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Field Guides Tour Report
Namibia & Botswana I 2018
Feb 27, 2018 to Mar 18, 2018
Terry Stevenson

This lovely Rockrunner was just one of the wonderful birds and other animals that we saw in Namibia. This endemic was found in the Erongo Mountains, where we saw 6 of these interesting birds. Photo by participants David and Judy Smith.

Our March 2018 Namibia and Botswana tour followed our well tried route visiting the massive red sand dunes at Sossusvlei, the internationally acclaimed Walvis Bay Lagoon, the Erongo Mountains, Etosha National Park, and then in Botswana, the fabulous Okavango Delta, where we stayed in two of the very best lodges and traveled by private charter plane.

Beginning in Windhoek we spent the afternoon at the local sewage ponds, not ideal you may think, but in a country which is largely desert any habitat for waterbirds is well worth a visit. Highlights included flocks of South African Shelduck, Hottentot Teal, and a single male Southern Pochard. Long-tailed Cormorants and African Darters perched in the trees along the edge of the ponds, and a Little Bittern flushed from a reed bed where African Gallinule was also visible; striking Red Bishops perched and displayed along the reed tops. In the surrounding acacia woodland birds were varied, with Brown Snake-Eagle, Dideric Cuckoo, White-backed Mousebird, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Pied Barbet, Lesser Grey Shrike, Black-fronted Bulbul and Mariqua Sunbird all making for a great start to the tour.

We left the following day for quite a long drive to our lodge in the Namib Naukluft Desert, however with stops along the way we had many highlights, including Cape Shoveler and Maccoa Duck at our lunch stop, several Pale Chanting-Goshawks, the endemic Monteiro's Hornbill, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Rufous-crowned Roller, Ashy Tit, Cape Crombec, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Mariqua Flycatcher, Kalahari Scrub-Robin, Pale-winged Starling, Scaly Weaver, and Social Weavers at their massive 'haystack' nests.

We then made a day tour to the nearby Sossusvlei, perhaps Namibia's most famous visual attraction, with massive red sand dunes and truly spectacular desert scenery. Birds here are not numerous, but the endemic Dune Lark is always high on everyone's list and it was amazing this year, with our first sighting within five minutes of getting to our usual site. Other notable species of the day included Common Ostrich, Lappet-faced Vulture, Rueppell's Bustard, Namaqua Dove, Greater Kestrel, Rosy-faced Lovebird, Crimson-breasted Gonolek, Chat Flycatcher, Mountain Wheatear, and Dusky Sunbird. Large mammals included Gemsbok, Blue Wildebeest, and Springbok.

For a total change of scene we then drove to the coast, with Burchell's Courser, Namaqua Sandgrouse and Pygmy Falcon being just three new birds we added along the way. Five Common Giraffe and about 80 rather localized Mountain Zebra were two great mammal sightings. Once at Walvis Bay we checked in to our guesthouse and then drove along the shore of the lagoon - so different to what we'd seen so far with flocks of both Greater and Lesser flamingos, Great White Pelican, several hundred Black-winged Stilts and Pied Avocets, dainty Chestnut-banded Plovers, and thousands of migrant shorebirds including Whimbrel, Curlew-Sandpiper, Sanderling, Little Stint, Common Greenshank and Red-necked Phalarope. Hartlaub's and Kelp gulls were numerous, and terns included Caspian, Common, Great Crested, Sandwich, and the very localized Damara Tern - of which several were still present and in full breeding plumage.

We then headed north and inland for three nights in the Erongo Mountains, first a two night stay in the south and then a single night in the north. Along the way we'd found the endemic Gray's Lark, and now in these rocky mountains we added several more; Hartlaub's Francolin, Violet Woodhoopoe, Damara Red-billed Hornbill, Rueppell's Parrot (fabulous looks this year), White-tailed Shrike (also fabulous looks) and Herero Chat (perched in the open nearby and couldn't have been better). Carp's Tit and Rockrunner were two more endemics that we also saw in this area, while mammals included Round-eared Sengi (Elephant-Shrew) and Dassie Rat - sole member of the family 'Petromuridae'.

Once again we headed north, this time to Etosha where we spent three nights (2 in the park and one just outside). Recent heavy rains meant many of the mammals had dispersed throughout the now grassy plains, but we still enjoyed Black-backed Jackal, Slender Mongoose, herds of Burchell's Zebra, Gemsbok, Hartebeest, Blue Wildebeest, Impala and Springbok. Best of all though was on our very last morning when we had close looks at a pair of rarely seen Ratel (Honey-Badgers) and two magnificent male Lions. Bird life in Etosha was as always variable, with the grassy plains being home to Common Ostrich, Abdim's Stork, Secretarybird, Double-banded Courser, Kori and White quilled bustards, Spike-heeled, Red-capped and Eastern Clapper larks, and Capped Wheatear. In the open skies we watched White-backed Vulture, Bateleur and Martial Eagle, while the bush country provided us with views of Southern Red-billed Hornbill, Lilac-breasted Roller, Crimson-breasted Gonolek, Black Cuckooshrike, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Black-faced and Bare-cheeked babblers, Cinnamon-breasted Bunting, Violet-eared Waxbill and Eastern Paradise-Whydah. The pools and their surroundings held a variety of ducks, herons and egrets, flamingos, Swainson's Francolin, Blue Crane, Wattled Lapwing and Namaqua and Burchell's sandgrouse. And, with the help of a member of staff at one of our lodges we had great day-time views of both African Scops-Owl and Barn-Owl.

The final part of our Namibia section of the tour was a night at Hakusembe River Lodge on the banks of the Okavango River, followed by a drive through Mahango Game Reserve on the border with Botswana. As always the riverine woodland and flood plains here provided us with many new birds, with just a few of our favorites being African Pygmy-goose, Hamerkop, Goliath Heron, Slaty Egret, African Fish-Eagle, Woodland Kingfisher, White-fronted, Blue-cheeked and Southern Carmine bee-eaters, White Helmetshrike, Gabon Boubou, Hartlaub's Babbler, Meves's Starling, Yellow-crowned Bishop and Village Indigobird - we added three new mammal species too; Bushbuck, African Buffalo and Lechwe.

We then continued in to Botswana and began with two nights at Xaro Lodge in the 'Pan-handle'. It was a wonderful beginning with both White-backed Night-Heron and Pel's Fishing-Owl seen really well on our very first afternoon - two of the best birds of the whole tour! Other highlights here were repeated looks at more African Pygmy-geese, African Fish-Eagles, Malachite, Woodland, Giant and Pied Kingfishers, White-fronted, Little and Blue-cheeked bee-eaters. New species included Lesser Jacana, African Wood-Owl, Bradfield's Hornbill, Crested and Black-collared barbets, Meyer's Parrot, Greater Swamp Warbler, Chirping Cisticola, Collared Sunbird, Southern Brown-throated Weaver and Brown Firefinch. We also found a bird rarely seen in this part of Botswana - a male Parasitic Weaver (Cuckoo-Finch) in full breeding plumage!

