Sweet & South, a guided Safari, adaptable to your preferences in the southern regions of Namibia.
Avifauna Namibia April 2024
Guided birding trip with natural history specialities to the central and north-western birding hotspots of Namibia.
The key was to connect the core habitats of the “Namibian Specials,” primarily endemics and rare birds, in a route that allows you to experience a perfect balance of time, observation probability, and distance.
Right at the beginning of the trip, many and already very special bird species are spotted. Naturally, we aim to bring you closer to birds, plants, animals, and reptiles without stress and long drives. Throughout the tour, we strive to make nature tangible through walks and short hikes.
The highest dunes in the world at Sossusvlei, home to the Dune Lark, the sought-after endemic! Right next door, you can expect to see the endemic Rüppell’s Korhaan, interesting lizards, and desert-adapted plants.
Near the Welwitschia, a living fossil, we search for Karoo Eremomela and Namibian Chameleon. Swakopmund offers mudflat and shorebird guarantees and lots of history.
At Spitzkopje, the rare Herero Chat should be photographed amidst overwhelming granite boulders. At Erongo, endemics will be sought and most certainly found! We also travel to Damaraland, as we’d like to show you desert elephants, the sought-after Benguela Long-billed Lark, and the Benguela Long-billed Lark.
The famous Etosha Park is expected to offer world-renowned bird and wildlife observations, as we explore all possible habitats, including the plains of the northeast, for natural wonders!
The journey is rounded off in a private nature reserve, where good wildlife sightings can still be expected, including elephants and big cats!
All accommodations on this trip provide the essential comfort of upper-middle-class standards, featuring “en suite” bathrooms. Furthermore, their strategic locations are chosen to enhance your wildlife viewing experience and optimize route planning for the extensive driving distances in Namibia.
All accommodations on this trip provide the essential comfort of upper-middle-class standards, featuring “en suite” bathrooms. Furthermore, their strategic locations are chosen to enhance your wildlife viewing experience and optimise route planning for the extensive driving distances in Namibia.
- 1 night at the source of the Swakop Dry River at a lodge nestled amidst tall camel thorn acacias directly between the Otjihavera Mountains and their shale formations.
- Dinner, Bed & Breakfast
Birding in the acacia forest of the Otjihavera mountains
Upon your arrival at the airport, we waste no time in immersing you in the natural beauty of Namibia. Depending on the season, a visit to a nearby reservoir could be on the agenda to observe the rare cliff swallow if you’re traveling in the summer.
As you settle into the lodge, the tree-filled surroundings offer a delightful introduction to the local birdlife. Here, you can expect to encounter the lively Red-billed Buffalo Weavers and the colorful Rosy-faced Lovebirds. Watch as Palm Swifts gracefully swoop down from the palm trees, and keep an eye out for Bradfield’s Swifts, which can often be seen alongside other swallows and swifts.
We’ll embark on a walk through the nearby cliffs, where we hope to spot the Orange River Francolin, and, if we’re fortunate, the Hartlaub’s Francolin. This is also the perfect opportunity to glimpse the first of our near-endemic species: the Rockrunner (Damara Rockjumper) and Rüppell’s Parrot. We’ll scan the tall trees to spot the majestic Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl.
This initial birdwatching adventure sets the stage for an exciting and rewarding journey through Namibia’s diverse birdlife and natural landscapes.
Days 2 & 3
11 & 12.4.2024
- 2 nights’ accommodation at Nomtsas Farm, Leaflove Safari’s game reserve and conservancy, in very nice individually decorated guest rooms with en-suite bathrooms. (Overnight stay here is for Leaflove Safari clients only).
- Overnight stay
- supported self-catering (filled fridge)
Nomtsas Farm, the Leaflove Sanctuary
The Fish River gracefully winds its way through the vibrant red sandstone and tranquil grey-green shale plains of our wilderness. Here on our farm, we’ve created 12 shallow reservoirs to provide sanctuaries for birdlife, and a network of “jeep tracks” guides you through the diverse habitats that make up our landscape.
