Birdwatching and Photography Tour in Namibia
This 18-day Birding in Namibia and Wildlife Tour is designed specifically to target as many of Namibia’s endemic and near-endemics as possible. It covers a wide range of habitats and visits Namibia’s most iconic places such as Etosha National Park and Sossusvlei. We will not only be seeing wonderful birds and breathtaking landscapes, but also many exciting mammals, reptiles and plants, such as the Welwitschia. Birding here is easy and photographic opportunities are plenty.
We have included a variety of activities ranging from Desert Night Walks and Night Game Drives to a Marine Cruise on the Atlantic Ocean as well as River Cruises to optimize our chances of seeing as many species as possible.
Namibia has one of the world’s oldest deserts boasting some of the highest sand dunes and some of the most fascinating fauna and flora on the planet. The country has five biomes with different characteristics and habitats that provide suitable environments to approximately 250 reptile species, of which 95 species are endemic; 676 bird species, of which 15 are near-endemic and 1 true endemic; 250 mammal species, of which 14 are endemic as well as an impressive 487 indigenous species of insects of which four butterfly species have been named after our very own Steve Braine.
You can look forward to clean and comfortable accommodations, delicious, wholesome food, spectacular sunsets and friendly people.
Our specialised guides are all-round naturalists and greatly enthusiastic about all fauna and flora. They are likely to point out mammals, reptiles and insects as we go along. This tour is also ideal for wildlife, macro, bird and landscape photography.
Birding in Namibia Tour highlights include:
- The striking sights of Sossusvlei, Deadvlei and Sesriem Canyon
- Etosha National Park – one of the best wildlife photography destinations on the planet
- Walvis Bay Lagoon (a RAMSAR site) – home to thousands of Lesser and Greater Flamingos and other waders
- The mighty Okavango River and the incredible fauna and flora it supports
- Not only seeing our fascinating desert-adapted wildlife but also learning how these creatures have adapted to survive in these harsh and unforgiving environments
Alternative Tour Name: Namibia Birding, Wildlife & Photography Tour
You will be collected at the airport and transferred to the lodge. Depending on your time of arrival we will start the tour by exploring the sparsely wooded hills and valleys surrounding the city in search of some of Namibia’s exciting bird species. Rocky slopes should yield Short-toed Thrush, White-tailed Shrike, Barred Wren-Warbler and with luck Rockrunner.
At Avis Dam we should see Bradfield’s and Palm Swifts, Rock Martin, Greater striped and Pearl-breasted Swallow. Wetland birds are also abundant and South African Shelduck, Cape Shoveller and Red-billed Teal are usually present. In the shrub-lands surrounding the dam Desert Cisticola, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Black-chested Prinia and a variety of seed-eaters are easily seen. Migrant waders are usually present in good numbers during the summer months.
We will keep an eye out for Kudu, Oryx, Steenbok, Red Hartebeest, Warthogs, Ground Squirrels, Rock Dassie and many other mammals.
For the keen herpers we will look for Anchieta's and Western-barred Spitting Cobra as well as Puff Adder and a variety of geckos.
Today we will venture into the Namib Desert via the Spreetshoogte Pass, a spectacular pass overlooking the vast Namib Desert plains and inselbergs
We will be stopping regularly along the way to look for the elusive Herero Chat, Namibia’s best known and sought after near-endemic. Once down the pass and entering the open plains we will be on the lookout for Rüppell’s Korhaan, Ludwig’s Bustard, Verreaux’s Eagle and Pygmy Falcon.
The late afternoon will be dedicated to visit the Sesriem Canyon.
Other bird species on today's list may include include the pretty, near-endemic, Rosy-faced Lovebird, White-tailed Shrike, Buffy Pipit and a number of Southern African near-endemics, such as the Ashy Tit, Southern Pied Babbler, Short-toed Rock Thrush, Mountain Wheatear, Southern Ant-eating Chat, Kalahari and Karoo Scrub-Robins, Black-chested Prinia, Marico and Chat Flycatchers, Pririt Batis, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Cape Glossy and Pale-winged Starling, Dusky and Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Great Sparrow, Sociable Weaver, Scaly-feathered Finch, Lark-like Bunting, Groundscraper Thrush, Rockrunner and the possibility of raptors, such as Martial, Booted, Tawny and African Hawk-Eagle. Pale-chanting Goshawks and Rock Kestrel are abundant over the Spreetshoogte pass. Rufous-eared Warbler, White-throated Canary, Karoo Eremomela, Chestnut-vented and Layard’s Warbler, Karoo Scrub-Robin and a number of lark species, including the Karoo Long-billed Lark will also be on our target list.
