||Apus caffer|
|Grey Go-away-bird||Crinifer concolor|
|Schalow’s Turaco||Tauraco schalowi|
|Kori Bustard||Ardeotis kori|
|Ludwig’s Bustard – EN||Neotis ludwigii|
|Rüppell’s Korhaan||Eupodotis rueppelii|
|Red-crested Korhaan||Lophotis ruficrista|
|Northern Black Korhaan||Afrotis afraoides|
|Senegal Coucal||Centropus senegalensis|
|Coppery-tailed Coucal||Centropus cupreicaudus|
|White-browed Coucal||Centropus superciliosus|
|Great Spotted Cuckoo||Clamator glandarius|
|Levaillant’s Cuckoo||Clamator levaillantii|
|Jacobin Cuckoo||Clamator jacobinus|
|Diederik Cuckoo||Chrysococcyx caprius|
|Klaas’s Cuckoo||Chrysococcyx klaas|
|African Emerald Cuckoo (H)||Chrysococcyx cupreus|
|Black Cuckoo||Cuculus clamosus|
|Red-chested Cuckoo||Cuculus solitarius|
|African Cuckoo||Cuculus gularis|
|Common Cuckoo||Cuculus canorus|
|Namaqua Sandgrouse||Pterocles namaqua|
|Double-banded Sandgrouse||Pterocles bicinctus|
|Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)|
|Rock Dove||Columba livia|
|Speckled Pigeon||Columba guinea|
|Mourning Collared Dove||Streptopelia decipiens|
|Red-eyed Dove||Streptopelia semitorquata|
|Ring-necked Dove||Streptopelia capicola|
|Laughing Dove||Spilopelia senegalensis|
|Emerald-spotted Wood Dove||Turtur chalcospilos|
|Namaqua Dove||Oena capensis|
|African Green Pigeon||Treron calvus|
|African Finfoot||Podica senegalensis|
|Rails, Crakes & Coots (Rallidae)|
|Common Moorhen||Gallinula chloropus|
|Red-knobbed Coot||Fulica cristata|
|Allen’s Gallinule||Porphyrio alleni|
|African Swamphen||Porphyrio madagascariensis|
|Black Crake||Zapornia flavirostra|
|Wattled Crane – VU||Grus carunculata|
|Blue Crane – VU||Grus paradisea|
|Little Grebe||Tachybaptus ruficollis|
|Black-necked Grebe||Podiceps nigricollis|
|Greater Flamingo||Phoenicopterus roseus|
|Lesser Flamingo||Phoeniconaias minor|
|Common Buttonquail||Turnix sylvaticus|
|Stone-curlews, Thick-knees (Burhinidae)|
|Water Thick-knee||Burhinus vermiculatus|
|Spotted Thick-knee||Burhinus capensis|
|African Oystercatcher||Haematopus moquini|
|Stilts, Avocets (Recurvirostridae)|
|Black-winged Stilt||Himantopus himantopus|
|Pied Avocet||Recurvirostra avosetta|
|Long-toed Lapwing||Vanellus crassirostris|
|Blacksmith Lapwing||Vanellus armatus|
|White-crowned Lapwing||Vanellus albiceps|
|Crowned Lapwing||Vanellus coronatus|
|African Wattled Lapwing||Vanellus senegallus|
|Grey Plover||Pluvialis squatarola|
|Common Ringed Plover||Charadrius hiaticula|
|Kittlitz’s Plover||Charadrius pecuarius|
|Three-banded Plover||Charadrius tricollaris|
|White-fronted Plover||Charadrius marginatus|
|Chestnut-banded Plover||Charadrius pallidus|
|Caspian Plover||Charadrius asiaticus|
|Greater Painted-snipe||Rostratula benghalensis|
|Lesser Jacana||Microparra capensis|
|African Jacana||Actophilornis africanus|
|Sandpipers, Snipes (Scolopacidae)|
|Eurasian Whimbrel||Numenius phaeopus|
|Bar-tailed Godwit||Limosa lapponica|
|Ruddy Turnstone||Arenaria interpres|
|Curlew Sandpiper||Calidris ferruginea|
|Little Stint||Calidris minuta|
|African Snipe||Gallinago nigripennis|
|Terek Sandpiper||Xenus cinereus|
|Common Sandpiper||Actitis hypoleucos|
|Marsh Sandpiper||Tringa stagnatilis|
|Wood Sandpiper||Tringa glareola|
|Common Greenshank||Tringa nebularia|
|Coursers, Pratincoles (Glareolidae)|
|Burchell’s Courser||Cursorius rufus|
|Temminck’s Courser||Cursorius temminckii|
|Double-banded Courser||Rhinoptilus africanus|
|Three-banded Courser||Rhinoptilus cinctus|
|Collared Pratincole||Glareola pratincola|
