top of page

Angola: Africa's Wonderful Wild West - Birding Tour

Tour Overview:

Angola – one of Africa’s wildest remaining countries – is now not only accessible, but increasingly comfortable, with camping no-longer required on this strictly-hotels itinerary, and roads vastly better than they were ten years ago. Angola has habitats ranging from the arid-desert Namib right to Congolese rainforests, but we will spend most of our time on the fascinating Angola escarpment which holds more than 30 endemic and near-endemic specialty birds that are essentially restricted to this beautiful rugged country.


The birds are gob-smackers, with stand-out delights such as Monteiro’s, Braun’s and Gabela Bush-shrikes, the dazzling White-headed Robin-chat, Red-crested Turaco, Black-collared Bulbul, Angola Batis, Oustalet’s Sunbird, Dusky Twinspot, and striking Angola Cave-chat. The habitat diversity from barren desert, to endless broad-leaved miombo woodlands, to Afro-montane forest and patches of Guinea-Congolian lowland forest is spell-binding. This diversity means we are likely to see over 500 species on this trip; an amazing number totaling over 20% of Africa’s avifauna!


*Note: This country endured a long civil war that raged through the 80s and 90s, but it has been politically stable since 2004 and is perfectly safe.

Upcoming Departures:


8 - 25 July ($7450; single supplement $750)



13 - 30 July (Price: TBA)

Ready to Book?

Detailed Itinerary

Other Tour Details:

Length: 18 Days

Starting City: Luanda

Ending City: Lubango

Pace: Intense

Physical Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Focus: Birding, Endemics, Wildlife

Group size: 13 + 2 leaders

Tropical Birding Angola Tour Map

Day 1: Luanda-Kwanza

After we pick you up in the capital city, we drive 1.5 hours south to the Kwanza area, right on the boundary of Kissama NP. This location supports some very interesting passerines including Orange Weaver, the rusty-necked variety of Village Weaver, the noisy Bubbling Cisticola, Mouse-brown Sunbird, Angolan Swallow, Long-legged Pipit, the stunning Blue-breasted Kingfisher, and the hefty Palm-nut Vulture. There are many shorebirds and terns on the beaches of the Kwanza River and we will look for Caspian, Royal and Sandwich Terns, and loads of shorebirds including Curlew Sandpiper, Black-bellied Plover and White-fronted Plover. We might also locate the odd ‘all-dark’ swifts which remain a bit of a taxonomic enigma. Overnight in Kwanza.

Day 2: Kwanza to Uige

After some early morning birding around Kwanza we make the long drive to Uige climbing the northern scarp to where the tongues of Guinea-Congo lowlands forest project to their southernmost limits. En-route we may encounter Blue-throated Roller, Great Blue Turaco, Black Bee-eater, Shining Blue Kingfisher, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, the local form of Black-backed Barbet, Moustached Grass-warbler, Whistling Cisticola, Pale Wren-warbler, Salvadori’s Eremomela or Brown Twinspot. However, our main quarry here will be the rare endemic Braun’s Bush-shrike. If we arrive in time, we will make an attempt this afternoon. We have a two-night stay in Uige.


Day 3: Uige

The scarp here holds a wonderful mosaic of habitats making for a dizzying array of possible species. The combo of Congo-Guinea forests and forest edge making for a great birding experience. If we have not yet been lucky we will make this morning all about Braun’s Bush-Shrike, and we will listen carefully for their telltale croaking vocalizations. But while we are searching we are bound to bump into a slew of awesome typical central African forest birds such as Afep and Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Gabon Coucal, Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle, Great Blue Turaco, Black-casqued Wattled Hornbills, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Black Bee-eater, Blue-throated Roller, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Bristle-nosed Barbet, several species of tinkerbirds, Bocage’s Bushshrike, Simple Greenbul, Banded Prinia, Masked Apalis, the strange Tit-Hylia, hefty Red-headed Bluebill, Pink-footed Puffback, and several species of weavers, flycatchers and sunbirds. The potential for a rarity here is good, as the area is diverse and under-birded.


Day 4: Uige to Calandula

We’ll have a final morning at the scarp forests before traversing the miombo en route to Calandula. We’ll check bridges for Red-throated Cliff Swallows. Arriving in Calandula we should have time to bird the gallery forest and miombo this afternoon. We have a two-night stay at Calandula. En-route we will bird the small patches of gallery forest and search for Grey-winged Robin-chat, Black-backed Barbet and other forest birds. This stretch has also delivered Congo Moor Chat in the past and we will keep a sharp eye out for these.


Day 5: Calandula

This region holds arguably the most sought-after bird in Angola: the stunning White-headed Robin-chat, a large and bold songster, but a skulker. We’ll put in the effort to lay eyes on this stunning beauty. Occasionally the scarce Brazza’s Martin can be found in this area too, and we shall keep our