Large game is common on the farms here and we could see Oryx, Springbok, Hartmann's Mountain Zebra, Greater Kudu and Klipspringer along the pass.
The Namib is a herper's paradise and there are an endless number of unique reptile species that have adapted to this incredible environment.
Sossusvlei and Deadvlei are any photographer's dream. A pre-dawn start is essential this morning as you want to catch the soft light of the sunrise on the desert. After passing through Sesriem, the gateway to the dunes, you head into the heart of the dune field, reaching Sossusvlei on foot, trekking the last 2 km through the dunes.
Landscape photo opportunities abound in the cool of the morning, with dawn’s soft light first illuminating the dunes from crest down the back slope, then blazing orange everywhere, creating a powerful contrasting vista across the whole desert. Ancient mineral pans, stunted camel thorn trees and the chance of seeing Gemsbok, Springbuck, Jackal and Ostrich makes it essential to remember your camera!
Apart from photographing these natural wonders, we will also spend some time looking for Namibia's only true endemic: the Dune Lark.
Reptiles to look out for include the intriguing Peringuey's Adder, Horned Adder, Namib Sand Snake, Namaqua Chameleon and a variety of geckos.
From our lodge in the desert, we will now travel towards the coast via, the Gaub and Kuiseb Canyons, where the cold Benguela current from the Atlantic Ocean brings in dense coastal fogs. En-route to the coast we will have another opportunity to search for arid zone specials such as Ludwig’s Bustard, Rüppell’s Korhaan, Sociable Weaver, Pygmy Flacon, and Burchell’s and Double-banded Coursers. The dry river courses and drainage lines are relatively well wooded and we should see species such as Dusky Sunbird, Rosy-faced Lovebird and Scaly-feathered Finch along the way. Further into the open gravel plains we may also encounter Gray’s Lark which blends in well with the pale gravel surrounds. There is also a good chance of encountering Lappet-faced Vultures and a few other species of raptor such as Greater Kestrel, Lanner Falcon and Black-chested Snake-Eagle.
As we pass through Walvis Bay we will take a short drive along the lagoon. The ideal time to visit Walvis Bay is from October to April, when the migrant birds have moved in from the northern hemisphere in their thousands. The sheer numbers of the birds around the lagoon are impressive and the area has the highest density of Chestnut-banded Plover in the world. The Lagoon happens to be one of Africa’s most important shorebird stopovers (it is a RAMSAR site), where we will see incredible numbers of Greater and Lesser Flamingos and some extremely localised species, such as the diminutive Damara Tern.
Some of the most abundant of the migratory species are Common Greenshank, Marsh and Wood Sandpipers, Black necked (Eared) Grebe, Red Knot, Ruddy Turnstone and Curlew Sandpiper. Whimbrel, Curlew and Bar-tailed Godwit occur in smaller numbers. This lagoon is one of the few sites in southern Africa where Common Redshank, Eurasian Oystercatcher and Red-necked Phalarope are fairly regular. This phenomenal wader spot also regularly attracts Greater and Mongolian Sandplover, Terek Sandpiper and birds that are much more typically found on the subtropical east coast of southern Africa. Resident birds of the lagoon include Pied Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, White-fronted Sandplover, and the sought-after Chestnut-banded Sandplover.
We will arrive in Swakopmund during the afternoon. Swakopmund is a popular seaside resort because of its old-world charm and relaxed atmosphere. It exudes romance and history which makes it a rich cultural melting pot of old and new. The town is an eclectic mixture of Bohemian and Bavaria which make it home to artists, hippies, strait-laced descendants of German settlers, stately Herero women in Victorian dresses, and hardworking miners, game rangers, safari operators and fishermen.
Your guesthouse is ideally situated and the museum, crystal gallery, beach, African curio market, coffee shops and other famous attractions are all located within walking distance.