|Black-winged Pratincole||Glareola nordmanni|
|Rock Pratincole||Glareola nuchalis|
|Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)|
|African Skimmer||Rynchops flavirostris|
|Grey-headed Gull||Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus|
|Hartlaub’s Gull||Chroicocephalus hartlaubii|
|Kelp Gull||Larus dominicanus|
|Caspian Tern||Hydroprogne caspia|
|Greater Crested Tern||Thalasseus bergii|
|Sandwich Tern||Thalasseus sandvicensis|
|Damara Tern – VU||Sternula balaenarum|
|Common Tern||Sterna hirundo|
|Whiskered Tern||Chlidonias hybrida|
|Black Tern||Chlidonias niger|
|Parasitic Jaeger||Stercorarius parasiticus|
|Petrels, Shearwaters, Diving Petrels (Procellariidae)|
|White-chinned Petrel – VU||Procellaria aequinoctialis|
|Sooty Shearwater||Ardenna grisea|
|Yellow-billed Stork||Mycteria ibis|
|African Openbill||Anastomus lamelligerus|
|Woolly-necked Stork||Ciconia episcopus|
|Marabou Stork||Leptoptilos crumenifer|
|Gannets, Boobies (Sulidae)|
|Cape Gannet – EN||Morus capensis|
|Anhingas, Darters (Anhingidae)|
|African Darter||Anhinga rufa|
|Cormorants, Shags (Phalacrocoracidae)|
|Reed Cormorant||Microcarbo africanus|
|Crowned Cormorant||Microcarbo coronatus|
|Cape Cormorant – EN||Phalacrocorax capensis|
|White-breasted Cormorant||Phalacrocorax lucidus|
|Ibises, Spoonbills (Threskiornithidae)|
|African Sacred Ibis||Threskiornis aethiopicus|
|Hadada Ibis||Bostrychia hagedash|
|Glossy Ibis||Plegadis falcinellus|
|African Spoonbill||Platalea alba|
|Herons, Bitterns (Ardeidae)|
|Little Bittern||Ixobrychus minutus|
|Dwarf Bittern||Ixobrychus sturmii|
|White-backed Night Heron||Gorsachius leuconotus|
|Black-crowned Night Heron||Nycticorax nycticorax|
|Striated Heron||Butorides striata|
|Squacco Heron||Ardeola ralloides|
|Rufous-bellied Heron||Ardeola rufiventris|
|Western Cattle Egret||Bubulcus ibis|
|Grey Heron||Ardea cinerea|
|Black-headed Heron||Ardea melanocephala|
|Goliath Heron||Ardea goliath|
|Purple Heron||Ardea purpurea|
|Great Egret||Ardea alba|
|Intermediate Egret||Ardea intermedia|
|Black Heron||Egretta ardesiaca|
|Slaty Egret – VU||Egretta vinaceigula|
|Little Egret||Egretta garzetta|
|Great White Pelican||Pelecanus onocrotalus|
|Pink-backed Pelican||Pelecanus rufescens|
|Secretarybird – EN||Sagittarius serpentarius|
|Western Osprey||Pandion haliaetus|
|Kites, Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)|
|Black-winged Kite||Elanus caeruleus|
|African Harrier-Hawk||Polyboroides typus|
|Hooded Vulture – CR||Necrosyrtes monachus|
|White-backed Vulture – CR||Gyps africanus|
|White-headed Vulture – CR||Trigonoceps occipitalis|
|Lappet-faced Vulture – EN||Torgos tracheliotos|
|Black-chested Snake Eagle||Circaetus pectoralis|
|Brown Snake Eagle||Circaetus cinereus|
|Western Banded Snake Eagle||Circaetus cinerascens|
|Bateleur – EN||Terathopius ecaudatus|
|Martial Eagle – EN||Polemaetus bellicosus|
|Wahlberg’s Eagle||Hieraaetus wahlbergi|
|Booted Eagle||Hieraaetus pennatus|
|Tawny Eagle – VU||Aquila rapax|
|African Hawk-Eagle||Aquila spilogaster|
|Lizard Buzzard||Kaupifalco monogrammicus|
|Gabar Goshawk||Micronisus gabar|
|Dark Chanting Goshawk||Melierax metabates|
|Pale Chanting Goshawk||Melierax canorus|
|African Goshawk||Accipiter tachiro|
|Little Sparrowhawk||Accipiter minullus|
|Yellow-billed Kite||Milvus aegyptius|
|African Fish Eagle||Haliaeetus vocifer|
|Common Buzzard||Buteo buteo|
|Barn Owls (Tytonidae)|
|Western Barn Owl||Tyto alba|
|Pearl-spotted Owlet||Glaucidium perlatum|
|African Barred Owlet||Glaucidium capense|
