14-Day Namibia Mammal & Birding Adventure
This Mammal and Birding adventure is the dream safari in every sense. You will explore the hotspots in Namibia with our expert-guide , getting the chance to experience the fantastic wildlife and birding of our beautiful country.
This Namibia Safari is a Private Guided Safari, customized for you by our expert team.
Any element can be tailored , starting with your planned tour dates, activities, accommodation etc.
Should you prefer to join a Group Safari with a set departure date, our next Group Safari group departure date is:
To be confirmed
Full Itinerary – Namibia Mammal & Birding Adventure
Arrival and Okonjima Nature Reserve
Welcome to Namibia! After meeting you at the airport or your Windhoek hotel, we will depart for Okonjima Lodge near Otjiwarongo in central Namibia where we will spend our first evening.
Okonjima Lodge is based at the famous Africat Foundation where you have the opportunity to learn more about the Namibian population of free-roaming predators (Lion, Leopard, Hyena and smaller species) and the way this foundation is trying to protect them living on private cattle farms. They also have a very interesting rehabilitation centre here where you can get close up views of these amazing animals. They currently focus on research on lesser known species such as Pangolin and Brown Hyena helping us getting a better understanding of these fascinating animals.
From a birding point of view this will be the perfect introduction to the Acacia savannah ecosystem of this part of the country and we might see Pied Babbler, Barred Wren-warbler, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Fork-tailed Drongo, Marico Flycatcher, Violet-eared, Blue and Black-faced Waxbills, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, White-backed Mousebird, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, White-browed Sparrow-weaver and Southern Masked Weaver to name a few of the more common species. This part of the country is also great for Vultures and we hope to see Lappet-faced, White-backed and the endangered Cape Vulture.
On arrival, we will enjoy lunch, have time to settle in and freshen up, before departing for the afternoon activity which will be Leopard tracking with the lodge. During our tracking game drive we will be on the lookout for Leopard but could also spot Damara Dik, Eland, Red Hartebeest, White Rhinoceros, Hartman’s Mountain Zebra, Rock Hyrax, Oryx, Greater Kudu, Giraffe and Springbok. Some of the carnivores are fitted with a radio-collar which contributes valuable information to the research project and gives us the chance to get a glimpse into the lives of these rarely seen cats.
We will enjoy a sundowner drink in the bush before arriving back at the lodge in time to relax around the fire before dinner. We will enjoy a wonderful dinner prepared by the lodge staff. This will be the perfect Namibian welcome and should set the tone of for the rest of the safari.
After dinner we will do a night drive where we could spot possible species like Honey Badger, Porcupine, Brown and Spotted Hyena, Lesser Bushbaby, Springhare, Aardvark, Pangolin, Black-backed Jackal and Caracal.
Okonjima to Rundu
After an early morning birding walk around the lodge and visiting Africat we will make our way north to our overnight stop on the Okavango River. We will look for Dark- chanting Goshawk, Shikra, Gabar Goshawk, Black-chested Snake-eagle, Bateleur, Tawny Eagle, African Hawk-eagle, Purple Roller and other interesting birds along the way. Although today is mostly a driving day we should see some roadside mammals that might include Chacma Baboon, Oryx, Greater Kudu, Red Hartebeest, Steenbok and Warthog.
We should arrive at our lodge overlooking the Okavango River by mid to late afternoon. We will spend some time birding in the area around the lodge. Some of the species we might find include Black Cuckoo, African Green Pigeon, Violet-backed and Greater Blue-eared Starling, Brown Firefinch, Swamp Boubou, Woodland Kingfisher, Meyer’s Parrot, Hartlaub’s Babbler, Southern Yellow White-eye, Black-collared Barbet, African Paradise Flycathcer, Marico, White-bellied and Scarlet-chested Sunbird. The wetland will be the perfect introduction to the wetland birds of northern Namibia and we often see Giant, Pied and Malachite Kingfisher, African Swamphen, Coppery-tailed Coucal, Rufous-bellied, Squacco and Green-backed Heron, African Pygmy Goose, Hamerkop, African Darter, White-breasted and Reed Cormorant.
