Namibia, Botswana & Victoria Falls Trip Report, November 2022


02 – 19 NOVEMBER 2022

By Dominic Rollinson

Our visit to a Southern Carmine Bee-eater colony 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

Detailed Report

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 ListFollowing 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 NameScientific Name
Ostriches (Struthionidae)
Common OstrichStruthio camelus
Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)
White-faced Whistling DuckDendrocygna viduata
White-backed DuckThalassornis leuconotus
Spur-winged GoosePlectropterus gambensis
Knob-billed DuckSarkidiornis melanotos
Egyptian GooseAlopochen aegyptiaca
South African ShelduckTadorna cana
African Pygmy GooseNettapus auritus
Blue-billed TealSpatula hottentota
Cape TealAnas capensis
Red-billed TealAnas erythrorhyncha
Guineafowl (Numididae)
Helmeted GuineafowlNumida meleagris
Pheasants & Allies (Phasianidae)
Crested FrancolinOrtygornis sephaena
Coqui Francolin (H)Campocolinus coqui
Hartlaub’s SpurfowlPternistis hartlaubi
Red-billed SpurfowlPternistis adspersus
Swainson’s SpurfowlPternistis swainsonii
Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)
Rufous-cheeked NightjarCaprimulgus rufigena
Fiery-necked NightjarCaprimulgus pectoralis
Freckled NightjarCaprimulgus tristigma
Square-tailed NightjarCaprimulgus fossii
Swifts (Apodidae)
African Palm SwiftCypsiurus parvus
Common SwiftApus apus
Bradfield’s SwiftApus bradfieldi
Little SwiftApus affinis
White-rumped SwiftApus caffer
Turacos (Musophagidae)
Grey Go-away-birdCrinifer concolor
Schalow’s TuracoTauraco schalowi
Bustards (Otididae)
Kori BustardArdeotis kori
Ludwig’s Bustard – ENNeotis ludwigii
Rüppell’s KorhaanEupodotis rueppelii
Red-crested KorhaanLophotis ruficrista
Northern Black KorhaanAfrotis afraoides
Cuckoos (Cuculidae)
Senegal CoucalCentropus senegalensis
Coppery-tailed CoucalCentropus cupreicaudus
White-browed CoucalCentropus superciliosus
Great Spotted CuckooClamator glandarius
Levaillant’s CuckooClamator levaillantii
Jacobin CuckooClamator jacobinus
Diederik CuckooChrysococcyx caprius
Klaas’s CuckooChrysococcyx klaas
African Emerald Cuckoo (H)Chrysococcyx cupreus
Black CuckooCuculus clamosus
Red-chested CuckooCuculus solitarius
African CuckooCuculus gularis
Common CuckooCuculus canorus
Sandgrouse (Pteroclidae)
Namaqua SandgrousePterocles namaqua
Double-banded SandgrousePterocles bicinctus
Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)
Rock DoveColumba livia
Speckled PigeonColumba guinea
Mourning Collared DoveStreptopelia decipiens
Red-eyed DoveStreptopelia semitorquata
Ring-necked DoveStreptopelia capicola
Laughing DoveSpilopelia senegalensis
Emerald-spotted Wood DoveTurtur chalcospilos
Namaqua DoveOena capensis
African Green PigeonTreron calvus
Finfoots (Heliornithidae)
African FinfootPodica senegalensis
Rails, Crakes & Coots (Rallidae)
Common MoorhenGallinula chloropus
Red-knobbed CootFulica cristata
Allen’s GallinulePorphyrio alleni
African SwamphenPorphyrio madagascariensis
Black CrakeZapornia flavirostra
Cranes (Gruidae)
Wattled Crane – VUGrus carunculata
Blue Crane – VUGrus paradisea
Grebes (Podicipedidae)
Little GrebeTachybaptus ruficollis
