Namibia Birding Special with Victoria Falls 15 Days
On this fantastic small group birding itinerary you can discover the very best of beautiful Namibia in the company of Toni Hart, a renowned British-Namibian wildlife, birding and photographic guide.
An all-encompassing birding adventure, you can discover out of this world landscapes, and enjoy unique experiences with the people, wildlife and bird life of this fascinating country. Visiting areas which are world-renowned for their birding experiences you will explore the beautiful Walvis Bay, outstanding Etosha National Park, the Caprivi Strip and the mighty Victoria Falls. Enjoying fascinating birding excursions and river cruises in search of immense range of bird species, as well as uncountable scenic opportunities this is the ideal Namibian itinerary for novice or experienced birding enthusiasts.
Your guide for this tour lives and works as a professional guide in Namibia and knows the regions, culture and birdlife like no other, and will be looking forward to sharing her vast experience and knowledge with you.
Please click here for a full list of birds which you may spot on your trip.
Namibia Birding and Photography GuideAn accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country. Read more >
Wildlife Guide & PhotographerAndy is a 6th generation Falkland Islander, with a passion for wildlife, plants and photography. Raised in the Falkland Islands, Andy developed a close affinity with the Islands natural environment at a young age. School holidays where spent in the ‘camp’ or countryside with friends and family. For more than 10 years, Andy had the privilege of spending a time on Sea Lion Island, visiting his mother who managed one of the Islands premier tourist destinations. Read more >
Photographer and founder of the Travel Photographer Of The Year awardsA fascination with natural light and a passion with nature, landscape and travel underpin Chris Coe's photography. His images often have a striking simplicity and graphic quality. More recent work has introduced a subtlety with experimentation with both movement and light.Read more >
Falklands Expert & GuideBorn in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. Read more >
Special Guest LecturerExclusive to this voyage, Doug Allan, a multi award winning polar photographer and cameraman, will be your special guest lecturer. Doug has been on over 20 expeditions to Svalbard to film its wildlife, and knows the wonders of this area more than most. Read more >
Special Guest Photography GuideChris was 32 when he finally realised he really did want to be a photo-journalist and walked out on his career in IT sales to become a wildlife photographer Read more >
- Visiting Namibia's most inspiring and fascinating birding regions
- Zambezi River, Kwando River and Walvis Lagoon birding cruises included
- Journey in the company of a renowned birding and photography expert who will be sharing her knowledge and tips for capturing the perfect wildlife and scenic shots
- Up-close wildlife encounters including big cats, elephants and wild dogs amongst many others
- Outstanding scenery and photographic opportunities
- Small group with a maximum of 6 guests ensuring that every person has a side seat for all experiences
- Accommodation throughout with board basis as described in itinerary
- All transfers
- Park entry fees
- Expert guides
- Information pack and reusable water bottle
- Dune Lark and Walvis Lagoon Birding Tour
- Half day Kwando River birding excursion
- Guided walks in Erongo
- Zambezi River bird watching boat cruise
ITINERARY14 Nights 15 Days
Arrive independently to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, and join your luxury transfer to the comfortable Villa Vista for an overnight stay on a bed & breakfast basis. Settle in to your room and enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep in preparation for the adventures that lie ahead.
After breakfast on the morning of day 2 you will be collected from your hotel in your specially adapted 4x4 safari vehicle that will be your comfortable mode of transport for the majority of your tour. As you start your excursion through Namibia the first journey will be a 4.5 hour drive to Walvis Bay where you will check into the beautiful Oyster Box Guesthouse for a 2 night stay on a bed & breakfast basis. Set on Walvis Bay's beautiful Lagoon, the guesthouse is an ideal location from which to explore the area’s beautiful scenery and enjoy the abundant birdlife of the region. Walvis Bay is home to a large numbers of resident species and is a way station for African and Palearctic migrant birds. It is also famous for its thousands of Lesser and Greater Flamingo, and has been listed by RAMSAR as a natural heritage site. After check in you are free to explore the area and dinner can be booked in one of the 3 restaurants within walking distance of the guest house. If you wish to venture further afield, the restaurants in town are only a five minute drive away.
