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List of species seen on Tour

Birding Trip: Namibia & Botswana
Namib Desert, Spitzkoppe, Brandberg, Etosha, Okavango Panhandle & Waterberg Plateau
October 2009

For the full trip report, please click here.


This was a 14-day tour, from 24 October to 6 November 2009, with focus on birds.
Areas visited: selected birding destinations in Namibia and the Okavango “pan-handle” in Botswana:
Daan Viljoen Game Reserve, Walvisbay, Swakopmund, Spitzkoppe, Erongo Mountains, Brandberg.
Number of bird species seen: 340 species, including at least 16 Namibian near-endemics.
(Please scroll down for the detailed list)
Highlight bird species:
Namibia: Dune Lark, Southern Ground Hornbill, Blue Crane, Secretarybird, Ludwig's Bustard
Botswana Okavango Panhandle: Pel's Fishing Owl, White-backed Night-Heron, Wattled Crane, African Wood Owl, African Skimmer
Total number of mammal species seen: 43 species. (Please scroll down for the detailed list)
Highlight mammal species: Watching Desert Elephant on foot, saw at least 11 Black Rhinoceros and two White Rhinoceros between 20h00 and 23h00 at Okaukuejo floodlit waterhole one night, and indulged in some great Lion sightings in Etosha. The first night at the Okaukuejo waterhole also produced 4 Black Rhinoceros and African Elephant.

Bird species seen on tour:

