Birding Tours From Swakopmund
Swakopmund | Namibia
The well known Braine Family - Steve, Louise, Sean & Dayne run several excellent birding trips from Swakopmund. All the members of the family have extensive birding and conservation experience having been involved in many projects throughout Namibia both as individuals and as a family - most recently the entire family was involved in the operation of the much loved (and unfortunately now closed) Hobatere Lodge.
These trips are the ideal opportunity for anyone with an interest in ornithology (from experienced twitchers to those with a passing interest in our feathered friends) to learn more about the diverse birdlife in Namibia- and specifically the avian population of the coastal Namib Desert area around Swakopmund & Walvis Bay.
Full and half-day tours can be organized in search of Namibia's only endemic bird species, the Dune Lark. Other near-endemic species such as Rüppell's Korhaan, the Herero chat, long-billed lark, Benguela long-billed lark and Gray's lark can be observed. Specially trained guides with extensive birding and general knowledge of the Namib Desert's sensitive eco-system, will accompany you on your Namibian birding tour. Not only is there expert information on our feathered friends but also desert dwelling reptiles, plant life and insects.
There are 3 birding tours available. They are:
- The Half-Day Dune Lark & Walvis Bay Lagoon Tour
- The Full-Day Spitzkoppe & Eco Desert Tour
- The Half-Day Swakop River & Eco Desert Tour
Dune Lark & Walvis Bay Lagoon Tour (half day)
Birders will be collected from their accommodation in Swakopmund or Walvis Bay at ±08h00. The search for true and near-endemics takes you on the Kuiseb's dunes and riverbed. Various desert-adapted plants, dune insects and reptiles have adapted to the harsh desert environment and sandy substrates. Fog is a vital source of water to desert dwelling flora and fauna, a subject that will be explained along the way.
The lagoon, salt pans and the bird sanctuary which form the Walvis Bay Wetlands are rightly heralded as the single most important coastal wetlands of southern Africa. Over 150,000 migrant birds spend the summer months in Walvis Bay and non-breeding palearctic and intra-African species dominate. Possible sightings include:
Birds: There are over 150 species of bird that have been recorded in this region. Expect to observe some, or all of the following: South African shelduck, white-backed mousebird, African black oystercatcher, Hartlaub’s gull, Damara tern, black-necked grebe, Cape gannet, crowned cormorant, bank cormorant, Cape cormorant, bokmakierie, lesser and greater flamingoes and the dune lark.
Mammals: Of the 13 species of mammal that reside in the area look out for: Pygmy rock mouse, Littledale's whistling rat, hairy-footed gerbil, Setzer's hairy-footed gerbil, dune hairy-footed gerbil, bushveld gerbil, Cape hare, dusky dolphin, Cape fur seal, black-backed jackal and springbok.
Spitzkoppe & Eco Desert Tour (full day)
Ornithologists will be collected from their accommodation in Swakopmund at ±07h00. The sparsely vegetated plains around Spitzkoppe and variable rainfall have a huge consequence on the immediate avian quantities here. Notwithstanding these limitations, The Spitzkoppe is not only a striking photographic destination in it's own right but a hot birding spot as well. A number of reptiles and mammals inhabit the stony and rocky surrounds of this well-known inselberg too. Possible sightings include:
Birds: There are up to 120 different bird species recorded on the Swakopmund to Spitzkoppe route. Included are Acacia pied barbet, southern yellow-billed hornbill, Herero chat, Monteiro's hornbill, red-billed hornbill, rosy-faced lovebird, Bradfield's swift, Ludwig’s bustard, Rüppell's korhaan, Burchell's sandgrouse, tit-babblers, larks, flycatchers, starlings and sunbirds.
