Namibia’s 15 key birds

10,000 Birds

Gaining independence in 1990, Namibia is one of Africa’s “newer” nations, although not quite as newborn as South Sudan which has yet to celebrate its first anniversary! However, Namibia’s colonial history began earlier, in 1884 when it was annexed by the Germans. Interestingly, Walvis Bay, a port town on the central Namibian coastline was only ceded to Namibia in 1994 as historically it was occupied by the British and became an isolated add-on to South Africa’s Cape Province.

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa, 5th edition

10,000 Birds

And so, back to political entities, this field guide covers Namibia , Botswana , Zimbabwe , the southern half of Mozambique (south of the Zambezi River), South Africa , Lesotho and Eswatini ( Swaziland ).

2020 87

Commissioned Study Shows Namibian Seals Worth More Alive than Dead

Critter News

Each year, up to 85,000 seals are killed in Namibia to make just a few dollars from their furs, when they would be worth so much more to the Namibian economy alive," said Claire Bass, WSPA International Oceans Campaign Leader. Eco-tourism is a growing part of Namibia's identity, but tourists will be shocked to learn that a seal they photograph one day may be clubbed to death the next morning. economics seal hunt africa economic development seals namibia hunting

Seals 109

Journalists Arrested During Namibian Seal Hunt

Critter News

Ugly stuff in Namibia, the country with the seal hunting that no one talks about because so few know about it (I mean who thinks about seal hunting in Namibia?) Secret footage smuggled out of Namibia has revealed the brutal reality of the Namibian seal hunt - and the subsequent attack on British journalist Jim Wickens and South African cameraman Bart Smithers. Tags: animal cruelty africa seal hunters seals namibia hunting

Seals 100

China Gets to Buy Elephant Ivory

Critter News

It will allow China to bid for more than 100 tonnes of ivory stockpiled in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe through culling and natural deaths. I don't know how to call this one.will it help or hurt the elephant population in the long run? Either way, I hate these incredibly intelligent animals being "harvested" as "product." The UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) meeting in Geneva voted in favour of China becoming a licensed importer.

2008 100

Deadly 60: Big Cat Battleground

4 The Love Of Animals

Steve travels to Namibia, a land of rolling dunes, sand and plenty of dangerous wildlife. Tonight! Monday, July 11 at 10PM ET/PT on Nat Geo WILD! Africa’s big cats are among the most iconic predators. Steve dons a camouflage suit for a once-in-a-lifetime experience that gets him closer to a wild leopard than he ever hoped. At night, he catches up with a pride of lions to witness their hunting and killing skills in the dark, proving just how deadly and vicious lions are.

2011 100

Birding the Kruger Park (4): Letaba area

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As the national bird of Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, the African Fish Eagle is usually very busy whenever it stays in these countries, giving speeches, opening shopping centers, etc. Letaba is a largish rest camp in the North central part of the park.

Benin 56

The Bee-eaters of Africa

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Northern & Southern Carmine Bee-eater A flock of Southern Carmine Bee-eaters near a colony along the Zambezi River in Namibia’s Caprivi Strip by Adam Riley Arguably Africa’s most decadent bee-eaters, they used to be considered a single species but are now split, the principal physical difference being the green versus red throat of the Northern form. Excellent sites include Namibia’s Etosha National Park and Ethiopia’s Awash National Park.

Exploring the Uncharted Bird World

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401-600 sp: Honduras, Guatemala, Guyana, Suriname and French Guyana, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay; the Sahel countries (Africa), Namibia and Botswana; Central Asian countries and Cambodia. Summer is normally the vacation season, for ordinary tourists at least. Birders follow different patterns of bird migration and their local activities and travel accordingly. But – where? I discovered this cover-photo map somewhere at the BirdLife International’s website.

2018 70

What is a Palm-thrush?

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Across the Chobe River from Kasane, overlooking the Caprivi Strip of Namibia. A post I wrote a few weeks ago where I made some disparaging remarks about America’s pseudowarblers (and poetry) generated a certain amount of negative feedback, and clearly some apologies are in order. Mum, Dad, I’m sorry I described my childhood as feral. As for the rest of you, poking fun at your pseudowarblers is too much fun for me to stop.