Common Ostrich
Helmeted Guineafowl
Crested Francolin
Hartlaub's Spurfowl
Red-billed Spurfowl
Swainson's Spurfowl
Spur-winged Goose
Knob-billed Duck
Egyptian Goose
South African Shelduck
Cape Teal
Yellow-billed Duck
Red-billed Teal
Hottentot Teal
Southern Pochard
Little Grebe
Black-necked Grebe
Greater Flamingo
Lesser Flamingo
African Openbill
Abdim's Stork
Marabou Stork
African Sacred Ibis
Glossy Ibis
Little Bittern
White-backed Night Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
Striated Heron
Squacco Heron
Rufous-bellied Heron
Western Cattle Egret
Grey Heron
Black-headed Heron
Goliath Heron
Purple Heron
Western Great Egret
Yellow-billed Egret
Little Egret
Great White Pelican
Cape Gannet
Reed Cormorant
White-breasted Cormorant
Cape Cormorant
African Darter
Western Osprey
Black-winged Kite
Black Kite
African Fish Eagle
White-backed Vulture
Lappet-faced Vulture
Black-chested Snake Eagle
Brown Snake Eagle
African Marsh Harrier
African Harrier-Hawk
Pale Chanting Goshawk
Gabar Goshawk
Common Buzzard (Steppe)
Lesser Spotted Eagle
Tawny Eagle
Steppe Eagle
Verreaux's Eagle
Wahlberg's Eagle
African Hawk-Eagle
Booted Eagle
Martial Eagle
Pygmy Falcon
Rock Kestrel
Greater Kestrel
Red-necked Falcon
Red-footed Falcon
Lanner Falcon
Kori Bustard
Ludwig's Bustard
Rüppell's Korhaan
Red-crested Korhaan
Northern Black Korhaan
Black Crake
Common Moorhen
Lesser Moorhen
Blue Crane
Wattled Crane
Water Thick-knee
Spotted Thick-knee
African Oystercatcher
Black-winged Stilt
Pied Avocet
Long-toed Lapwing
Blacksmith Lapwing
Crowned Lapwing
African Wattled Lapwing
Grey Plover
Common Ringed Plover
Kittlitz's Plover
Three-banded Plover
White-fronted Plover
African Jacana
Bar-tailed Godwit
Marsh Sandpiper
Common Greenshank
Wood Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper
Ruddy Turnstone
Little Stint
Curlew Sandpiper
Double-banded Courser
Collared Pratincole
Rock Pratincole
African Skimmer
Grey-hooded Gull
Hartlaub's Gull
Kelp Gull
Caspian Tern
Swift Tern
Sandwich Tern
Common Tern
White-winged Tern
Namaqua Sandgrouse
Double-banded Sandgrouse
Burchell's Sandgrouse
Common Pigeon
Speckled Pigeon
Mourning Collared Dove
Red-eyed Dove
Ring-necked Dove
Laughing Dove
Emerald-spotted Wood Dove
Namaqua Dove
African Green Pigeon
Rosy-faced Lovebird
Meyer's Parrot
Rüppell's Parrot
Grey Go-away-bird
Coppery-tailed Coucal
White-browed Coucal
Dideric Cuckoo
Klaas's Cuckoo
African Cuckoo
Western Barn Owl
African Scops Owl
Southern White-faced Owl
Verreaux's Eagle-Owl
Pel's Fishing Owl
African Wood Owl
Pearl-spotted Owlet
Rufous-cheeked Nightjar
Alpine Swift
Common Swift (Eurasian)
Bradfield's Swift
Little Swift
White-rumped Swift
White-backed Mousebird
Red-faced Mousebird
Purple Roller
Lilac-breasted Roller
European Roller
Broad-billed Roller
Grey-headed Kingfisher
Woodland Kingfisher
Malachite Kingfisher
Giant Kingfisher
Pied Kingfisher
Swallow-tailed Bee-eater
Little Bee-eater
White-fronted Bee-eater
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
European Bee-eater
Southern Carmine Bee-eater
African Hoopoe
Green Wood Hoopoe
Violet Wood Hoopoe
Common Scimitarbill
Bradfield's Hornbill
African Grey Hornbill
Monteiro's Hornbill
Damara Red-billed Hornbill
Southern Red-billed Hornbill
Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill
Southern Ground Hornbill
Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird
Acacia Pied Barbet
Black-collared Barbet
Crested Barbet
Lesser Honeyguide
Golden-tailed Woodpecker
Cardinal Woodpecker
Bearded Woodpecker
Pririt Batis
White-tailed Shrike
White-crested Helmetshrike
Orange-breasted Bushshrike
Brown-crowned Tchagra
Black-backed Puffback
Swamp Boubou
Crimson-breasted Shrike
Magpie Shrike
Southern White-crowned Shrike
Red-backed Shrike
Lesser Grey Shrike
Common Fiscal
Eurasian Golden Oriole
Fork-tailed Drongo
African Paradise Flycatcher
Cape Crow
Pied Crow
Carp's Black Tit
Southern Black Tit
Ashy Tit
Rufous-naped Lark
Eastern Clapper Lark
Sabota Lark
Dune Lark
Benguela Long-billed Lark
Spike-heeled Lark
Gray's Lark
Red-capped Lark
Pink-billed Lark
Stark's Lark
Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark
Grey-backed Sparrow-Lark
African Red-eyed Bulbul
Dark-capped Bulbul
Yellow-bellied Greenbul
Terrestrial Brownbul
Brown-throated Martin
Banded Martin
Barn Swallow
White-throated Swallow
Wire-tailed Swallow
Pearl-breasted Swallow
Rock Martin
Common House Martin
Greater Striped Swallow
Lesser Striped Swallow
Red-breasted Swallow
Mosque Swallow
Willow Warbler
Greater Swamp Warbler
Lesser Swamp Warbler
Rattling Cisticola
Chirping Cisticola
Desert Cisticola
Tawny-flanked Prinia
Black-chested Prinia
Yellow-breasted Apalis
Grey-backed Camaroptera
Barred Wren-Warbler
Yellow-bellied Eremomela
Burnt-necked Eremomela
Long-billed Crombec
Arrow-marked Babbler
Southern Pied Babbler
Bare-cheeked Babbler
Chestnut-vented Warbler
Orange River White-eye
Wattled Starling
Cape Starling
Greater Blue-eared Starling
Meves's Starling
Burchell's Starling
Violet-backed Starling
Pale-winged Starling
Groundscraper Thrush
Kurrichane Thrush
White-browed Robin-Chat
White-browed Scrub Robin
Kalahari Scrub Robin
Herero Chat
Capped Wheatear
Mountain Wheatear
Karoo Chat
Tractrac Chat
Familiar Chat
Ant-eating Chat
Southern Black Flycatcher
Pale Flycatcher
Chat Flycatcher
Marico Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher
Ashy Flycatcher
Collared Sunbird
Scarlet-chested Sunbird
Marico Sunbird
White-bellied Sunbird
Dusky Sunbird
White-browed Sparrow-Weaver
Sociable Weaver
House Sparrow
Great Sparrow
Cape Sparrow
Southern Grey-headed Sparrow
Yellow-throated Petronia
Red-billed Buffalo Weaver
Scaly-feathered Weaver
African Golden Weaver
Southern Brown-throated Weaver
Lesser Masked Weaver
Southern Masked Weaver
Chestnut Weaver
Fan-tailed Widowbird
Green-winged Pytilia
Red-headed Finch
Red-billed Firefinch
Jameson's Firefinch
Blue Waxbill
Violet-eared Waxbill
Common Waxbill
Black-faced Waxbill
African Quail-Finch
Village Indigobird
Pin-tailed Whydah
Shaft-tailed Whydah
Cape Wagtail
African Pied Wagtail
African Pipit
Black-throated Canary
Yellow Canary
Lark-like Bunting
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting
Cape Bunting
African Yellow White-eye
African Palm Swift
Red-billed Quelea
Terek Sandpiper
Common Redshank
Whit-throated Canary
Red-knobbed Coot
Marsh Owl
Black Cuckoo
Striped Kingfisher
Fulvous Duck
Yellow-billed Duck
African Purple Swamphen
Hartlaub's Babbler
Red-headed Weaver
Black Tern
Whiskered Tern
African Stonechat
White-faced Duck
Thick-billed Cuckoo
Red-billed Oxpecker
African Spoonbill
Amythist Sunbird
Montague's Harrier

Mammal species seen on tour:

43 species, including these less common sightings:
African Elephant (the desert elephant)
Cape Fur Seal
Bottle-nosed Dolphin
Common Reedbuck
Grey Duiker
Roan Antelope
Red Lechwe
Common Slit-faced Bat

Birding Africa Trip Report by Tour Leader Joe Grosel .