On the morning of day 3 you can enjoy a thrilling Pelagic Birding Catamaran Excursion to Pelican Point and Walvis Bays' beautiful bay area. Few people realise that there is a whole new world of strange and wonderful birds just a few miles off shore of Namibia's beaches. The pelagic birds here rarely approach land, except at their remote and isolated breeding locations scattered around the Southern Atlantic Ocean. During the two-hour ride to the continental shelf, while sipping hot coffee and tea, you will pass Pelican Point with its landmark lighthouse and 50,000 resident seals, and may encounter bottlenose, heaviside and dusky dolphins, mola, leatherback turtle or even a southern right whale or two. You will spend around two hours 20 to 25 nautical miles offshore, where even the casual birder is bound to see a sprinkling of Cape Cormorant, Cape Gannet, White-chinned Petrel and Sooty Shearwater, Shy and Black-browed Albatrosses, with regular appearances made by Sub-Antarctic Skua, Northern and Southern Giant Petrels, Yellow-nosed Albatross, Wilson's Storm Petrel and Broad-Billed Prion. Your pelagic birding expert guide will point out and explain sightings. During your journey back to the waterfront a lunch consisting of oysters, a variety of snacks and dessert, accompanied by sparkling wine, light drinks, cool drinks and water will be served.
After an exciting morning of nautical birding, in the afternoon you can enjoy a land-based birding excursion to the Kuiseb Dunes in search of the only true endemic of the country, the arid adapted Dune Lark. This little lark is one of the most arid-adapted birds in the world. It lives at the base of the huge red dunes of the Namib where it is most active in the morning and late afternoon. Besides this species we may also see the coastal form of Tractrac Chat en route and in the river bed there are several other species such as Bokmakierie, Black-chested Prinia, Ashy Tit, Chestnut-vented Tit Babbler, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Cape Sparrow, Dusky Sunbird, Pale Chanting Goshawk, Rock Kestrel, Lanner Falcon and Black-chested Snake Eagle.
Erongo Wilderness Lodge
After breakfast, your guide will drive you to Erongo Wilderness Lodge, an approximately 3.5 hour drive from Walvis Bay. The lodge is set in the foothills of the Erongo Mountains on the edge of the enormous Erongo Crater, and is a spectacular photo opportunity spot. During your day here you can enjoy guided walks, self-guided walking trails and optional guided nature drives into the 200,000 ha conservation area. Birding is one of the main attractions with 48 different species having been sighted in the immediate vicinity, including Black Eagle, Rosy Faced Lovebird & Ruppell’s Parrot.
In the evening a delicious dinner will be served either in the partially open, thatched dining room which affords magnificent views, or under the stars on the outside deck overlooking the floodlit waterhole. Your stay here includes 1 night in a luxury tented chalet with dinner, breakfast and guided walks included.
Etosha National Park - Okaukuejo
After a beautifully scenic drive of approximately 4 hours you will arrive in the stunning Etosha National Park area. Famed for its abundant wildlife, Etosha offers up countless scenic and wildlife photo opportunities, and this all comes together at the fantastic Okaukuejo Camp which is located overlooking arguably the best waterhole in Southern Africa, where iconic African animals of all kinds come to graze and soak up the offerings. Your time in Etosha will include a 2 night stay at Okaukuejo Camp on a bed and breakfast basis, with opportunities for a full day game drive through the park (not included in package) where you’ll have the chance to take some pictures of the free roaming wild life.
