|Safari Name||13-Days Namibia and Botswana Birding and Wildlife Photo|
Days 1 – 3, Erongo Wilderness Lodge
After our international flight arrives in Windhoek, we head west for the Erongo Mountains (three hours’ drive with no stops) on the edge of the Namib Desert. The Erongo Wilderness Lodge, where we spend three nights, has feeders and water troughs that attract noisy flocks of Rosy-faced Lovebird, small coveys of the localized, bizarre and usually (but not here!) highly secretive Hartlaub’s Spurfowl, and a host of other exciting birds within meters of photographers. The fabulous White-tailed Shrike is common around the lodge. This species – like several of the birds here in the Erongo Mountains – is restricted to northern Namibia and southern Angola. Cape porcupine is also sometimes very confiding near the restaurant.Other mammals, such as greater kudu, are usually seen at greater distance. The secretive but striking black mongoose often gives fleeting views (if seen at all!), and rarely poses long enough for photographs. At dusk,Freckled Nightjar usually appears and makes its dog-like “bow-wow” call. A morning walk usually easily generates Rockrunner, another strikingly-marked, characterful, and localized bird. A drive from the lodge to a nearby dry riverbed lined with tall camel thorn trees can be good for Rüppell’s Parrot and Violet Wood Hoopoe. Time-permitting, a walk to a cave with stone-age rock paintings is worthwhile. Overnight: Erongo Wilderness Lodge, Omaruru
Days 4 – 5, Etosha National Park
We have a half day’s drive to Etosha National Park, where we spend two nights at Okaukuejo Camp, in comfortable chalets. The floodlit waterhole here must be one of the world’s best places to see the rare black rhinoceros. Loads of other animals and birds come here to drink, day and night, including African elephant, plains zebra, springbok, Double-banded Sandgrouse, and a host of others. Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Western Barn Owl, Grey-hooded Kingfisher, Crimson-breasted Shrike (Namibia’s absolutely brilliantly-colored national bird), and Sociable Weaver (with its humungous nests) also frequent the camp. Venturing out of the camp in our vehicle (due to the presence of dangerous animals it is illegal to alight from the vehicle) on birding/game drives, we will look for Pygmy Falcon, larks, Double-banded Courser, Secretarybird, Ant-eating Chat, lion, cheetah (this cat is rare, but Etosha provides a fair chance at it), and a host of others. Overnight: Okaukuejo Camp, EtoshaNational Park
Days 6 – 7. Etosha National Park
After final wildlife photography at Okaukuejo, we head into the heart of Etosha and spend two nights at Halali Camp – which is in a completely different habitat (Mopane woodland instead of open plains and savanna). The floodlit waterhole at this camp is at least as good as the one at Okaukuejo; in fact it provides a better chance at leopard (especially if you are willing to spend hours there at night with a bottle of wine – it can be a tough life in Africa!). We sometimes find five different owl species at Halali – on a recent visit there we located Southern White-faced Owl, African Scops Owl, and Western Barn Owl at their daytime roosts, in addition to active Pearl-spotted Owlet – this is a pygmy owl species that is active both day and night. Honey badger is known to lurk around the camp at night. Overnight: Halali Camp, EtoshaNational Park
Day 8 – 9, Etosha National Park
We spend our last two Namibian nights (before proceeding to Botswana) at Mushara Lodge on the far eastern side of Etosha just outside the park. Once again the eastern side of Etosha presents a very different habitat compared to the two camps we will have been to. Gangs of banded mongoose are very tame around here, and this gregarious, gorgeously cute, and well-marked animal provides much entertainment and seems to love being in photos. Many Acacia birds are found in this area, and with luck we might even see Red-necked Falcon. A drive to the interesting plains to the north of the camp often generates beautifulBlue Crane (near-endemic to South Africa except for an isolated population here in Etosha), Eastern Clapper Lark, herds of game, and much else. An extension of the massive Etosha Pan or “the Great White Place” itself, Fischer’s Pan, sometimes holds large amounts of water, unlike most of the rest of this ancient “wetland” (now dry in modern times!). Overnight: Mushara Lodge, Tsumeb
Days 10 – 12, Okavango Panhandle
We have a long drive (at least half a day) to the Okavango. We head northeast from Namutoni, eventually reaching much less arid areas, soon finding ourselves in Namibia’s tropical Caprivi Strip. Eventually we meet the Kavango River, which we then follow southwards into Botswana. Here in Botswana this large river spreads out into the panhandle of the incredible Okavango Delta – eventually the thirsty Kalahari sands absorb the entire river, preventing it from ever getting to the sea. The Okavango Delta is a humungous oasis, consisting of papyrus-lined channels, riverine forest-covered islands, and quiet backwaters.