2015 59

Duncan’s 2015 List

10,000 Birds

African Pygmy-goose ( Nettapus auritus ); Caprivi Strip, Namibia, 1 January. Long-tailed Cormorant, or Reed Cormorant ( Microcarbo africanus ); Caprivi Strip, Namibia, 2 January. African Darter ( Anhinga rufa ); Caprivi Strip, Namibia, 2 January. Hamerkop ( Scopus umbretta ); Caprivi Strip, Namibia, 1 January. Striated Heron, or Green Heron, ( Butorides striatus ); Caprivi Strip, Namibia, 2 December. Struthionidae (Ostriches).

2015 64

15 expat-friendly countries for a birder to move to

10,000 Birds

Namibia (595 / 690). What are the best countries for a passionate birder to move to? And why? I discovered this map a while ago, hidden somewhere at the not so easy to navigate BirdLife International’s website, and I have used it as my computer wallpaper ever since. Usually, I interchange some birdy wallpapers several times per month, but this one has stayed for several months already. It makes me think what is the meaning of life, the universe and everything? Why am I here?

2015 81

Pink in Africa

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Another southern African endemic, this species ranges widely across the dry grasslands of central South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. They usually occur in pairs or small groups but can gather in the thousands when conditions are right – for example when Etosha Pan in Namibia floods. Of course Africa could not to be left out of the pink weekend so I have researched all African species whose official or alternative names include the word “pink”.


10,000 Birds

Image by Adam Riley in Namibia. Image taken by Felicity Riley in Namibia. Image taken by Adam Riley in Namibia. Image taken in Namibia by Adam Riley. Weavers are truly magical birds, combining bright plumages with ingenious weaving talents and cheerful, noisy social lives. The IOC world birdlist recognizes 90 species that bear the name “weaver” or “malimbe” Not all of these are true weavers as we will discuss below.

2012 77

Introducing the African Birding Beat

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One of Africa’s unique birds, a Secretarybird photographed in Etosha National Park, Namibia The Cape Rockjumper belongs to an African endemic family comprising of 2 species Madagascar, oft termed the 8th continent, has her own attractions. Friends, birders, and globe-trotters, lend me your ears. Better yet, offer up your eyeballs because we have a powerhouse post here that deserves, nay demands your full attention.

2011 76

Hoatzins invaded South America from Africa … by raft

10,000 Birds

From Namibia. We humans have a very deep and powerful urge to assemble individual data points into some sort of larger construct — to label and categorize them and understand how they relate to other things we know. Which is why, upon meeting new people, we want to know where they’re from, who their family is, what they “do,” or two or three other things, depending upon our cultural values.

“The Birder’s Guide to Africa” by Michael Mills

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Tourist-friendly, but no endemics, hence serious birders visit it for a few add-on days to a trip to neighbouring Namibia, recommendable for a casual birder/nature lover not on a tight budget. Starting in the mid-1990s, there was a “where to watch birds in…” series of five site guides written by Nigel Wheatley and covering South America (1994), Africa (1995), Asia (1996), Europe & Russia (2000) and Central America & the Caribbean (2001).

2017 61

I Remember Elephants

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Of those range states, opposed were South Africa, Namibia and, not surprisingly, Zimbabwe. Late last month, while searching for bears , woodpeckers and spirits of Greece, I deliberately avoided checking any news, especially from my home country. Every now and then, I need to cut the world off and clear my mind.

Africa’s Big Five and Little Five

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Prime destinations for seeing African Elephant in the wild include Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Uganda. Black Rhinos are best sought in South Africa, Namibia and Tanzania. Lions are most easily found in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. I’m sure you’ve all heard of Africa’s famous Big Five , but do you know there is also an equally fascinating Little Five ?

Africa’s endangered species

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Image by Adam Riley African Penguin Also known as the Jackass (from its braying call) or Black-footed Penguin, Africa’s only penguin is restricted to the cooler southern section of the continent, breeding at 25 offshore and 4 mainland colonies in South Africa and Namibia. Image by Adam Riley Ludwig’s Bustard This attractive dry country bustard ranges across western South Africa, Namibia and just into southern Angola.

