Birding in Namibia: Hobatere Lodge

In the interest of brevity I’ve limited this post to photos and captions from a two night stay at Hobatere Lodge in Namibia. Hobatere is located to the west of Etosha and is run by one of Africa’s most passionate and competent naturalists, Steve Braine. When you visit Hobatere be sure to ask Steve to take you on a guided walk, you won’t be disappointed. Below follows a series of photos and a few notes from my stay at the lodge:

Damara Hornbill 1

Damara Hornbill is common around the reception area at Hobatere. They’ll even join you in the morning at the breakfast table.

MG 0871

Bare-cheeked Babblers are also common around the camp. The bird bath in the reception garden is a particularly popular rendezvous point.

Rockrunner habitat

The rocky hills to the south of the camp holdDamara Rockrunner and Hartlaub’s Spurfowl. One needs to go on a guided walk (preferably with Steve Braine) to bird in this area.

Scops Owlet1

Listen for African Scops-Owl during the day – they have a distinctive prrrpp call, which helps you triangulate them. The camp staff also try and keep tabs on their roost sites so ask them if they know where they are. And if you think a Scops Owl is calling from a particular tree persevere with your search because they can be extremely difficult to spot. I circled this individual’s tree at least 3 times before I spotted it!

Scops Owlet2

African Scops Owl, such great camouflage.

Grey-backed Cameroptera

This Grey-backed Cameroptera was breeding in a tangle close to the dining area.

MG 0899

Non-breeding flocks of Chestnut Weaver would often move through the camp at great speed.

Great Sparrow

Great Sparrow is common around the camp’s water hole.

MG 0982

The water hole is also overrun with Red-billed Quelea flocks.

MG 0719

Red-billed Spurfowl, a common and tame camp bird.

MG 0147

Sabota Larks were common on the plains beyond the air strip. The air strip is apparently also very good for Dusky Lark in summer.

MG 0158

Bateleur, always a crowd-pleaser.

MG 0844

There were at least three Verreaux’s Eagle Owls in the large trees about 100m from the camp entrance.

MG 0808

We encountered Lark-like Bunting on our morning walk with Steve. Small flocks were drinking at a pool in a dry river bed.

MG 0825

We encountered Carp’s Tit fairly commonly in the woodland flanking the entrance road to Hobatere.

MG 0952

Meves’s Starling was another common visitor to the birdbath.

MG 1018

A party of Violet Wood-Hoopoe passed through the camp on a couple of occasions, but they didn’t hang around for long.

Hartmann's Mountain Zebra 1

Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra is a special for the area and are common.


We saw 4 lion during our stay including this young male.

African Rock Python

I lucked upon this African Rock Python close to our bungalow. I was alerted to its presence by the incessant mobbing and alarms calls from a group of Bare-cheeked Babblers, White-crowned Shrikes and a Crimson Boubou.

David Winter