After dinner we will embark on a night walk into the gravel plains North-east of Swakopmund. Here we should find Namib Round-eared Sengi, Setze’s Hairy-footed Gerbil, Koch’s Thick-toed Gecko, Giant Ground Gecko, Namib Web-footed Gecko, Carp’s Barking Gecko, Black Hairy Thick-tailed Scorpion (Parabuthus villosus), Namib Thick-tailed Scorpion (Parabuthus namibensis), Six-eyed Sand Spider and Dancing White Lady Spider.
This morning we will head over to Walvis Bay and embark on a catamaran cruise in search of Namibia’s Atlantic specials such as the Ocean Sunfish (Mola mola), Dusky, Bottle-nosed and Heavy-side Dolphins, Cape Fur Seals and Leatherback Turtles. Between the months of July and November Southern Right and Humpback Whales are often spotted, while other whale species, such as the Gray and Pygmy Right Whale have made appearances in the past. Bird sightings include Lesser and Greater Flamingos, Great White Pelicans, Crowned, Bank and White-breasted Cormorants, Wilson’s Storm Petrel, Cape Gannet, Sooty Shearwater, Sub-Antarctic Skua, White Chinned Petrel Northern and Southern Giant Petrels, Parasitic Jaeger, Kelp Gull, Hartlaub’s Gull, Black Oystercatcher and several tern species. The experience is enhanced with freshly harvested oysters and sparkling wine.
After lunch we will head into the northern reaches of the Naukluft Park past the Moon Valley, through the Swakop River Valley and the Welwitschia Plains east of Swakopmund, where we will concentrate on the local fauna, flora and geology.
Millions of years and even more cubic meters of water contributed to the formation of this internationally known tourism attraction, the lunar-like landscape called the Moon Valley. According to geologists, the group of hills was pushed through the earth’s surface about 500 million years ago. On misty mornings when the coastal fog penetrates between the hills, the valley can be described as ghostlike, but once the sun’s rays emerge the fog disperses and the lunar landscape reveals itself with the most spectacular colours and contours, making this spectacular moonlike topography a photographer’s haven.
From here we travel through the Swakop River Valley into the Swakop River. Huge Acacias and Tamarisks fill the riverbed with bright green Salvadora shrubs on the river banks. This linear oasis with water flowing beneath the dry surface sand provides an oasis for several bird species and desert adapted animals. Klipspringer, Greater Kudu, Springbuck, Black-backed Jackal and Brown Hyena are just some of the mammals that inhabit the dry riverbed. Bird species found here include Karoo and Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Rufous-eared Warbler, Bokmakierie, Ostrich, Dusky and Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Black-chested Snake Eagle, Chestnut-vented Warbler and many more.
Once on the plains the most notable feature of this area is the presence of the highest concentration of Welwitschia plants (Welwitschia mirabilis namibiana) in Namibia. Other desert-adapted plants include Lithops ruschiorum, Lithops gracilidelineata, Tetraena (Zygophyllum) stapfii, Sesuvium sesuviodes, Hoodia currorri, Aloe asperifolia and Commiphora virgata.
After breakfast we will depart for the Erongo Mountains via the Spitzkoppe. The Spitzkoppe is one of a series of impressive granite inselbergs that rise steeply out of the desert plains. It is at this imposing Batholith where we have our best chance of finding Herero Chat. To date we have recorded 139 species of birds, 30 species of mammals and 16 species of reptiles, many of these are unique or endemic to the Namib Desert. The vegetation on the Spitzkoppe is different to the surrounding plains and interesting plants such as the Cyphostemma currori and Hoodia currori can be found. The more low-lying areas consist of stunted Acacia melifera, Acacia reficiens and Acacia tortilis, Boscia albitrunca, Maerua schinzi and many other desert-adapted forbes and shrubs which grow primarily along the drainage lines.