Our final leg of the tour was taking a private charter plane and flying to Macatoo Camp in the western part of the Okavango Delta. We had three nights at this lovely camp, where each very spacious tent has its own veranda and bathroom, all drinks and laundry services are included in the cost, and delicious meals are served under shady trees in the day and the stars at night. Our daily drives were in a specially adapted 4x4 Toyota Landcruiser and we slowly meandered across the grassy plains and wetlands seeing Saddle-billed Stork, Rufous-bellied Heron, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Wattled Crane, Double-banded Sandgrouse, Coppery-tailed Coucal, African Barred Owlet, Swamp Nightjar, Striped Kingfisher, Greater Honeyguide (trying to attract us with its unique back and forth display and buzzing call), Dickinson's Kestrel, Chinspot Batis, Retz's Helmetshrike, Southern Black-Tit, Red-billed and Yellow-billed oxpeckers, and Pin-tailed Whydah to mention but a few. Mammals included Black-faced Vervet Monkey, Banded Mongoose, Warthog, Hippo, African Buffalo, and a wide variety of antelopes. Most impressive though, were three gorgeous Roan Antelope, and several herds of African Elephant, including mothers, teenagers, babies, and some truly massive bulls.

Thanks to all of you for joining me on this memorable adventure.


One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

The dunes at Sossusvlei were one of our first destinations. Participant Helen Bailey got this beautiful and evocative image.

Struthionidae (Ostriches)
COMMON OSTRICH (Struthio camelus) – About 25 in the Namib Naukluft Desert, 60 at Etosha, 8 at Mahango, and 20 in the Okavango Delta.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata) – About 20 at Hakusembe, and 30+ at Mahango.
COMB DUCK (Sarkidiornis melanotos) – Two males at Mahango.
EGYPTIAN GOOSE (Alopochen aegyptiaca) – Common and widespread at wetlands throughout the tour.
SOUTH AFRICAN SHELDUCK (Tadorna cana) – About 30 at the Windhoek Sewage Works, 25 at Guisis, and 20 at Etosha.
SPUR-WINGED GOOSE (Plectropterus gambensis) – Sixty at Mahango, and about a dozen in the Okavango Delta.
AFRICAN PYGMY-GOOSE (Nettapus auritus) – Fabulous this year, with repeated good looks at Hakusembe and Xaro, and a few in the Macatoo area.
HOTTENTOT TEAL (Spatula hottentota) – Eight at Windhoek Sewage Works.
CAPE SHOVELER (Spatula smithii) – Ten at Guisis, and 40 at Etosha.
CAPE TEAL (Anas capensis) – About 50 at Guisis, 100+ at Walvis Bay, and 6 at Etosha.
RED-BILLED DUCK (Anas erythrorhyncha) – Two at Windhoek Sewage Works, 6 at Guisis, 20 at Etosha, and 2 at Macatoo.
SOUTHERN POCHARD (Netta erythrophthalma) – Good scope views of a male at Windhoek Sewage Works.
MACCOA DUCK (Oxyura maccoa) – About 30 at Guisis.

This Saddle-billed Stork was seen as we were driving near Macatoo Camp in the Okavango. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

Numididae (Guineafowl)
HELMETED GUINEAFOWL (Numida meleagris) – Common in a variety of open woodland and bush country; in all we saw about 200.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
HARTLAUB'S FRANCOLIN (Pternistis hartlaubi) – Two flushed from right next to us in the southern Erongo Mountains, and then one of our group saw 1 near Erongo Wilderness Lodge. [E]
RED-BILLED FRANCOLIN (Pternistis adspersus) – Common in all but the most arid areas.
SWAINSON'S FRANCOLIN (Pternistis swainsonii) – Six at Etosha, and 8 in the Okavango Delta.
CRESTED FRANCOLIN (Dendroperdix sephaena) – Two singles in the Mushara area.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LITTLE GREBE (Tachybaptus ruficollis) – Three at Windhoek Sewage Works, 2 at Guisis, and about 30 at Etosha.
Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)
GREATER FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus roseus) – At least 2000 were at the Walvis Bay lagoon, and 150 at Etosha.
LESSER FLAMINGO (Phoeniconaias minor) – We saw about 600 at Walvis Bay lagoon, and 60 at Etosha.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
AFRICAN OPENBILL (Anastomus lamelligerus) – Sixty at Hakusembe, and 10 in the Macatoo area.
ABDIM'S STORK (Ciconia abdimii) – About 65 in the grasslands at Etosha, and 5 near Hakusembe.
SADDLE-BILLED STORK (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis) – Seven on our drives from Macatoo Camp.
MARABOU STORK (Leptoptilos crumenifer) – One at Halali, 3 at Mahango, and about 20 at Macatoo.
YELLOW-BILLED STORK (Mycteria ibis) – One our our group saw 4 in flight at Etosha,
Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)
CAPE GANNET (Morus capensis) – Two singles offshore in the Walvis Bay area.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
LONG-TAILED CORMORANT (Microcarbo africanus) – About 50 at Windhoek Sewage Works, and then small numbers from Hakusembe to Xaro and on to the Okavango Delta.
CROWNED CORMORANT (Microcarbo coronatus) – Eight on the pylons leading to the guano platform near Walvis Bay.
GREAT CORMORANT (WHITE-BREASTED) (Phalacrocorax carbo lucidus) – Six on the pylons leading to the guano platform near Walvis Bay were the distinctive race 'lucidus' - sometimes split as White-breasted Cormorant.
CAPE CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax capensis) – Many thousands in the Walvis Bay to Swakopmund area.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
AFRICAN DARTER (Anhinga rufa rufa) – About 30 at the Windhoek Sewage Works, 1 at Hakusembe, and then about 40 in the Xaro area.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
GREAT WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus onocrotalus) – At least 200 were in the Walvis Bay to Swakopmund area.
Scopidae (Hamerkop)
HAMERKOP (Scopus umbretta) – Small numbers from Hakusembe to the Okavango Delta; in total we saw about 26.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
LITTLE BITTERN (Ixobrychus minutus) – One at the Windhoek Sewage Works, and 1 at Hakusembe.
GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea) – Widespread at wetlands throughout the tour; in all we saw about 45.

The endemic Dune Lark was seen very well on our tour. We found one almost as soon as we reached the site at Sossusvlei. Photo by participants David and Judy Smith.

GOLIATH HERON (Ardea goliath) – The world's largest heron; we saw three at Mahango, and 2 in the Okavango Delta.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Singles at Guisis and Hakusembe.
INTERMEDIATE EGRET (Ardea intermedia) – Small numbers from Etosha to Mahango and on to the Okavango Delta.
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta) – Fifteen at Walvis Bay, 4 at Mahango, and 1 near Macatoo.
SLATY EGRET (Egretta vinaceigula) – Nice looks at 1 at Mahango.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Widespread in small numbers.
SQUACCO HERON (Ardeola ralloides) – Three along the river near Xaro Lodge, and 2 near Macatoo.
RUFOUS-BELLIED HERON (Ardeola rufiventris) – One at Hakusembe, and 6 in the Macatoo area.
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – Two at Hakusembe, and 8 at Xaro.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – Eight at Hakusembe, and 1 at Xaro.
WHITE-BACKED NIGHT-HERON (Gorsachius leuconotus) – Great looks at this normally really shy heron near Shakawe.