|African Scops Owl||Otus senegalensis|
|Southern White-faced Owl||Ptilopsis granti|
|Spotted Eagle-Owl||Bubo africanus|
|Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl||Bubo lacteus|
|Pel’s Fishing Owl||Scotopelia peli|
|African Wood Owl||Strix woodfordii|
|White-backed Mousebird||Colius colius|
|Red-faced Mousebird||Urocolius indicus|
|Narina Trogon||Apaloderma narina|
|African Hoopoe||Upupa africana|
|Wood Hoopoes (Phoeniculidae)|
|Green Wood Hoopoe||Phoeniculus purpureus|
|Violet Wood Hoopoe||Phoeniculus damarensis|
|Common Scimitarbill||Rhinopomastus cyanomelas|
|Ground Hornbills (Bucorvidae)|
|Southern Ground Hornbill – VU||Bucorvus leadbeateri|
|Damara Red-billed Hornbill||Tockus damarensis|
|Southern Red-billed Hornbill||Tockus rufirostris|
|Monteiro’s Hornbill||Tockus monteiri|
|Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill||Tockus leucomelas|
|Bradfield’s Hornbill||Lophoceros bradfieldi|
|African Grey Hornbill||Lophoceros nasutus|
|Trumpeter Hornbill||Bycanistes bucinator|
|Purple Roller||Coracias naevius|
|Racket-tailed Roller||Coracias spatulatus|
|Lilac-breasted Roller||Coracias caudatus|
|Broad-billed Roller||Eurystomus glaucurus|
|Grey-headed Kingfisher||Halcyon leucocephala|
|Brown-hooded Kingfisher||Halcyon albiventris|
|Striped Kingfisher||Halcyon chelicuti|
|Woodland Kingfisher||Halcyon senegalensis|
|Malachite Kingfisher||Corythornis cristatus|
|Half-collared Kingfisher||Alcedo semitorquata|
|Giant Kingfisher||Megaceryle maxima|
|Pied Kingfisher||Ceryle rudis|
|Swallow-tailed Bee-eater||Merops hirundineus|
|Little Bee-eater||Merops pusillus|
|White-fronted Bee-eater||Merops bullockoides|
|Blue-cheeked Bee-eater||Merops persicus|
|European Bee-eater||Merops apiaster|
|Northern Carmine Bee-eater||Merops nubicus|
|Southern Carmine Bee-eater||Merops nubicoides|
|African Barbets (Lybiidae)|
|Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird||Pogoniulus chrysoconus|
|Acacia Pied Barbet||Tricholaema leucomelas|
|Black-collared Barbet||Lybius torquatus|
|Crested Barbet||Trachyphonus vaillantii|
|Brown-backed Honeybird||Prodotiscus regulus|
|Lesser Honeyguide||Indicator minor|
|Bennett’s Woodpecker||Campethera bennettii|
|Golden-tailed Woodpecker||Campethera abingoni|
|Cardinal Woodpecker||Dendropicos fuscescens|
|Olive Woodpecker||Dendropicos griseocephalus|
|Caracaras, Falcons (Falconidae)|
|Pygmy Falcon||Polihierax semitorquatus|
|Rock Kestrel||Falco rupicolus|
|Greater Kestrel||Falco rupicoloides|
|Red-necked Falcon||Falco chicquera|
|Red-footed Falcon||Falco vespertinus|
|Eurasian Hobby||Falco subbuteo|
|African Hobby||Falco cuvierii|
|Peregrine Falcon||Falco peregrinus|
|African & New World Parrots (Psittacidae)|
|Meyer’s Parrot||Poicephalus meyeri|
|Rüppell’s Parrot||Poicephalus rueppellii|
|Old World Parrots (Psittaculidae)|
|Rosy-faced Lovebird||Agapornis roseicollis|
|Wattle-eyes, Batises (Platysteiridae)|
|Chinspot Batis||Batis molitor|
|Pririt Batis||Batis pririt|
|White-tailed Shrike||Lanioturdus torquatus|
|Grey-headed Bushshrike||Malaconotus blanchoti|
|Orange-breasted Bushshrike||Chlorophoneus sulfureopectus|
|Brown-crowned Tchagra||Tchagra australis|
|Black-crowned Tchagra (H)||Tchagra senegalus|
|Black-backed Puffback||Dryoscopus cubla|
|Tropical Boubou||Laniarius major|
|Swamp Boubou||Laniarius bicolor|
|Crimson-breasted Shrike||Laniarius atrococcineus|
|Vangas & Allies (Vangidae)|
|White-crested Helmetshrike||Prionops plumatus|
|Retz’s Helmetshrike||Prionops retzii|
