Birdwatching in Namibia

Birdwatching in Namibia

The best time for bird watching in Namibia is during the rains - typically between around November and April. Then many migrants visit, adding to the native species found inland; food is plentiful and many species sport colourful breeding plumage. Meanwhile Namibia's rich, cold ocean attracts large permanent populations of coastal birds.

If you're looking for the highlights of birding in Namibia, start with Etosha National Park in the early months of the year, when the vast saltpan there fills with water. Great flocks of blue cranes descend to feed, and flamingos arrive to breed. For Namibia's best birding area, seek out the Caprivi Strip, where dry Kalahari areas stand beside the waterways and swamps of the Okavango and Linyanti Rivers.

Beside Namibia's coast, around Swapokmund and Walvis Bay, birders will find not only Cape cormorants; greater and lesser flamingos and colonies of eastern white pelicans - but also 'specials' like the endangered, ground-nesting damara tern.

The only endemic bird species of Namibia, the dune lark, is highly localised in the Namib Desert - but bird-watchers will find interesting array of birds in many areas. For some of the best lodges and camps for a birdwatching holiday in Namibia, see our ideas below.

17 of our favourite places for birdwatching in Namibia