This huge Baobab tree provided a great spot for a group photo, as well as some welcome shade. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
SACRED IBIS (Threskiornis aethiopicus) – One at Johannesburg, 2 at Guisis, and 2 in the Okavango Delta.
HADADA IBIS (Bostrychia hagedash) – One near Xaro Lodge.
AFRICAN SPOONBILL (Platalea alba) – One at Etosha.
Sagittariidae (Secretarybird)
SECRETARYBIRD (Sagittarius serpentarius) – Three singles at Etosha, included 1 catching and eating a rodent.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE (Elanus caeruleus) – Small numbers in a variety of open country; in all we saw about a dozen.
AFRICAN HARRIER-HAWK (Polyboroides typus) – Two singles at Etosha.
WHITE-HEADED VULTURE (Trigonoceps occipitalis) – Nice looks at a pair in low flight at Mahango.
LAPPET-FACED VULTURE (Torgos tracheliotos) – We saw a distant bird at Sossusvlei, and then a closer bird in flight at Etosha.
HOODED VULTURE (Necrosyrtes monachus) – Three near Macatoo.
WHITE-BACKED VULTURE (Gyps africanus) – Two at Etosha, 15 at Mahango, and about 10 in the delta.
BATELEUR (Terathopius ecaudatus) – Surprisingly all 8 we saw at Etosha were immatures, but we then saw an adult at Mahango, and another 2 immatures near Macatoo.

It must feel very odd to have birds climbing on your face! This Giraffe seems rather resigned... The Yellow-billed Oxpeckers look comfortable with their lofty perch. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

BLACK-BREASTED SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus pectoralis) – An immature near Windhoek, 2 adults near Solitaire, and then 2 more in the Erongo Mountains.
BROWN SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus cinereus) – One at Windhoek, and 2 in the Okavango Delta.
MARTIAL EAGLE (Polemaetus bellicosus) – We saw 2 single adults in flight at Namutoni and Mahango.
LONG-CRESTED EAGLE (Lophaetus occipitalis) – Some of the group saw 1 near Shakawe.
LESSER SPOTTED EAGLE (Clanga pomarina) – One in the Macatoo area of the Okavango Delta.
TAWNY EAGLE (Aquila rapax) – Two south-west of Windhoek, 1 in the Erongo Mountains, and 2 at Mahango.
AFRICAN HAWK-EAGLE (Aquila spilogaster) – An immature flew over Windhoek Sewage Works.
DARK CHANTING-GOSHAWK (Melierax metabates) – One at Mahango.
PALE CHANTING-GOSHAWK (Melierax canorus) – About 40 were seen between Windhoek and the Namib Naukluft Desert, and then another 20 between the Erongo Mountains and Etosha.
GABAR GOSHAWK (Micronisus gabar) – Singles at Mushara and Shakawe.

Participants David and Judy Smith captured this image of one of the White-quilled Bustards we saw at Etosha.

AFRICAN MARSH-HARRIER (Circus ranivorus) – Five over the marshes near Xaro Lodge.
SHIKRA (Accipiter badius) – Four at Etosha, and 1 at Xaro.
BLACK KITE (YELLOW-BILLED) (Milvus migrans parasitus) – Small numbers from Usakos onwards; in all we saw about 30.
AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE (Haliaeetus vocifer) – About a dozen at Mahango to Xaro, and 20 in the Okavango Delta.
COMMON BUZZARD (STEPPE) (Buteo buteo vulpinus) – Widespread in small numbers, with a total of about 16.
Otididae (Bustards)
KORI BUSTARD (Ardeotis kori) – Super looks at these huge bustards at Etosha; in all we saw about 20.
LUDWIG'S BUSTARD (Neotis ludwigii) – One in flight near Outjo.
RŸUEPPELL'S BUSTARD (Eupodotis rueppelii) – About 10 in the Namib Naukluft Desert. [E]
RED-CRESTED BUSTARD (Eupodotis ruficrista) – Three at Etosha.
WHITE-QUILLED BUSTARD (Eupodotis afraoides) – We saw about 20 of these striking bustards at Etosha.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
BLACK CRAKE (Zapornia flavirostra) – One near Xaro Lodge.
AFRICAN SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio madagascariensis) – One at the Windhoek Sewage Works.

We were lucky to find some beautiful Burchell's Sandgrouse in Etosha and again at Macatoo. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus) – Twenty-five at the Windhoek Sewage Works, 30 at Guisis, and 1 at Etosha.
RED-KNOBBED COOT (Fulica cristata) – At least 200 were at the Windhoek Sewage Works, and 40 at Guisis.
Gruidae (Cranes)
BLUE CRANE (Anthropoides paradiseus) – Good looks at a pair at Etosha.
WATTLED CRANE (Bugeranus carunculatus) – Always nice to see these huge cranes, we saw a pair and then 3 together in the Okavango Delta.
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
WATER THICK-KNEE (Burhinus vermiculatus) – Three near Shakawe, and 8 in the Okavango Delta.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus) – Two hundred and fifty at Walvis Bay, 20 at Etosha, and 4 in the Okavango Delta.
PIED AVOCET (Recurvirostra avosetta) – At least 400 at Walvis Bay, and a dozen at Etosha.
Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)
AFRICAN OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus moquini) – Three along the shore north of Swakopmund.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola) – About 40 in the Walvis Bay area.
BLACKSMITH LAPWING (Vanellus armatus) – Common and widespread at wetlands throughout the tour; in all we saw about 250.
CROWNED LAPWING (Vanellus coronatus) – Five at Sossusvlei, and about 30 at Etosha.
WATTLED LAPWING (Vanellus senegallus) – One at Etosha, and 3 at Hakusembe.
KITTLITZ'S PLOVER (Charadrius pecuarius) – One near the Swakopmund golf course.
THREE-BANDED PLOVER (Charadrius tricollaris) – One near the Swakopmund golf course, and 6 at Etosha.
WHITE-FRONTED PLOVER (Charadrius marginatus) – About 10 in the Walvis Bay to Swakopmund area.
CHESTNUT-BANDED PLOVER (Charadrius pallidus) – Nice looks at these lovely little plovers at the Walvis Bay saltworks.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
LESSER JACANA (Microparra capensis) – Three in the flood plains near Xaro Lodge.
AFRICAN JACANA (Actophilornis africanus) – Very common at Hakusembe to Xaro and on to Macatoo; in total we saw about 180.

This is one of the Ratel (Honey Badgers) we saw at Halali on our last day in Etosha. What an amazing sighting! Photo by participants David and Judy Smith.

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus) – About 40 in the Walvis Bay to Swakopmund area.
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres) – About 40 in the Walvis Bay to Swakopmund area.
RUFF (Calidris pugnax) – Two at Etosha, and about 20 at Hakusembe.
CURLEW SANDPIPER (Calidris ferruginea) – Many hundreds at Walvis Bay.
SANDERLING (Calidris alba) – About 100 at Walvis Bay.
LITTLE STINT (Calidris minuta) – Many seen distantly and about 6 close birds at Walvis Bay, and then good looks at Etosha and Hakusembe.
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE (Phalaropus lobatus) – Eight (including 1 in breeding plumage) at Walvis Bay.
COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos) – Singles at Windhoek, Walvis Bay, Etosha, and Hakusembe.
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia) – About 50 at Walvis Bay, and 3 at Etosha.
MARSH SANDPIPER (Tringa stagnatilis) – One at Etosha.
WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola) – Two at Windhoek Sewage Works, 30 at Etosha, 4 at Hakusembe, and 10 in the Okavango Delta.
Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)
BURCHELL'S COURSER (Cursorius rufus) – Five along the road west of Solitaire.
TEMMINCK'S COURSER (Cursorius temminckii) – Four along the road near Outjo, and 2 near Macatoo.
DOUBLE-BANDED COURSER (Smutsornis africanus) – Ten at Etosha.