Along the way we may also encounter the rare and declining Burchell’s Courser and many other sandy desert species like Stark’s Lark and other strategic species like Karoo Long-billed Lark. On the plains surrounding these hills we should see Rüppell’s Korhaan, Namaqua Sandgrouse, Chat Flycatcher and Karoo Chat, Verreaux’s and Booted Eagle, Augur Buzzard, African Hawk-Eagle and Lanner Falcon also occur in the hills as do Rosy-faced Lovebird, Carp’s and Ashy Tit, White-throated Canary, Layard’s Warbler, White-tailed Shrike, Double-banded Courser, Sabota, Red-capped, Spike-heeled, Fawn-coloured and Rufous-naped Larks, White-browed Sparrow-Weaver, Mountain Wheatear, Pale-winged Starling, Bradfield’s Swift, Rockrunner, Monteiro’s and Damara Red-billed Hornbill. Additionally, the Erongos host Violet Wood-Hoopoe, Rüppell’s Parrot, Carp’s Tit, Hartlaub’s Spurfowl and Freckled Nightjar.
Other endemic wildlife species that may be seen today include Dassie Rat (Petromus typicus) Black Mongoose, Western Rock Sengi, Giant plated Lizard, Black-lined Plated Lizard, Two-coloured Gecko, African Rock Gecko, Namib Rock Agama and Anchieta’s Dwarf Python.
After checking into our accommodation we will embark on a walk up and over the rocky outcrops.
After our pre-dawn hike in search of the Hartlaub’s Spurfowl, we will return to the lodge for breakfast before heading to the famous Etosha National Park. The Park is the flagship of Namibia’s conservation areas, teeming with large game and boasting about 380 species of birds. We will be based in the park during the next 4 days and we will spend time visiting a range of habitats.
Floodlit waterholes at the camps provide wonderful game viewing at night as well as providing opportunities to see nightjars and owls.
Etosha is famous for its large game populations and during our stay here we should see Lion, Elephant as well as Etosha’s famous white elephants, Burchell’s Zebra, Red Hartebeest, Blue Wildebeest, Springbok, Oryx, Giraffes, Greater Kudu and several smaller antelope. Among the rarer species regularly seen are Black Rhino (especially at waterholes at night), Cheetah and Black-faced Impala, a subspecies only found in Namibia.
Your visit here will be taken at a leisurely pace and there will be excellent photographic opportunities.
Key Species – Okaukuejo Area: Secretarybird, Kori and Ludwig’s Bustard, Northern Black and Red-crested Korhaans, Glossy Starling, Yellow-bellied and Burnt-necked Eremomela, Fork-tailed Drongo, Blue Crane, Burchell’s and Double-banded Sandgrouse, Rüppell’s and Meyer’s Parrots (the east only), Alpine Swift, Pale Chanting Goshawk, Cape Shoveler, South African Shelduck, Green-winged Pytilia, Sociable Weaver, Pygmy Falcon, Southern Pied Babbler, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Violet-eared Waxbill, Red-headed Finches, Marsh and Barn Owls and Rufous-cheeked Nightjar around the lights, Shaft-tailed and Pin-Tailed Whydah, Grey-backed and Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Larks, Red-capped, Spike-heeled, Rufous-naped and Pink-billed Lark, Capped Wheatear, Scaly-feathered Finch, Red-necked and Lanner Falcons, Lappet-faced, White headed and White-backed Vultures, Double-banded and Temminck's Coursers, Cardinal Woodpecker, Brubru, Crowned Lapwing, Ashy tit, Red-billed Quelea, Rufous-eared Warbler, Red-breasted Swallow, Greater Kestrel, Desert Cisticola, Water Thick-knee, Southern Ant-eating Chat, Pied and Black Crow, Kalahari Scrub Robin, Martial and Tawny Eagle, Southern Yellow-billed and Grey Hornbill.
We will also keep an eye out for a number of reptiles as well as butterflies and dragonflies.
A night drive will give us an opportunity to look for nocturnal species such as Aardvark, Cape Fox, Bat-eared Fox, Brown Hyena, Small-spotted Genets, Leopard, Lion, Pangolin, etc.
After breakfast we will head East towards Halali. This is the best site to see Violet Wood-hoopoe, Bare-cheeked Babbler and Carp’s Tit.