The Gawky Guillemot

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In this treaty, the Germans ceded control over some of their colonial territories in East Africa to the British in return for the Caprivi Strip (now Namibia) and, surprise, the island of Heligoland. I guess we can universally agree that the colonial times were a rather selfish period of European history. There is indeed little good that can be ascribed in retrospective to this period, and the little good there is pales in comparison to the bad things.

2017 40

Beaten by an Angry Bird

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A few years back, I birded northern Greece with a couple from Namibia. Noisy wing beats, heavy landing behind the stern, water splashing everywhere and then, a hit of a heavy wing on my upper arm…. It had been a while since I saw Greater Flamingoes and was thrilled to see them again. Nicolaas, who can see them back home any day commented that they are the most numerous wading birds in the world (the “most numerous” equaling “the least interesting”).

2017 49

Birding Botswana’s Borders

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Leaving from the border town of Kasane we meandered westwards along the northern edge of the massive Chobe National Park to our left and the far eastern tip of Namibia’s Caprivi Strip.

A morning in a Kalahari Leopard’s life

10,000 Birds

People are often surprised that large predators kills smaller species but its actually a common phenomenon and I have previously seen a Leopard carrying a dead African Wild Cat at Punda Maria in Kruger National Park and Lions killing a Black-backed Jackal in Namibia’s Etosha National Park. Leeudril is a waterhole situated along the dry Nossob river north of Twee Rivieren in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

South Africa’s endemic birds

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Blue Cranes are almost entirely restricted to South Africa, with an isolated (but dwindling) population in Namibia’s Etosha National Park and a few pairs in Botswana. My home country of South Africa can only be described as a birding paradise!

Birding in a Hellmouth

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There were opportunities to go to far flung places like the islands of the Pacific or the coast of Canada or the Yorkshire Dales… Anyway, as I was obsessed by Africa at the time, I leapt at the opportunity to go to Namibia to collect samples of bat DNA for a biogeography project. Many years ago, when I was a young and stupid Masters student in Conservation Biology, I was given the opportunity to pick a location for our thesis project from many exciting projects around the world.

2014 54

Africa’s remarkable long tailed birds

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A family of Red-faced Mousebirds take a drink in Namibia.

Africa’s Barbets

10,000 Birds

This image was taken in Namibia’s Erongo Mountains. Barbets are a group of medium sized, chunky, generally colorful, frugivorous, hole-nesting near-passerines, that are popular targets for anyone birding in the tropics. They occur in three biogeographic regions; the Neotropic, Afrotropic and Indo-Malaya ecozones, basically tropical South and Central America, Africa south of the Sahara and tropical Asia.

Petrel Paradise

10,000 Birds

Hes previously poked albatrosses with sticks in Hawaii, provided target practice for gulls in California, chased monkeys up and down hills Uganda, wrestled sharks in the Bahamas and played God with grasshopper genetics in Namibia.

2011 60

Stalking a Kiwi Icon

10,000 Birds

Hes previously poked albatrosses with sticks in Hawaii, provided target practice for gulls in California, chased monkeys up and down hills Uganda, wrestled sharks in the Bahamas and played God with grasshopper genetics in Namibia.

2011 54

The Future of Birding Field Guides is Digital

10,000 Birds

Where do you charge your batteries in Namibia’s Kaokoveld during a longer trip away from lodges and hotels?

2011 56

Tiritiri Matangi Island

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Hes previously poked albatrosses with sticks in Hawaii, provided target practice for gulls in California, chased monkeys up and down hills Uganda, wrestled sharks in the Bahamas and played God with grasshopper genetics in Namibia.

2011 53

Jochen’s Top 10 birds of 2016

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It is therefore only on my list because it used to be a bit of a nemesis for me during the 1980s and 1990s, and I only ever saw it once in Namibia in 1999. The year 2016 was not a particularly birdy year for me, mostly because I didn’t get to go on business trips to Indonesia or Kazakhstan, as was frequently the case during the last few years. I did not see any lifers whatsoever in 2016, making it my first lifer-free year since around 2010.

2016 40