Namibia in the world
If you would like to go directly to the list of species observed, click here.
From 16 July to 1 August 2007 included.
We travelled clockwise for 4537 km, starting from Windhoek, the capital city. We didn't visit the Caprivi Strip, much to my regret, I must admit. The trip had been organized by "Arts et Vie" and although it was not devoted to bird watching, I still saw about a hundred different species. Should you like to make a different kind of journey, visit peri naua's website. They combine bird and humanitarian trips.
Windhoek: Safari Court Hotel : The best in the city and the food is great.
Marienthal area: Kalahari Anib Lodge.
Fish River Canyon: Canon Village.
Maltahöhe: Hammerstein Guestfarm.
Namib Naukluft Park: Namib Desert Lodge.
Swakopmund: Europa Hof Hotel.
Erongo area: Ai-Aiba Lodge.
Khorixas area: Igowati Lodge.
Outjo: Etosha Garten Hotel. Gorgeous meals.
Etosha: Mokuti Lodge.
Weather: Namibia is blessed with 330 days of sunshine a year and I know a good many Europeans who would dream to have a summer like the Namibian winter. Temperatures fluctuate from 5°C in the morning to 25°C and even more in the afternoon and except for the coastline where there may be some mist, the sky is for ever blue. The air is very dry, to the point that your nose will sometimes bleed and you will have to drink very frequently.
In the sand dunes of Sossusvlei (Photo Claude Lizé)
Food: It is good and varied although vegans might no share my point of view since we ate a lot of game: zebra, kudu, warthog, gemsbok, crocodile and ostrich. What comes out of taps is supposed to be drinking water but we still used Micropur pills to disinfect it, just in case, or we opted for mineral water. I was poisoned by some bad food but I will not blame Namibian restaurants for that.
Driving conditions: As everywhere in the south of Africa, with an exception for Angola, you drive on the left-hand side in Namibia. Speed limits are 60 km/h in cities, 80 or 100 km/h on secondary roads and 120 km/h on main roads. The latter are very good and I was stunned to see miles and miles of absolute straight tarred roads. The 60, 000 km of secondary roads are actually practicable dust roads and it costs the Namibian government a lot of money to repair them. Other dust roads can be used only by SUVs or the like and it is wise not to take them on your own because some of them will take you to the middle of nowhere and you will find the nearest service station only 300 km away and you may meet nobody for several days. A few years ago, 2 tourists died of thirst because they hadn't been able to make it to a farm which was only 5 km away. Also, pay attention to animals crossing the roads. You will be informed of this danger by very exotic roads signs representing antelopes or warthogs.
Purchases: Credit cards are accepted in the larger towns but connecting times are long. In villages, you can either pay in South-African Rands or in Namibian Dollars. Bargaining is a must in the little shops along the roads but I haven't got used to it yet. The cost of living is pretty low for a European so don't be too hard on the local shopkeepers.
Landscape: Even if the savannah stretches may seem boring at times, the scenery is varied and very picturesque. Namibia is twice as large as France but hosts only 1.9 million people so Namibians have a lot of space, as is proved by the very large farming estates you can see everywhere, a good many of which cover as much as 30,000 ha.
Sossusvlei (Photo Danielle Joannès)
Time zone: Namibia is one hour behind the time in France.
16 - 17 July 2007: Paris - Johannesburg -Windhoek
At Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris, we took a South African Airways Airbus to Johannesburg. The flight lasted 10 h 30 during which we tasted the local aperitif called Amarula, made from the marula nut, which we were told elephants like a lot. We then left Johannesburg and reached Windhoek 2 h 35 later. First twitch: a Cape Turtle-Dove at the Johannesburg airport.
17 July: Arrival in Windhoek
When we got off the plane, there was a military band, officials and a red carpet on the runway but it was not for us. The President of the Congo was due to come any minute and, we learnt it later on, was accommodated in our hotel. Our coach broke down right at the start, which enabled me to spot a few local birds like the African Palm-Swift, the Familiar Chat and the Cape Glossy Starling whose glossy colours struck everybody.
Cape Glossy Starling (Photo Martine Grimal)
Still, I was more impressed by the first Red-Billed Hornbill I saw through the windows of the new coach which had arrived in the meantime and which took us to our hotel. We took a quick stroll in the city with Tobias, our driver, whose human qualities and defensive driving we appreciated all along our trip, and Frank Stiemert, our local guide, whose culture seemed to have no limits and who made us love and understand his country. A lot of thanks to both of them for everything they did for us.
