Birds – Namibia

Anthony Ham
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the 'Botswana & Namibia' guide.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the 'Botswana & Namibia' Lonely Planet guide.

Anthony is the author of the 'Botswana & Namibia' Lonely Planet guide.

With just over 700 recorded species, many of them seasonal, Namibia doesn't have as many resident bird species as some other African destinations. However, the arid habitat is home to a high number of dry-country specials with limited distribution, which is of particular interest to birders. Although dune lark is the only endemic species in Namibia, there are many near-endemics, which are easier to see here than in neighboring countries. The intra-African and Palaearctic migrants from Europe are present from September to April.

Notable Birds in Namibia
Great white pelican
Locally common
Greater kestrel
Monteiro's hornbill
Locally common and near-endemic
Pale chanting goshawk
Shaft-tailed whydah

Birding Rating

Endemic & Near-Endemic Birds

(E) endemic = only lives in Namibia
(NE) near-endemic = also lives in neighboring countries

Other Birding Specials– Treats for Avid Birders

Best Time for Bird Watching

The birdlife in Namibia is at its best from September to April, when the migratory birds from Europe and northern Africa are present. At this time, many resident bird species are nesting and are in breeding plumage. After good rains, the pans in Etosha and Bushmanland become a hotspot for aquatic birds, including flocks of flamingo. Rains are mostly short showers in the afternoon and seldom have a negative impact on your trip. For wildlife viewing, the Dry season is better.

Best Parks for Birding Includes Birding Rating

Etosha National Park is home to 380 bird species and is one of Namibia’s birding hotspots. The parks in the Zambezi Region (Caprivi Strip) offer bird-rich habitats, including an impressive selection of Okavango specials.

Recommended Birding Books

  • Roberts Bird Guide
    Hugh Chittenden, Greg Davies, Ingrid Weiersbye
  • Sasol Birds of Southern Africa
    Ian Sinclair
  • Newman’s Birds of Southern Africa
    Kenneth Newman and Vanessa Newman
  • Birds of Namibia (Photographic Guides)
    Ian Sinclair, J. Sinclair
  • Pocket Guide to Birds of Namibia
    Ian Sinclair, Joris Komen

Want to Visit Namibia?

Birding Rating

Facts & Figures

Birds in Namibia
Bird Species
Migratory Birds
Sep to Apr