Birds of Namibia
There are 2 Families in the Order Cuculiformes, the Family Cuculidae which are cuckoos and malkohas and the Family Centropodidae which are coucals.
These are small to large cuckoos with slender bills, straight or decurved. Their plumage is brown, grey, black, glossy green, violet, or yellow. Cuckoos mainly eat insects although some species specialize in caterpillars. Eggs vary in colour and females lay between 2 and 6 which a short incubation period, unusual for such a large bird. There are 10 species of cuckoos found in Namibia.
- Jacobean cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus)
- Levaillant's cuckoo (Clamator levaillantii)
- Great-spotted cuckoo (Clamator glandarius)
- Red-chested cuckoo (Cuculus solitarius)
- Black cuckoo (Cuculus clamosus)
- Common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)
- African cuckoo (Cuculus gularis)
- Klaas's cuckoo (Chrysococcyx klaas)
- African emerald cuckoo (Chrysococcyx cupreus)
- Diderick cuckoo (Chrysococcyx caprius)
Coucals are non-parasite cuckoos with short wings and long, graduated tails. Male and females are alike in plumage but females are smaller with shorter bills and tails. Other features include strong, arched bills, usually with an hooked tip and a long, almost straight, hind claw. Calls are a deep hoot and coucals are poor flyers who tend to run on the ground or move stealthily around in dense vegetation.
Their diet consists mainly of large insects and small invertebrates such as lizards and snakes, nestlings or eggs. Entrance to a nest is from the side of a domed structure built by the male. Centropus is Greek for spike foot referring to the long, straight hallux (backwards) claw featured in most species. There are 4 species of this family found in Namibia. They are:
5, 3 or 2 Days - hiking trails in the Fish River Canyon. Hikers carry a day pack and additional luggage is transported to the overnight stops
4 Days - Guided hike on the Waterberg Plateau
3 or 4 Days - Absolutely brilliant! One of the best experiences in Namibia
3 Days - Excellent guided walking trail on the NamibRand private reserve (near Sossusvlei)
Several rustic log cabins in the Namib Desert which can only be reached via a short and informative guided hike
A day hike between two lodges on the very edge of the Namib Desert
The Rostock Ritz Lodge north of Sossusvlei (en-route to Swakopmund) has a variety of guided and un-guided hikes ranging in duration from an hour to an entire day
A lodge on the edge of the Namib Desert which offers exceptional hiking & walking