It is our aim during our tours to show you the splendor of the Namibian landscape in all its forms. With our tours running through a range of habitats from the hyper-arid Namib Desert to the tropical swamps of the Okavango region, the geology, plants, insects and large mammals are as much part of our tours as the pursuit of birds. Batis Birding specializes in small group tours, as we believe it is essential to have a high leader-participant ration if you are going to get the most out of the tour. It ultimately ensures that everyone gets full value from the tour in terms of seeing the birds, learning from the experience and getting the individual attention of the leaders.
The pace of our tours can only be described as relaxed. As birds are most active in the early morning, our day usually starts with a pre-breakfast walk or an early breakfast prior to departing to more distant sites. We generally spend time walking for up to 4hours) but this is done at the pace of the slowest member of the group and we never “push” things.
Where there are larger groups we may have “faster” and “slower” groups. Lunches are generally picnics on the road, although occasionally we will have a sit-down meal. All our tours are fully accommodated and we have carefully selected our overnight facilities to be in those areas which provide the best services in good birding areas.
Although we expect all participants to bring their own binoculars, camera equipment and a field guide, we do provide a full range of reference books in the vehicle. Additionally, our guides carry telescopes with them and these are available for use at all times.
Namibia South – 10 Nights & 11 Days Self-drive
From the central escarpment, travel south towards the breath-taking views of the Fish River Canyon. Continue onto Klein Aus Vista and appreciate the vast expanse of the desert. From here visit the highest dunes in the world, before making your way for a fresh breath of Atlantic Ocean air.
Windhoek – Mariental – Fish River Canyon – Aus – Sossusvlei – Swakopmund
Kalahari, Fish River Canyon, Wild Horses of the Namib, Kolmanskop, Sossusvlei, Swakopmund
Namibia North – 13 Nights & 14 Days Self-drive
From the central escarpment, travel west via the Erongo Mountain range towards the small German coastal town of Swakopmund for a fresh breath of Atlantic Ocean air. Continue north into Damaraland, a stretch of African Savannah with rounded granite domes, before heading to the infamous Etosha National Park known as “The Great White Place” and ravish in abundance of wildlife. Finally, enjoy the Waterberg Plauteau, elevated high above the central plains.
Windhoek – Spitzkoppe – Swakopmund – Twyfelfontein – Etosha West – Etosha South – Etosha East – Waterberg Plateau National Park – Windhoek
Bushman engravings, Petrified Forest, Big 5
Namibia Eco Tour – 14 Nights & 15 Days Self-drive
The concept for the Eco Tour is to enjoy Namibia and all its beauty and have as little detrimental effect on the ecology as possible. The establishments used in this itinerary have all been awarded five desert flowers from the Eco Awards Namibia, the highest rating an establishment can receive. Activities are undertaken with the specific aim of helping conservation efforts. This endeavor offers you the opportunity to travel clean by planting trees in order to offset your vehicle’s direct carbon emissions at the end of your adventure.
Windhoek – Sossusvlei – Swakopmund – Palmwag – Etosha West – Etosha South – Okonjima Nature Reserve – Windhoek
Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Black & White rhino
Fish River Canyon
The Fish River Canyon is the largest canyon in Africa. Its sheer scale and beauty are simply remarkable and can be viewed from several lookout points. The canyon measures 160km in length, 27km in width and reaches depths of up to 550m. During the dry season, river beds are dry however during the rainy season you could be seeing a raging torrent. The canyon falls part of the Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park and extends into the Sperrgebiet National Park. Some 1600 different plant species occur within this area. The area is diverse in mammals, birds, reptiles and insects.
Quiver Tree Forest
The Quiver Tree Forest situated near the town of Keetmanshoop consists of large numbers of Aleo dichotoma trees. It was declared a National Monument in 1995 and unfortunately were declared to be endangered in 2010. Quiver trees are endemic to the south of Namibia. It is believed these plants are some 200-300 years old. The trees have a quirky character in that they look like they grow upside down as the leaves look very much like roots and they can reach heights anywhere between three to nine meters.
Just a stone throws away is the Giants Playground, said to have formed some 180 million years ago and a geological phenomenon. It is so-called because the large boulders look like they have been stacked as though a giant toddler was playing with them.
The ghost town of Kolmanskop is located in the Namib desert close to the coastal town of Lüderitz. Kolmanskop developed in the early 1900s when it was believed to be a diamond hot spot. A small German town developed with lavish houses and amenities including a hospital, ballroom, power station, school and so much more. Then after just 40 short years diamonds were depleted and found more abundantly elsewhere. And so, the town became barren. Today the ruins bear little resemblance to its former glory. The wind has demolished some of the houses and encroaching sand dunes have taken over. This, however, makes for fantastic photography and Kolmanskop remains a favorite must-see destination!
Believed to be the highest dunes in the world, Sossusvlei surely is a spectacular sight. Located in the Namib Naukluft Park there are several attractions to be visited including Deadvlei and the Sesriem Canyon. Climbing “Big Mama” – the top of one of the higher dunes, is well worth the effort and allows for some spectacular views. This is a must for photographers! Sunrise and sunset are the best times to photograph the contrasting colors of these magnificent sand dunes.
“Namib” is the Nama word for “vast” which describes this desert stretching along Namibia’s coast. The oldest desert in the world stretches all along the shoreline from the south to the north. To the eye, it seems barren and harsh but really the Namib Desert is a fascinating environment consisting of gravel plains and dunes and ephemeral rivers flowing across unexpectedly. Various wildlife and plant species have adapted to survive these harsh conditions and it is most interesting to explore.
Vast open spaces and rugged mountain terrain is best to describe the beauty that is Damaraland. From open plains and grassland to massive granite koppies Damaraland has much to offer including Namibia’s highest mountain the Brandberg, the Bushmen engravings at Twyfelfontein and the Petrified Forest which is millions of years old. Black Rhino, Desert-adapted Elephants and Lions can be spotted roaming freely.
Home to the Himba people, Kaokoland is one of the last remaining wilderness areas in Southern Africa. Kaokoland starts at the Hoanib River and ends with the Kunene River in the north, the natural border to Angola. Along the Kunene River you will find the Epupa Falls.
Etosha National Park
Etosha, meaning “The White Place” covers an area of 22 270km² and is dominated by a massive mineral pan. Game viewing is excellent and antelopes and predators can be seen roaming freely. Etosha is a must for any traveler. There are several camps inside the park as well as just outside of the park. Most of them have floodlit watering holes allowing guests to also see nocturnal wildlife rounding up an already fantastic guest experience.
Mahango Game Reserve
The Mahango Game Reserve is located in the northeast of Namibia on the Botswana border. It offers a true wilderness feeling due to its remoteness and abundance of wildlife. Water is all year round but the Reserve truly comes to life after the rainy season when trees flower and bear fruit attracting and abundance of insects who in return attract several birds. Some 400 bird species have been recorded within this area.
Zambezi Region (Caprivi Strip)
The Zambezi region borders with Angola, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana and is home to four National Parks – Bwabwata, Nkasa Rupara, Mudumu and Mahago. It is surrounded by the Chobe, Kwando, Linyanti and the Zambezi river. Vast wetlands attract over 600 bird species. There are nearly 200 kinds of flora and 4 of the big 5 can be seen.