Bennett's Woodpecker can be difficult to find, so we were very pleased to see this one so well at Okombahe. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
HARTLAUB'S GULL (Chroicocephalus hartlaubii) – Many hundreds between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.
KELP GULL (VETULA) (Larus dominicanus vetula) – About 200 between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.
DAMARA TERN (Sternula balaenarum) – Great looks at 8 of these rather localized birds at Walvis Bay.
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia) – Four at Walvis Bay.
WHITE-WINGED TERN (Chlidonias leucopterus) – About a dozen at the Windhoek Sewage Works.
COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo) – Four hundred between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.
GREAT CRESTED TERN (Thalasseus bergii) – About 50 at Walvis Bay.
SANDWICH TERN (Thalasseus sandvicensis) – Ten at Walvis Bay.
Pteroclidae (Sandgrouse)
NAMAQUA SANDGROUSE (Pterocles namaqua) – Seven to the west of Solitaire, and about 50 at Etosha. [*]
DOUBLE-BANDED SANDGROUSE (Pterocles bicinctus) – About 10 on a couple of evening drives near Macatoo Camp.
BURCHELL'S SANDGROUSE (Pterocles burchelli) – Not normally seen on this tour so we were extremely lucky to see 2 pairs in Etosha, and then another 2 at Macatoo.

The Herero Chat is a regional endemic; this one posed nicely for us! Photo by participants David and Judy Smith.

Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Small numbers in a variety of towns and villages.
SPECKLED PIGEON (Columba guinea) – Very common throughout most of Namibia.
MOURNING COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decipiens) – About 10 at Xaro Lodge.
RED-EYED DOVE (Streptopelia semitorquata) – One at our hotel in Johannesburg, and then about 75 between Hakusembe and in the Okavango Delta.
RING-NECKED DOVE (Streptopelia capicola) – Very common and widespread.
LAUGHING DOVE (Streptopelia senegalensis) – Very common and widespread.
EMERALD-SPOTTED WOOD-DOVE (Turtur chalcospilos) – Heard several times before finally being seen in the Macatoo area.
NAMAQUA DOVE (Oena capensis) – Widespread; with a total of about 80.
AFRICAN GREEN-PIGEON (Treron calvus) – One at Uris, 10 at Xaro, and about 30 in the Okavango Delta.
Musophagidae (Turacos)
GRAY GO-AWAY-BIRD (Corythaixoides concolor) – Common in woodland areas; in all we saw about 250.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
COPPERY-TAILED COUCAL (Centropus cupreicaudus) – At least a dozen were seen in the Okavango Delta.
WHITE-BROWED COUCAL (Centropus superciliosus) – Two from a boat trip on the Okavango River.
LEVAILLANT'S CUCKOO (Clamator levaillantii) – One at Hakusembe, and 2 near Macatoo.
DIDERIC CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx caprius) – One at Windhoek, and 1 at Xaro,
KLAAS'S CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx klaas) – One of our group saw 1 in the southern Erongo Mountains.
BLACK CUCKOO (Cuculus clamosus) – One at Hakusembe, and others heard at Macatoo.
RED-CHESTED CUCKOO (Cuculus solitarius) – Good looks at an immature bird at Hakusembe.
Tytonidae (Barn-Owls)
BARN OWL (Tyto alba) – Thanks to a local national parks worker we saw 1 on a day roost at Halali.
Strigidae (Owls)
AFRICAN SCOPS-OWL (Otus senegalensis) – The same person who showed us the Barn Owl also found us this species, many thanks to him!
PEL'S FISHING-OWL (Scotopelia peli) – Great scope looks near our lodge on the Okavango River.
PEARL-SPOTTED OWLET (Glaucidium perlatum) – First seen at Guisis, and then 4 in the Erongo Mountains area, 2 at Okombahe, and 4 at Etosha.
AFRICAN BARRED OWLET (Glaucidium capense) – One in our camp at Macatoo.
AFRICAN WOOD-OWL (Strix woodfordii) – Tom, our local guide at Xaro, found 1 for us on a day roost at Xaro Lodge.

Participant Becky Hansen captured this lovely image of the White-backed Night-Heron we found near Shakawe.

Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
FIERY-NECKED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus pectoralis) – One was flushed on a drive near Macatoo.
SWAMP NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus natalensis) – Good looks at a female next to the car near Macatoo.
FRECKLED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus tristigma) – Several heard and 1 seen at Erongo Wilderness Lodge.
Apodidae (Swifts)
ALPINE SWIFT (Apus melba) – Good looks at about 20 near Okombahe.
COMMON SWIFT (Apus apus) – Eight in the mixed species swift flock near Okombahe.
BRADFIELD'S SWIFT (Apus bradfieldi) – Six at Windhoek, about 40 at the Namib Desert Lodge, 30+ near Okombahe, and 20 at Etosha. [E]
LITTLE SWIFT (Apus affinis) – Abut 30 at Windhoek, and 10 at Etosha.
WHITE-RUMPED SWIFT (Apus caffer) – Six near Outjo, and 8 at Etosha.
AFRICAN PALM-SWIFT (Cypsiurus parvus) – Widespread in small numbers; in all we saw about 60.
Coliidae (Mousebirds)
WHITE-BACKED MOUSEBIRD (Colius colius) – Common from Windhoek to Walvis Bay and then inland to the Erongo Mountains.
RED-FACED MOUSEBIRD (Urocolius indicus) – One at Windhoek, 7 at Etosha, and 10 at the Botswana border post.

The Round-eared Sengi, or Elephant-Shrew, was one of the most interesting mammals we saw. This one is from the Erongo Mountains. Photo by participants David and Judy Smith.

Upupidae (Hoopoes)
EURASIAN HOOPOE (AFRICAN) (Upupa epops africana) – Singles at Okombahe, Etosha, and Macatoo.
Phoeniculidae (Woodhoopoes and Scimitarbills)
GREEN WOODHOOPOE (Phoeniculus purpureus) – One at Hakusembe, 4 at Xaro, and 12 in the Okavango Delta.
VIOLET WOODHOOPOE (VIOLET) (Phoeniculus damarensis damarensis) – Seven at Okombahe, and another 7 at Halali. [E]
COMMON SCIMITARBILL (Rhinopomastus cyanomelas) – One at the Windhoek Sewage Works.
Bucerotidae (Hornbills)
BRADFIELD'S HORNBILL (Lophoceros bradfieldi) – Two at the Shakawe airstrip were totally unexpected.
AFRICAN GRAY HORNBILL (Lophoceros nasutus) – Common from the Erongo Mountains to Hakusembe, Mahango and in Botswana; in all we saw about 120.
SOUTHERN YELLOW-BILLED HORNBILL (Tockus leucomelas) – Two in the Erongo Mountains, 8 at Etosha, and 4 near Macatoo.
MONTEIRO'S HORNBILL (Tockus monteiri) – One near Windhoek, 2 in the Erongo Mountains, and 4 in the Okombahe area. [E]
SOUTHERN RED-BILLED HORNBILL (Tockus rufirostris) – Ten at Halali, and about 20 in the Okavango Delta.
DAMARA RED-BILLED HORNBILL (Tockus damarensis) – Nice looks at 2 at Okombahe. [E]