|White-breasted Cuckooshrike||Ceblepyris pectoralis|
|Black Cuckooshrike||Campephaga flava|
|Magpie Shrike||Urolestes melanoleucus|
|Southern White-crowned Shrike||Eurocephalus anguitimens|
|Souza’s Shrike||Lanius souzae|
|Red-backed Shrike||Lanius collurio|
|Lesser Grey Shrike||Lanius minor|
|Southern Fiscal||Lanius collaris|
|Figbirds, Orioles, Turnagra (Oriolidae)|
|African Golden Oriole||Oriolus auratus|
|Fork-tailed Drongo||Dicrurus adsimilis|
|African Paradise Flycatcher||Terpsiphone viridis|
|Crows, Jays (Corvidae)|
|House Crow||Corvus splendens|
|Cape Crow||Corvus capensis|
|Pied Crow||Corvus albus|
|Tits, Chickadees (Paridae)|
|Southern Black Tit||Melaniparus niger|
|Carp’s Tit||Melaniparus carpi|
|Ashy Tit||Melaniparus cinerascens|
|Penduline Tits (Remizidae)|
|Cape Penduline Tit||Anthoscopus minutus|
|Eastern Nicator (H)||Nicator gularis|
|Spike-heeled Lark||Chersomanes albofasciata|
|Gray’s Lark||Ammomanopsis grayi|
|Benguela Long-billed Lark||Certhilauda benguelensis|
|Dusky Lark||Pinarocorys nigricans|
|Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark||Eremopterix leucotis|
|Grey-backed Sparrow-Lark||Eremopterix verticalis|
|Sabota Lark||Calendulauda sabota|
|Fawn-colored Lark||Calendulauda africanoides|
|Dune Lark||Calendulauda erythrochlamys|
|Eastern Clapper Lark||Mirafra fasciolata|
|Rufous-naped Lark||Mirafra africana|
|Stark’s Lark||Spizocorys starki|
|Pink-billed Lark||Spizocorys conirostris|
|Red-capped Lark||Calandrella cinerea|
|Yellow-throated Leaflove||Atimastillas flavicollis|
|Yellow-bellied Greenbul||Chlorocichla flaviventris|
|Terrestrial Brownbul||Phyllastrephus terrestris|
|African Red-eyed Bulbul||Pycnonotus nigricans|
|Dark-capped Bulbul||Pycnonotus tricolor|
|Swallows, Martins (Hirundinidae)|
|Banded Martin||Neophedina cincta|
|Brown-throated Martin||Riparia paludicola|
|Grey-rumped Swallow||Pseudhirundo griseopyga|
|Rock Martin||Ptyonoprogne fuligula|
|Wire-tailed Swallow||Hirundo smithii|
|Barn Swallow||Hirundo rustica|
|Common House Martin||Delichon urbicum|
|Red-breasted Swallow||Cecropis semirufa|
|Mosque Swallow||Cecropis senegalensis|
|Lesser Striped Swallow||Cecropis abyssinica|
|Greater Striped Swallow||Cecropis cucullata|
|Crombecs, African Warblers (Macrosphenidae)|
|Long-billed Crombec||Sylvietta rufescens|
|Leaf Warblers & Allies (Phylloscopidae)|
|Willow Warbler||Phylloscopus trochilus|
|Reed Warblers & Allies (Acrocephalidae)|
|Greater Swamp Warbler||Acrocephalus rufescens|
|Lesser Swamp Warbler||Acrocephalus gracilirostris|
|African Reed Warbler||Acrocephalus baeticatus|
|Icterine Warbler||Hippolais icterina|
|Grassbirds & Allies (Locustellidae)|
|Little Rush Warbler (H)||Bradypterus baboecala|
|Cisticolas & Allies (Cisticolidae)|
|Red-faced Cisticola||Cisticola erythrops|
|Rattling Cisticola||Cisticola chiniana|
|Tinkling Cisticola||Cisticola rufilatus|
|Luapula Cisticola||Cisticola luapula|
|Chirping Cisticola||Cisticola pipiens|
|Zitting Cisticola||Cisticola juncidis|
|Desert Cisticola||Cisticola aridulus|
|Tawny-flanked Prinia||Prinia subflava|
|Black-chested Prinia||Prinia flavicans|
|Yellow-breasted Apalis||Apalis flavida|
|Rufous-eared Warbler||Malcorus pectoralis|
|Grey-backed Camaroptera||Camaroptera brevicaudata|
|Stierling’s Wren-Warbler||Calamonastes stierlingi|
|Barred Wren-Warbler||Calamonastes fasciolatus|
|Yellow-bellied Eremomela||Eremomela icteropygialis|
|Green-capped Eremomela||Eremomela scotops|
|Burnt-necked Eremomela||Eremomela usticollis|
|Sylviid Babblers (Sylviidae)|