The Windhoek railway station (Photo Danielle Joannès)
18 July: Windhoek - Rehobot - Kalahari Desert
I walked about in the hotel park before breakfast which enabled me to see a Marico Sunbird and a Crimson-breasted Shrike. We then drove southwards and had a rough idea of how large the country is. The savannah stretched for miles and miles and we saw our first family of Chacma Baboons together with Gemsbok, Greater Kudu, Burchell's Zebra, Common Ostriches and several Southern Pale Chanting Goshawks, perched on telephone poles. Huge nests built by the Sociable Weaver, which may accommodate as many as 500 birds, could be seen on a few trees which sometimes collapse under the weight of those structures made of millions of blades of dried grass.
Sociable Weaver's nests (Photo Gérard Joannès)
Sociable Weaver (Photo Jean-Claude Uzzeni)
In the evening, we took a 4X4 vehicle to cruise the domain of the lodge, watch the wildlife and see the sun set on the dunes of red sand. It was night when we came back so we had the opportunity to watch the Namibian sky and the South Cross. We at once noted that we are no longer used to seeing such clear skies in our country.
19 July: Kalahari Desert - Fish River Canyon
I got up before everybody else to be at the bird hide at sunrise. I noted a Common Fiscal and a Stark's Lark together with Cape Ground Squirrels. The road was long again that day and if some people found the vast stretches of savannah a bit monotonous, I didn't because I saw my first Lilac-breasted Rollers and an African Grey Hornbill. Rollers are very beautiful birds when you seem them perched but they are breath-taking when they fly. The combination of colours of their plumage cannot be given full justice by any description or photo.
Lilac-breasted Roller (Photo Jean-Claude Uzzeni)
We stopped for a stroll in the Quiver Tree Forest. Actually, those quiver trees are not trees but aloes. There, I spotted a White-browed Sparrow-Weaver and an Acacia Pied Barbet.
Quiver trees (Photo Danielle Joannès)
A little farther away, in the Giants' Playground, we saw dolerite heaps as if giants had been playing construction games there. We also spotted our first Rock Dassies. Then, there were more savannah stretches, with a few Euphorbia plants (Euphorbia damarana) which look like cactii. The dust road went up the hills and down the vales and we finally made it to the Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon after the Colorado Grand Canyon.
Fish River Canyon (Photo Danielle Joannès)
We walked along the cliffs and had a nice view of the canyon and also saw a few Pale-Winged Starlings, which were very tame. Early in the evening, we reached the Canon Village lodge, beautifully nested in the middle of the mountains.
Pale-winged Starlings (Photo Jean-Claude Uzzeni)
20 July: Fish River Canyon - Helmeringhausen - South of Namib
Once more I got up a little earlier to have an opportunity to twitch more birds. This is how I spotted the Bokmakierie. We then drove northwards, between two mountain ridges. I was scanning the telephone lines in the hope of seeing a Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk perched on a telephone pole but I actually spotted a splendid Martial Eagle. While we had stopped on a bridge over the dried up river Fish, I also saw a Speckled Pigeon, a Pied Kingfisher and even an African Black Duck. The Rock Dassies were tame enough for us to watch them for a long time. A few miles farther, we visited the Duwisib castle, which some German had had built in the middle of nowhere, paying a fortune to have all the materials brought there from the coast. While we were having lunch near Maltahöhe, I twitched the Dusky Sunbird and the Scarlet-chested Sunbird. I just couldn't have a quiet meal!
Scarlet-chested Sunbird (Photo Jean-Claude Uzzeni)
We had logged 580 km at the end of that day when we reached the hotel. In the evening, we prepared Huguette's birthday celebration and we laughed so much that all the hotel staff came to see what was going on. Sure enough, they had never before heard a "khömi" song sung to the sound of tomtoms.
21 July: Namib Desert
It had been so cold that night that I had slept with my fleece jacket on over my pyjamas. We drove off and got nearer the coast but were still in the mountains. The shrub savannah passed by between the Naukluft red hills and we finally made it to the Sossusvlei sand dunes.
Sossusvlei (Photo Danielle Joannès)
The scenery was breath-taking because we were there at the right time, when the sun lights up one side of the dunes, leaving the other side in the shade. The relief was enhanced and the dead trees would have made a very good foreground for the photographers who kept grumbling because we couldn't stop as often as they would have liked to.
Sossusvlei (Photo Danielle Joannès)
We had to queue up for the 4X4 cars that would take us to the foot of the dunes. In the meantime, I watched the many Cape Sparrows and the Scaly-feathered Finches which were hopping not a yard away from my shoes.