The gorgeous Violet-backed Starling was widespread, but seen in small numbers. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
MALACHITE KINGFISHER (Corythornis cristatus) – About a 14 in the Xaro and Okavango Delta area.
GRAY-HEADED KINGFISHER (Halcyon leucocephala) – Singles at Etosha, Hakusembe, and Macatoo.
WOODLAND KINGFISHER (Halcyon senegalensis) – Common from Hakusembe east and then south into the Okavango Delta; in all we saw about 60.
STRIPED KINGFISHER (Halcyon chelicuti) – At least 4 during drives in the Okavango Delta.
GIANT KINGFISHER (Megaceryle maxima) – One at Hakusembe, and 3 at Xaro.
PIED KINGFISHER (Ceryle rudis) – One at Windhoek Sewage Works, and then more common along the Okavango River and in the delta; in all we saw about 40.
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
WHITE-FRONTED BEE-EATER (Merops bullockoides) – Four at Hakusembe, and at least 150 in the Xaro Lodge area.
LITTLE BEE-EATER (Merops pusillus) – About 80 between Hakusembe the Okavango Delta.
SWALLOW-TAILED BEE-EATER (Merops hirundineus) – About 10 at Windhoek, another 10 in the Namib Naukluft Desert area, and 1 at Macatoo.
BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATER (Merops persicus) – Just fabulous this year, with at least 300 between Hakusembe and Xaro.
EUROPEAN BEE-EATER (Merops apiaster) – About 60 at Windhoek, 10 in the Erongo Mountains, 400+ at Etosha, and 10 in the Okavango Delta.
SOUTHERN CARMINE BEE-EATER (Merops nubicoides) – Two at Hakusembe, and 3 at near Xaro Lodge.

Rosy-faced Lovebirds were quite abundant in Namibia, where we saw about 300 in all. Photo by participants David and Judy Smith.

Coraciidae (Rollers)
LILAC-BREASTED ROLLER (Coracias caudatus) – Small numbers from Etosha to Hakusembe and on into the Okavango Delta; in all we saw about 45.
RUFOUS-CROWNED ROLLER (Coracias naevius) – Small numbers in a variety of woodland and rocky areas; in all we saw about 12.
BROAD-BILLED ROLLER (Eurystomus glaucurus) – Four in the Macatoo Camp area.
Lybiidae (African Barbets)
CRESTED BARBET (Trachyphonus vaillantii) – One at Hakusembe, 6 at Xaro, and another 6 around Macatoo.
YELLOW-FRONTED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus chrysoconus) – Good looks at 1 at the Botswana border post.
PIED BARBET (Tricholaema leucomelas) – Fairly widespread in Namibian acacia country; with a total of about 20.
BLACK-COLLARED BARBET (Lybius torquatus) – First seen at the Botswana border post, and then at Xaro and Macatoo; in all we saw about 15.
Indicatoridae (Honeyguides)
GREATER HONEYGUIDE (Indicator indicator) – Nice looks at a male repeatedly flying by us and making its buzzy 'follow me' call, a wonderful piece of interaction between people and birds.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
BENNETT'S WOODPECKER (Campethera bennettii) – Great looks at this often hard to find bird at Okombahe.
GOLDEN-TAILED WOODPECKER (Campethera abingoni) – Not numerous, but the most widespread woodpecker; we saw about 10.
CARDINAL WOODPECKER (Dendropicos fuscescens) – We saw singles at the Windhoek Sewage Works and Etosha.
BEARDED WOODPECKER (Dendropicos namaquus) – Singles at Okombahe, Xaro, and Macatoo.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
PYGMY FALCON (Polihierax semitorquatus) – Great looks at a female along the road near Solitaire.
ROCK KESTREL (Falco rupicolus) – Singles or pairs, at Windhoek, in the Namib Naukluft Desert, and in the Erongo Mountains.
GREATER KESTREL (Falco rupicoloides) – One at Sossusvlei, and 3 at Etosha.
DICKINSON'S KESTREL (Falco dickinsoni) – Four in the palm country near Macatoo.
RED-NECKED FALCON (Falco chicquera) – Great looks at 2 singles at Etosha.
LANNER FALCON (Falco biarmicus) – Nice looks at an immature in flight in the Erongo Mountains, and then 2 adults at Etosha.
Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)
ROSY-FACED LOVEBIRD (Agapornis roseicollis) – Widespread from Windhoek to the Erongo Mountains; in all we saw about 300. [E]
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
MEYER'S PARROT (Poicephalus meyeri) – Two at Xaro, and then about 50 in the Okavango Delta.
RŸUEPPELL'S PARROT (Poicephalus rueppellii) – Often difficult, but just great this year, we had close views of 3-5 birds feeding in a flowering bush in the Erongo Mountains. [E]

This sleepy Barn Owl was pointed out to us by a local park employee at Halali, in Etosha. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

Platysteiridae (Wattle-eyes and Batises)
WHITE-TAILED SHRIKE (Lanioturdus torquatus) – A real favorite of the tour, with great looks in the southern Erongo Mountains. [E]
CHINSPOT BATIS (Batis molitor) – Nice looks at a female near Macatoo.
PRIRIT BATIS (Batis pririt) – We saw a pair in the Erongo Mountains, and a female at Okombahe.
Vangidae (Vangas, Helmetshrikes, and Allies)
WHITE HELMETSHRIKE (Prionops plumatus) – Nine at Mahango, and 7 near Macatoo.
RETZ'S HELMETSHRIKE (Prionops retzii) – One of our group saw a small flock at Xaro, and then we all saw them around our camp at Macatoo.
Malaconotidae (Bushshrikes and Allies)
BRUBRU (Nilaus afer) – Heard near Macatoo. [*]
BLACK-BACKED PUFFBACK (Dryoscopus cubla) – Small numbers at Mushara, Uris, and Xaro. [*]
BLACK-CROWNED TCHAGRA (Tchagra senegalus) – One seen and several heard in the Macatoo area.
BROWN-CROWNED TCHAGRA (Tchagra australis) – Singles at Etosha, Xaro, and Macatoo.
GABON BOUBOU (Laniarius bicolor) – First seen at Hakusembe, and then at Xaro and Macatoo.
CRIMSON-BREASTED GONOLEK (Laniarius atrococcineus) – We saw this striking bird in a variety of dry acacia country; in all we saw about 30.
BOKMAKIERIE (Telophorus zeylonus) – One of our group saw 1 at the Namib Desert Lodge.
SULPHUR-BREASTED BUSHSHRIKE (Telophorus sulfureopectus) – Heard at Xaro Lodge. [*]

Our accomodations at Macatoo Camp were quite lovely, and located in the midst of some fabulous birding! Photo by participant Helen Bailey.

Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)
BLACK CUCKOOSHRIKE (Campephaga flava) – Nice looks at a male at Mushara.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
RED-BACKED SHRIKE (Lanius collurio) – Small numbers between Windhoek and the Namib Desert NP, and then about 60 in the Rundu to Okavango Delta area.
LESSER GRAY SHRIKE (Lanius minor) – Singles in the Windhoek to Namib Naukluft Desert area, and then about 150 at Etosha.
SOUTHERN FISCAL (SOUTHERN) (Lanius collaris subcoronatus) – About 6 in the Windhoek area, 4 between Sossusvlei and Solitaire, and 2 at Etosha.
MAGPIE SHRIKE (Corvinella melanoleuca) – About 20 between the veterinary fence, Mahango and in the Okavango Delta.
WHITE-CROWNED SHRIKE (Eurocephalus anguitimens) – At least 50 were seen between the Erongo Mountains and Hakusembe.
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
AFRICAN GOLDEN ORIOLE (Oriolus auratus) – Single males at the Botswana border and near Macatoo Camp.
AFRICAN BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE (Oriolus larvatus) – One at Macatoo Camp.
Dicruridae (Drongos)
FORK-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus adsimilis) – Common and widespread; in all we saw about 120.
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
AFRICAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (Terpsiphone viridis) – Small numbers in woodland from Okombahe until the end of the tour.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
CAPE CROW (Corvus capensis) – Six in the Namib Naukluft Desert, and 20+ at Etosha.
PIED CROW (Corvus albus) – Small numbers throughout the tour.
Alaudidae (Larks)
SPIKE-HEELED LARK (Chersomanes albofasciata) – Three at Etosha.
GRAY'S LARK (Ammomanopsis grayi) – This cryptic endemic lark is always difficult, but we had fantastic views this year at our usual spot near Swakopmund. [E]
GRAY-BACKED SPARROW-LARK (Eremopterix verticalis) – About 20 at Etosha.
SABOTA LARK (BRADFIELD'S) (Calendulauda sabota naevia) – Forty at Etosha were by far the most for a single site, but we also saw a few at several other dry country areas.
FAWN-COLORED LARK (Calendulauda africanoides) – One near Outjo.

One of the Black-shouldered Kites we saw sat nicely for this portrait by participants David and Judy Smith.

DUNE LARK (Calendulauda erythrochlamys) – We saw 1, and then another 2 of these very localized endemic larks at Sossusvlei. [E]
EASTERN CLAPPER LARK (Mirafra fasciolata) – Good looks at 1 in the dry grassland north of Okaukuejo.
RUFOUS-NAPED LARK (Mirafra africana) – One at Mahango, and about a dozen in the Macatoo area.
RED-CAPPED LARK (Calandrella cinerea) – About 12 at Etosha.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
PLAIN MARTIN (Riparia paludicola) – One at Windhoek Sewage Works, and about 100 along the river near Xaro.
BANDED MARTIN (Riparia cincta) – One at Etosha.
ROCK MARTIN (Ptyonoprogne fuligula) – Widespread near cliffs and villages throughout the tour.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – Very common at this time of year as they gather and fly north to Europe.
WHITE-THROATED SWALLOW (Hirundo albigularis) – Four at the Windhoek Sewage Works.
WIRE-TAILED SWALLOW (Hirundo smithii) – Three at Hakusembe, and 10 at Xaro.

We began seeing Meve's Starling in Mahango Game Reserve, with more to come in Botswana. Photo by participants David and Judy Smith.

GREATER STRIPED-SWALLOW (Cecropis cucullata) – One at the Windhoek Sewage Works.
LESSER STRIPED-SWALLOW (Cecropis abyssinica) – Seven at Xaro Lodge.
RUFOUS-CHESTED SWALLOW (Cecropis semirufa) – About half a dozen at the Okaukuejo waterhole.
COMMON HOUSE-MARTIN (Delichon urbicum) – About 40 at Etosha.
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
SOUTHERN BLACK-TIT (Melaniparus niger) – One at Macatoo Camp.
CARP'S TIT (Melaniparus carpi) – A pair at Erongo Wilderness Lodge, and then a single bird at Mushara. [E]
ASHY TIT (Melaniparus cinerascens) – Singles south-west of Windhoek, and then in the southern Erongo Mountains.
Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)
YELLOW-BELLIED GREENBUL (Chlorocichla flaviventris) – Two at the Botswana border post.
COMMON BULBUL (DARK-CAPPED) (Pycnonotus barbatus tricolor) – Very common from Hakusembe until the end of the tour.
BLACK-FRONTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus nigricans) – More commonly known as Red-eyed Bulbul, they were very common throughout Namibia north to Etosha.
Macrosphenidae (African Warblers)
CAPE CROMBEC (Sylvietta rufescens) – We saw singles in a variety of acacia woodland; with a total of about 8.
ROCKRUNNER (Achaetops pycnopygius) – Fantastic this year - with super long looks at about 6 in the Erongo Mountains. [E]
Phylloscopidae (Leaf Warblers)
WILLOW WARBLER (Phylloscopus trochilus) – Small numbers from Etosha to the Okavango Delta.
Acrocephalidae (Reed Warblers and Allies)
ICTERINE WARBLER (Hippolais icterina) – Four singles at Etosha.
AFRICAN REED WARBLER (Acrocephalus baeticatus) – One at Windhoek Sewage Works, and 4 at Swakopmund Golf Course.
GREATER SWAMP WARBLER (Acrocephalus rufescens) – Good looks at 2 in the papyrus near Xaro Lodge.
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
YELLOW-BREASTED APALIS (Apalis flavida) – One at Mushara.
GREEN-BACKED CAMAROPTERA (GRAY-BACKED) (Camaroptera brachyura brevicaudata) – About 20 in bush country from the Erongo Mountains northwards and then in to Botswana.
BARRED WREN-WARBLER (Calamonastes fasciolatus) – Good looks at 2 singles in the Erongo Mountains.
RATTLING CISTICOLA (Cisticola chiniana) – Common in acacia country.
WINDING CISTICOLA (LUAPULA) (Cisticola galactotes luapula) – Nice looks at 2 of these distinctive cisticolas near Macatoo; an increasing number of authorities are now giving this 'race' species status.
CHIRPING CISTICOLA (Cisticola pipiens) – Many heard and 2 seen in the marshes near Xaro.
ZITTING CISTICOLA (Cisticola juncidis) – One near Macatoo.

We were not the only ones who enjoyed breakfast! Participant Helen Bailey captured this group of Southern Masked Weavers and Pale-winged Starlings cleaning up a table.

DESERT CISTICOLA (Cisticola aridulus) – Four at Etosha.
TAWNY-FLANKED PRINIA (Prinia subflava) – One at Hakusembe, 10 at Xaro, and 6 at Macatoo.
BLACK-CHESTED PRINIA (Prinia flavicans) – Very common from Windhoek to Etosha.
YELLOW-BELLIED EREMOMELA (Eremomela icteropygialis) – Two at Guisis, and 1 at Etosha.
BURNT-NECK EREMOMELA (Eremomela usticollis) – One in the Namib Naukluft Desert, and 3 in the Erongo Mountains.
Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)
AFRICAN YELLOW WHITE-EYE (Zosterops senegalensis) – Three at the Botswana border post.
ORANGE RIVER WHITE-EYE (Zosterops pallidus) – Difficult this year, but eventually we all got good looks at Swakopmund. [E]
Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes and Allies)
HARTLAUB'S BABBLER (Turdoides hartlaubii) – Common from Hakusembe to Mahango and on in to the Okavango Delta.
BLACK-FACED BABBLER (Turdoides melanops) – Five at Mushara. [E]
SOUTHERN PIED-BABBLER (Turdoides bicolor) – Seven at Okombahe, and 2-3 at Macatoo.
ARROW-MARKED BABBLER (Turdoides jardineii) – One at Xaro, and then about 5 at Macatoo.
BARE-CHEEKED BABBLER (Turdoides gymnogenys) – Becoming increasingly difficult, so we were lucky to see 7 near Halali, and then 4 crossing the road at Goas. [E]

We saw two beautiful Red-necked Falcons at Etosha; this is a great image of one of them, by participants David and Judy Smith.

Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa striata) – Small numbers were seen in a variety of widespread areas.
MARIQUA FLYCATCHER (Bradornis mariquensis) – Fairly common in dry acacia country, with a total of about 35.
CHAT FLYCATCHER (Agricola infuscatus) – About 10 in the Namib Naukluft Desert.
HERERO CHAT (Melaenornis herero) – One of the most difficult to see regional endemics; thankfully once again we had great views of 1 at our usual site. [E]
SOUTHERN BLACK-FLYCATCHER (Melaenornis pammelaina) – Two at Hakusembe, and a couple more near Macatoo.
KALAHARI SCRUB-ROBIN (Cercotrichas paena) – One at Windhoek.
RED-BACKED SCRUB-ROBIN (Cercotrichas leucophrys) – Singles between the Erongo Mountains and the Okavango Delta.
CAPE ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha caffra) – One at our hotel in Johannesburg.
SHORT-TOED ROCK-THRUSH (Monticola brevipes) – Some of the group saw a single male at Erongo Wilderness Lodge.
KAROO CHAT (Cercomela schlegelii) – Five in the Namib Naukluft Desert.
TRACTRAC CHAT (Cercomela tractrac) – Two along the way to the Erongo Mountains.
FAMILIAR CHAT (Cercomela familiaris) – Widespread in small numbers.
MOUNTAIN WHEATEAR (Oenanthe monticola) – About 10 in the Namib Naukluft Desert area.
CAPPED WHEATEAR (Oenanthe pileata) – About 20 at Etosha.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
GROUNDSCRAPER THRUSH (Psophocichla litsitsirupa) – Three at Etosha.
KURRICHANE THRUSH (Turdus libonyana) – Singles at Hakusembe and Macatoo.
KAROO THRUSH (Turdus smithi) – One at our hotel in Johannesburg.
Sturnidae (Starlings)
WATTLED STARLING (Creatophora cinerea) – About 500 at the Windhoek Sewage Works.
COMMON MYNA (Acridotheres tristis) – Ten at Johannesburg.
VIOLET-BACKED STARLING (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster) – Widespread, with a total of about 40.
PALE-WINGED STARLING (Onychognathus nabouroup) – Common in the arid country from Windhoek to Sossusvlei, and then north to the Erongo Mountains.
BURCHELL'S STARLING (Lamprotornis australis) – First seen near the Erongo Mountains, and then at Hakusembe, and commonly in Botswana.
MEVES'S STARLING (Lamprotornis mevesii) – Common from Mahango south and east throughout Botswana.
GREATER BLUE-EARED STARLING (Lamprotornis chalybaeus) – One at Mahango.
CAPE STARLING (Lamprotornis nitens) – Widespread in small numbers; in total we saw about 100.
Buphagidae (Oxpeckers)
RED-BILLED OXPECKER (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) – About a dozen in the Okavango Delta.
YELLOW-BILLED OXPECKER (Buphagus africanus) – Two at Mahango, 3 at Xaro, and then about 20 in the Okavango Delta.

While rats might not be most peoples' idea of great African wildlife, the Dassie Rat is the only member of its family, thus it is special! It's also an attractive animal. Photo by participants David and Judy Smith.

Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
COLLARED SUNBIRD (Hedydipna collaris) – We saw a pair at Xaro Lodge.
MARIQUA SUNBIRD (Cinnyris mariquensis) – About 6 near Windhoek.
WHITE-BREASTED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris talatala) – Nice looks at a male at Macatoo.
DUSKY SUNBIRD (Cinnyris fuscus) – Very common in the dry bush country of Namibia.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
CAPE WAGTAIL (Motacilla capensis) – Small numbers at Windhoek, Guisis, Walvis Bay, and near Shakawe.
AFRICAN PIED WAGTAIL (Motacilla aguimp) – Four at Hakusembe, and 6 in the Xaro area.
AFRICAN PIPIT (Anthus cinnamomeus) – One at Etosha.
PLAIN-BACKED PIPIT (Anthus leucophrys) – Three at Etosha.
BUFFY PIPIT (Anthus vaalensis) – One at Etosha.
Emberizidae (Old World Buntings)
LARK-LIKE BUNTING (Emberiza impetuani) – Most common in the Erongo Mountains (100+), but we also saw about another 50 in widespread scattered areas.
CINNAMON-BREASTED BUNTING (Emberiza tahapisi) – Two at Erongo Wilderness Lodge, and 2 at Etosha.
CAPE BUNTING (Emberiza capensis) – One at Gaub Pass, and 2 in the Erongo Mountains.

We saw a number of male Eastern Paradise-Whydahs, with their amazing long tails. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
BLACK-THROATED CANARY (Crithagra atrogularis) – Small numbers (about 40) were widespread in Namibia.
YELLOW CANARY (Crithagra flaviventris) – Some of the group saw a female at the Namib Desert Lodge.
WHITE-THROATED CANARY (Crithagra albogularis) – Two in the southern Erongo Mountains.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Widespread in small numbers.
GREAT RUFOUS SPARROW (Passer motitensis) – About 10 in the Erongo Mountains.
CAPE SPARROW (Passer melanurus) – Four at Johannesburg, and then about 150 at Sossusvlei and on to Swakopmund.
SOUTHERN GRAY-HEADED SPARROW (Passer diffusus) – Widespread in small numbers; in all we saw about 60.
Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)
RED-BILLED BUFFALO-WEAVER (Bubalornis niger) – Widespread in acacia country; in all we saw about 50.
SCALY WEAVER (Sporopipes squamifrons) – Also known as Scaly-feathered Finch; we saw 3 at Windhoek, 2 in the Namib Naukluft Desert, and about 40 at Etosha.
WHITE-BROWED SPARROW-WEAVER (Plocepasser mahali) – Another weaver which was common in acacia country; we saw a total of about 120.
SOCIAL WEAVER (Philetairus socius) – Common around their huge nests in the Namib Naukluft Desert and at Etosha.

Cape Sparrow is in the same genus as the familiar House Sparrow, but it is much more attractive! We saw good numbers of these in Namibia. Photo by participants David and Judy Smith.