Reptiles: Some 17 kinds of these cold-blooded creatures could be lurking under a rock or a hard place: Bushveld lizard, giant plated lizard, plain sand lizard, western sand lizard, Namaqua sand lizard, Bradfield’s Namib day-gecko, common Namib day-gecko, Boulton’s Namib day-gecko, Turner’s thick-toed gecko, rock monitor, western rock skink, variegated skink, Kalahari tree skink, striped skink, Hoesch’s skink, Cape sand snake and the Karoo sand snake.
Mammals: Up to 30 types of mammals have been recorded in the area such as leopard, aardwolf, African wild cat, Cape fox, black-backed jackal, springbok, klipspringer, steenbok, oryx, mice, rats, squirrels, mongooses and meerkats.
Swakop River & Eco Desert Tour (half day)
Birding enthusiasts will be collected from their accommodation in Swakopmund ±08h00. This tour concentrates on birding along the Swakop River. Various waders could be encountered depending on the water levels and other species of bird can be observed in the rocky desert areas adjacent to the riverbed. A decent selection of reptiles, desert-adapted plants and insects, not to mention the intriguing and photographic geological features that exist in and around the riverbed, can be encountered. Possible sightings include:
Birds: Nearly 150 birds have been observed in this particular area including Orange River white-eye, white-backed mousebirds, bokmakierie, Cape sparrow. Other species of ducks, geese, hornbills, bee-eaters, swifts, sandpipers, plovers, terns, kites, eagles, falcons, kestrels, cormorants, flamingoes, shrikes, warblers, larks, flycatchers, sparrows, pipits and canaries frequent the area.
Reptiles: There are 21 types of reptile that have been recorded along this route. Some are more fascinating than others, especially those that leave characteristic tracks on the sand. Expect to see at least a few of the following: Namaqua chameleon, Bradfield’s Namib day-gecko, Boulton’s Namib day gecko, common Namib day-gecko, web-footed gecko, giant-ground gecko, plain sand lizard, western sand lizard, short-headed sand lizard, Namaqua sand lizard, spotted sand lizard, western rock skink, variegated skink, FitzSimon’s burrowing skink, Anchieta’s agama, side-winder or Peringuey's adder and the Karoo sand snake.
Mammals: The 17 species of mammals that you might encounter on your tour are: Ground squirrel, Egyptian slit-faced bat, Pygmy rock mouse, hairy-footed gerbil, Setzer's hairy-footed gerbil, striped mouse, Cape hare, yellow mongoose, Cape fur seal, leopard, Cape Fox, black-backed jackal, springbok, klipspringer, oryx and meerkat.
- Full Day Tours include : vehicle, tea/coffee, soft drinks and light picnic lunch & entrance fees
Half Day Tours include: vehicle & soft drinks
Full & half day trips from Swakopmund to various birding hotspots in the Namib Desert
A half day tour (with morning and afternoon departures) to the seal colony at Cape Cross
Visits the seal colony at Cape Cross and the Messum Crater which is best known for it's desert adapted plants such as the Welwitschia Mirabilis
Everything from sharks to pilchards
A half day tour into the Namib Desert
A day trip from Swakopmund into the Namib Desert
Explore the Namib Desert at night on foot - a great way to learn about the nocturnal creatures which inhabit this part of Namibia.
2 hour guided trip into the dune belt near Swakopmund (50km) - you enter an area where you cannot get to by car or foot. No experience necessary...
Skitter down the slip faces of a tall star dune near Swakopmund at 80km/h on a lie-down board, or enjoy the style and grace of a stand-up board. No experience necessary.
A day trip from Swakopmund down the Skeleton Coast to Sandwich Harbour
Leave the safety of the aircraft and join a tandem skydive. No experience required!
Full day tour to the Spitzkoppe Mountains - you will meet the Damara people and be introduced to the Bushman rock art of the area.
A half day your of these two coastal towns includes visits to historical buildings & monuments as well as the teeming birdlife of the Walvis Bay Lagoon
Spitzkoppe Birding & Eco Tour
Swakop Dune Eco Tour