Cape Sparrows (Photo Gérard Joannès)
Several Pied Crows were hovering in the sky and landed close by, even right at the top of the dunes where we managed to go, much less easily.
Pied Crow (Photo Jean-Claude Uzzeni)
We finally got into the vehicles and often had to cling to our seats not to be thrown out. Once we had reached the site, we climbed up a dune for a better view and were not disappointed.
Sossusvlei (Photo Danielle Joannès)
It was hot but we could quench our thirst easily, which is not always the case for the local fauna even if it is well adapted to these difficult conditions. The Gemsbok can survive without drinking for several days and the Fog-drinking Beetle takes advantage of the fog you can sometimes find in this area to collect a drop of water on its back and let it slip down to its mouth.
Fog-drinking Beetle (Photo Jean-Claude Uzzeni)
After lunch, we drove on to the Sesriem Canyon which a river carved into the pudding stone. The site was very picturesque and we were very pleased, some of us horrified, to find a Horned Puff Adder. It was beautiful, but also very dangerous and it puffed up its body to make it clear to me I should not come too near to take a photo. The message got home and I didn't push my luck too far.
Horned Puff Adder (Photo Gérard Joannès)
We were offered another ride in a 4X4 car when we arrived at the lodge. Danielle did take part in it but I thought I would take a stroll alone in the savannah. Apparently, I hadn't made the right choice because the scenery was wonderful whereas I was pestered by midges. I still saw a few interesting birds.
22 July: Namib Desert - Swakopmund
After we had crossed Solitaire, a small village which truly deserves its name, we took a bad toll road which however offered a good view of several animals. When we had our picnic lunch, we celebrated Huguette's birthday and everybody had a good laugh. A little farther away, we crossed the Tropic of Capricorn in the other direction and stopped to have a look at the Welwitschia mirabilis plants you can find there. This plant, which can live up to 2000 years, grows only 2 leaves in its lifetime and they are little by little shredded by the wind and the wildlife, which doesn't make it look any better. Male plants can be recognized by their flowers while female plants grow cones.
Welwitschia mirabilis (Photo Danielle Joannès)
Cape Gull (Photo Jean-Claude Uzzeni)
Swakopmund (Photo Danielle Joannès)
23 July: Swakopmund -Walvis Bay - Swakopmund
I spent a horrible night due to some unknown food poisoning. I was unable to follow the rest of the party to Walvis Bay and they had a very close look at the Cape Fur Seals, Great White Pelicans, Greater Flamingos and dolphins without me. My fellow travellers tasted delicious oysters and drank "Crémant" but I didn't care and swallowed no food for a whole day. I was stunned to learn that while I was fighting death in my bed, Danielle was having a good time with a 70kg Cape Fur Seal!
Danielle (left!) and a Cape Fur Seal (Photo Rosy Grillo)
Greater White Pelican (Photo Jean-Claude Uzzeni)
Greater White Pelican (Photo Danielle Joannès)
24 July: Swakopmund - Erongo region
I felt a little better and we had time enough to take a stroll in Swakopmund and see a few Budgerigars which must have escaped from somewhere. They were flying from one palm-tree to the next and made a lot of noise. We went on to Cape Cross, right to the place where the famous navigator Diego Cao landed in 1486 and had a cross erected. To go there we took a road made of salt which had been moistened and compacted. As this place is the only rocky area of the coast, some 80, 000 Cape Fur Seals have decided to make it their home.
Cape Fur Seals (Photo Gérard Joannès)
Let's face it, it stinks! You could also hear the seals bellow everywhere and there were a few Black-backed Jackals roaming around, looking for something to eat.
Black-backed Jackal (Photo Gérard Joannès)
Yet, this spot is still worth going to and everybody took the opportunity to see and photograph these funny pinnepedia. This is also where I saw a White-fronted Plover, a Swift Tern and 2 Cape Gannets. We had hardly left the coast when the sun came out again. In the evening, when we reached the lodge, I saw a group of Chacma Baboons running away. We then wandered in the mountains around, looking for rock paintings. As they are pretty old, it was not always easy to find them. I noted a Rosy-faced Lovebird, a few Rock Dassies and antelopes.
Rock Dassie (Photo Jean-Claude Uzzeni)
25 July: Erongo region - Brandberg area - Khorixas
After we had left the lodge, we saw several Chacma Baboons and Giraffes and above all a perched Martial Eagle just before we reached the Brandberg area, where we visited the site of the "White Lady". This rock painting actually represents a man. We had to walk some distance to go there, which we enjoyed doing in spite of the heat. We saw several Namibian Rock Agamas and above all, very tame Double-banded Sandgrouse. They trusted their cryptic plumage so much that it was quite easy to film or photograph them.