We will return to our lodge to freshen up and meet up for dinner prepared by the lodge. Tomorrow we head further east to the riverine and broadleaf woodland of the Caprivi Strip.
Rundu to Okavango Panhandle
After an early morning coffee we will make our way further east and explore the woodland between Rundu and Mahangu National Park and exciting possibilities along this section of road include Racket-tailed Roller, Rufous-bellied Tit, Green-backed Honeybird, Souza’s Shrike, Tinkling Cisticola, Striped Kingfisher, African Golden Oriole, African Hobby, Arnott’s Chat, Bradfield’s Hornbill, Southern Black and Pale Flycatcher, Green-capped Eremomela and Dickinson’s Kestrel.
After a picnic lunch we will cross the border into Botswana where we will spend the next night. We will leave the vehicle behind and depart for our lodge by boat birding along the way. Our lodge is situated on a peninsula and offers excellent Okavango Riverine habitat and we will explore this and the upper Okavango River with a mixture of a boat cruises and birding walks.
The big special here is the highly sought after Pel’s Fishing Owl and this area must be one of the best spots in the world to find this beautiful bird. Other specials here include White-backed Night-heron, Brown Firefinch, African Skimmer, Luapula Cisticola, Chirping Cisticola, Coppery-tailed Coucal, White-browed Coucal, Greater Swamp Warbler, Broad-billed Roller, Narina Trogon, Retz’s and White-crested Helmet Shrikes, African Barred Owlet, African Wood-owl, African Pygmy Goose, African Purple Swamphen, Slaty Egret, Rufous-bellied Heron, Bennet’s, Bearded, Golden-tailed and Cardinal Woodpeckers, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Crested and Black-collared Barbets, Brown-throated, Spectacled and Holub’s Golden Weavers and Western Banded Snake-eagle.
This area is home to plenty of Kingfisher species and we will look for Malachite, Pied, Brown-hooded, Grey-headed, African Pygmy and Giant Kingfishers. Eurasian, Southern Carmine, Blue-cheeked, White-fronted and Little Bee-eaters all occur in this area. This part of the Okavango River is home to huge Nile Crocodiles and plenty of Hippos. The resident Bushbuck and Vervet Monkeys are always around and if we are lucky we might see African Elephant. This area is probably the best place in Southern Africa where to see the beautiful Sitatunga antelope and this will be one of our main targets.
Late afternoon we will meet up to do a short sundowner boat cruise and will be on the lookout for the mammals and birds that inhabit this beautiful area. We will return to our lodge for dinner and we can do a short walk looking for nocturnal species such as Small Spotted Genet, Porcupine and even Aardvark have been seen here on some of our trips.
Okavango Panhandle and Mahango
We will start off with a morning walk in the Riverine Forest where we will try to find Narina Trogon as this is the only area in the western part of South Africa where they occur. Other species we should encounter include Grey-headed Kingfisher, Grey-headed and Orange-breasted Bush-shrike, Crested Barbet, Bradfield’s and African Grey Hornbill, Swamp Boubou, Brubru, Black-backed Puffback, African Paradise and Spotted Flycatcher, Bennett’s, Golden-tailed, Cardinal and Bearded Woodpecker. We often find roosting Fiery-necked Nightjars which offers excellent photographic opportunities.
After breakfast we will depart for a boat cruise on the Okavango River which will be one of the highlights of the trip. Our main targets here will be Pel’s Fishing-owl, White-backed Night-heron, Luapula Cisticola, Chirping Cisticola, Greater Swamp Warbler, Little Rush Warbler, Little Bittern, Allen’s Gallinule and Purple Heron with the more common birds being Squacco Heron, Grey Heron, Tawny-flanked Prinia, White-winged Tern, Hamerkop, African Openbill, African Fish-eagle, African Marsh Harrier, Southern Brown-throated and Village Weaver.