Key Species – Halali: Crimson-breasted Shrike, Great Sparrow, Violet-eared Waxbill, Southern Pied Babbler, Red-headed Finch, Kori Bustard, Scaly-feathered Finch, Marico Flycatcher, Namaqua Dove, Blue Crane, Bare-cheeked Babbler, Violet Wood-Hoopoe, Pallid and Montagu's Harrier, Little Sparrowhawk, Gabar Goshawk, Bateleur, White-crested Helmet Shrike, Southern White-crowned, Lesser Grey and Red-backed Shrikes, Golden Breasted Bunting, Ground Scraper Thrush, Lanner Falcon, African and Southern White-faced Scops-Owl, Lilac-breasted and Purple Rollers, Red-billed Buffalo Weaver, Long-billed Crombec, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Grey-backed Camaroptera, Martial Eagle, Mosque Swallow, Crested Francolin, Red headed Weaver, Carp’s Tit, Damara Red-billed Hornbill, Rüppell’s Parrot and Burchell’s Starling and Swallow-tailed Bee-eater.
As we head towards eastern Etosha our chances to see Cheetah, Leopard, Caracal, Damara Dik-dik, Black-faced Impala and Honey Badger increase.
Key species - Namutoni: Blue Crane, Temminck’s and Double-banded Courser, Grey-backed Sparrow-Lark, Eastern Clapper and Dusky Lark, Black-faced and Southern Pied Babbler, Shaft-tailed Whydah, Tawny Eagle, Rattling Cisticola, Ruff, Common Sandpiper, Egyptian Geese, Marico Flycatcher, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Banded and Sand Martin, Red-billed Hornbill, Marico, White-bellied and Scarlet-chested Sunbirds, Chestnut-vented Tit-babbler, Fawn-coloured Lark, Kurrichane Button-Quail, African Harrier-hawk, Violet and Black-cheeked Waxbill, African Golden Oriole, Gabar Goshawk, European Roller, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Pale Chanting Goshawk, Southern White-crowned Shrike, African Paradise Flycatcher, Meyer’s Parrot, Violet-backed Starling, Crested Spurfowl, Caspian Plover, Emerald Spotted Wood dove, White -browed Scrub Robin and African Palm-Swift.
We will spend our last day in the park slowly ambling along looking for any species we may have missed out on so far.
Most of today will be spent travelling to the far North of the country. Along the way the dry Mopane gradually gives way to tropical palm savannah and finally a climax teak forest which closely resembles the miombo woodlands further north in Africa and indeed harbours a rather similar avifauna. South of Rundu you enter a different biome with broad-leafed woodland and it is here that the real birding begins and the ideal habitat for Rufous-bellied Tit, Tinkling Cisticola, Kurrichane Buttonquail, African Golden Oriole, African Yellow White-eye and Southern Black Tit and your first chance of Dark Chanting Goshawk.
Late afternoon the calls of Coppery-tailed and Senegal Coucals can be heard as well as many other species such as Hartlaub’s and Arrow-marked Babbler, White-browed (Heuglin’s) Robin Chat, and White-Browed Scrub Robin. Along the river you should find Pied, Giant and Malachite Kingfishers as well as Little and Southern Carmine Bee-eaters.
The Okavango River is the fourth-largest river system in southern Africa. Starting in Angola, it runs south-eastward into Namibia and forms part of the Angolan/Namibian border. The area surrounding the river is known for its lush vegetation, spectacular natural beauty, and abundant wildlife. It is home to 150 species of fish and supports over 400 species of bird, making it a popular fishing and birding destination.
For those who would like to can opt for a Champagne Sunset Cruise (optional)
After breakfast we will scout the surrounding floodplains as well as the local sewerage works. From here we will continue towards the Okavango River. We will stop en-route and try our luck with the Souzas Shrike and Rufous-bellied Tit.
The lodges here with their lush gardens and surrounding protected areas are a birder's paradise. The opposite river bank falls within the Buffalo Core Area of the Bwabwata National Park and game viewing from the decks can be very rewarding.
We will spend the afternoon leisurely birding in the gardens, while looking at a huge variety of gorgeous butterflies and looking at game from the deck before embarking on a 2-hour boat cruise.
After breakfast we will drive the short drive to Mahango Game Reserve where we will spend the day looking for new bird, mammal and insect species. The park is home to a range of habitats, from open water, floodplains and swamps to dry, dense and broad-leafed woodland. This mixture of habitats means that the park attracts over 410 different species of birds in an area less than 25,000 hectares. The woodland area is home to Swainson’s and Red-billed Spurfowls and Meve’s Starling. Along the floodplains visitors will encounter the endangered Wattled Cranes and Slaty Egret. Bee-eaters including the Carmine, Blue-cheeked, Swallow-tailed and Little Bee-eaters are a photographer’s dream.