Female Namibian Rock Agama (Photo Jean-Claude Uzzeni)
Double-banded Sandgrouse (Photo Gérard Joannès)
An African Hawk-Eagle was hovering high up in the sky, perhaps looking for some Rock Dassies. The landscape changed little by little as we moved on and the thorn bush savannah was now replaced by the mopane savannah. Before reaching Khorixas where we spent the night, I saw a Northern Black Korhaan and 2 Crowned Lapwings.
26 July: Khorixas - Outjo
There were now many more birds than in the south of the country and I noted 2 African Hawk-Eagles and the huge Kori Bustard. As for mammals, we saw 3 Bat-eared Foxes walking slowly in the savannah, pricking their large ears for any noise coming from scorpions or other small animals they might eat, and a Common Duiker. A few miles further on, just before our picnic lunch, Frank taught us a lesson about geology to make us understand, in the wild, what "contact metamorphism" was about. We had lunch, of course, but I was more thrilled by the Grey Go-away Birds which were kissing high up in the trees while a Red-billed Hornbill was hopping between the elephant traces Tobias had discovered in a dried up river.
Grey Go-away Bird (Photo Jean-Claude Uzzeni)
We drove on while an Augur Buzzard was circling high up in the sky. Somme distance away, I had a good view of a Rüppell's Korhaan. We then went to the Vingerklip, a 32-m high rocky tower offering a splendid view over the plain.
The Vingerklip (Photo Danielle Joannès)
If we hadn't seen the Giraffes and Warthogs in the distance, we might have believed this was Monument Valley, in the USA.
The view from the Vingerklip (Photo Danielle Joannès)
It was already late and we had to leave. We arrived at Outjo at 18 h 30 and night had already fallen. We had a hearty dinner around a terrific solid wooden table full of carved African wildlife.
27 July: Outjo - Etosha
At long last, we went to Etosha Park where I expected to see a few big cats, although I knew it wouldn't be easy. Etosha park was created by the Germans and it was much bigger than today. The South-Africans had divided into smaller parts to park black ethnic groups there at the time of the Apartheid. With its 22, 270 km², it is still big enough to host a lot of animal species. To avoid inbreeding problems, there is an international project consisting in creating animal corridors from one park to the next. The only barriers for wild animals are the limits of their biotopes and they don't care about political borders. We entered the park by its western gate, at Okankuejo. I soon saw several Southern White-crowned Shrikes, about 40 Namaqua Sandgrouse, Impala which have been brought over from South-Africa, Burchell's Zebras but I was especially thrilled to see my first African Elephant, feeding not far from our coach.
African Elephant (Photo Gérard Joannès)
Burchell's Zebra, Springbok and Kori Bustard (Photo Jean-Claude Uzzeni)
We were impressed by its size and by the way it moved about so silently. We actually didn't see many of them although Frank had told us there were large numbers in Namibia. Brindled Gnu, Giraffes, Springboks and other antelopes were pretty easy to find because they usually feed in open terrain. This is not the case with Lions, Cheetah and Leopards which we tried to find without any success. We moved from one water hole to the next and as the country had suffered a severe drought that year, there was little grass and all the animals came to these places. The shrub savannah gave way to bleak extents of salt pans, the remnants of former ponds. I saw several Kory Bustards, a Bateleur, Namaqua Doves, a Lappet-faced Vulture, Blacksmith Lapwings and when we had reached some place where we were allowed to get off the coach, Frank showed us a Southern White-faced Scops-Owl which was very easy to see at the top of a tree.
Southern White-faced Scops Owl (Photo Jean-Claude Uzzeni)
This was also the place where we found about 40 Banded Mongoose scratching the ground to find something to eat. The Mongoose doesn't feed only on snakes!
Banded Mongoose (Photo Gérard Joannès)
We left the park and were somewhat disappointed because we had seen no big cats. I found a White-backed Vulture and a couple of South-African Shelduck, which was not bad, after all. We slept under the mosquito net that night and we found 4 of these insects ready to bite for our blood.