After our boat cruise we pack our bags and make our way back to our vehicle. On our way back to the vehicle we will keep an eye open for Brown-throated, Sand and Banded Martins, Lesser-striped, Pearl-breasted, Grey-rumped, Barn, Wire-tailed and Mosque Swallows.
We will cross the border back into Namibia and our afternoon will be dedicated to explore the productive Mahangu National Park which offers exceptional game viewing and birding with our main mammal targets being Sable and Roan Antelope, Tsessebe, Red Lechwe, African Buffalo and Bushbuck which we will not have the opportunity to see again on this safari.
From a birding point of view we hope to see Wattled Crane, Long-toed Lapwing, Slaty Egret, Collared Pratincole, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Violet-eared Waxbill, Verreaux’s Eagle-owl, Crested Francolin, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Greater and Lesser Honeyguide, Long-billed Crombec, Grey-tit Flycatcher, Broad-billed Roller, African Cuckoo-hawk, Ayre’s Hawk-eagle and smaller raptors like Lizzard Buzzard, Little Sparrowhawk, Ovambo Sparrowhawk and Shikra.
We will check in to our lodge situated on the banks of the Okavango River overlooking Bwabwata National Park just before sunset.
Mahango and Buffalo Game Parks
This morning we will explore Mahango and Buffalo Game Parks in our own vehicle. Mahangu National Park is well known for their big buffalo herds and plenty of Hippo. Besides some of the species mentioned before we might see African Elephant, Lion, Leopard, African Wild Dog, Burchell’s Zebra, Impala, Common Duiker, Greater Kudu, Giraffe and Warthog.
We will search the riverine woodland and Acacia savannah for birds like Greater and Lesser Honeyguide, Meyer’s Parrot, Chinspot Batis, White-browed Robin-chat, White-browed Scrub-robin, Southern Pied Babbler, Cardinal, Bearded, Golden-tailed and Bennett’s Woodpecker, Grey-headed, Brown-hooded and Woodland Kingfishers, African Mourning and Red-eyed Doves, African Green Pigeon, Broad-billed Roller, Brown and Red-billed Firefinch, Diederik, Klaas’s, African, Common, Black, Jacobin and Levailant’s Cuckoo.
We will also scan the floodplains for Wattled Crane, Spur-winged and Egyptian Goose, White-faced Duck, Slaty, Great White, Yellow-billed and Little Egret, Squacco and Black, Goliath, Purple Herons, African Spoonbill, African Sacred, Hadeda and Glossy Ibis, Long-toed and Wattled Lapwing and if we come across a herd of Buffalo or other big game we will look for Red-billed and Yellow-billed Oxpeckers.
We will either enjoy a packed lunch in the park or return to the lodge for lunch overlooking the river.
Late afternoon we will join the lodge for a dinner cruise on the Okavango River. We will depart at 17h30 and after cruising for a short while we will stop on an island and enjoy sundowner drinks and snacks around a bonfire. Our view of the Bwabwata National Park on the opposite bank of the river will be the perfect vantage point from where we can watch wildlife drinking while we enjoy the beautiful sunset with a drink in hand. After enjoying our drink, we will board our boat again and slowly cruise back to the lodge while we enjoy our dinner on the Okavango River. A truly magical experience and one of our recent trips even had a Leopard drinking while slowly cruising past. What an incredible experience!
Caprivi to Etosha East
We will start with a cup of coffee or tea overlooking the Okavango River enjoying a spectacular sunrise. I have personally seen African Wild Dogs hunting from the viewing deck a few times and a colleague did see a Leopard on a recent trip. We can do a short birding walk should we still be missing any species as this is our last chance to bird in this riverine woodland.