Other species to look out for are African Barred Owl, Crested Barbet, Bearded and Bennett’s Woodpeckers, Grey-hooded (Chestnut–bellied) Kingfisher, African Fish Eagle, Western-Banded Snake-Eagle, Village Weaver, Southern Brown-throated and Spectacled Weaver, Chirping Cisticola, Greater Swamp Warbler, White-backed Night Heron and Goliath Heron.
Mammals we may encounter include Spotted-necked and Cape-Clawless Otter, African Wilddog, Leopard, Lion, Elephant, Hippopotamus, Red Lechwe, Sable, Roan Antelope, Reedbuck, Buffalo and Tsessebe.
Today we will spend the day in the Buffalo Core Area. The park is home to numerous game. Visitors will find large concentrations of Elephant, Buffalos but also - and this is special for the Buffalo Park - big herds of Roan and Sable. Warthog, Kudu, Impala, Reedbuck, Red Lechwe and of course Hippo and Crocodile are also seen quite often.
Several game species including elephant, buffalo, zebra and wildebeest do seasonal movements. They remain at the Okavango River during the dry season and move inland during the wet season. This seasonal cycle is an important natural mechanism that guarantees that the vegetation structure can be in a resting period during some part of the year. When the large mammals move inland predators can be seen very often on the river side.
We will do our best here to find Racket-tailed Roller and with a massive amount of luck we may even find Pel's Fishing Owl and Narina Trogon.
Our final destination is the Waterberg Plateau National Park. This park was created as a sanctuary for the rare and endangered species of the Caprivi. The table top mountain plateau comprises a sandy plain flanked by 100 m high cliffs and scree slopes. The high diversity of birdlife in this semi-arid region is due to the location of the Waterberg at the meeting point of broad-leafed woodland on northern Kalahari sandveld on top of the plateau and mixed thorn bush savannah below, a third habitat is provided by the cliffs and scree slopes.
The Acacia savanna and woodland here abounds with birds and is one of the best sights in the country to see near-endemics such as Rüppell’s and Meyer’s Parrot, Rosy-faced Lovebird, Violet Woodhoopoe, Monteiro’s Hornbill, Carp’s Tit and Rockrunner. Hartlaub’s Spurfowl occurs on the boulder-strewn slopes above the camp and an early start will offer a reasonable chance at seeing this difficult endemic.
We will also have a chance to see Lesser Galago (also known as Lesser Bushbaby), Porcupine, Small-spotted Genet, as well as several reptiles including the locally endemic Waterberg Sand Lizard (Pedioplanis waterbergensis) and Waterberg Gecko (Pachydactylus waterbergensis).
After breakfast and a final nature walk we will head back to Windhoek where our tour will come to an end.
Your guide will drop you off at the airport.
The wildlife will be abundant on this tour ranging from the little desert five to the big five. We will see a huge number of antelope species as well as felines and canids. Birding is easy and we will do our best to show you as many species as possible. Namibia is a bucket-list destination for many herpetologists and we will show you why.
What is included?
- Accommodation for 17 nights in a twin/double room
- Single occupancy available for an additional charge/cost
- All meals starting with lunch on day 1 and ending with breakfast on day 18
- Vehicle and fuel
- Professional specialised tri-lingual Namibian Naturalist Guide
- Specialist guide fees
- Daily mineral water in the vehicle while travelling
- All entrance fees to parks and reserves
- Local transfers and all ground transport throughout the tour
- A Catamaran Cruise in Walvis Bay
- A Desert Night Walk in Swakopmund
- A Night Game Drive at Okaukuejo
- Two 2-hour cruises at Mahango
- Personalised checklists
- All Applicable Taxes
What is not included?