28 July: Etosha
We visited the Ombili Foundation in the morning. Its aims at helping Bushmen adapt and lead a decent life in the Namibian society. This nomadic ethnic group is looked down upon and can no longer survive on hunting, the way they did in the past. They are taught a job and helped to sell their handicrafts so they don't start begging for a living. A way of life is disappearing, true enough, but with man just as with vegetal or animal species, only the strongest make it to the top. This is a fact but the people working for the Ombili Foundation or peri naua, which I mentioned above, are really doing a good job in the field.
In the afternoon, we returned to Etosha because we were still expecting more of it. We saw the same species as the day before plus a Kirk's Dickdick, the smallest antelope in the world. Beside this, I was also pleased to find Blue Waxbills, which truly deserve their names, and a Crimson-breasted Shrike which thrilled the photographers of the group. We were then driving northwards in the eastern part of the park. Once more I saw Southern White-crowned Shrikes and Helmeted Guineafowl but no lions or rhinos.
Helmeted Guineafowl (Photo Gérard Joannès)
At the Tsinkor water hole we found about 40 Greater Kudu, 5 Giraffes and other very nervous animals. Perhaps we had made too much noise? Frank told us we hadn't and they must have smelt something. We decided to leave and come back later.
Giraffe (Photo Gérard Joannès)
At the Andoni water hole, way up north in the park, I twitched the Kittlitz's Plover and the Magpie Shrike. Not a bad day after all. Driving down southwards again, a little later on, Coco saw a Black Rhinoceros which crossed the road, right in front of us, as you can see it there. It was getting better and better. When we came back to Tsinkor, there were hardly any animals there and there was a good reason for it. 4 Lions were resting peacefully or drinking there. We were fascinated and so were all the people in the many cars queuing up in front of the water hole. Two males and two females had frightened away the Greater Kudu and Giraffes which had had to quench their thirst somewhere else. Only a few birds, trusting their ability to fly away had stayed there: Helmeted Guineafowl, Short-toed Rock-Thrush and Red-billed Francolins. We remained there for quite a long time, then returned to the Klein Namutoni water hole, not far from the way out of the park. There, I spotted a couple of South-African Shelduck, a Three-banded Plover, 2 White-backed Vultures and a Tawny Eagle.
Tawny Eagle (Photo Jean-Claude Uzzeni)
29 July: Etosha - Tsumeb - Otjiwarongo - Okahandja region
Once again, I got up before everybody else to go to the bird hide of the lodge. Besides 2 Giraffes, I noted Helmeted Guineafowl, 6 Double-banded Sandgrouse, 15 Blue Waxbills and 2 very widespread species, the Cape Glossy Starling and the African Red-eyed Bulbul.
African Red-eyed Bulbul (Photo Jean-Claude Uzzeni)
After breakfast we stopped at lake Otjikoto where I thought I would be able to see a few water birds. Unfortunately, it was not the case because this lake was formed in a doline, with abrupt walls and no vegetation.
Lake Otjikoto (Photo Danielle Joannès)
Still, I saw 2 Booted Eagles, one in the dark morph and the other in the light morph and a few Red-billed Queleas.
Church in Tsumeb (Photo Danielle Joannès)
We then drove through Tsumeb and arrived at Otjiwarongo where we had lunch. As we were close to the garden of the lodge, I took every opportunity to sneak away between courses and I saw a Marico Sunbird, an Orange River White-Eye, a Burnt-necked Eremomela, 2 Black-chested Prinias, a Chinspot Batis, a Chat Flycatcher but I was above all struck by a beautiful black bird, with a long curved bill and a long broad tail, which I was unable to identify on the spot. As I had filmed it, once back home I recognized a Common Scimitarbill.
White-browed Sparrow-Weaver (Photo Huguette Rambaud)
On the road again, we stopped at the market in Okahanja where I was pestered so much by the local craftsmen that I ran away. I somewhat regretted my reaction because you can find very nice things there. Danielle had been more patient than I and bought a few souvenirs. In this village, I twitched the Groundscraper Thrush but could not hear its beautiful song. In the evening, at the Okapuka lodge, besides a few Warthogs which had come to feed on the lawn, I came across several White-browed Sparrow-Weavers, 2 superb Lilac-breasted Rollers, 2 Blacksmith Lapwings, Red-billed Francolins and I twitched the Ashy Tit, which is obviously the equivalent of our Great Tit there.
Warthog (Photo Gérard Joannès)
30 July: Okahandja region - Windhoek
On that morning, we were due to go on a small safari in the park of the lodge and watch the lions being fed. Of course, it was like at the zoo but we still could have a close look at those animals we had been trying to find so hard.