Our farm is often referred to as a “lark’s paradise.” Throughout the year, you can easily spot various lark species, including the Karoo Long-billed Lark, Sabota Lark, Sclater’s Lark, Stark’s Lark, and several Sparrow-larks.
During the rainy season from January to March, our region experiences a remarkable influx of birdlife. We’ll be delighted to help you locate the sought-after Rufous-eared Warbler within the Water-thorn thickets. The lakes here are home to successful breeding populations of Greater Painted Snipes, and we’ll introduce you to hundreds of waders and waterfowl.
On the vast grasslands, you can observe various bustard species, alongside Double-banded, Temminck’s, and Burchell’s Coursers as they tirelessly hunt termites.
Our 20,000-hectare game reserve is complemented by an economically sustainable sector where nature-friendly cattle breeding is practiced. In addition to birdwatching, we aim to acquaint you with the giraffes and antelope species that call this area home. We’ll also share insights into how cattle farming can contribute to enhancing pasture fertility in the African context—an educational aspect of our experience.
Days 4 & 5
13 & 14.4.2024
1 night at a good semi-state lodge INSIDE the Namib Naukluft Park. We use the exclusive right of this lodge to be in the dunes BEFORE sunrise.
1 night with a view of the Red Mountain Massif and the Gaub Valley. The lodge features the famous “pool with a view of the desert.”
- Dinner, Bed & Breakfast
- A scenic off-road drive allows us to get closer to the landscape and geology of the oldest desert in the world. A short hike to see rock drawings that are at least 1000 years old. We’ll enjoy a “sundowner” while taking in the view from a spectacular vantage point.
Sossusvlei & the Dune Lark in the petrified dune landscapes
The Dune Lark is not only the sole true endemic bird species of Namibia but also a captivating target for observation. Its captivating rust-red-brown-orange plumage is matched by the awe-inspiring landscapes it calls home, a visual treat for all nature enthusiasts.
Picture this: Red dune valleys blanketed in golden grass stretching as far as the eye can see…
A morning in the dunes bathed in gentle sunlight creates an unforgettable tableau. We’re delighted to introduce you to the diverse reptile species and the life-sustaining “Nara” plant! The Tsauchab Dry River’s course to the ocean has been blocked by shifting sand dunes, resulting in a clay soil depression known as “Sossusvlei.” Encircled by the world’s tallest dunes, reaching the summit is rewarded with a breathtaking panoramic view.
Our ecologically mindful game drives take you through these extraordinary dune valleys.
Don’t miss a visit to the Sesriem Canyon during your exploration.
Days 6 & 7
15 & 16.4.2024
- 2 nights in a small, simply designed hotel with a North Sea character.
- Bed and Breakfast (dinner is a la carte at the restaurant of your choice and is not included)
Leaflove Birding Tip:
We found a great spot to track down Karoo Eremomela, Benguela Long-billed Lark, Gray’s Lark and Rufous-eared Warbler amongst a few very rare plants and magnificent Geology.
Through the oldest desert to the Atlantic Ocean…
The Namibian coast presents a rich array of diverse habitats for birdwatchers, provided you know how to navigate them effectively. We traverse the seemingly lifeless gravel plains of the Namib in search of the long-tailed Eremomela, Rufous-eared Warbler, and Gray’s Lark.
Who would have imagined encountering a plant almost as ancient as the Ginko biloba, first discovered by an Austrian named Welwitsch in 1859? Amid the dunes of Kuiseb, we set out to find the somewhat lighter-hued version of the endemic Dune Lark and Gray’s Lark, alongside the Trac Trac Chat. The Walvis Bay Lagoon offers a diverse array of wading birds, which can be enjoyed to the fullest during the summer months, from October to March. We are well-acquainted with the west side and secret paths that promise excellent sightings of the Damara Tern, various other terns, and of course, numerous sandpipers, ducks, and literally thousands of Flamingos.
