Namibia Nature

Birding Namibia

The word ‘Namib’ means ‘vast place’ in the language of the Nama People, and is an apt description of this desert nation. From the blinding white salt pan in Etosha, where Elephants caked in the white dust loom large in a flat and almost limitless landscape, to the mist shrouded dunes of the Namib Desert where beetles point their posteriors into the air to catch water droplets, this land of earthy hues is a veritable wonderland for the birder, natural history enthusiast and avid landscape photographer. Distances are large so any comprehensive trip will require a lot of car-time, but the scenery and range of destinations covered makes it worthwhile (allow at least 2 weeks to see it). Highlights will include a range of unique birds (many endemic to South-West Africa), unbelievable night skies (Namibia has some of the lowest levels of light pollution in the world), stunning desert landscapes and encounters with big game such as Lion, Elephant, Giraffe, Black Rhino and so forth. Roads are relatively good, and accommodation and other tourism is well established. Coupled with good value for money, Namibia is one of Africa’s quintessential wildlife destinations.

Dune Lark is Namibia’s only true endemic, but the country has a good number of Southern African endemics and near-endemics, and more importantly, it’s the best place to see a number of South-Western African endemics (Namibia and Angola). This overview generously provided by Lawson’s Birding, Wildlife and Custom Safaris 

What to See in Namibia

Notable Birds in Namibia (click species name to see related articles)

Notable Mammals and Other Wildlife

  • African Elephant (including the so-called Desert Elephant)
  • Black Rhino
  • Lion
  • Leopard
  • Black-faced Impala
  • Springbok
  • Oryx
  • Bat-eared Fox
  • White-lady Spider
  • Namaqua Chameleon
  • Welwitschia (prehistoric plant species)


Other Attractions

  • Dune 45
  • Dead Vlei at Sossusvlei
  • Sesriem Canyon
  • Fish River Canyon
  • Twyfelfontein Petroglyphs
  • the Petrified Forest
  • Brandberg
  • doneSpitzkoppe

Where and When to Go

Nature & Birding Hotspots in Namibia

Favorite birding areas include:

  • Sossusvlei
  • Walvis Bay and Swakopmund
  • Damaraland
  • Etosha National Park
  • Erongo Wildreness
  • the Waterberg Plateau
  • Kunene River
  • Caprivi

Namibia Birding and Nature Tours

Namibia Ecolodges/Accommodations

  • Erongo Wilderness Lodge
  • Mushara Lodge
  • Wilderness Safari Lodges
  • Mon Mountain Lodge

Best Time to Go

Birding is best from September to April as migrants from Northern Africa and Europe are present, and resident birds can be seen in breeding plumage and exhibiting nesting behavior!

The wet seasons provide a diversity of aquatic bird species, especially within the pans of Etosha National Park and Bushmanland.

Scroll Up