- Any international flights and/or domestic flights
- Travel & medical insurance (incl. personal equipment and repatriation)
- Airport departure taxes or visa fees
- Items of personal nature
- Any activities not mentioned above
- Laundry & telephone Charges
- Optional trip/tour/safari extensions where applicable
- Tips & gratuities
- Any drinks beside mineral water while travelling
- Anything else not mentioned in “What is included”
Your satisfaction is our main concern and we do our best to guarantee that your experience with us is flawless. We guarantee open and honest communication from the moment we receive your enquiry. We take great care in selecting accommodations, restaurants and activity providers. We also ensure that you travel in comfort. Our vehicles are ideal for photography and we ensure that each client has a window seat. We also provide a spotting scope as well as several field guides in the vehicle. But it is our guides that really sets us apart from the rest. Their knowledge on our fauna and flora is truly astounding and they are always eager to share their knowledge and they have a great sense of humor to boot.
Namibia is a great destination to travel all year round. If you want to see as much megafauna as possible then we suggest coming between June and November when it is dry and large number of animals congregate around waterholes. Our endemic and near-endemic bird species are easy to find all year round. However, if you would like to see birds in breeding plumage then January to end of April is ideal. The Walvis Bay Lagoon is a terrific birding site throughout the year, however, if you want to see migrants then the best time is from December to end of April. General herping is most productive from December to end of April. Desert herping in Namibia is great all year round. The weather in Namibia tends to vary considerably and even though the country is predominantly semi-desert, it enjoys a variety of regional climates. The main rainy season is from December to March and generally characterized by occasional thunderstorms and often brief showers. The weather is, however, generally warm, sunny and clear during the day with the night temperatures ranging from slightly cool to cold. Namibia generally experience three seasons – the dry season (mid-April to August), the hot season (September to mid-November) and the wet season (mid-November to mid-April). December through March tends to be exceptionally hot in most regions.
All accommodations establishments will have WiFi connections available
If you are a keen wildlife photographer and/or interested in any environmental aspects then this tour is for you. Our guides are great at gauging the interest of a group or of individuals in a group and will do their best to accommodate everyone. They are extremely well studied and they can tell you the most interesting facts about the fascinating fauna and flora that inhabit our country.
Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted throughout Namibia, however it is always good to have a little cash on hand. There are several bureaus de change at the airport and most towns have a bureau de change. Currency: The Namibian Dollar is the respective national currency of Namibia (the exchange rate can vary from month to month; an excellent website to check latest rates is http://www.xe.com/ucc/). The South African Rand is also a legal tender in Namibia, although it is important to note that the Namibian Dollar cannot be used in South Africa. Credit cards can be used quite widely in the country. ATM machines are available. The local banks are open from Monday to Friday, and for a short period on a Saturday morning. There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency that can be brought into Namibia, provided that the amount is declared on arrival through a currency declaration form. You will get better commission on $50 and $100 notes than you will on smaller notes. It is always advisable to carry a few smaller notes as well. As most of your costs are already covered by the tour, you should not need too much money. The easiest currencies to exchange are US Dollars, Pounds and Euros.
Yes we do.
Due to unforeseen circumstances we may be forced to change or alter the itinerary at short or no notice; please be aware that we will attempt to adhere as close to the original program as possible and that open communication with you is ensured.
Yes. However, there is some walking involved in finding some of the bird species, such as the Herero Chat and Hartlaub's Spurfowl.
If you are travelling as a private group then there are no age restrictions. Namibia is a very safe country and there is no walking among dangerous wildlife involved on our tours. However, for set departures, we would need to take other clients into consideration where small kids are involved.
Yes we will assist with booking any pre-tour and/or post-tour accommodations
Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included throughout the tour. We also provide daily mineral water in the vehicle to drink while travelling. We have a coolbox in the vehicle and you are welcome to store any snacks and cooldrinks you may want to provide for yourself. We will visit a variety of restaurants for lunches and dinners when these are available. Food will be of a western style; however, there will be possibilities of experiencing local cuisine on various parts of the tour. We will also go to supermarkets en-route to our lodgings where you will be able to purchase your own food provisions and snacks if desired. NB: If you have any special dietary requirements or needs, please let us know at the time of booking.
As best as we can yes.
