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swainson's spurfowl

Birds of Namibia

Introduction: Swainson's spurfowl (Pternistis swainsonii) used to go by the name of Swainson's francolin (Francolinus swainsonii). This species is named after the English naturalist, artist, author and collector, William Swainson (1789-1855). Their preferred habitat is tall grass and they are usually seen in pairs in open country of woodland close to water. They are not known for venturing too far from natural cover and co-occur in Namibia with the red-billed spurfowl.

Distribution: Northern Namibia including Etosha National Park, Rundu, Bwabwata National Park extending east to Victoria Falls.

Diet: A winter diet includes bulbs, roots, seeds, berries and grass leaves. In summer they eat insects, locusts, beetles and grasshoppers, as well as spiders, ticks and small snails. They are particularly partial to maize, barley, sorghum, cereals and crop seedlings are dug out with the bill. They can be seen on midsummer nights feeding on open lands under a full moon.

Description: This is a widespread and common species that are overall dark brown in colour with back feathers and associated spots and streaks. Their legs and feet are black and the belly is white. They have similar markings to the red-necked spurfowl.

Breeding: Nests are scraped in the ground and lined with leaves and grass. Females lay between 3 to 12 eggs with an incubation period of around 21 to 24 days. Monitor lizards, mongooses, snakes and the chacma baboon prey on chicks.

Size: 33 to 38cm. Weight: 700g.

Etendeka Mountain Camp

This remote lodge is a truly unique destination. Stunning scenery, award winning conservation and highly personal service are just some of the reasons that just about everyone who knows Namibia rates this as one of it's finest destinations

Grootberg Lodge

An extremely popular and well managed lodge which is owned by the local community, Grootberg has stunning views and interesting activities including Rhino tracking & Damara village visits

Hobatere Lodge

On the far western edge of the park, just outside the Galton Gate, this is an excellent location to explore Etosha, Damaraland and the remote Kaokoland area

Huab Lodge

A small private lodge, with attentive management. Activities centre on the Huab river which attracts game and a wonderful variety of birdlife. This is the perfect destination to relax for a few days and enjoy the tranquility of the bush.

Melissa's Guest House

In the dusty village of Kamanjab, many guests stay here in order to visit the nearby Himba village

Oppi Koppi Restcamp

Just outside the town of Kamanjab lies this small restcamp

Otjitotongwe Cheetah Farm

A non-profit organisation aimed at conserving Namibia's cheetah population. The lodge offers superb photographic opportunities at scheduled cheetah feedings, and also offers guided game drives to view wild cheetah.

Palmwag Lodge

This lodge is such an institution that Palmwag, which is no more than the lodge and a petrol station, is marked on every Namibian map. An excellent location to explore the remote conservancies of north western Namibia - and perhaps encounter some of the rare rhino or desert adapted elephant which the area is famous for

Palmwag Desert Rhino Camp

A mobile camp, specialising in finding desert rhino. Offers a luxurious and exclusive experience.

Rustig Toko Lodge

On a large farm, offering visits to the nomadic Himba people.

Namibia Tours