HOLUB'S GOLDEN-WEAVER (Ploceus xanthops) – About a dozen between Hakusembe and Xaro.
SOUTHERN BROWN-THROATED WEAVER (Ploceus xanthopterus) – Nice looks at about 20 building their nests near Xaro Lodge.
LESSER MASKED-WEAVER (Ploceus intermedius) – Three at Uris.
SOUTHERN MASKED-WEAVER (Ploceus velatus) – Common and widespread from Windhoek to Etosha.
VILLAGE WEAVER (Ploceus cucullatus) – About 50 were building their nests in a reed bed at Hakusembe.
CHESTNUT WEAVER (Ploceus rubiginosus) – Two at Erongo Wilderness Lodge.
RED-BILLED QUELEA (Quelea quelea) – One at Windhoek, and about 500 at Etosha.
SOUTHERN RED BISHOP (Euplectes orix) – Good looks at about 40 in breeding plumage at Windhoek, and 1 in the Erongo Mountains.
YELLOW-CROWNED BISHOP (Euplectes afer) – We saw a fabulous male in breeding plumage at Hakusembe.
FAN-TAILED WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes axillaris) – About 10 at Xaro.
GROSBEAK WEAVER (Amblyospiza albifrons) – Five were nest building near Xaro.
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
COMMON WAXBILL (Estrilda astrild) – Forty at Windhoek, 30 at Swakopmund, 4 in the Erongo Mountains, and 15 near Macatoo.
BLACK-FACED WAXBILL (Estrilda erythronotos) – Four at Windhoek.
SOUTHERN CORDONBLEU (Uraeginthus angolensis) – Widespread in acacia country, with a total of about 70.
VIOLET-EARED WAXBILL (Granatina granatina) – We saw these beautiful waxbills at Halali (6) and Uris (2).
GREEN-WINGED PYTILIA (Pytilia melba) – Another gorgeous waxbill; we saw these in the Erongo Mountains, and at Etosha and Hakusembe.
RED-BILLED FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta senegala) – One at Windhoek, and 5 at Macatoo.
BROWN FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta nitidula) – Nice looks at a single male at Xaro.
CUT-THROAT (Amadina fasciata) – Two at the veterinary fence.
RED-HEADED FINCH (Amadina erythrocephala) – About 40 at Etosha were the most for a single area, but we also saw a few others elsewhere.

Participants David and Judy Smith captured this image of a Black-faced Vervet Monkey.

Viduidae (Indigobirds)
PIN-TAILED WHYDAH (Vidua macroura) – Three males and 1 female in the Macatoo area.
EASTERN PARADISE-WHYDAH (Vidua paradisaea) – We saw spectacular males at the Erongo Mountains, Etosha, and Hakusembe.
SHAFT-TAILED WHYDAH (Vidua regia) – Males in full breeding plumage were seen at Windhoek, in the Erongo Mountains, and at Etosha.
VILLAGE INDIGOBIRD (Vidua chalybeata) – Single males at Hakusembe, and near Macatoo.
PARASITIC WEAVER (Anomalospiza imberbis) – Great to see a male in breeding plumage near Xaro, which was quite out of its usual range.

BLACK-FACED VERVET MONKEY (Cercopithecus aethiops) – We saw about a dozen in the Okavango.
CHACMA BABOON (Papio ursinus) – Widespread; in all we saw about 250.
CAPE GROUND SQUIRREL (Xerus inaurius) – Two near Windhoek, and about 30 at Etosha.
TREE SQUIRREL (Paraxerus cepapi) – Forty at Etosha, 30+ at Xaro, and 50 around Macatoo.
FOUR-STRIPED GRASS MOUSE (Rhabdomys pumilio) – Two at the Swakopmund Gold Course.
DASSIE RAT (Petromus typicus) – Sole member of the family 'Petromuridae' we saw at least 6 in the Erongo Mountains.
BLACK-BACKED JACKAL (Canis mesomelas) – Two at Etosha.
RATEL (HONEY BADGER) (Mellivora capensis) – Fantastic looks at a pair at Halali - in the day time too!
SLENDER MONGOOSE (Herpestes sanguineus) – One at Halali.
BANDED MONGOOSE (Mungos mungo) – One of our group saw about 10 at Macatoo.
YELLOW MONGOOSE (Cynictis penicillata) – Two at Windhoek, and 7 at Etosha.
SPOTTED HYAENA (Crocuta crocuta) – Heard at Macatoo. [*]
LEOPARD (Panthera pardus) – Some of us got the briefest of looks as 1 ran away near Macatoo.
LION (Panthera leo) – Good looks at 2 big males at Etosha.
CAPE (AUSTRALIAN) FUR SEAL (Arctocephalus pusillus) – Five between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.
AFRICAN ELEPHANT (Loxodonta africana) – Great looks at large bulls, females and young ones in the Macatoo area of the Okavango Delta.
ROCK HYRAX (Procavia capensis) – Most common in the Erongo Mountains (70+), but we also saw a few others elsewhere.
MOUNTAIN ZEBRA (Equus zebra) – Can be difficult, but we were lucky and saw about 80 near the Tropic of Capricorn.
BURCHELL'S ZEBRA (Equus burchelli) – About 750 at Etosha were by far the most, but we also saw them in the Namib Desert, at Mahango, and near Macatoo.
WARTHOG (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) – Widespread with a total of about 60.

Hippos put on a good show for us near Macatoo Camp. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

HIPPOPOTAMUS (Hippopotamus amphibius) – Two near Xaro briefly, and then good looks at about 35 in the Macatoo area.
COMMON GIRAFFE (Giraffa camelopardalis) – Five in the Namib Naukluft Desert, 30 at Etosha, 5 at Mahango, and about 15 near Macatoo.
BUSHBUCK (Tragelaphus scriptus) – Small numbers at Mahango, Xaro, and Macatoo.
GREATER KUDU (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) – Widespread in small numbers; in all we saw about 55.
AFRICAN BUFFALO (Syncerus caffer) – Thirty at Mahango, and 9 at Macatoo.
LECHWE (Kobus leche) – Nice looks at about 100 at Mahango, and then 2 near Macatoo.
REEDBUCK (Redunca arundinum) – Also known as Southern Reedbuck, we saw about half a dozen in the Macatoo area.
ROAN ANTELOPE (Hippotragus equinus) – Fabulous to see 1 and then another 2 in the Macatoo area.
GEMSBOK (Oryx gazella) – About 500 in the Namib Naukluft Desert area, 2 in the Erongo Mountains, and about 60 at Etosha.
TOPI (Damaliscus lunatus) – Also known as Tsessebe, we saw about 45 in the Macatoo area.
HARTEBEEST (KONGONI) (Alcelaphus buselaphus) – Fifty at Etosha.

This Leopard Tortoise seems oblivious of the hornbill watching in the background. Photo by participants David and Judy Smith.

BLUE WILDEBEEST (Connochaetes taurinus) – Two hundred and fifty at Etosha were the most in one area, but we also saw them in the Namib Naukluft Desert, Erongo Mountains, and at Macatoo.
STEENBOK (Raphicerus campestris) – Two near Outjo, 3 at Etosha, and about 10 at Macatoo.
IMPALA (Aepyceros malampus) – A common and widespread antelope with good looks at Etosha, Mahango, and around Macatoo.
SPRINGBOK (Antidorcas marsupialis) – At least 1000 at Etosha were by far the most for one area, but we also saw 600 in the Namib Naukluft Desert, and a few others elsewhere in Namibia.


Other mammals and reptiles we saw included;

Round-eared Sengi (Elephant Shrew); what we think was this species (although recent 'splits' make exact identification in the field impossible) was seen at the Tropic of Capricorn (2), and in the Erongo Mountains (also 2).

Nile Crocodile; 4 at Xaro and 1 at Macatoo.

Green Bush Snake; 1 at Macatoo.

Coppery Skink; 1 in the Erongo Mountains.

Acacia Skink; common in the Namib Naukluft Desert.

Common Barking Gecko; 1 at Sossusvlei.

Thick-toed Gecko; 1 at Windhoek.

Namib Day Gecko; 1 in the Erongo Mountains.

Namibian Rock Agama; about 40 in the Erongo Mountains.

Namaqua Sand Lizard; 1 at Sossusvlei.

Totals for the tour: 350 bird taxa and 35 mammal taxa