|Layard’s Warbler||Curruca layardi|
|Chestnut-vented Warbler||Curruca subcoerulea|
|Orange River White-eye||Zosterops pallidus|
|Southern Yellow White-eye||Zosterops anderssoni|
|Laughingthrushes & Allies (Leiothrichidae)|
|Arrow-marked Babbler||Turdoides jardineii|
|Bare-cheeked Babbler||Turdoides gymnogenys|
|Southern Pied Babbler||Turdoides bicolor|
|Hartlaub’s Babbler||Turdoides hartlaubii|
|Black-faced Babbler||Turdoides melanops|
|Starlings, Rhabdornis (Sturnidae)|
|Common Myna||Acridotheres tristis|
|Wattled Starling||Creatophora cinerea|
|Cape Starling||Lamprotornis nitens|
|Meves’s Starling||Lamprotornis mevesii|
|Burchell’s Starling||Lamprotornis australis|
|Sharp-tailed Starling||Lamprotornis acuticaudus|
|Violet-backed Starling||Cinnyricinclus leucogaster|
|Red-winged Starling||Onychognathus morio|
|Pale-winged Starling||Onychognathus nabouroup|
|Yellow-billed Oxpecker||Buphagus africanus|
|Red-billed Oxpecker||Buphagus erythrorynchus|
|Groundscraper Thrush||Turdus litsitsirupa|
|Kurrichane Thrush||Turdus libonyana|
|Chats, Old World Flycatchers (Muscicapidae)|
|Bearded Scrub Robin||Cercotrichas quadrivirgata|
|Kalahari Scrub Robin||Cercotrichas paena|
|White-browed Scrub Robin||Cercotrichas leucophrys|
|Grey Tit-Flycatcher (H)||Myioparus plumbeus|
|Southern Black Flycatcher||Melaenornis pammelaina|
|Pale Flycatcher||Melaenornis pallidus|
|Chat Flycatcher||Melaenornis infuscatus|
|Marico Flycatcher||Melaenornis mariquensis|
|Spotted Flycatcher||Muscicapa striata|
|Ashy Flycatcher||Muscicapa caerulescens|
|White-browed Robin-Chat||Cossypha heuglini|
|Collared Flycatcher||Ficedula albicollis|
|Short-toed Rock Thrush||Monticola brevipes|
|Miombo Rock Thrush||Monticola angolensis|
|Karoo Chat||Emarginata schlegelii|
|Ant-eating Chat||Myrmecocichla formicivora|
|Mountain Wheatear||Myrmecocichla monticola|
|Arnot’s Chat||Myrmecocichla arnotti|
|Capped Wheatear||Oenanthe pileata|
|Familiar Chat||Oenanthe familiaris|
|Collared Sunbird||Hedydipna collaris|
|Amethyst Sunbird||Chalcomitra amethystina|
|Scarlet-chested Sunbird||Chalcomitra senegalensis|
|Marico Sunbird||Cinnyris mariquensis|
|Purple-banded Sunbird||Cinnyris bifasciatus|
|White-bellied Sunbird||Cinnyris talatala|
|Dusky Sunbird||Cinnyris fuscus|
|Copper Sunbird||Cinnyris cupreus|
|Old World Sparrows, Snowfinches (Passeridae)|
|Yellow-throated Bush Sparrow||Gymnoris superciliaris|
|Cape Sparrow||Passer melanurus|
|Great Sparrow||Passer motitensis|
|Northern Grey-headed Sparrow||Passer griseus|
|Southern Grey-headed Sparrow||Passer diffusus|
|House Sparrow||Passer domesticus|
|Weavers, Widowbirds (Ploceidae)|
|Red-billed Buffalo Weaver||Bubalornis niger|
|White-browed Sparrow-Weaver||Plocepasser mahali|
|Sociable Weaver||Philetairus socius|
|Scaly-feathered Weaver||Sporopipes squamifrons|
|Thick-billed Weaver||Amblyospiza albifrons|
|Spectacled Weaver||Ploceus ocularis|
|Holub’s Golden Weaver||Ploceus xanthops|
|Southern Brown-throated Weaver||Ploceus xanthopterus|
|Lesser Masked Weaver||Ploceus intermedius|
|Southern Masked Weaver||Ploceus velatus|
|Village Weaver||Ploceus cucullatus|
|Red-headed Weaver||Anaplectes rubriceps|
|Red-billed Quelea||Quelea quelea|
|Southern Red Bishop||Euplectes orix|
|Fan-tailed Widowbird||Euplectes axillaris|
|White-winged Widowbird||Euplectes albonotatus|
|Waxbills, Munias & Allies (Estrildidae)|
|Black-faced Waxbill||Brunhilda erythronotos|
|Common Waxbill||Estrilda astrild|
|Red-headed Finch||Amadina erythrocephala|