In Swakopmund, you can savour a good coffee under the palm trees, photograph the Orange River White-eye, and explore well-stocked bookshops for ornithological literature.
Days 8 & 9
17 & 18.4.2024
- 2 nights in the midst of the northern Erongo at an idyllically located high-quality bush camp or bush lodge, where you often have the endemic bird species right outside your doorstep.
- Dinner, Bed & Breakfast
The vast expanse of stunning geological formations and the sparsely vegetated pencil plants create a unique habitat for a small population of “Karoo Eremomela.” These landscapes contribute to the exceptional beauty that Namibia is renowned for!
While spotting the Herero Chat may be more challenging, the region it inhabits offers a breathtaking birding, geological, and photographic experience. The Spitzkopje, also known as Bushman’s Paradise, presents numerous opportunities for birdwatching. Klipspringers gracefully scale the rock faces, and the granite terrain is adorned with thick-stemmed “Elephant’s Foot” trees. Among our target bird species, in addition to the commonly seen Short-toed Rock-Thrush and Mountain Wheatear, are the schlegelii subspecies of the Karoo Chat, Layard’s Warbler, and the Black-backed Puffback with its striking red eye.
Between the imposing granite boulders, you’ll find intriguing succulents belonging to the vine, euphorbia, and dog poison families. Dotted amidst the landscape are various acacia species (now known as Vachellia and Senegalia due to renaming) and several grass species, creating an ideal habitat for a range of semi-desert birds.
Namibia’s breathtaking landscapes have a way of capturing the hearts of many visitors, and it’s no wonder that areas boasting semi-endemic bird, reptile, and plant species become a sought-after destination for naturalists, especially birders in search of the extraordinary.
Even before dusk settles in, we tune our ears to the calls of the hardy Hartlaub Francolin, capturing photographs of Rockrunners alongside Cape- and Cinnamon-breasted Buntings, the vocal Mountain Wheatear, and the Bokmakierie.
The seemingly inhospitable scrublands of the Namib Desert harbour the highly sought-after Herero Chat, and we’ll make every effort to track it down for you. Amongst the dense foliage of the “Resin Tree,” you may encounter the Layard’s Warbler, also known as the Tit-babbler, and with a bit of luck, you might even spot an Anthia cinctipennis.
On well-established trails tucked away in the remote corners of a private farm in the Erongo region, we’ve uncovered small bird paradises where we’d love to join you in seeking out some of the more elusive bird species.
- 1 overnight stay amidst exemplary gigantic granite boulders at a specially chosen lodge
- Dinner, bed and breakfast
- Guided tour to the petroglyphs at Twyfelfontein
- Guided (you know your way around) four-wheel drive game drive into the dry river Awa-Huab to look for desert elephants.
The following days will be spent in an area of probably the greatest geological Variety found in Africa, the Damaraland. The main attraction at Twyfelfontein (doubtful spring) is its large gallery of rock art, the most extensive collection of rock-engravings found in Africa. Some engravings are said to be over 6000 years of age. The Petrified Forest reminds us of great central African floods, transporting very large trees over hundreds of miles and depositing them in thick layers of mud… Millions of years, void of any oxygen and under tons of pressure led to a perfect petrification of these historical trees. The scattered trunks of rock are an amazing sight of geological history. We also find the burnt mountain and a small gorge with some basaltic organ pipes in this area.
The dry river Huab finds its way west through this geologically striking desert area. The gigantic Ana trees, also called “winter thorn acacias”, produce red pods which are readily eaten by desert-dwelling elephants, let’s go and find them.…
Days 11, 12 & 13
20, 21 & 22.4.2024
- 1 night on Namibia’s Little Serengeti, the Andoni Plain at an impressive lodge.