Reptiles of Namibia by Alfred Schleicher; Sasol Birds of Southern Africa; Stuarts' Field Guide to Mammals of Southern Africa; Trees & Shrubs of Namibia by Coleen Mannheimer and Barbara Curtis; Field guide to butterflies of South Africa by Steve Woodhall
Binoculars; photographic equipment (optional); flashlight/torch/headlamp with spare batteries; toiletries; personal medication - we recommend packing important medication (and a change of clothes) in your hand luggage in the unlikely event of lost luggage; passport and copies of passport, medical insurance policies and other important documents; money for alcoholic beverages, gifts, tips, items of a personal nature, etc; comfortable walking shoes/hiking boots plus a pair of sandals; swimming gear; cap/hat & sunglasses; sunscreen; mosquito repellent; long-sleeved clothes as a precaution against biting insects
We strongly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance to protect yourself against losses due to accidents or illness. Check with your insurance agent regarding coverage you may presently have via other insurance policies, which may cover illness during your trip.
Accommodation throughout the trip will be good standard hotels/lodges/guesthouses with en-suite facilities
To ensure your comfort and that of your companions, please limit yourself to one medium-sized suitcase or duffel bag (20 kg) and one carry-on bag, as space in the vehicles is limited.
Lightweight, neutral-coloured clothing that can easily be rinsed out and dries quickly (cottons or cotton blends) are recommended for the field. We recommend no bright colors. Although the birds and other wildlife are relatively approachable, we will be trying to see a number of elusive species and muted colors are essential to enhance our chances. Furthermore, if you can avoid crackling nylon/plastic jackets and pants, this will greatly enhance everyone’s enjoyment of the trip and enable the leader to hear those critical, but so easily overlooked, subtle call notes of the birds you want to see. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants will help protect you from insects, thorny plants and sunburn. Shorts will be appropriate for some occasions; long pants that convert into shorts by unzipping the legs are generally very useful and popular. A sweater or jacket is useful for cooler nights and early mornings. You are welcome to bring a bathing suit, as there will be opportunities to swim at some of the lodges, as well as a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and good quality sunscreen - remember that the tropical sun is exceptionally strong and burns quickly! You should also bring raingear, including a small umbrella when travelling during the wet season. Recommended footwear is one good pair of walking shoes and a pair of sandals for travel days. Dress is casual throughout the tour. Laundry service will be available occasionally. Making use of laundry service means you will not need to bring as many items of clothing as you would otherwise. Alternatively, to lighten your load, you may consider bringing some clothes that may be discarded at the end of your trip – these clothes are particularly well received by the local lodge and national park staff we meet.
Electricity: 220-volt AC running at 50Hz, with South African/Indian-style 3-prong plugs with two circular pins and a large circular grounding pin are used in Namibia. | Language: English is an official language in Namibia and is widely spoken throughout. Afrikaans is another official language in Namibia, with Herero, German and the Bantu language of OshiKwanyama also being spoken throughout the country. | Safety: Namibia is generally stable and safe, being one of the most politically stable countries in Africa. Petty crime is, however, of minor concern in the larger towns and it is important to be vigilant regarding your valuables. People are generally polite and friendly. | Customs: You may, as a traveller and for your own consumption, import 400 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco, as well as 2 litres of wine and 1litre of spirits or other alcoholic beverages and 50ml perfume into Namibia. Note: Souvenirs may be exported without restriction but game trophies such as tooth, bone, horn, shell, claw, skin, hair, feather or other durable items are subject to export permits. Visas and entry requirements: A passport valid for at least six months after your departure is required for entry into Namibia. Please note that Visas are not required for most passport holders at this stage, however, there are talks of implementing a purchase-a-visa-on-arrival system. Please check with us closer to your travelling time. At this stage, nationals from Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, the UK, Ireland, Canada and the US, for example, do not require visas. Please note that all flights into South Africa and Namibia require that you have a minimum of six blank pages available in your passport. NB – transit visas through South Africa are required for all non-visa exempt foreigners who proceed to the RSA for transiting purposes en-route to neighboring countries. The transit visa must be obtained prior to arrival in RSA. (See http://www.southafricanewyork.net/homeaffairs/visaexempt.htm ) It is recommended that Nationals of any country check with their consulate/embassy for up to date information as entry details are prone to change. We strongly recommend that you have at least two copies of the title page of your passport, and that these are kept handy but separate to your official passport whilst travelling.