Black-necked GrebePodiceps nigricollis
Flamingos (Phoenicopteridae)
Greater FlamingoPhoenicopterus roseus
Lesser FlamingoPhoeniconaias minor
Buttonquail (Turnicidae)
Common ButtonquailTurnix sylvaticus
Stone-curlews, Thick-knees (Burhinidae)
Water Thick-kneeBurhinus vermiculatus
Spotted Thick-kneeBurhinus capensis
Oystercatchers (Haematopodidae)
African OystercatcherHaematopus moquini
Stilts, Avocets (Recurvirostridae)
Black-winged StiltHimantopus himantopus
Pied AvocetRecurvirostra avosetta
Plovers (Charadriidae)
Long-toed LapwingVanellus crassirostris
Blacksmith LapwingVanellus armatus
White-crowned LapwingVanellus albiceps
Crowned LapwingVanellus coronatus
African Wattled LapwingVanellus senegallus
Grey PloverPluvialis squatarola
Common Ringed PloverCharadrius hiaticula
Kittlitz’s PloverCharadrius pecuarius
Three-banded PloverCharadrius tricollaris
White-fronted PloverCharadrius marginatus
Chestnut-banded PloverCharadrius pallidus
Caspian PloverCharadrius asiaticus
Painted-snipes (Rostratulidae)
Greater Painted-snipeRostratula benghalensis
Jacanas (Jacanidae)
Lesser JacanaMicroparra capensis
African JacanaActophilornis africanus
Sandpipers, Snipes (Scolopacidae)
Eurasian WhimbrelNumenius phaeopus
Bar-tailed GodwitLimosa lapponica
Ruddy TurnstoneArenaria interpres
RuffCalidris pugnax
Curlew SandpiperCalidris ferruginea
SanderlingCalidris alba
Little StintCalidris minuta
African SnipeGallinago nigripennis
Terek SandpiperXenus cinereus
Common SandpiperActitis hypoleucos
Marsh SandpiperTringa stagnatilis
Wood SandpiperTringa glareola
Common GreenshankTringa nebularia
Coursers, Pratincoles (Glareolidae)
Burchell’s CourserCursorius rufus
Temminck’s CourserCursorius temminckii
Double-banded CourserRhinoptilus africanus
Three-banded CourserRhinoptilus cinctus
Collared PratincoleGlareola pratincola
Black-winged PratincoleGlareola nordmanni
Rock PratincoleGlareola nuchalis
Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)
African SkimmerRynchops flavirostris
Grey-headed GullChroicocephalus cirrocephalus
Hartlaub’s GullChroicocephalus hartlaubii
Kelp GullLarus dominicanus
Caspian TernHydroprogne caspia
Greater Crested TernThalasseus bergii
Sandwich TernThalasseus sandvicensis
Damara Tern – VUSternula balaenarum
Common TernSterna hirundo
Whiskered TernChlidonias hybrida
Black TernChlidonias niger
Skuas (Stercorariidae)
Parasitic JaegerStercorarius parasiticus
Petrels, Shearwaters, Diving Petrels (Procellariidae)
White-chinned Petrel – VUProcellaria aequinoctialis
Sooty ShearwaterArdenna grisea
Storks (Ciconiidae)
Yellow-billed StorkMycteria ibis
African OpenbillAnastomus lamelligerus
Woolly-necked StorkCiconia episcopus
Marabou StorkLeptoptilos crumenifer
Gannets, Boobies (Sulidae)
Cape Gannet – ENMorus capensis
Anhingas, Darters (Anhingidae)
African DarterAnhinga rufa
Cormorants, Shags (Phalacrocoracidae)
Reed CormorantMicrocarbo africanus
Crowned CormorantMicrocarbo coronatus
Cape Cormorant – ENPhalacrocorax capensis
White-breasted CormorantPhalacrocorax lucidus
Ibises, Spoonbills (Threskiornithidae)
African Sacred IbisThreskiornis aethiopicus
Hadada IbisBostrychia hagedash
Glossy IbisPlegadis falcinellus