Crocodiles and hippos are common in these swamps, as are a plethora of herons (including some quite rare ones, such as White-backed Night Heron, Rufous-bellied Heron, the very localized Slaty Egret, etc.), and kingfishers (from the minute Malachite Kingfisher to the huge Giant Kingfisher – and everything in between). Several different bee-eaters add an awesome splash of almost unbelievable rainbow colors, and one of the most spectacular sights is arguably the most spectacular species, Southern Carmine Bee-eater, breeding on sandbanks along the river. Many of these birds mentioned can be approached very closely by boat – which is how we spend much of our time birding here in the Delta. One of the great prizes of the Okavango is Pel’s Fishing Owl, which we usually find without many problems, along with African Wood Owl and African Barred Owlet. Brown Firefinch, African Pygmy Goose, hornbills, and a rich diversity of other birds will also be sought here. Overnight: Xaro Lodge, Shakawe
Day 13, Departure
We have a 4-hour-long drive to Maun for our flights home.
Activities/services included in the cost:
• Arrival and departure airport transfer. • Accommodation as per the itinerary.
• Accommodation in the National Parks is based on Full Board
• Road transportation in custom made safari vehicles.
• Exclusive private vehicle and driver-guide throughout the safari
• Game dives as per the itinerary
• Park and game reserve entrance fees
• English Driver guides available for the safari
• Our 24hours support throughout the safari
Activities/services excluded in the cost:
• All International Flights/local Flights + Taxes
• Visa fees, Travel & Personal accident insurance
• Excursions, services and activities not mentioned in this program
• Flying option available for certain safaris at an extra cost
• Personal expenses e.g. laundry, telephone calls, Drinks, Tips etc
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With its wide-open spaces of the Namib desert, the huge sand dunes at Sossusvlei, the desert elephant and rhino that may be seen in the Damaraland area, Namibia possesses some of the most stunning landscapes in Africa and is home to greatest road adventures in Africa. Natural wonders such as that mighty gash in the earth at Fish River Canyon and the wildlife utopia of Etosha National Park enthrall, but it’s the lonely desert roads where mighty slabs of granite rise out of swirling desert sands that will sear themselves in your mind. It’s like a coffee-table book come to life as sand dunes in the world’s oldest desert meet the crashing rollers along the wild Atlantic coast. Among all this is a German legacy evident in the cuisine and art nouveau architecture, and in festivals such as Windhoek’s legendary Oktoberfest.
Namibia boasts remarkable natural attractions such as the Namib desert, the Fish River Canyon Park, Etosha National Park and the Kalahari desert. Its people speak nine different languages, including some of the Khoisan languages which include the ‘clicks’ that present an enigma to most native English-speakers. Namibia produces some of the world’s highest quality diamonds.
Previously known as South West Africa, Namibia is bordered by South Africa in the south, Angola and Zambia in the north and Botswana and Zimbabwe in the east. The country is demarcated into 14 regions, namely the Zambezi, Kavango East, Kavango West, Kunene, Omusati, Ohangwena, Oshana and Oshikoto regions in the north, the Omaheke. As Namibia is such a vast country, it makes sense to travel via scheduled air charters if possible.
Namibia’s Tourist Attractions
Namibia boasts remarkable natural attractions such as the Namib desert, the Fish River Canyon Park, Etosha National Park, the Kalahari desert, the huge sand dunes at Sossusvlei, the desert elephant and rhino that may be seen in the Damaraland area. Natural wonders such as that mighty gash in the earth at Fish River Canyon and the wildlife utopia of Etosha National Park enthrall, but it’s the lonely desert roads where mighty slabs of granite rise out of swirling desert sands that will sear themselves in your mind.