Birdwatching in Windhoek
Namibia’s is one of the best places on Earth to immerse yourself in nature, and it’s great to know that you can get your outdoor experiences underway right from the moment you land in Windhoek.
Windhoek’s a vibrant city with a great infrastructure, and it’s also home to plenty of green spaces where you’ll get a chance to spot many of the country’s most beautiful bird species.
Places to Go Birdwatching in Windhoek
You’re likely to spot some of the country’s common species in parks and recreation areas around town. However, if you’re keen to tick some of the rarer birds off your list, you’ll need to take a short drive to the outskirts of the city.
At most of these places, it’s best to hire the services of a guide to help you navigate your surroundings and find out more about the birdlife in the area. Get in touch if you’d like us to recommend one.
The best spots are:
Arebbusch Travel Lodge
Located on the outskirts of the city, alongside a lush golf course, Arebbusch Travel Lodge offers easy access to the city as well as glorious natural landscapes to enjoy.
The Lodge is home to numerous species of birds and management and staff are currently working with the Namibia Bird club to document them all. So far, over 38 species have come to light in this lovely suburban area.
If you’re staying in one of the plush accommodation options at Arebbusch Travel Lodge, you can enjoy sightings of these birds while sipping a cocktail around the pool or strolling among the natural environments.
Day visitors are welcome to enjoy a meal or tea and cake at the onsite restaurant or grab a traditional pizza at the pizzeria. The outside dining areas offer ample opportunities to admire the birds flitting around the lush, manicured gardens.
Arebbusch Travel Lodge in Windhoek offers secure off-street parking and a safe environment to walk in nature.
You can arrange for an experienced guide to help you track down some of the more exciting species during your visit or wander among the grounds on your own. The paths are well laid-out and marked, so you needn’t worry about getting lost while exploring. The 24-hour reception is always available to answer your queries or offer guidance on the best routes.
Some of the species you might encounter on your walks or while dining include the:
- Rosy-Faced Lovebird
- Blue Waxbill
- Southern Red Bishop
- Marico Sunbird
- Swallow Tailed Bee-Eater
- Grey-Backed Camaroptera
- Pririt Batis
- Chestnut-Vented Tit-Babbler
- Marico Flycatcher
- African Palm Swift
- Rock Martin
If you’re a nature lover planning to spend a few days in the city, the luxury safari tents at Arebbusch Travel Lodge offer extra opportunities to enjoy the birdlife while mastering the braai or relaxing on your private deck.
Daan Viljoen Game Reserve
You’ll find this area of preserved land to the west of the city on a hillside. Daan Viljoen offers excellent opportunities to spot some of Namibia’s dry-country birds among Acacia scrub and grasslands.
Some interesting Kalahari bird species frequent this area. These include:
- Red-billed Francolin
- Red-crested Bustard
- Rufous-crowned Roller
- Common Scimitar-bill
- Monteiro’s Hornbill
- Sabota Lark
- Ashy Tit
- Short-toed Rock-Thrush
- Great Rufous Sparrow
- Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver
- Red-headed Finch
The main activities at Daan Viljoen Game Park are walks and hikes. There is a restaurant and swimming pool onsite.
Water birds, waders and warblers frequent the Avis Dam when there’s water in it. Other habitats in this area include sweet thorn savannah, thornveld, and open grassveld, as well as some rocky areas alongside the flood plain.
Birders have identified 130 different species in this area, and you might get to see the following during your visit:
- Green-winged Pytilia
- Golden-Breasted Bunting
- Violet-eared Waxbill
- White-browed Sparrow-Weaver
- Scarlet-chested Sunbird
- Mountain Wheatear
- Layard’s Warbler
- Black-chested Prinia
Avis Dam’s another popular site for walking. There aren’t any eateries onsite but the dam’s close to Windhoek and has a beer garden next door.
The Water Treatment Centre
This might seem like an unusual place for natural pursuits, but this part of town’s one of the most productive areas for birdwatching, especially if you’re looking for waterfowl.
During your visit, you’re bound to come across the following:
- Reed Cormorants
- African Darters
- Squacco Herons
- African Sacred Ibises
- African Spoonbills
- South African Shelducks
- Red-billed Teals
- Black-chested Snake Eagles
- Red-knobbed Coots
- African Jacanas
- Three-banded Plovers
There aren’t any facilities onsite, but avid birders still find enjoyment in walking in this environment while ticking species off their list.
Make the Most of Your Stay in Windhoek
Many travellers overnight in Windhoek en-route to some of Namibia’s best nature reserves and scenic areas, but it’s worth spending a few extra days getting to know the city. Windhoek’s filled with interesting things to do and see.
Browse our website for more information on the best things to do in Windhoek and where to stay while enjoying these activities.