|Violet-eared Waxbill||Granatina granatina|
|Blue Waxbill||Uraeginthus angolensis|
|Green-winged Pytilia||Pytilia melba|
|Orange-winged Pytilia||Pytilia afra|
|Red-throated Twinspot||Hypargos niveoguttatus|
|Red-billed Firefinch||Lagonosticta senegala|
|Brown Firefinch||Lagonosticta nitidula|
|Indigobirds, Whydahs (Viduidae)|
|Pin-tailed Whydah||Vidua macroura|
|Shaft-tailed Whydah||Vidua regia|
|Long-tailed Paradise Whydah||Vidua paradisaea|
|Wagtails, Pipits (Motacillidae)|
|Cape Wagtail||Motacilla capensis|
|African Pied Wagtail||Motacilla aguimp|
|African Pipit||Anthus cinnamomeus|
|Buffy Pipit||Anthus vaalensis|
|Plain-backed Pipit||Anthus leucophrys|
|Finches, Euphonias (Fringillidae)|
|Black-throated Canary||Crithagra atrogularis|
|Yellow-fronted Canary||Crithagra mozambica|
|Yellow Canary||Crithagra flaviventris|
|White-throated Canary||Crithagra albogularis|
|Lark-like Bunting||Emberiza impetuani|
|Cinnamon-breasted Bunting||Emberiza tahapisi|
|Cape Bunting||Emberiza capensis|
|Golden-breasted Bunting||Emberiza flaviventris|
|Total heard only||6|
|Common name||Scientific name|
|Dogs, Wolves, Foxes (Canidae)|
|Black-backed Jackal||Canis mesomelas|
|Cape Fox||Vulpes chama|
|Banded Mongoose||Mungos mungo|
|Yellow Mongoose||Cynictis penicillata|
|Common Slender Mongoose||Herpestes sanguineus|
|Kaokoveld Slender Mongoose||Herpestes flavescens|
|Hyaenas, Aardwolf (Hyaenidae)|
|Spotted Hyaena||Crocuta crocuta|
|Eared Seals (Otariidae)|
|Cape Fur Seal||Arctocephalus pusillus|
|Spotted-necked Otter||Lutra maculicollis|
|(Red) Hartebeest||Alcelaphus buselaphus caama|
|Common Wildebeest||Connochaetes taurinus|
|Roan Antelope||Hippotragus equinus|
|Sable Antelope||Hippotragus niger|
|Southern Lechwe||Kobus leche|
|Kirk’s Dik-dik||Madoqua kirkii|
|Gemsbok (Southern Oryx)||Oryx gazella|
|African Buffalo||Syncerus caffer|
|Greater Kudu||Tragelaphus strepsiceros|
|Giraffes, Okapis (Giraffidae)|
|Hogs, Pigs (Suidae)|
|Common Warthog||Phacochoerus africanus|
|Rock Hyrax||Procavia capensis|
|Rabbits, Hares (Leporidae)|
|Cape Scrub Hare||Lepus saxatilis|
|Horses, Asses, Zebras (Equidae)|
|Plains Zebra||Equus quagga|
|Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra||Equus zebra hartmannae|
|Black Rhinoceros||Diceros bicornis|
|Old World Monkeys (Cercopithecidae)|
|Vervet Monkey||Chlorocebus pygerythrus|
|Chacma Baboon||Papio ursinus|
|Oceanic Dolphins (Delphinidae)|
|Common Bottlenose Dolphin||Tursiops truncatus|
|African Elephant||Loxodonta africana|
|Dassie Rat (Petromuridae)|
|Dassie Rat||Petromus typicus|
|Fruit bats (Pteropodidae)|
|Gambian Epauletted Fruit Bat||Epomophorus gambianus|
|Squirrels, Chipmunks, Marmots, Prairie Dogs (Sciuridae)|
|Smith’s Bush Squirrel||Paraxerus cepapi|
|South African Ground Squirrel||Xerus inauris|
|Common Name||Scientific Name|
|Land Tortoises (Testudinidae)|
|Leopard Tortoise||Geochelone pardalis|
|Speke’s Hinged Tortoise||Kinixys spekii|
|Marsh Terrapin (Pelomedusidae)|
|Marsh Terrapin||Pelomedusa subrufa|
|Southern African Rock Python||Python natalensis|
|Typical Snakes (Colubridae)|
|Black Mamba||Dendroaspis polylepis|
|Mozambique Spitting Cobra||Naja mossambica|
|Variegated Skink||Trachylepis variegata|
|Nile Monitor||Varanus niloticus|
|Namib Rock Agama||Agama planiceps|
|Etosha Agama||Agama etoshae|
|Nile Crocodile||Crocodylus niloticus|
DOWNLOAD TRIP REPORT
This is a sample trip report. Please email us ([email protected]) for more trip reports from this destination.