Lion (Photo Jean-Claude Uzzeni)
The wildlife in the park was varied enough and among other animals, we saw Cape Eland, Sable Antelope, introduced from South Africa, White-tailed Gnu which were constantly on the move as opposed to the quieter Brindled Gnu, Blesbok and 3 White Rhinos.
White Rhino and Sable Antelope (Photo Gérard Joannès)
After the safari, we got some rest on the terrace of the lodge and I was lucky enough to see a Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill and to twitch the Southern Grey-headed Sparrow and the Black-faced Waxbill before going back to Windhoek for a visit of the town.
Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill (Photo Jean-Claude Uzzeni)
The architecture and a few names of buildings like "Alte Feste", "Tinten Palast" or "Alte Brauerei" reminded everybody that this is a former German colony. I saw a White-browed Scrub-Robin on a lawn and thought, correctly, that this was probably my last twitch. To make it a day, we visited the posh area of Ludwigsdorf, a strong contrast with the much poorer area of Katutura, which we had seen on the way in.
31 July: Windhoek - Johannesburg - Paris
A few last-minute hasty purchases and we had to leave for Hosea Kutako airport. The captain announced we were going to have a smooth flight and we took off in the evening.
1 August: Arrival in Paris
Actually, the flight had not been that calm as we had been jolted about for two hours when we crossed a thunderstorm over central Africa. The captain and I totally disagree on what a smooth flight is! The food had been eatable on the way in but it was certainly not the case on the flight out. One more day to visit Paris and we took the ICE to return back home in the evening.
List of animal species
I used the 3rd edition of "SASOL's Birds of Southern Africa", by Ian Sinclair, Phil Hockey and Warwick Tarboton, editor Struik. It is a very good guide even if the glossy aspect of certain birds is not correctly rendered. For mammals, I used "Le Guide des Mammifères d'Afrique" by Jean Dorst and Pierre Dandelot, editor Delachaux et Niestlé but Frank helped me a lot because he had a good knowledge of the local wildlife.
|Cape Gannet||Morus capensis||Not many, but I was ill when the party went on a boat-cruise.|
|White-breasted Cormorant||Phalacrocorax lucidus||Easy to see at Swakopmund.|
|Cape Cormorant||Phalacrocorax capensis||They looked half the size of the previous species and can be observed at the same place.|
|Great (Eastern) White Pelican||Pelecanus onocrotalus||Very easy to observe at Walvis Bay.|
|Grey Heron||Ardea cinerea||One individual.|
|Greater Flamingo||Phoenicopterus roseus||At Walvis Bay. I unfortunately only saw them from a distance.|
|Egyptian Goose||Alopochen aegyptiaca||One bird at Etosha.|
|South African Shelduck||Tadorna cana||One couple at Etosha.|
|African Black Vulture||Anas sparsa||On the river Fish, partly dried up.|
|Lapped-faced Vulture||Torgos tracheliotus||One bird at Etosha.|
|(African) White-backed Vulture||Gyps africanus||One bird on the ground at Etosha and a few seen in flight.|
|Bateleur||Terathopius ecaudatus||Seen once or twice, in flight.|
|Tawny Eagle||Aquila rapax||One bird on the ground at Etosha.|
|Martial Eagle||Polemaetus bellicosus||I was fortunate enough to see at least two of them from a short distance.|
|African Hawk-Eagle||Aquila fasciatus||Seen once or twice.|
|Booted Eagle||Aquila pennatus||2 birds in each morph at lake Otjikoto.|
|Augur Buzzard||Buteo augur||One bird identified.|
|Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk||Melierax canorus||You can't miss it! It is very often perched on telephone poles alongside roads. It doesn't fly the way a Northern Goswhawk does.|
|Rock Kestrel||Falco tinnunculus rupicollis||Sub-species of our Kestrel. Common.|
|20||Red-billed Francolin||Pternistes adspersus||Seen several times, except in the south of the country.|
|21||Helmeted Guineafowl||Numida meleagris||Rather common.|
|22||Common Ostrich||Sthrutio camelus||Rather common indeed.|
|23||Kori Bustard||Ardeotis kori||Very easy to see at Etosha.|
|24||Rüppell's Korhaan||Eupodotis rueppellii||Identified once.|