- 1 night at a good lodge situated in the eastern dry Terminalia-forest, directly adjacent to the park.
- 1 night stay at a good lodge situated at the south-central Entrance to Etosha National Park
- Dinner, Bed and breakfast
Our Land Cruisers, specially converted for game viewing, have wide window seats and the sunroof opens at the watering holes. This way you can comfortably take pictures sitting down or standing up.
Etosha National Park
Etosha National Park, often referred to as the “Great White Place,” spans over 22,000 km/2 and ranks among Africa’s most wildlife-rich parks. While the thrill of spotting a lion by the roadside or encountering a herd of elephants is undeniable, it’s essential to recognize that Etosha’s landscape is harsh, and its wildlife faces challenging conditions.
In this unique environment, keep an eye out for the Etosha Agama and the elegant Blue Crane, as well as the remarkable Termite mounds that serve as territorial markers for Rufous-naped Larks. Amidst dense vegetation, you may also spot the diminutive Damara Dik Dik Antelopes.
Etosha’s diverse habitats, including grasslands, dry forests, floodplains, and dense acacia scrub, contribute to its extensive biodiversity. This diversity ensures that you’ll encounter not only a wide array of species but also a multitude of different birds and animals within this national park.
Days 14 & 15
23 & 24.4.2024
- Enjoy a two-night stay at Erindi Game Reserve, the largest private game reserve in Namibia, where you’ll be accommodated in a comfortable lodge.
- All Meals
- Locally guided Drive in open Game-viewer
Erindi Wildlife Protectorate
Upon reaching Erindi, you’ll have more encounters with Namibia’s magnificent wildlife. In this expansive wildlife reserve, we’ll embark on open game drives, hoping to encounter not only various antelope species but also White Rhinoceros, Giraffes, and possibly Lions and Elephants.
In the lodge’s garden, you’ll have the chance to capture stunning photographs of the Crimson-breasted Shrike and other smaller songbirds.
no matter the weather…
Departing today or tomorrow or planning some more…?!
There are numerous international flights available, providing our guests with various options for their departure. Many choose to combine the final leg of their journey with airport transfer and afternoon check-in. However, for those who wish to explore the city further or reduce the last-day stress, we offer the option to book an additional overnight stay in Windhoek or a stylish accommodation near the airport.
Some of our guests also opt for additional components, such as a fly-in to the Caprivi, a visit to the Okavango Delta, or a few days in Cape Town as part of their extended travel plans.
unfortunately time for goodbyes…
We will ensure you reach the International Airport in a timely manner, and we sincerely hope that we have provided you with the birdwatching experiences and natural moments you desired, leaving you with lasting memories of our time together in nature.
Indicative prices for 2024
|Participants per vehicle||per Person|
|2 Persons||$ 9.690.00|
|3 Persons||$ 7.758.00|
|4 Persons||$ 6.887.00|
|5 Persons||$ 6.263.00|
|6 Persons||$ 5.953.00|
|7 Persons||$ 5.686.00|
|Single Room Supplement||$ 728.00|
We are happy to answer frequently asked questions in advance
This trip can be successfully carried out at any time of the year. However, we do not recommend coming in the months of June to August, but rather before when migratory birds are still present, or after when they arrive again.
You can fly via Cape Town to Walvis Bay, where the trip could start and end in a different way. We would also be happy to guide them at the Cape… because it is worth it.
When would this trip be most fruitful ornithologically?
Certainly February to April would be the best time for this trip. Migratory birds can be seen and very many birds breed in the “green” period. We even go to photograph golden snipes in southern Namibia in March.
Definitely! You will have to change trains once, but you will gain a lot of time on connecting routes and will be overwhelmed by the birdlife at the World Heritage Site of the lagoon immediately after arrival. We strongly encourage you to start all your trips in Walvis Bay, as this is stress-free and safer.
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This Safari was last updated on 30. November 2023 @ 15:58.