BIRDING TOUR NAMIBIA, OKAVANGO AND VICTORIA FALLS: GENERAL INFORMATION
This 18-day birding adventure includes three countries, Namibia, Botswana, and Zambia. In Namibia we bird the Namib Coast and Namibian Escarpment for the host of species that inhabit only northern Namibia and southern Angola. In addition we will see one of the greatest shorebird spectacles on the African continent (plus find localized species such as Damara Tern and Chestnut-banded Plover). We also bird the woodlands, rivers, and swamps of the Caprivi Strip and Botswana. These areas are inhabited by a phenomenal diversity of birds. Birding around the stunning Victoria Falls can also be very rewarding. The entire trip mixes truly unforgettable birding with impressive and unbelievably diverse scenery. Although the trip focuses on the endemics and specials, we will end up with an impressive list also of other birds as well as loads of mammals.
Namibia’s climate is typical of semi-desert terrain, hot days, and cool nights. The coastal regions are cooled by the cold Benguela current, causing fog and inhibiting rainfall. Over the central plateau in the country, which is higher up, temperatures are understandably lower. With 300 days of sunshine on average per year, Namibia is truly a sunny place. Only during the summer months from November to April does rain occur, mostly as heavy thunderstorms. Then the usually dry riverbeds become saturated with torrents of muddy water in a very short time. It is during this time that the sun-scorched land comes to life and develops a colorful horizon-to-horizon floral carpet within a few days. The interior enjoys two rainy seasons: the short season is between October and December, marked by frequent thunderstorms. The longer season is from mid-January to April. Summer is from October to April. Temperatures can reach 40 ºC, which drops at night to cool levels. Average daily temperatures range from 20 to 34 ºC. Winter is from May to September with wonderful warm days, which are contrasted by very cold nights when temperatures often drop to below freezing.
On this trip we expect very hot weather in the desert. Further east toward Victoria Falls we expect hot and humid weather. The weather can be surprisingly cool on the coast, even in summer, so please be prepared for all weather but generally expect heat to be the main problem. It might rain, but since the areas visited are typically dry we don’t expect it to interrupt birding very much
We will be visiting areas inhabited by venomous snakes, although as usual we will be very lucky to see any. We recommend hiking boots, jeans/long trousers, and a good dose of care to minimize the danger of snakebites. We do not take anti-venom on our tours but will try and rush you to a private hospital if you do get bitten (although we will often be in extremely remote places); your own travel insurance (especially medical insurance) is crucial. In game reserves, where large predators freely lurk, it is illegal for very good reasons to alight from one’s vehicle except in rest camps and picnic areas. Scorpions and spiders may also cause problems.
Malaria and other diseases
We strongly recommend taking anti-malaria precautions. Any of the following three drugs is highly effective as a malaria preventative measure (albeit not 100 percent due to resistant strains of malaria):
Mosquito repellent, long trousers/jeans, and long-sleeved shirts, particularly at night when malaria (Anopheles) mosquitoes bite, are advised in addition to the drugs.
