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Birds of Namibia

There are 3 families in the Order Upupiformes. They are the Family Upupidae (hoopoes), the Family Phoeniculidae (wood-hoopoes) and the Family Rhinopomastidae (scimitarbills).


These are small to medium-sized birds with a distinctive fan-shaped crest that is flattened to a point. Male and female hoopoes have similar plumage of buff, black and white. Bills are long, thin and decarved and their wings are rounded and broad. Hoopoes perch and roost in trees even though they are almost exclusively ground feeders. Their strong walking action is only interuppted by the need to probe for invertebrates. Females lay between 4 and 8 eggs incubated by the female and fed by the male. Both females and nestlings are able to secrete a pungent liquid when threatened which they squirt at their attacker. The name Upupa is Latin which means onomatopoeic for their call, as is hoopoe. There is just the one species of this family in Namibia. It is the:


This family are small to medium-sized birds with long slender, decurved bills and long tails. Both males and females are similar in plumage, (mostly black) but females have larger and more decurved bills with long, curved and sharp claws in both sexes. Feeding is accomplished by foraging in bark, leaves and flowers (as opposed to on the ground) for invertebrates and small vertebrates. Roosting communities can be observed in trees, their cativities the preferred site for nesting. Females incubate the nest, fed by the male and helpers. Phoeniculus is the Greek word for scarlet-billed. There is 2 species of this family found in Namibia. They are:


This family are small to medium-sized tree living birds with characteristic long tails and long, decurved bills. Plumage in both male and females are predominately black with white spots on wings with some white colouration in the tail. They differ from wood-hoopoes, a family they have been recently been classified from, by their plaintive whistling call and monogamous breeding systems and habits. They forage in trees, agilely probing bark crevices and holes for invertebrate food. Roosting is in the upright position under tree bark or in cracks in branches. They nest in tree cavities and females incubate whilst the males feed during breeding periods. Rhinopomastus is the Greek word meaning for a lid or cover of the nose referring to the covered nares. There is just the 1 species in this family found in Namibia. It is the:

Fish River Lodge Hikes

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

Mundulea Walking Trails

3 or 4 Days - Absolutely brilliant! One of the best experiences in Namibia

Tok Tokkie Hiking Trail

3 Days - Excellent guided walking trail on the NamibRand private reserve (near Sossusvlei)

Namib Mountain Trail

A day hike between two lodges on the very edge of the Namib Desert

Rostock Ritz Hiking

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

Tsondab Valley Scenic Reserve Hiking

A lodge on the edge of the Namib Desert which offers exceptional hiking & walking

Namibia Safaris