African SpoonbillPlatalea alba
Herons, Bitterns (Ardeidae)
Little BitternIxobrychus minutus
Dwarf BitternIxobrychus sturmii
White-backed Night HeronGorsachius leuconotus
Black-crowned Night HeronNycticorax nycticorax
Striated HeronButorides striata
Squacco HeronArdeola ralloides
Rufous-bellied HeronArdeola rufiventris
Western Cattle EgretBubulcus ibis
Grey HeronArdea cinerea
Black-headed HeronArdea melanocephala
Goliath HeronArdea goliath
Purple HeronArdea purpurea
Great EgretArdea alba
Intermediate EgretArdea intermedia
Black HeronEgretta ardesiaca
Slaty Egret – VUEgretta vinaceigula
Little EgretEgretta garzetta
Hamerkop (Scopidae)
HamerkopScopus umbretta
Pelicans (Pelecanidae)
Great White PelicanPelecanus onocrotalus
Pink-backed PelicanPelecanus rufescens
Secretarybird (Sagittariidae)
Secretarybird – ENSagittarius serpentarius
Ospreys (Pandionidae)
Western OspreyPandion haliaetus
Kites, Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)
Black-winged KiteElanus caeruleus
African Harrier-HawkPolyboroides typus
Hooded Vulture – CRNecrosyrtes monachus
White-backed Vulture – CRGyps africanus
White-headed Vulture – CRTrigonoceps occipitalis
Lappet-faced Vulture – ENTorgos tracheliotos
Black-chested Snake EagleCircaetus pectoralis
Brown Snake EagleCircaetus cinereus
Western Banded Snake EagleCircaetus cinerascens
Bateleur – ENTerathopius ecaudatus
Martial Eagle – ENPolemaetus bellicosus
Wahlberg’s EagleHieraaetus wahlbergi
Booted EagleHieraaetus pennatus
Tawny Eagle – VUAquila rapax
African Hawk-EagleAquila spilogaster
Lizard BuzzardKaupifalco monogrammicus
Gabar GoshawkMicronisus gabar
Dark Chanting GoshawkMelierax metabates
Pale Chanting GoshawkMelierax canorus
African GoshawkAccipiter tachiro
ShikraAccipiter badius
Little SparrowhawkAccipiter minullus
Yellow-billed KiteMilvus aegyptius
African Fish EagleHaliaeetus vocifer
Common BuzzardButeo buteo
Barn Owls (Tytonidae)
Western Barn OwlTyto alba
Owls (Strigidae)
Pearl-spotted OwletGlaucidium perlatum
African Barred OwletGlaucidium capense
African Scops OwlOtus senegalensis
Southern White-faced OwlPtilopsis granti
Spotted Eagle-OwlBubo africanus
Verreaux’s Eagle-OwlBubo lacteus
Pel’s Fishing OwlScotopelia peli
African Wood OwlStrix woodfordii
Mousebirds (Coliidae)
White-backed MousebirdColius colius
Red-faced MousebirdUrocolius indicus
Trogons (Trogonidae)
Narina TrogonApaloderma narina
Hoopoes (Upupidae)
African HoopoeUpupa africana
Wood Hoopoes (Phoeniculidae)
Green Wood HoopoePhoeniculus purpureus
Violet Wood HoopoePhoeniculus damarensis
Common ScimitarbillRhinopomastus cyanomelas
Ground Hornbills (Bucorvidae)
Southern Ground Hornbill – VUBucorvus leadbeateri
Hornbills (Bucerotidae)
Damara Red-billed HornbillTockus damarensis
Southern Red-billed HornbillTockus rufirostris
Monteiro’s HornbillTockus monteiri
Southern Yellow-billed HornbillTockus leucomelas
Bradfield’s HornbillLophoceros bradfieldi
African Grey HornbillLophoceros nasutus
Trumpeter HornbillBycanistes bucinator
Rollers (Coraciidae)
Purple RollerCoracias naevius
Racket-tailed RollerCoracias spatulatus
Lilac-breasted RollerCoracias caudatus
Broad-billed RollerEurystomus glaucurus
Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)