|25||Karoo Bustard||Eupodotis vigorsii||Identified once.|
|26||Northern Black Korhaan||Eupodotis afra||Identified once.|
|27||Black-winged Stilt||Himantopus himantopus||One bird at Etosha.|
|28||Three-banded Plover||Charadrius tricollaris||One bird at Etosha.|
|29||Kittlitz's Plover||Charadrius pecuarius||One bird at Etosha.|
|30||White-fronted Plover||Charadrius marginatus||One bird at Cape Cross.|
|31||Crowned Lapwing||Vanellus coronatus||A few.|
|32||Blacksmith Lapwing||Vanellus armatus||Several. Seen at water holes or on the wet lawns of hotel lodges.|
|33||Cape Gull||Larus vetula||Common.|
|34||Hartlaub's Gull||Larus hartlaubii||Several.|
|35||Swift Tern||Sterna bergii||One at Cape Cross.|
|36||Double-banded Sandgrouse||Pterocles bicinctus||Some. Very tame birds.|
|37||Namaqua Sandgrouse||Pterocles namaqua||Seen once. Easy to determine thanks to its long tail.|
|38||Speckled Pigeon||Columba guinea||Rather common.|
|39||Rock Dove||Columba livia||Very common.|
|40||Cape Turtle-Dove||Streptopelia capicola||Rather common.|
|41||Laughing Dove||Streptopelia senegalensis||Common.|
|42||Namaqua Dove||Oena capensis||Some at Etosha.|
|43||Rosy-face Lovebird||Agapornis roseicollis||Not many. I saw them in town and in the savannah as well.|
|44||Budgerigar||Melopsittacus undulatus||A few birds in Swakopmund, Both blue and green individuals. Were they escaped birds or have they been introduced voluntarily?|
|45||Grey Go-away Bird||Corythaixoides concolor||Rather common.|
|46||Southern White-faced Scops-Owl||Ptilopsus granti||One in Etosha, on a tree in a car-park.|
|47||African Palm Swift||Cypsiurus parvus||Rather common.|
|48||White-faced Mousebird||Colius colius||Rather common. Its white back is not the most striking point.|
|49||Pied Kingfisher||Ceryle radis||One bird near the river Fish.|
|50||Lilac-breasted Roller||Coracias caudatus||A rather common bird wearing an uncommonly beautiful plumage.|
|51||African Grey Hornbill||Tockus nasutus||Not many but rather tame.|
|52||Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill||Tockus leucomelas||Several.|
|53||Red-billed Hornbill||Tockus erythrorhynchus||The commonest of Hornbills.|
|54||Common Scimitarbill||Rhinopomastus cyanomelas||One bird feeding on a flower.|
|55||African Hoopoe||Upupa africana||Seen once.|
|56||Acacia Pied Barbet||Tricholaema leucomelas||Not many.|
|57||Stark's Lark||Spizocorys starki||Seen twice at the same water hole.|
|58||Grey-backed Sparrowlark||Eremopterix verticalis||Seen at Sossusvlei.|
|59||Rock Martin||Hirundo fuligula||Common.|
|60||Fork-tailed Drongo||Dicrurus adsimilis||Common. Easy to determine because of its tail and its acrobatic flight.|
|61||Pied Crow||Corvus albus||Common.|
|62||Cape Crow||Corvus capensis||Less common than Pied Crow?|
|63||Ashy Tit||Parus cinerascens||Seen once. It had flown into a Sociable Weaver's nest.|
|64||African Red-eyed Bulbul||Pycnonotus nigricans||Very common.|
|65||Goundscraper Thrush||Psophocichla litsitsirupa||Not many.|
|66||Short-toed Rock-Thrush||Monticola brevipes||Not many. Seen both in Windhoek and in the savannah.|
|67||Familiar Chat||Cercomela familiaris||Common and found in all sorts of biotopes.|
|68||Tractrac Chat||Cercomela tractrac||The very pale Namib form, in the desert.|
|69||Mountain Wheatear||Oenanthe monticola||Rather common. I saw the dark form, with or without a white cap.|
|70||White-browed Scrub-Robin||Cercotrichas leucophrys||One bird in Windhoek.|
|71||Green-backed Camaroptera||Camaroptera brevicaudata||Seen once.|
|72||Burnt-necked Eremomela||Eremomela usticollis||Seen once.|
|73||Black-chested Prinia||Prinia flavicans||A few on the lawns of some lodges.|
|74||Chat Flycatcher||Bradornis infuscatus||Few.|
|75||Orange River White-eye||Zosterops pallidus||Seen once.|
|76||Chinspot Batis||Batis molitor||Seen once.|
|77||Cape Wagtail||Motacilla capensis||Common.|
|78||Crimson-breasted Shrike||Laniarius atrococcineus||Several.|
|79||Magpie Shrike||Corvinella melanoleuca||Seen once. The white spots on the wings and the long tail are characteristic.|
