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Various activities at Avis Dam 

Whether it’s walking the dogs, walking the kids, hiking, jogging, fishing, horse riding, canoeing, mountain biking, bird watching, or you just want a relaxing quiet place to open a bottle of wine and watch the sun go down, you can do all this and more at Avis Dam. 

Bird Life
There are a total of 187 bird species which have been observed over the past 5 years at Avis Dam and surroundings. Seventeen of these species, e.g. Blackbreasted Snake Eagle, Redknobbed Coot, Moorhen, Barn Owl, Red Bishop and Fish Eagle were observed to breed in the area. Water related birds like the Grey Heron; Black Cormorant, Pelicans, Flamingos as well as various Ducks and Geese make up 28% of the observed species.

Pictures with courtesy by Herta Wichtl (c) - please click to enlarge !

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Ten species of frogs are known to occur in the Highland savanna area, about 30 species of lizards, geckoes, skinks and agamas, and 40 species of snakes. A large portion of these are likely to occur in the Avis dam area; amphibians in the vicinity of open water, and reptiles mainly in rocky habitats such as slopes and ridges.

Small mammals which potentially occur in the Avis area encompass several species of bats, shrews, mice, gerbils, hares, mongooses and rats. Rock dassies, porcupines, ground squirrel and black backed jackal occur in the area, as well as the aardvark which is listed in Namibia’s draft red data book of threatened mammal species. Recent antelope sightings include kudu and steenbok, which frequently drink at the dam. Baboons have also been sighted at the dam particularly when it is very dry, just before the rains arrive. 

The highland savanna area harbours 20 species of scorpions, 24 species of solifuges and 90 species of spiders, some of which occur in the Avis area.

It’s only been within the past 8 years that fishing has really taken off at the dam. The reason being the1997 inflow had the effect of filling the dam from about 5 percent to almost 80 percent full. With the floods it would seem, came the fish. The main species being Barbal, Carp and Bream. This is another reason for the abundance of bird life at the dam.

Windhoek lies in the centre of the Highland savanna vegetation which is characterized by a variety of Acacia trees such as Acacia hereroensis, A. hebeclada and A. reficiens (Giess, 1971) as well as Acacia mellifera, Acacia hebeclada, Catophractes alexandrii and Montinia caryphyllacea. Three vegetation types can be distinguished within the dam area:

· vegetation of slopes and ridges
· vegetation of riverbeds
· floodplain vegetation.

Most shrubs rarely exceed 2m height. Frequent accompanying species are the perennial grasses Cenchrus ciliarus and Pennisetum foermeranum as well as the herbs Tribulus zeyheri (‘duiweltjies’) and Talinum caffrum. Occasional trees such as Boscia albitrunca, Combretum apiculatum and Ozoroa crassinervia break up the shrubland. A mosaic of small scale topographic features in form of shady rock overhangs and crevices filled with soil provide habitats for a variety of ferns, mosses and lichens and other shade loving species. An assortment of geophytes, for example Albuca species, Boophane disticha, Dipcadi species and Oxalis purpurascens appear at the beginning of the rainy season. The slopes and ridges also harbour species of conservation importance, such as Aloe littoralis and Stapelia species. Although less diverse in species than the slopes, the riverbeds close to the dam harbour open woodlands characterized by sweetthorn trees, and the Acacia karoo, which can reach up to 6m in height.

On entering the dam you will be expected to pay a small fee. This ensures that FoA can maintain the security situation in the area so that you, your family and friends as well as your vehicle are safe, leaving you to go and experience the delights and wonders of the Avis Dam. 


Walking the dogs    

Bird watching    

Avis Dam    


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