Today is mostly a travelling day as we leave the tropical Caprivi and Okavango regions behind us and make our way south to Etosha which is one of the great game reserves of Africa and offers game viewing that is as good as you can find anywhere in Africa. As we make our way south you will notice how the habitat will chance from Broadleaf Woodland to mixed Woodland and later Acacia Savannah with the species changing with the habitat. We will do regular roadside stops to stretch and pick up and new species.
We should arrive at our beautiful lodge by mid-afternoon. If we arrive in time, we will depart for a short afternoon game drive but after sitting for most of the day we often just enjoy a nice leisurely birding walk around lodge gardens where we might see the localised Black-faced Babbler which is a big target for this part of the trip. The relaxed group of Banded Mongoose will provide plenty of entertainment.
Late afternoon we will meet up for a sundowner drink and then enjoy dinner at our lodge.
Today will be dedicated exploring the eastern section of the vast Etosha National Park. From a mammal point of view we will search for the endemic Kirk’s Dik-dik (Namibian subspecies), African Elephant, Lion, Black Rhino, Giraffe, Spotted Hyaena, Leopard, Black-backed Jackal, Black-faced Impala (another endemic subspecies), Hartebeest (Red subspecies), Gemsbok (Namibia’s national animal), Greater Kudu and Springbok. This part of Etosha is our best chance to see Cheetah and we will visit all our known hotspots for seeing them.
As we make our way towards the central part of the park we will look for Double-banded Courser, Namaqua and Double-banded Sandgrouse, Red-crested and Northern Black Korhaan, Kori Bustard, Blue Crane, Common Ostrich, Monotonous and Rufous-naped Larks and we will keep an eye out for Etosha’ s raptors which include Martial Eagle and Tawny Eagle, Black-chested and Brown Snake-eagle, Lanner, Peregrine and Red-necked Falcon, Bateleur and Gabar Goshawk. There is a fascinating known interaction between Honey Badgers and Pale Chanting Goshawks where the Goshawk will follow the Badgers hoping that when they dig out prey some escape offering them an easy meal. We often see this in Etosha and we will hopefully be lucky on this trip.
After lunch we will spend the afternoon visiting various waterholes to see if we can spot some of our target list mammals and birds drinking. We might be lucky to get a herd of Elephant drinking at Groot Okevi or Tsumcor waterhole and we hope to see Eland at Chudop or Klein Namutoni. This waterhole is the perfect last stop in the park with setting sun behind us offering incredible photographic opportunities.
After arrival at our lodge we will freshen up, meet up for sundowner drinks and enjoy another Namibia dinner in the African bush.
Etosha East to Etosha South
Today we make our way to the central section of the park with a full day of game viewing. We will stop at two waterholes where we often find Spotted Hyena drinking early morning and we often have Lion walking across the open plains returning from their hunt. Although Etosha is famous for and probably the best place to see Black Rhino we will visit an area where we have a chance to see White Rhino and our only chance on this safari.
If you visit in our summer months we might be lucky to have water in Fisher’s Pan which attract huge number of Greater and Lesser Flamingo, Pied Avocet, Red-billed and Hottentot Teal, Marsh, Common and Wood Sandpiper, Little Stint, Common Ringed, Three-banded, White-fronted and Kittlitz’s Plover and if we are lucky Greater Painted Snipe.
We will stop for lunch at Halali Resort giving us a chance for a short break without missing out on any birding as this resort is known for sightings of Violet Woodhoopoe, Carp’s Black Tit, Bare-cheeked Babbler, Pied Babbler, White-crested Helmet-shrike, African Scops Owl and Southern White-faced Owlet.
By mid to late afternoon we will arrive at Okaukuejo resort, famous for its flood-lit waterhole at the edge of camp which offers fantastic game viewing with African Elephant, Black Rhino and Giraffe visiting on most nights and Lions seen often.
We meet up for dinner at the resort and afterwards make our way to the camp’s waterhole. At the waterhole tonight we will look for Verreaux’s Eagle-owl, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Barn Owl, Spotted Eagle-owl, Rufous-cheeked Nightjar and Double-banded Sandgrouse. If we are lucky we will hear Lion roaring as we enjoy the en of a wonderful day.