|80||Common Fiscal||Lanius collaris subcoronatus||Seen several times. Sub-species of the arid west, with white eyebrows, "Latakoo Fiscal".|
|82||White-crested Helmet-Shrike||Prionops plumatus||A small group.|
|83||Southern White-crowned Shrike||Eurocephalus anguitimens||Several. Often seen at Etosha.|
|84||Cape Glossy Starling||Lamprotornis nitens||Common.|
|85||Burchell's Starling||Lamprotornis australis||Rare.|
|86||Meve's Starling||Lamprotornis mevesii||Rare.|
|87||Pale-winged Starling||Onychognathus nabouroup||Common and very tame. The white and russet patch on the wing is highly visible in flight.|
|88||Scarlet-chested Sunbird||Chalcomitra senegalensis||Rather common.|
|89||Dusky Sunbird||Cinnyris fuscus||Common.|
|90||Marico Sunbird||Cinnyris mariquensis||Uncommon.|
|91||House Sparrow||Passer domesticus||Very common.|
|92||Cape Sparrow||Passer melanurus||Common at Sossusvlei.|
|93||Southern Grey-headed Sparrow||Passer diffusus||Uncommon.|
|94||White-browed Sparow-Weaver||Plocepasser mahali||Rather common and very easy to see.|
|95||Sociable Weaver||Philetairus socius||Common. You can't miss its huge nests.|
|96||Southern Masked-Weaver||Ploceus velatus||Seen once.|
|97||Red-billed Quelea||Quelea quelea||Rather common.|
|98||Black-faced Waxbill||Estrilda erythronotos||Seen once.|
|99||Common Grenadier||Uraginthus granatina||Seen once.|
|100||Blue Waxbill||Uraeginthus angolensis||A few groups.|
|101||Scaly-feathered Finch||Sporopipes squamifrons||Some very tame birds at Sossusvlei.|
|102||Green-winged Pytilia||Pytilia melba||Seen once.|
|103||Yellow Canary||Serinus flaviventris||Several.|
Other animal species:
Striped Ground-Squirrel (Photo Jean-Claude Uzzeni)
Burchell's Zebras and Gemsbok (Photo Gérard Joannès)
Chacma Baboon (Papio ursinus). This black baboon lives in small groups and is very easy to identify.
Common Duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia). Seen once.
Gemsbok (Oryx gazella). Common.
Springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis). Very common.
Steenbok (Raphicerus campestris). Common.
Impala (Aepyceros melampus). Introduced species.
Red Hartebeest (Alcephalus caama). Introduced species.
Cape Eland (Taurotragus oryx). Introduced species.
Bontebok (Damaliscus dorcas dorcas). Rare.
Blesbok (Damaliscus dorcas phillipsi). Introduced species.
Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros). Rather common. Males, with their big spiralling horns, are very impressive animals.
Sable Antelope (Hippotragus niger). Introduced species.
Kirk's Dikdik (Rhynchotragus kirki). This is the smallest antelope in the world. Seen twice.
Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis giraffa). Very common.
Bat-eared Fox (Otocyon megalotis). 3 individuals seen once.
Black-backed Jackal (Canis mesomelas). Rather common.
Warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus). Common. I was expecting a much bigger animal.
Burchell's Zebra (Equus burchelli antiquorum). Common.
Mountain Zebra (Equus zebra). 2 individuals seen from a distance and identified because of the habitat.
Brindled Gnu or Wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus taurinus). Rather common.
White-tailed Gnu or Black Wildebeest (Connochaetes gnou). Not as common as the previous species and more mobile.
African Elephant (Loxodonta africana). They say these animals are very common in Namibia but we didn't see large numbers.
Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis). Seen once.
White Rhinoceros (Cerathotherium simum). 3 animals in a private park. Not as aggressive as the previous species.
Lion (Panthera leo). Rare and difficult to see.
Slender Mongoose (Herpestes sanguineus). Seen once or twice.
Banded Mongoose (Mungos mungo). Several tame individuals.
Dassie Rat (Petromus typicus). Few.
Rock Dassie (Procavia capensis). Rather common.
Cape Ground Squirrel (Xerus inauris). Common.
Striped Ground-Squirrel (Xerus erythropus). Some.
Cape Fur Seal (Arctocepalus pusillus). Very common.
Namibian Rock Agama (Agama planiceps). Several.
Horned Puff Adder (Bitis caudalis). One in the Sesriem Canyon.
Fog-drinking Beetle (Onymacris unguicularis). Some, not only on sand dunes.