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Namibia and Okavango with Birding Africa

Namibia must rate as one of Africa's greatest birding destinations: fantastic game watching, numerous desert birding endemics, sweeping scenery and a very high standard of accommodation, to boot!

Our trips focus on finding most of Namibia's endemic birds. We combine the Namib desert experience (we'll have breakfast atop a huge red dune while looking for Dune Lark) with a search for Desert Elephants and Welwitschias, and a visit to Etosha Pan, one of Africa's most spectacular wildlife parks.

We make an extra effort to stay in comfortable, sometimes luxurious accommodation, that keeps us as close as possible to the best birding areas - we even had the near-endemic and elusive Hartlaub's Francolin in front of our rooms while brushing our teeth one morning on a tour last year!

Our Namibia itineraries generally include Walvis Bay, the Erongo Mountains, Spitzkoppe, Brandberg, Etosha and the Waterberg Plateau National Parks. We offer an optional Living Deserts excursion, to see desert-adapted reptiles such as Side-winding Adder, Palmato Gecko and Shovel-snouted Lizard (click here for pictures).

If time permits, we recommend adding a 5 to 7 day extension to the bird-rich Caprivi area in Northern Namibia and the verdant Okavango Panhandle in Botswana. Here we search for the elusive Pel's Fishing Owl along the forested backwaters of the Okavango River. For private and guided group tours that target the Okavango Delta, please click here.

All our previous trips have seen all endemic and near-endemic birds, including Herero Chat. Click here for a trip report.

Featured Leader: Tertius Gous

Tertius grew up in the bushveld in South Africa has birded widely across Africa. He now leads tours for Birding Africa in Madagascar, South Africa, Uganda, Namibia and the Okavango, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia. Besides birds, Tertius has a broad interest in all wildlife, especially mammals.

Tertius Gous, Birding Africa guide

He is trained as a vet and volunteers his special skills for penguin conservation, and has travelled all the way to Tristan du Cunha to help save oiled penguins there.

He is also an accomplished and well-known bird photographer who has that rare balance between showing people good birds and sharing his photographic insights.

Tertius is our only guide to have shown clients both Green-breasted and African Pittas in one year!

Please contact us or consult our birdfinding guide book 'The Southern African Birdfinder' for further information on Namibia and the Okavango.

2023 Tours

Tour name Dates in country Days Leaflet Tour report

Namibia and Okavango (BA2359)

8 - 23 September 16 Leaflet GBP
Leaflet USD
click here

2024 Tours

Tour name Dates in country Days Leaflet Tour report

Namibia and Okavango (BA2459)

12 - 27 September 16 Leaflet GBP
Leaflet USD
click here

What participants say...

'Again, my warmest thanks for your [Joe's] fantastic performance as our Namibia-Botswanda guide. I still wonder how you managed all that driving, bird-watching, organizing, keeping a perfect mood - not possible to do better!' H&H, Switserland

'Many thanks [Marje] for such a comprehensive set of information... but then I'd expect nothing less after all of your previous hard work and attention to detail!

'The trip was a huge success....” “Dalton was brilliant with the [21] children and an excellent travelling companion. He enlivened the list with a huge fund of bird and animal tales...perfect."
JH, Oundle, UK

'...using the invaluable 'Southern African Birdfinder' (Cohen et al, 2007) as a reference, the services of Birding Africa ( were employed in sourcing appropriate accommodating, giving additional logistical advice and securing some excellent low-season deals on both accommodation and car hire. Birding Africa were also on hand to make a few tweaks in the itinerary during the course of our travels and it was reassuring to know that we had such backup should anything go astray. Special thanks must be credited to Marje Hemp of Birding Africa who worked tirelessly in answering our many queries and requests and also to Callan Cohen for all the additional bird-finding help and advice so freely given; without Birding Africa's input the trip would surely not have been the smooth-running success which it turned out to be and we would urge anyone who follows in our footsteps to do so with the assistance of this first class company.' IM, Leicestershire, UK

'I pass on our thanks to you, for what was an excellent trip and one that I will want to remember for many years." "Great trip & accommodation everywhere was excellent.' LJ & MP

Rockrunner © Ian Merrill
Rockrunner on a Birding Africa tour © Ian Merrill

Sossusvlei © Ian Merrill
Sossusvlei on a Birding Africa tour © Ian Merrill

Hartlaub's Francolin © Ian Merrill
Hartlaub's Francolin on a Birding Africa tour © Ian Merrill

Dune Lark © Ian Merrill
Dune Lark © Ian Merrill

White-tailed Shrike at Erongo on a Birding Africa Tour © Callan Cohen
White-tailed Shrike at Erongo on a Birding Africa Tour © Callan Cohen

Zebra at Hobatere © Callan Cohen
Zebra at Hobatere on a Birding Africa tour © Callan Cohen

Rosy-faced Lovebird © Ian Merrill
Rosy-faced Lovebirds on a Birding Africa tour © Ian Merrill

Herero Chat © Ian Merrill
Herero Chat on a Birding Africa tour © Ian Merrill

Practical tour information

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 Klingenbˆck'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. Maximum 8 people on the Namibia Okavango tours.
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 Your booking can be secured with a booking form and deposit. You will receive confirmation and our tour information pack with practical information on what to expect and how to prepare for the tour. The balance is due 150 days before the tour. Contact us to enquire about availability.

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.

For feedback from our guests, please see our Client Comments. Please also browse our Latest News and Trip Reports.

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Black Harrier photograph courtesy of Keith Offord.
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[African Tailorbirding CC (CK2003/020710/23) trading as Birding Africa]
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