Namibian Herpetology Tour
This is a 13-day Namibia Herping Tour that will cover a range of habitats to give us the best chances of finding as many species as possible. Nightwalks are a vital part of this herpetology tour in Namibia, to tick off as many nocturnal species as possible. Namibia has five biomes with different characteristics and habitats that provide suitable environments to approximately 250 reptilian species, of which 95 species are endemic.
Our main target species will include the dwarf adders (Many-horned, Horned, Peringuey's, Desert Mountain and Namaqua Dwarf Adder); Cape, Western-barred, Black and Zebra Cobra; Puff Adder, Namib Sand Snake, Dwarf Beaked Snake and a few mole snakes. The Nama Padloper, Namaqua Chameleon and a huge number of geckos and lizards are also on our list of targets
Our Namibia Herping Tour starts in the magnificent Kalahari Desert followed by Keetmanshoop, famous for its surrounding Quivertree forests, and takes us all the way to the Orange River on the South African border. From here we will head back North towards Aus and Lüderitz before reaching one of Namibia's most iconic destinations, Sossusvlei. We will spend two nights in the romantic town of Swakopmund before heading to the Erongo Mountains and finally ending the tour in Namibia's capital city, Windhoek.
Our reptile tours this far have been wonderfully successful and we quickly gained the reputation for Namibia's leading tour operator offering herping tours. Our guides are amazing at tracking and finding our desert-adapted reptiles.
Namibia Herping Tour highlights include:
- 6 species of Adders (Bitis xeropaga, Bitis peringueyi, Bitis cornuta, Bitis caudalis, Bitis arietans and Bitis schneideri)
- Several Cobra species (Naja anchietae, Naja nivea, Naja nigricollis Naja nigricincta, etc);
- The endemic and elusive Namib Padloper
- The iconic Sossusvlei and Deadvlei
- Some of the most spectacular landscapes on the planet
Alternative Tour Name: Herping Tours
It is important to book a flight that lands latest by noon. Your guide will collect you from the airport and from there you will drive for approximately 2 hours until you reach your first destination in the Kalahari Desert. Depending on the time of arrival we will spend the late afternoon looking for Cape Cobras.
After dinner we will embark on a short night walk to look for any nocturnal species.
After breakfast we will head south towards Keetmanshoop. En-route we will search a few wash ways and rocky areas in search of any adders, cobras and lizards. After dinner we will do another night walk with great possibilities for a bit of starscape photography while searching for geckos and snakes.
On our way to Oranjemund we will continuously stop and search the ideal habitats for some of the special species such as Desert Mountain Adder.
We will have an early start in search of the localised Namaqua Dwarf Adder. Once we have located the snake we will continue to our next destination close to Aus. We will spend most of the day looking for snakes, lizards, geckos and the elusive Nama Padloper.
After dinner we will embark on a night walk.
We will spend most of the day herping around Aus and Lüderitz. Depending on the weather we will do another night walk after dinner.
We will spend the whole day herping the peninsula in search of Many Horned Adder and many other localised species. If the weather allows we will do another night walk.
After breakfast we will continue our journey heading to Sossusvlei. We will continue looking for any new and interesting species as we go along. After dinner we will embark on a night walk.
We will have a pre-dawn start to get into the park at first light and to spend us much time herping in the cool hours of the day. Our main target here will be the beautiful red variation of the Peringuey's Adder. Sossusvlei and Deadvlei are any photographer's dream and many take on the challenge of climbing some of the highest dunes in the world.
Another night walk will hopefully provide new species for our list.
A full day of driving and en-route herping will bring us to the coast. Depending on our arrival time we may head straight into the dune belt between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay to look for the paler form of the Peringuey's Adder, Horned Adder, Namib Sand Snake, Dwarf Beaked Snake, Namaqua Chameleon, Namib Web-footed Gecko, Sand-diving Lizard, etc. After dinner we will do a night walk to look for Koch's and Common Barking Gecko, Giant Ground Gecko, Horned Adder, etc.
Depending on the finds of the previous day we may either head back into the dune belt or towards the Kuiseb Delta in search of our sixth and final adder species, the Puff Adder.
We will do another night walk after dinner.
From Swakopmund we will head to the mighty Erongo Mountains where we will clean up on as many species as we can. One last night walk will hopefully provide a number of new species for our list.
After breakfast and a final walk-about, your guide will drive you to the airport for your departing flight. Please ensure that you book a flight that does not depart before 15:00. Alternatively, we can arrange accommodation for you for tonight and an airport transfer the following day.
Wildlife species expected to see:
Geckos: Many Pachydactylus species, Chondrodactylus species, Rhoptropus species, Ptenopus species
Lizards: Several species of the Meroles, Agama, Pedioplanis, Thyphlacontias, Typhlosaurus, Trachylepis, Karusasaurus genus
Snakes: Several Cobra species: Anchietas (Naja anchietae), Cape (Naja nivea), Black-spitting (Naja nigricollis), and Zebra (Naja nigricincta); Shield-nosed Snake (Aspidelaps scutatus), six Bitis species, Tiger Snake (Telescopus semiannulatus), Anchieta’s Dwarf Python (Python anchietae), several Psammophis species, Aspidelaps lubricus and scutatus; Hemirhagerrhis viperinus, Pythonodipsas carinata.
Tortoises: Bushmanland Tent Tortoise, Nama Padloper, Leopard Tortoise
Chameleons: Namaqua and Flap-necked
What is included?
- Accommodation for 12 nights in a twin/double room
- Single occupancy available at an additional charge/cost
- All meals
- 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
- 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
- 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.
All accommodations establishments will have WiFi connections available
If you are interested in reptiles then this tour is for you.
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.
This tour involves a lot of walking in various terrains
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; Snakes and other Reptiles of Southern Africa by Bill Branch
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. 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.