In the unlikely event that one still contracts malaria after taking anti-malaria drugs and other precautions the disease can still be easily treated if diagnosed soon after symptoms develop: suspect malaria if ‘flu-like’ symptoms develop within a few months after visiting Namibia. If it is malaria it can be treated with an alternative to the prophylactic that you chose.
The Centers for Disease Control website, particularly the section on malaria in southern Africa, is very informative: https://www.cdc.gov/travel/regionalmalaria/safrica.htm
Please do carefully read
You can also take a look at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/zambia, but please be aware that we only venture into a tiny part of Zambia near Botswana/Namibia, so the countrywide text for Zambia does not really apply to this tour – the Botswana and especially Namibia sections are far more relevant here.
Although you will find that the people of Namibia, Botswana, and Zambia are generally friendly, helpful, and kind, crime is always a possibility (as it is virtually worldwide). We urge you to be aware that crime is possible (although unlikely) throughout the trip – please take very good care of your personal belongings and don’t leave valuables visible in the vehicle when no one is with it.
Electricity is 220-240V. If you intend to recharge video batteries etc. in your hotel room you will need an international adapter (3 round prong in a triangular pattern, ITA Type D/M for Namibia, ITA Type D/G for Botswana, and ITA Type C/D/G for Zambia). Note: If you are from North America or elsewhere that does not have 220-240V electricity, then do check all equipment that you plan on charging to see if it is 110/120–220/240V compatible. If that is the case you only need an adaptor to plug the US/Canadian/etc. plugs into. If your equipment is only listed as 110-120V then you will need a converter to convert the electric current to 220-240V.
You can get a Zambian visa at the border – will need US$ cash for it – usually around $50. Please note that those wanting to cross into Zimbabwe on foot to see Victoria Falls from the other side (across from Livingstone, Zambia) will have to pay for an additional (Zimbabwean) visa, the cost of which changes quite often but can be as high as US$100 (unfortunately, some nationalities are charged a lot more than others, too).
CLOTHING SPECIFIC TO THIS TOUR
In Namibia, Botswana, and Zambia we expect the weather to be warm to very hot during the day, and often mild at night. We do this tour at the best time for birds, but the disadvantage is the heat. However, the coast can sometimes be foggy and quite cool, and we recommend bringing sweaters, windbreakers, and long pants at least for the coastal part of the trip. Inland the Namib Desert is often extremely hot, but dry, whereas the Caprivi can be very hot and humid, even at night. So hot weather clothes are recommended, but long trousers, hiking boots, and long sleeves, although uncomfortable in hot weather, will help prevent snakebite and sunburn. There is a chance of rain, especially in the Caprivi, the Okavango, and at Victoria Falls.
EMERGENCY CONTACT DETAILS
Our emergency contact numbers are as follows (please note that the “+27” should be substituted by a “0” if dialing from within South Africa):
Birding Ecotours office: Nadia: +27 72 211 9863
Fax: +27 21 592 7438
E-mail (which is checked almost daily): [email protected]
Please refer to our online resource for field guides and apps
Stuarts’ Field Guide to Mammals of Southern Africa by Chris and Mathilde Stuart, Struik Publishers. 2015
Smithers’ Mammals of Southern Africa – a field guide. Edited by Peter Apps. 1996
Field Guide to Snakes and other Reptiles of Southern Africa by Bill Branch, Struik Publishers. 1998 – Excellent
Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa by Steve Woodhall, 440-page paperback. 2005 – the best of those available
Sasol First Field Guide to Butterflies and Moths of Southern Africa by Simon von Noort, 56-page paperback. 1999
Field guide to Insects of South Africa by Mike Picker, Charles Griffiths and Alan Weaving. 3rd edition. Struik Publishers. 2019
Check whether your tour operator is legal in Namibia – please read this carefully.
‘We toured Namibia in a private group of six people through Birding Ecotours in 2010. Our group was rather diverse, with birding desires ranging from obsessive to casual and including a wildlife photographer. The range of interests could have led to issues, but we all were very satisfied with the trip. We not only had great birding results, thoroughly satisfying the more bird-oriented among us, but also had unforgettable experiences viewing mammals to the delight of the entire group. The tour was well-organized and well-executed, we had plenty of information in advance, the arrangements took account of our special needs, accommodations and transportation were excellent, and the price was quite reasonable. We were delighted with the trip and look forward to our next adventure (already booked!) with Birding Ecotours.’