Wildlife In NamibiaPreserving Namibia's Natural Heritage
About Namibian Wildlife
Showcasing Namibian Wildlife
Namibia has a long history of conservation, with 43.8% of its land area devoted to preserving its natural heritage.
This extensive program hinges on the numerous conservancies dotted around the country which benefit both man and beast, while providing tourists with a wide variety of sights to explore.
These pristine spaces form the perfect backdrop for Africa’s most exciting species, as well as many lesser-known creatures found nowhere else on Earth.
Wherever you go in Namibia, you’re bound to come across interesting mammals, reptiles and insects as well as a dazzling selection of birds.
From the city environment of Windhoek to the wildest reaches of Etosha National Park, you’ll find no shortage of places to discover and enjoy these incredible creatures.
Where to See Namibian Wildlife
Namibia’s National Parks are the obvious choice for travellers wanting to explore Namibia’s diversity, but there are many other hotspots where you can enjoy nature in this country.
While the country is best known for its vast desert landscapes, you’ll also find lush forests, salt pans, and dramatic canyons to explore here.
These are some of the country’s best-loved wildlife destinations:
The Caprivi Strip
The Caprivi Strip refers to that portion of Namibia that juts out to the right at the top of the country when you look at a map. This area will surprise you with its lush forests, large rivers, and abundant grasslands.
These verdant reaches attract large herds of grazing mammals and are also a rewarding destination for those in search of Cape hunting dogs, crocodiles, hippos, and leopards.
Thanks to the abundant greenery, Caprivi Strip is also one of Namibia’s top spots for birders where you could come across carmine bee-eaters, wattled cranes, coppery-tailed coucals, slaty egrets, and racket-tailed rollers during your visit.
You can choose from rustic rest camps and plush hotels when you visit this lovely, atypical part of Namibia.
Etosha National Park
Etosha National Park, with its huge salt pan visible from space, is Namibia’s best-known wildlife destination. It’s an arid destination, when compared to Caprivi Strip but still home to enormous grazing herds as well as all of the Big Five with the exception of the buffalo.
Due to the transient nature of Etosha’s watercourses, there aren’t any hippos in this park either, but it makes up for these shortcomings with plenty of lions and elephants and one of the only breeding colonies of flamingos in Africa.
Other bird species in this area include ostriches, Monteiro’s hornbills, secretary birds, and 35 different raptor species, including bateleur and tawny eagles.
You can opt to stay within the boundaries of Etosha National Park in one of the comfortable state-run camps or choose from a wide range of accommodation nearby.
Namib-Naukluft National Park
Africa’s largest game park, the Namib-Naukluft National park is home to some of the most photographed Namibian landscapes.
Here towering dunes, desert canyons, vast lichen fields, and gravel plains support a range of desert-adapted species and plants. The Welwitschia Mirabilis is one of the most interesting plants found in this area, thanks to its ability to survive for hundreds of years.
You can also expect to spot plenty of camelthorn trees, including the famously fossilized ones at Deadvlei as well as springbok, steenbok, klipspringer, and oryx. Cheetah are known to make an appearance as well as the hardy dassie rats, the only surviving member of the Petromus genus.
Birdlife in the park includes pale chanting goshawks, common waxbills, dune larks, herero chats, and Rüppell’s parrots.
Kaokoland, centred on the Kunene River in North-western Namibia, is one of the country’s most sparsely populated and undisturbed places.
It’s most famous for its population of desert-adapted elephants, rhinos, and lions, but you might come across other species among these mopane savannahs and mountains.
These include cheetah, leopard, giraffe, hyena, and hippo as well as birds like African harrier hawks, Rufous-crowned rollers, giant kingfishers, and scarlet-chested sunbirds.
Damaraland’s flat-topped mountains, barren plains and petrified forests, are another place where desert-adapted large mammals roam free.
You might also catch sight of giraffe, leopard, zebra, ostrich, hyena, cheetah, and antelope during a trip to Damaraland. The black-faced impala, endemic to Namibia, is another safari highlight in this area.
Bird species include near endemics like Hartlaub’s francolins, violet wood-hoopoes, rockrunners, bare-cheeked babblers, Rüppell’s parrots, and white-tailed shrikes.
No trip to Namibia is complete without exploring this vast ravaged coastline, littered with the wreckages of ships.
This is where you might encounter desert-adapted lion, black rhino, and elephants, as well as hyenas, armour-plated lizards and Nile soft-shelled turtles. You can also catch up with the colony of fur seals at Cape Cross in the northern reaches of this fascinating stretch.
The seal colony also attracts numbers of jaegers, skuas, black crakes, Egyptian geese, Cape gannets, black bustards, great white pelicans, and more.
There’s more to Swakopmund than exciting adventure activities, seafood, and historic buildings. It’s also the departure point for informative desert tours where you’ll discover some of the country’s smallest and most interesting creatures.
Dive into the world of cartwheeling spiders, toktokkies, sand-diving lizards, and Palmetto geckos when you head out from this gorgeous seaside spot. Swakopmund is also a hot spot for dolphin watching, and fishing.
Birders might check the following off their list during a visit:
- African Black Oystercatchers
- South African Shelducks
- Damara terns
- Black-tailed Godwits
- Red-necked Phalaropes
Making the Most of Namibian Wildlife
Thanks to Namibia’s diverse landscapes, it’s a haven for an abundance of unique and interesting species.
You can enjoy them on self-drive safaris, walking tours, and guided drives in the wilderness or sit back and relax at Arebbusch Lodge, which is home to abundant Namibian birdlife as well as small animal species.
It’s easy to get to Namibia by flying into Windhoek’s Hosea Kutako International Airport, where you can choose from a variety of accommodation options for a few nights before heading onward.
What to take
Remember to pack your camera, memory cards, and chargers for this once-in-a-lifetime showcase of Africa’s sought-after African wildlife species.
You’ll also need plenty of sun protection for your outings in this warm, sunny country. Likewise, a warm jacket is recommended for early morning and evening excursions.
If you’re going camping, you can hire all the equipment you need in Windhoek, or book a fully-equipped glamping experience.
Browse our blog for more information on what Namibian wildlife has to offer or get in touch to book your stay and experience it first-hand.
Please Note: The details shared herein were correct at the time of publishing. However, with time some of this information may change. We recommend confirming information with suppliers prior to making final travel arrangements. If you do happen to find an issue with any information we’ve shared here, please feel free to contact us so that we can make the relevant changes.
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