Grey-headed KingfisherHalcyon leucocephala
Brown-hooded KingfisherHalcyon albiventris
Striped KingfisherHalcyon chelicuti
Woodland KingfisherHalcyon senegalensis
Malachite KingfisherCorythornis cristatus
Half-collared KingfisherAlcedo semitorquata
Giant KingfisherMegaceryle maxima
Pied KingfisherCeryle rudis
Bee-eaters (Meropidae)
Swallow-tailed Bee-eaterMerops hirundineus
Little Bee-eaterMerops pusillus
White-fronted Bee-eaterMerops bullockoides
Blue-cheeked Bee-eaterMerops persicus
European Bee-eaterMerops apiaster
Northern Carmine Bee-eaterMerops nubicus
Southern Carmine Bee-eaterMerops nubicoides
African Barbets (Lybiidae)
Yellow-fronted TinkerbirdPogoniulus chrysoconus
Acacia Pied BarbetTricholaema leucomelas
Black-collared BarbetLybius torquatus
Crested BarbetTrachyphonus vaillantii
Honeyguides (Indicatoridae)
Brown-backed HoneybirdProdotiscus regulus
Lesser HoneyguideIndicator minor
Woodpeckers (Picidae)
Bennett’s WoodpeckerCampethera bennettii
Golden-tailed WoodpeckerCampethera abingoni
Cardinal WoodpeckerDendropicos fuscescens
Olive WoodpeckerDendropicos griseocephalus
Caracaras, Falcons (Falconidae)
Pygmy FalconPolihierax semitorquatus
Rock KestrelFalco rupicolus
Greater KestrelFalco rupicoloides
Red-necked FalconFalco chicquera
Red-footed FalconFalco vespertinus
Eurasian HobbyFalco subbuteo
African HobbyFalco cuvierii
Peregrine FalconFalco peregrinus
African & New World Parrots (Psittacidae)
Meyer’s ParrotPoicephalus meyeri
Rüppell’s ParrotPoicephalus rueppellii
Old World Parrots (Psittaculidae)
Rosy-faced LovebirdAgapornis roseicollis
Wattle-eyes, Batises (Platysteiridae)
Chinspot BatisBatis molitor
Pririt BatisBatis pririt
White-tailed ShrikeLanioturdus torquatus
Bushshrikes (Malaconotidae)
Grey-headed BushshrikeMalaconotus blanchoti
Orange-breasted BushshrikeChlorophoneus sulfureopectus
BokmakierieTelophorus zeylonus
Brown-crowned TchagraTchagra australis
Black-crowned Tchagra (H)Tchagra senegalus
Black-backed PuffbackDryoscopus cubla
Tropical BoubouLaniarius major
Swamp BoubouLaniarius bicolor
Crimson-breasted ShrikeLaniarius atrococcineus
BrubruNilaus afer
Vangas & Allies (Vangidae)
White-crested HelmetshrikePrionops plumatus
Retz’s HelmetshrikePrionops retzii
Cuckooshrikes (Campephagidae)
White-breasted CuckooshrikeCeblepyris pectoralis
Black CuckooshrikeCampephaga flava
Shrikes (Laniidae)
Magpie ShrikeUrolestes melanoleucus
Southern White-crowned ShrikeEurocephalus anguitimens
Souza’s ShrikeLanius souzae
Red-backed ShrikeLanius collurio
Lesser Grey ShrikeLanius minor
Southern FiscalLanius collaris
Figbirds, Orioles, Turnagra (Oriolidae)
African Golden OrioleOriolus auratus
Drongos (Dicruridae)
Fork-tailed DrongoDicrurus adsimilis
Monarchs (Monarchidae)
African Paradise FlycatcherTerpsiphone viridis
Crows, Jays (Corvidae)
House CrowCorvus splendens
Cape CrowCorvus capensis
Pied CrowCorvus albus
Tits, Chickadees (Paridae)
Southern Black TitMelaniparus niger
Carp’s TitMelaniparus carpi
Ashy TitMelaniparus cinerascens
Penduline Tits (Remizidae)
Cape Penduline TitAnthoscopus minutus
Nicators (Nicatoridae)
Eastern Nicator (H)Nicator gularis
Larks (Alaudidae)
Spike-heeled LarkChersomanes albofasciata