Etosha - Onguma Game Reserve
Following your time in Okaukuejo your guide will drive you through the park to Onguma, where you will check in to the Onguma Tented camp for a 1 night stay with dinner and breakfast included. Originally part of the greater Etosha Game Reserve, Onguma Game Reserve is one of Namibia’s best kept secrets. The Reserve boasts over thirty different animal species. Plains game roam freely on the Reserve and predators, although not easy to spot, are nevertheless common residents of the area. Lions are frequently seen and often heard. There is a healthy black rhino and leopard population and hyenas are also often seen. More than 300 bird species can be viewed at Onguma and the reserve boasts the biggest breeding colony of white-backed vultures in Namibia. This part of Namibia has been identified as one of the key bird watching sites in Southern Africa.
Hakusembe River Lodge
This morning you will take a scenic 5 hour drive to Hakusembe River Lodge where you will be staying for 1 night on a bed, breakfast and dinner basis. Perfectly positioned on the southern bank of the Okavango River, Hakusembe River Lodge radiates peace. A lush river oasis, it lies 16km from the bustle of Rundu and upon arrival you are greeted with a refreshing image of green lawns, large trees, a collection of thatched chalets and a strip of sparkling river. A day of relaxation, you can enjoy sitting on the floating deck, feet up, book in hand absorbing the peace to the accompaniment of bird calls and the gentle splashing of water, as all worldly worries float away. This is the perfect place to pause and rest en-route to the Zambezi and the rushing waters of the Victoria Falls. Excursions to the local village can be arranged on request.
Caprivi Strip - Shametu River Lodge
On the morning of day 9 your guide will drive you from Hakusembe to Shametu River Lodge (approximately 2.5 hours drive) where you will be staying for 2 nights with bed, breakfast and dinner included. The lodge is in close proximity to the Botswana Mohembo border which is the gateway to the well-known Okavango Delta in Botswana. Time here is at your leisure but there are many activities which can be enjoyed should you wish. The lodge is just 80km from the Delta where, among other activities, you can drift on the delta waters in a Mokoro canoe (propelled by your own guide). The Mahangu Game Reserve, which forms part of the Bwabwata National Park is only a 15 minute drive from Shametu. You may also choose to order a picnic basket from the kitchen and spend the day meandering along in the Mahangu Game Reserve searching for leopard, lion, buffalo, roan antelope, shy bushbuck, warthog, monkeys, baboons, elephant, crocodiles, hippo, and a huge variety of birdlife.
Caprivi Strip - Camp Kwando
This morning a 3 hour drive will take us from Shametu to Camp Kwando where you will be staying for 2 nights on a dinner, bed & breakfast basis. Located at the junction of Botswana, Zambia, Angola and Zimbabwe, Camp Kwando offers a wide variety of optional activities in a beautiful and often overlooked area of the country; the Caprivi. Activities on offer include game drives, bush walks, traditional village visits, fishing or excursions into the nearby Mamili National Park.
An exciting couple of days begin as we leave the Caprivi Strip behind and start our journey to Victoria Falls, beginning with a birding tour on the Kwando River. Exceptionally experienced and professional guides will take you through a variety of habitats in search of an abundance of bird species. This is a true birder’s paradise with over 400 species having been recorded in the region. Look out for Schallows Turaco, African Finfoot,White Backed Night Heron and Pels Fishing owl to name just a few. This excursion includes an experienced guide as well as selected beverages.
Following this you will enjoy a scenic transfer by boat across the border into Zimbabwe, via Botswana, to Victoria Falls and the Ilala Lodge where you will be staying for 2 nights on a bed & breakfast basis. The hotel is ideally situated and is the closest to the Victoria Falls as well as the town centre. The National Park borders the front of the property and wild animals often graze on the hotel lawns with the spray of the falls in the background. The hotel has a world class a la carte Palm Restaurant where superb cuisine combines with the background sounds of the mighty waterfall to create an unforgettable dining experience. Alternatively there are a number of other dining options in the area.