Etosha South – Okaukuejo Area
We have the full day to explore the area around Okaukuejo and we will be on the lookout for Brown and Spotted Hyena, South African Ground Squirrel, Yellow and Slender Mongoose, African Elephant, Giraffe, Gemsbok, Greater Kudu, Springbok, Black-backed Jackal, Common Warthog, White and Black Rhino, Leopard, Lion, Aardwolf and Honey Badger.
From a birding perspective the area holds Dusky and Scarlet-chested Sunbirds, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Acacia Pied Barbet, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Rufous-eared Warbler, Southern White-crowned Shrike, Marico Flycatcher, Chat Flycatcher, Rattling Cisticola, Black-chested Prinia, Double-banded and Namaqua Sandgrouse, Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Rock Martin, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Ostrich, Kori Bustard, Northern Black and Red-crested Korhaan and Great Sparrow to name a few. As we drive along, we will scan on top of all the huge Sociable Weaver nests for Pygmy Falcon. We often have huge flocks of European Bee-eaters in this area in summer.
We will either enjoy a picnic lunch at one of the picnic spots in the park or return to our resort for lunch. Back at the camp we will have a quick scan at the waterhole and have the option to take a swim before heading out for our last game drive in the park.
After our last game drive, we will meet up at the waterhole and enjoy some sundowner drinks, sunsets in Etosha National Park is something you will remember forever!
After sunset we will head to the camp restaurant for dinner. We have the option to spend some time at the waterhole again after dinner to see if we can spot some of the animals enjoying a drink.
Damaraland and Brandberg
After an early breakfast, we will use the first few hours of the day to explore the Okondeka Plains north of Okaukuejo and from a birding point of view we will look for Spike-heeled, Pink-billed, Eastern Clapper, Red-capped and Sabota Larks as well as Grey-backed Sparrowlark, Chestnut-backed Sparrowlark, Capped Wheatear, Double-banded Courser and Desert Cisticola.
This area is also very good to try and find some of the smaller predators like Bat-eared Fox, Black-backed Jackal, Cape Fox and African Wild Cat.
From here we will make our way south to Damaraland where we will spend one night. As the scenery changes we will start looking out for Desert Adapted animals which calls this area their home. (There is an option to stop at some of the Twyfelfontein area rock engravings – this is long detour so please let us know in advance).
This beautiful mountainous region is also home to an assortment of scientifically important desert-adapted wildlife such as the desert adapted Elephants, Black Rhino, Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra and Lion, Springbok, Oryx, Giraffe and Steenbok.
As we make our way to our lodge, we will scan the plains for Ruppell’s Korhaan, Burchell’s Courser, Bokmakierie and Benguela Long-billed Lark. We will also be on the lookout for Herero Chat, arguably the toughest of the endemics to find as well as Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Cape Penduline-tit, Southern Pied Babbler, White-tailed Shrike, Monteiro’s and Damara Red-billed Hornbills and Grey-backed Cisticola. Our lodge is situated close to the Ugab River where we hope to see Violet Woodhoopoe and Bare-cheeked Babbler. Ruppell’s Parrot and Augur Buzzard can be found here as well. We might also be lucky to encounter the famous desert adapted Elephants of north-western Namibia which move up and down the Ugab River during our stay.
We will spend early morning birding around the Brandberg area and then make our way to the Erongo Mountains where we will spend the night. The Erongo Mountains and surrounds are a real endemic hotspot and we will focus on finding any of the endemics that we might have missed. The granite hills surrounding the lodge are famous for Hartlaub’s Spurfowl and Rockrunner. Besides these two specials we can look for Ruppell’s Parrot, Carp’s Black Tit, White-tailed Shrike, Monteiro’s and Damara Hornbill, Violet Woodhoopoe, Pale-winged Staring, Red-billed Spurfowl, Augur Buzzard, Cinnamon-breasted, Golden-breasted, Cape and Lark-like Buntings.