Gray’s LarkAmmomanopsis grayi
Benguela Long-billed LarkCerthilauda benguelensis
Dusky LarkPinarocorys nigricans
Chestnut-backed Sparrow-LarkEremopterix leucotis
Grey-backed Sparrow-LarkEremopterix verticalis
Sabota LarkCalendulauda sabota
Fawn-colored LarkCalendulauda africanoides
Dune LarkCalendulauda erythrochlamys
Eastern Clapper LarkMirafra fasciolata
Rufous-naped LarkMirafra africana
Stark’s LarkSpizocorys starki
Pink-billed LarkSpizocorys conirostris
Red-capped LarkCalandrella cinerea
Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)
Yellow-throated LeafloveAtimastillas flavicollis
Yellow-bellied GreenbulChlorocichla flaviventris
Terrestrial BrownbulPhyllastrephus terrestris
African Red-eyed BulbulPycnonotus nigricans
Dark-capped BulbulPycnonotus tricolor
Swallows, Martins (Hirundinidae)
Banded MartinNeophedina cincta
Brown-throated MartinRiparia paludicola
Grey-rumped SwallowPseudhirundo griseopyga
Rock MartinPtyonoprogne fuligula
Wire-tailed SwallowHirundo smithii
Barn SwallowHirundo rustica
Common House MartinDelichon urbicum
Red-breasted SwallowCecropis semirufa
Mosque SwallowCecropis senegalensis
Lesser Striped SwallowCecropis abyssinica
Greater Striped SwallowCecropis cucullata
Crombecs, African Warblers (Macrosphenidae)
RockrunnerAchaetops pycnopygius
Long-billed CrombecSylvietta rufescens
Leaf Warblers & Allies (Phylloscopidae)
Willow WarblerPhylloscopus trochilus
Reed Warblers & Allies (Acrocephalidae)
Greater Swamp WarblerAcrocephalus rufescens
Lesser Swamp WarblerAcrocephalus gracilirostris
African Reed WarblerAcrocephalus baeticatus
Icterine WarblerHippolais icterina
Grassbirds & Allies (Locustellidae)
Little Rush Warbler (H)Bradypterus baboecala
Cisticolas & Allies (Cisticolidae)
Red-faced CisticolaCisticola erythrops
Rattling CisticolaCisticola chiniana
Tinkling CisticolaCisticola rufilatus
Luapula CisticolaCisticola luapula
Chirping CisticolaCisticola pipiens
NeddickyCisticola fulvicapilla
Zitting CisticolaCisticola juncidis
Desert CisticolaCisticola aridulus
Tawny-flanked PriniaPrinia subflava
Black-chested PriniaPrinia flavicans
Yellow-breasted ApalisApalis flavida
Rufous-eared WarblerMalcorus pectoralis
Grey-backed CamaropteraCamaroptera brevicaudata
Stierling’s Wren-WarblerCalamonastes stierlingi
Barred Wren-WarblerCalamonastes fasciolatus
Yellow-bellied EremomelaEremomela icteropygialis
Green-capped EremomelaEremomela scotops
Burnt-necked EremomelaEremomela usticollis
Sylviid Babblers (Sylviidae)
Layard’s WarblerCurruca layardi
Chestnut-vented WarblerCurruca subcoerulea
White-eyes (Zosteropidae)
Orange River White-eyeZosterops pallidus
Southern Yellow White-eyeZosterops anderssoni
Laughingthrushes & Allies (Leiothrichidae)
Arrow-marked BabblerTurdoides jardineii
Bare-cheeked BabblerTurdoides gymnogenys
Southern Pied BabblerTurdoides bicolor
Hartlaub’s BabblerTurdoides hartlaubii
Black-faced BabblerTurdoides melanops
Starlings, Rhabdornis (Sturnidae)
Common MynaAcridotheres tristis
Wattled StarlingCreatophora cinerea
Cape StarlingLamprotornis nitens
Meves’s StarlingLamprotornis mevesii
Burchell’s StarlingLamprotornis australis
Sharp-tailed StarlingLamprotornis acuticaudus
Violet-backed StarlingCinnyricinclus leucogaster