On the morning of day 14 you can enjoy a fantastic bird watching cruise through the area to experience the wild beauty of the Zambezi River. As you meander along a stretch of river that boasts spectacular scenery and diverse wildlife you’ll be sure to spot elephants, hippos and crocodile as well as an abundance of exciting and exotic birds. Hot tea and pastries will be provided. For the rest of the day you can take explore your surroundings or join some of the optional activities on offer including explorations of the Victoria Falls National Park which provides an abundant supply of both four-legged and feathered visitors to admire and enjoy.
On day 15 your exciting Namibia birding holiday will sadly come to an end as your transfer takes you to Victoria Falls Airport for your onward or homeward flights.
Please note: Necessary paperwork and visa costs will be required to cross the border on day 13 so please enquire for full details on this and we will be happy to help.
A view from Above
Okaukuejo Rest Camp
Okaukuejo Camp is the largest and oldest tourist camp in Etosha and its long standing history of providing good quality accommodation plus its well-established waterhole, which attracts a variety of game in large numbers, make it also one of the most popular in the area.
The famous floodlit waterhole where a hub of diverse animal activity takes place throughout the day and night makes the camp a perfect place for a stopover as you visit the world renowned Etosha National Park, and provides fantastic opportunities for witnessing an abundance of rare and intriguing species.
The camp has a total of 102 chalets, offering 5 different styles and levels of luxury.
The most luxurious of the accommodation options are the 5 Premier Waterhole Chalets which as the name suggests offer the best views of the waterhole. These beautiful chalets are set over 2 floors and have private balconies, 2 bedrooms, en-suite bathrooms and lounge areas.
There are also 30 standard Waterhole Chalets, 2 self-catering family chalets, 25 bush chalets and 40 double rooms. All rooms and chalets feature en-suite bathrooms, simple yet stylish furnishings, and large comfortable beds.
There are also a number of camping areas with electricity supply, braai area and access to hot showers.
The large main area of the camp features everything you will need for a short stay including 3 swimming pools, tourist shop, curio shop, post office, buffet restaurant, bar and tourist information centre.
Many visitors to Okaukuejo Rest Camp tend to come on a self-drive basis and choose to explore the National Park (approximately 30 minutes drive away) in their own time, however, the camp does provide a range of activities for those who do not have their own car including guided day time and night time game drives and day tours to the Park where you can expect to witness exactly what Etosha National Park is famous for - a diverse and wide range of wildlife including all of the big cats, black rhino and a plethora of birdlife.
Erongo Wilderness Lodge
Encircled by the Erongo Mountains,where the desert, mountain, and bushveld ecosystems combine you will find the Erongo Wilderness Lodge, a secluded and tranquil wildlife paradise.
This friendly and relaxed lodge caters to guests wishing to witness beautiful scenery and remarkable birdlife and wildlife in the heart of the wilderness without sacrificing on comfort.
Hidden in a secluded valley surrounded by granite boulders and breathtaking views are 10 luxurious tented chalets which have been designed and decorated to the highest of standards and where guests can expect a good night's sleep and access to some of Namibia's most impressive views.
Each tented chalet has been raised upon stilts so as to emphasise the views and offers comfortable and stylish accommodation with en-suite bathrooms, sumptuous beds and private sundecks.
Walking across raised wooden platforms you will find the main lodge area sitting atop a hill waiting to welcome guests with open arms. Here there is a large restaurant and lounge, a dining area and a traditionally decorated 'mokoro' bar overlooking a floodlit waterhole.
There is also a fabulous sundowner deck and a small swimming pool for guests to relax in comfort after a long day of exploring this remarkable area.
One of the many reasons this area is so popular is due to the many rare, endemic, and special species of animal, bird, and plant life which thrive here, making this one of Namibia’s most diverse and wildlife-rich areas. This wealth of natural and cultural history can be enjoyed by joining a guided nature drive, visiting one of the Bushman rock art sites, or walking among the mountains with one of the lodge's experienced and knowledgeable guides.