Rosy-faced Lovebirds are present in massive numbers and we will also wrap up on the general scrub savannah birds like White-throated, Yellow and Black-throated Canaries, Green-winged Pytilia, Short-toed Rock-thrush, Violet-eared, Black-cheeked and Blue Waxbills, Barred Wren-warbler, Rattling Cisticola, Pririt Batis, Shaft-tailed Whydah, Red-eyed Bulbul, White-backed Mousebird, Cape Glossy Starling and Mountain Wheatear. At night barn Owl and Freckled Nightjar are seen on most evenings.
Dassie Rat and Rock Hyrax are common mammals while Black Mongoose, Slender Mongoose, Large-spotted Genet, Leopard and Caracal are seen in this area especially at the small waterhole in front of the lodge.
After arriving at our lodge and enjoyed lunch we will settle into our rooms, enjoying the spectacular views from our decks. Late afternoon we will do a short birding walk around the lodge, scanning the boulders for nesting Rosy-faced Lovebirds as well as listening out for the tell-tale call of the Hartlaub’s Spurfowl, one of our big target birds in this area.
We return to the lodge for dinner and enjoy a nightcap on the deck of the restaurant, while keeping an eye out for any animals (and birds) that might come to drink at the small waterhole.
Swakopmund and Walvis Bay
After an early morning birding walk (looking for any specials we might have missed) and a great breakfast in the presence of Rosy-faced Lovebirds, Cape Bunting, Dassie Rat and Namibian Rock Agama’s we will make our way to the coast where we will spend the night.
After arriving in Swakopmund and settling into our hotel for the evening we will spend the afternoon at the Walvis Bay Lagoon which has been declared a Ramsar site of global importance for thousands of waders that are found here. Some of the birds we hope to find include Ruff, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Black-necked Grebe, Red-necked Phalarope, Spotted Redshank, Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Swift, Common, Sandwich and Caspian Terns, Eurasian and African Black Oystercatchers, Common Ringed, Chestnut-banded, Grey and Three-banded Plovers and Greater and Lesser Flamingos.
Cape Cormorants are usually spotted in huge flocks and we will also look for Crowned and White-breasted Cormorants and if we are lucky Bank Cormorant.
Late afternoon and if time allows, we will search for the endemic Dune Lark, otherwise we will search for this special bird early tomorrow morning.
We return to Swakopmund to meet up for sundowner drinks and afterwards enjoy a wonderful meal at one of the many great restaurants in town.
Walvis Bay and back to Windhoek
Early morning after a cup of coffee we will make our way to Walvis Bay, where we will search for the Dune Lark, Namibia’s endemic bird amongst the sand dunes in the Kuiseb River. Other interesting birds in the area include the Desert form of the Tractrac Chat, Bokmakierie, White-backed Mousebird, Jackal Buzzard, Cape Sparrow, Dusky Sunbird and Common Waxbill. Some mammals we might encounter while birding the dune areas are Black-backed Jackal and Yellow Mongoose.
After our short birding excursion, we will make our way to the Walvis Bay Harbour, where we will do a morning boat cruise to search for some of the mammals on our list. During our cruise we will be on the lookout for Cape Fur Seal, Heaviside’s Dolphin, Atlantic Ocean Bottlenose Dolphin, Bryde’s Whale, Humpback Whale and Killer Whale (Orca). (Note: Some of these species are only in Namibian waters during certain times of the year and although we might be lucky sightings of whales are not guaranteed.)
After our boat cruise we will enjoy lunch in Walvis Bay and the start making our way back to Windhoek where our safari comes to an end.
Windhoek and Departure
Depending on your departure time and the species we might have missed we can do a short morning birding excursion after which we make our way to the airport for your departure home.
Do you have a quick question about this Namibia Safari? Speak to a specialist at