Red-winged StarlingOnychognathus morio
Pale-winged StarlingOnychognathus nabouroup
Oxpeckers (Buphagidae)
Yellow-billed OxpeckerBuphagus africanus
Red-billed OxpeckerBuphagus erythrorynchus
Thrushes (Turdidae)
Groundscraper ThrushTurdus litsitsirupa
Kurrichane ThrushTurdus libonyana
Chats, Old World Flycatchers (Muscicapidae)
Bearded Scrub RobinCercotrichas quadrivirgata
Kalahari Scrub RobinCercotrichas paena
White-browed Scrub RobinCercotrichas leucophrys
Grey Tit-Flycatcher (H)Myioparus plumbeus
Southern Black FlycatcherMelaenornis pammelaina
Pale FlycatcherMelaenornis pallidus
Chat FlycatcherMelaenornis infuscatus
Marico FlycatcherMelaenornis mariquensis
Spotted FlycatcherMuscicapa striata
Ashy FlycatcherMuscicapa caerulescens
White-browed Robin-ChatCossypha heuglini
Collared FlycatcherFicedula albicollis
Short-toed Rock ThrushMonticola brevipes
Miombo Rock ThrushMonticola angolensis
Karoo ChatEmarginata schlegelii
Ant-eating ChatMyrmecocichla formicivora
Mountain WheatearMyrmecocichla monticola
Arnot’s ChatMyrmecocichla arnotti
Capped WheatearOenanthe pileata
Familiar ChatOenanthe familiaris
Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)
Collared SunbirdHedydipna collaris
Amethyst SunbirdChalcomitra amethystina
Scarlet-chested SunbirdChalcomitra senegalensis
Marico SunbirdCinnyris mariquensis
Purple-banded SunbirdCinnyris bifasciatus
White-bellied SunbirdCinnyris talatala
Dusky SunbirdCinnyris fuscus
Copper SunbirdCinnyris cupreus
Old World Sparrows, Snowfinches (Passeridae)
Yellow-throated Bush SparrowGymnoris superciliaris
Cape SparrowPasser melanurus
Great SparrowPasser motitensis
Northern Grey-headed SparrowPasser griseus
Southern Grey-headed SparrowPasser diffusus
House SparrowPasser domesticus
Weavers, Widowbirds (Ploceidae)
Red-billed Buffalo WeaverBubalornis niger
White-browed Sparrow-WeaverPlocepasser mahali
Sociable WeaverPhiletairus socius
Scaly-feathered WeaverSporopipes squamifrons
Thick-billed WeaverAmblyospiza albifrons
Spectacled WeaverPloceus ocularis
Holub’s Golden WeaverPloceus xanthops
Southern Brown-throated WeaverPloceus xanthopterus
Lesser Masked WeaverPloceus intermedius
Southern Masked WeaverPloceus velatus
Village WeaverPloceus cucullatus
Red-headed WeaverAnaplectes rubriceps
Red-billed QueleaQuelea quelea
Southern Red BishopEuplectes orix
Fan-tailed WidowbirdEuplectes axillaris
White-winged WidowbirdEuplectes albonotatus
Waxbills, Munias & Allies (Estrildidae)
Black-faced WaxbillBrunhilda erythronotos
Common WaxbillEstrilda astrild
QuailfinchOrtygospiza atricollis
Red-headed FinchAmadina erythrocephala
Violet-eared WaxbillGranatina granatina
Blue WaxbillUraeginthus angolensis
Green-winged PytiliaPytilia melba
Orange-winged PytiliaPytilia afra
Red-throated TwinspotHypargos niveoguttatus
Red-billed FirefinchLagonosticta senegala
Brown FirefinchLagonosticta nitidula
Indigobirds, Whydahs (Viduidae)
Pin-tailed WhydahVidua macroura
Shaft-tailed WhydahVidua regia
Long-tailed Paradise WhydahVidua paradisaea
Wagtails, Pipits (Motacillidae)
Cape WagtailMotacilla capensis
African Pied WagtailMotacilla aguimp
African PipitAnthus cinnamomeus
Buffy PipitAnthus vaalensis