Hakusembe River Lodge, Kavango
This beautiful and tranquil lodge is set along the lush banks of the Kavango River and offers a peaceful and relaxing stay for guests looking for a river oasis retreat on their Namibian adventure.
A bird-watchers paradise, this delightful lodge has been designed to ensure the ultimate in relaxation, but should you wish for a more adventurous experience there are plenty of options including champagne sunset cruises, visits to a local village, cultural dancing, and fishing and bird watching boat trips.
The lodge is located just 15km from Rundu at the gateway to the Caprivi Strip and is therefore an ideal base for exploring this area. It is also perfect as a welcome break on journeys from Windhoek and Etosha to the Zambezi and Victoria Falls.
Accommodation at the Hakusembe River Lodge is provided in 21 beautiful en-suite chalets, a 2-storey family room and a delightful floating chalet. There is also a small but well equipped campsite which offers 8 pitches.
The most important element at Hakusembe River Lodge is the beautiful lush surroundings including manicured lawns and colourful flowers in abundance. This bright and peaceful environment is echoed in the accommodation, in particular with the floating chalet which offers tremendous views over the river from its private deck built upon a pontoon.
The 21 en-suite chalets all over simple yet elegant furnishings, air-conditioning and comfortable beds.
The main area of the lodge consists of a lovely restaurant where delicious home-cooked meals are served either inside or outdoors on the beautiful terrace around an open firepit. There is also thatched reception and bar area, a curio shop and a delightful swimming pool where guests can lounge and relax while listening to the sounds of the birds calling and the river flowing.
Ilala Lodge, Victoria Falls
This elegant and comfortable hotel is located right on the edge of the Victoria Falls National Park and has excellent views of the perpetual mist from the Falls and stunning surroundings where animals, such as warthogs, graze on the lawns in view of the hotel terraces. The Falls are just a 20 minute walk away and the vibrant town of Victoria Falls is even closer making this a perfect base from which to explore one of the world's seven natural wonders.
Set in secluded surroundings on the Zimbabwean side of the mighty Zambezi River this beautiful lodge is the closest hotel to the falls and offers warm hospitality, luxurious accommodation, beautiful gardens, a fantastic restaurant, swimming pool, and above all, superb location.
This small hotel has 56 rooms with a mixture of twin/double standard, deluxe and suites. First floor rooms have balconies and ground floor rooms have French doors to a private patio. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms with toiletries, air conditioning, fans, satellite TV and tea/coffee making facilities. The Palm Court restaurant offers indoor and outdoor dining options.
Activities bookable at the hotel include Zambezi river cruises, elephant rides and lion walks, scenic flights, bungee jumping from the Victoria Falls bridge, zip-lining and fishing and much more.
Oysterbox Guesthouse, Swakopmund
Located right on the waterfront of the Walvis Bay lagoon and just five minute's drive from the town, this excellent guest house is an ideal base for exploring the Walvis Bay and Swakopmund area. The lagoon itself is one of the most important coastal wetland sites in Southern Africa and attracts thousands of migrating species as well as its many residents, including Flamingos.
Beautifully designed, the guesthouse offers a very high standard of comfort for visitors to this wonderful area. A hearty breakfast will set you up for a day of exploring or you can simply relax on the deck overlooking the beautiful lagoon and soak up the sunshine. In the evening enjoy customary "sundowners" and regale tales of your adventures so far before enjoying a great night's sleep in your elegant private guestroom.
The guesthouse has 12 elegantly decorated and furnished rooms with en-suite bathrooms, satellite TV, air conditioning and wifi. A filling breakfast is served each morning and dinner is available at one of three restaurants within walking distance. There is also a lounge and bar with snack service overlooking the lagoon.
A whole range of activities are bookable from the guesthouse including fishing, boat cruises, quad biking, scenic flights, watersports, desert tours and much more.