Many of the birding sites on this trip are described in detail in the Southern African Birdfinder which is widely available in South African bookshops and on the internet. (e.g., or However you're always welcome to contact us if you're interested in a guided trip in this area.

Practical tour information:
Namibia & Okavango

Please also visit our tour calendar and other trip reports.

Please click this link for more detailed information about our upcoming tours to Botswana.
Focus For keen birders and mammal enthusiasts. The tour focuses on most of Namibia's endemic birds and wildlife, including unique desert-adapted species. The extension to the Okavango Panhandle offers specials such as Pel's Fishing Owl, Slaty Egret and White-backed Night Heron and involves an Okavango River boat trip. While the tour is designed to see as many endemic birds as possible, we are also able to spend a lot of time looking for other aspects of wildlife such as mammals, chameleons, geckos, butterflies and interesting desert-adapted plants, such as Welwitschia and Hoodia. We can also customise any guided or self-drive itinerary to suit to the keen birder, the wildlife enthusiast or both.
Photography Many participants on our trips are amateur wildlife photographers. And when we get excellent views of a bird or mammal, some time is usually spent watching and photographing it. However, this is not a photographic tour and once the majority of the people have felt that they have absorbed the animal or bird to their satisfaction, then we move on in search of the next encounter. Thus, while the photographic opportunities are very good, the group will only occasionally wait for somebody who wants to spend even longer getting better photos.

Have a look at Wim de Groot's pictures and Utz Klingenböck's pictures taken in 2009 on Birding Africa Namibia & Okavango trips.
Fitness No fitness is required. The few walks are generally in relatively flat areas with occasional small inclines.
Timing Good year round. At Etosha, birding is best in summer, but game viewing is easiest in winter. September to November may be best for birding in the Okavango panhandle region as Afritropical and Palaearctic migrants begin to arrive. However, late summer is equally interesting.
Climate Hot, especially in summer.
Comfort A good standard of accommodation in guest houses, lodges and rest camps.
Transport We travel by minibus or four wheel drive vehicle. The tour starts and ends in Windhoek.
Group Size This depends on the specific tour. Please enquire.
Top birds Namibia: One endemic and almost 20 near-endemics in a spectacular setting; Herero Chat, White-tailed Shrike, Carp's Tit, Monteiro's Hornbill, Rockrunner, Rosy-faced Lovebird, Rueppell's Parrot, Hartlaub's Francolin, Dune Lark, Blue Crane, Secretarybird, Ludwig's Bustard, Southern Ground Hornbill, Burchell's Courser, Rosy-breasted Longclaw.

Okavango Panhandle: Pel's Fishing Owl, White-backed Night Heron, African Skimmer, African Wood Owl, African Pygmy Goose, Slaty Egret, Swamp Boubou, Greater Swamp-Warbler, Luapula Cisticola and Southern Carmine Bee-eater.
Top mammals African Elephant, Black Rhinoceros, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Springbok, Damara Dik-dik, Klipspringer, Gemsbok (Southern Oryx), Burchell's Zebra, Hartmann's Mountain Zebra, Hartebeest, Black-faced Impala, Meerkat, Dassie Rat. In the Okavango Panhandle, there is a chance of seeing Sitatunga and Hippopotamus.
Booking Please email us if you wish to book. You will receive the booking form and conditions and a tour information pack.

About Birding Africa

Birding Africa is a specialist birding tour company customising tours for both world listers and more relaxed holiday birders.  We combine interests in mammals, butterflies, dragonflies, botany and other natural history aspects and will guide you to Africa's and Madagascar's most diverse birding destinations. Our guides' knowledge of African birds and birding areas is our greatest strength and together we have rediscovered species, shared exciting observations with the birding community and had a fun time exploring our home continent.  We've even written two acclaimed guide books on where to find Southern Africa's and Madagascar's best birds. Birding is more than our passion, it's our lifestyle, and we are dedicated to making professional, best value trips filled with endemic species and unique wildlife experiences. Since 1997, we've run bird watching tours in South Africa and further into Africa for individual birders, small birding groups and top international tour companies. We've run Conservation Tours in association with the African Bird Club and work with and consult for a number of other top international tour companies and the BBC Natural History Unit.

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Black Harrier photograph courtesy of Keith Offord.
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