Plain-backed PipitAnthus leucophrys
Finches, Euphonias (Fringillidae)
Black-throated CanaryCrithagra atrogularis
Yellow-fronted CanaryCrithagra mozambica
Yellow CanaryCrithagra flaviventris
White-throated CanaryCrithagra albogularis
Buntings (Emberizidae)
Lark-like BuntingEmberiza impetuani
Cinnamon-breasted BuntingEmberiza tahapisi
Cape BuntingEmberiza capensis
Golden-breasted BuntingEmberiza flaviventris
Total seen432
Total heard only6
Total recorded438

Mammal List

Common nameScientific name
Dogs, Wolves, Foxes (Canidae)
Black-backed JackalCanis mesomelas
Cape FoxVulpes chama
Cats (Felidae)
LionPanthera leo
Mongooses (Herpestidae)
Banded MongooseMungos mungo
Yellow MongooseCynictis penicillata
Common Slender MongooseHerpestes sanguineus
Kaokoveld Slender MongooseHerpestes flavescens
Hyaenas, Aardwolf (Hyaenidae)
Spotted HyaenaCrocuta crocuta
Eared Seals (Otariidae)
Cape Fur SealArctocephalus pusillus
Mustelids (Mustelidae)
Spotted-necked OtterLutra maculicollis
Bovids (Bovidae)
ImpalaAepyceros melampus
(Red) HartebeestAlcelaphus buselaphus caama
SpringbokAntidorcas marsupialis
Common WildebeestConnochaetes taurinus
Roan AntelopeHippotragus equinus
Sable AntelopeHippotragus niger
WaterbuckKobus ellipsiprymnus
Southern LechweKobus leche
Kirk’s Dik-dikMadoqua kirkii
Gemsbok (Southern Oryx)Oryx gazella
SteenbokRaphicerus campestris
KlipspringerOreotragus oreotragus
African BuffaloSyncerus caffer
BushbuckTragelaphus scriptus
Greater KuduTragelaphus strepsiceros
Giraffes, Okapis (Giraffidae)
GiraffeGiraffa camelopardalis
Hippopotamuses (Hippopotamidae)
HippopotamusHippopotamus amphibius
Hogs, Pigs (Suidae)
Common WarthogPhacochoerus africanus
Hyraxes (Procaviidae)
Rock HyraxProcavia capensis
Rabbits, Hares (Leporidae)
Cape Scrub HareLepus saxatilis
Springhares (Pedetidae)
SpringharePedetes capensis
Horses, Asses, Zebras (Equidae)
Plains ZebraEquus quagga
Hartmann’s Mountain ZebraEquus zebra hartmannae
Rhinoceroses (Rhinocerotidae)
Black RhinocerosDiceros bicornis
Old World Monkeys (Cercopithecidae)
Vervet MonkeyChlorocebus pygerythrus
Chacma BaboonPapio ursinus
Oceanic Dolphins (Delphinidae)
Common Bottlenose DolphinTursiops truncatus
Elephants (Elephantidae)
African ElephantLoxodonta africana
Dassie Rat (Petromuridae)
Dassie RatPetromus typicus
Fruit bats (Pteropodidae)
Gambian Epauletted Fruit BatEpomophorus gambianus
Squirrels, Chipmunks, Marmots, Prairie Dogs (Sciuridae)
Smith’s Bush SquirrelParaxerus cepapi
South African Ground SquirrelXerus inauris
Total seen42

Reptile List

Common NameScientific Name
Land Tortoises (Testudinidae)
Leopard TortoiseGeochelone pardalis
Speke’s Hinged TortoiseKinixys spekii
Marsh Terrapin (Pelomedusidae)
Marsh TerrapinPelomedusa subrufa
Pythons (Pythonidae)
Southern African Rock PythonPython natalensis
Typical Snakes (Colubridae)
Black MambaDendroaspis polylepis
Mozambique Spitting CobraNaja mossambica
Skinks (Scincidae)
Variegated SkinkTrachylepis variegata
Monitors (Varanidae)
Nile MonitorVaranus niloticus
Agamas (Agamidae)
Namib Rock AgamaAgama planiceps
Etosha AgamaAgama etoshae
Crocodiles (Crocodylidae)
Nile CrocodileCrocodylus niloticus
Total seen11


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