Villa Vista, Windhoek
Villa Vista is about location, view and value for money. It offers the best of both worlds; located in a quiet, popular neighbourhood, but only just over a kilometre from the centre of town. It enjoys the most magnificent 180° views over the city bowl towards the surrounding highlands and unequalled sunsets. It is close to all amenities and walking distance from Joe’s Beerhouse!
Being a lifelong dream of the owner, Villa Vista can be described as just that. Every last bit was planned and designed by the owner, contributing to the unique, fresh and relaxed atmosphere. The goal is to create a warm and relaxed home for the modern day bussinessman. Being corporately focused we do our utmost to provide in all possible needs.
All the rooms are individually decorated in a unique style, using wood, glass, candles and natural elements. Looking out over the garden, swimming pool, town, western mountains and afternoon sunsets, the open terrace offers a romantic and peaceful experience.
Being family owned one can be sure of the finest possible service, making your stay a comfortable and memorable one.
Shametu River Lodge, Caprivi Strip
Beautifully situated on the Okavango River near Divundu, Shametu River Lodge offers luxury chalets and camping sites just a short drive from the Mahangu Game Reserve, which forms part of the Bwabwata National Park, and 80km from the renowned Okavango Delta.
Offering true Namibian hospitality and peaceful surroundings Shametu River Lodge is the only lodge with a view onto the Popa Rapids, and guests can spend their days simply relaxing in the grounds listening to the sounds of the bird song, or enjoying one of the many activities on offer including tiger fishing, game drives, Mokoro trips, village walks or sundowner boat cruises.
There are a number of accommodation options at Shametu River Lodge, ranging from standard chalets to luxury river chalets and tents. Standard chalets are nestled between lush trees, and although not on the banks of the river, afford fantastic river views. Each chalet has been tastefully furnished and comes equipped with comfortable beds, en-suite bathrooms, mosquito nets, coffee stations, lounge areas, private BBQ area and firepit. The luxury chalets and tents feature even more comfort and have been built on the banks of the Okavango River, affording spectacular views of the Popa Falls. The lodge also features a beautiful swimming pool, a mini spa and a coffee shop serving delicious breakfasts and locally made cakes and treats.
Camp Kwando, Caprivi Strip
Nestled on the banks of the Kwando River on the Caprivi Strip this attractive and welcoming camp is beautifully positioned to enjoy the tranquillity of the river as well as the famous Mudumu National Park.
Accommodation is provided in 13 well equipped thatched roof tents which are delightfully positioned along the bank of the river and feature large twin beds, mosquito nets, en-suite open-sky bathrooms with showers and toilets, and a private terrace overlooking the river. There are also 6 larger luxury chalets available which are made of wood and canvas with thatched roofs and are conveniently placed amongst the trees allowing for incredible views of the Botswana plains. Each chalet has been stylishly furnished and offers a large bedroom, en-suite bathroom and an expansive deck area.
The lodge also features a beautiful swimming pool area with bush-beds for a relaxing laze and a welcoming restaurant and bar area. Activities available here include boat trips, game drives, birding tours, bush walks, traditional village visits, fishing and excursions into the nearby Mamili National Park.
What Our Customers
• The lodges were excellent and very welcoming, I particularly remember the Kulala Desert Lodge for its wonderful location, however I think Damaraland Lodge has to take top spot, for the amazing bush lunch and dinner under the stars that they organised. I will also never forget the giant eagle owl that we saw hunting at dawn, a truly magical moment.
• We can’t thank you enough for recommending Namibia, it’s simply amazing! The people are so friendly, the landscapes are awe inspiring, the night skies unforgettable and the wildlife so diverse, we loved every minute. Doing a self drive was definitely the right option for us, it gave us just the flexibility we crave and felt completely safe, we would do it again without a doubt.
Really glad I went. Had a brilliant time. Guides were great. What an experience , saw everything I wanted and more. Village visit and project visits (despite my slightly negative expectation) were really enjoyable, in fact taught me a lesson or two.
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