Namibia ........ 17th October to 1st November 2018
Situated on Africa’s western coast, Namibia is comprised largely of dramatic desert: the Kalahari in the east and the Namib in the west, providing our tour with some of the most stunning scenery to be seen in Africa; particularly the spectacular red dunes near Sossusvlei. Our visit to Walvis Bay should give us a chance to see many marine birds and mammals, then back inland to the stunning environs of the Spitzkoppe and Erongo mountains, with a rich variety of bird , including many of Namibia’s near endemic bird species. We will then travel to the fabulous Etosha Game Reserve, at the heart of which lies the Etosha Pan - a huge, mineral-rich depression which attracts great concentrations of birds and game. We have five days to explore this superb wildlife area and our morning and afternoon game drives will bring us close to some of Africa’s most exciting mammals and birds. Our safari has been designed to offer the best observations of wildlife and maximum opportunities for photography.
Days 1 & 2: An evening flight to Windhoek and arrival on Day 2. Even while transferring our baggage to the vehicle we should encounter common Namibian bird species, such as Cape Glossy Starling, Namaqua Dove, Cape Wagtail, Fork-tailed Drongo and South African Cliff Swallow. We will then drive to our first night’s accommodation – Dan Viljoen Private Reserve. A birding walk in the grounds may produce Pearl-spotted Owlet, White-backed Mousebird, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Monteiro’s Hornbill, Acacia Pied Barbet, Short-toed Rock Thrush and Damara Rockrunner. Mammals present, include Springbok, Red Hartebeest and Wildebeest.
Overnight – Dan Viljoen Reserve
Days 3 & 4: On the drive to Sossusvlei, birds to look for include Ruppell’s Korhaan, Sabota Lark, Mountain Wheatear, Tractrac Chat, Sociable Weaver and White-throated Canary. On Day 4 it will mean an early start to visit the spectacular ancient dunes at sunrise – an awe inspiring experience and opportunity to get stunning photographs and hopefully seek out the truly endemic Dune Lark. During the afternoon we’ll visit Sesriem Canyon. Bird species to look for include Burchell’s Courser, Namaqua Sandgrouse, Cape Sparrow and Ostriches!
Overnights - Sossusvlei
Days 5 & 6: On our drive to Walvis Bay we’ll pass through the quaint village of Solitaire and cross the dry Kuiseb Canyon, a remarkable moon-like landscape where Mountain Zebra roam and the lichen fields are the largest in the world. A birding stop will be made to look for Cinnamon-breasted Warbler and species such as Burchell’s & Double-banded Coursers, Pied Barbet, Bokmakerie, Dusky Sunbird and Cape Bunting. We should also encounter beautiful Steenboks and Klipspringers. During our stay at cooler Walvis Bay, there should be plenty of birds to see and photograph, including flamingos, pelicans, shorebirds, ducks, gulls and terns. An optional boat trip around Walvis Bay offers the opportunity to observe seabirds – Sooty Shearwaters, White-chinned & Wilson’s Petrels plus Cape Fur Seals and cetaceans.
Overnights - Walvis Bay
Days 7 & 8: On Day 7 we travel to Erongo Lodge, a large private reserve. En route we’ll visit the spectacular Spitzkoppe a famous Granite Massif landmark. Our lunch stop may well reveal a host of birds, such as the endemic Herero Chat, Northern Black Korhaan, Karoo Lark, Yellow-billed Hornbill, Lark-like Buntings and possibly that delightful mammal – Meerkat. We will then continue our journey to Erongo, where the birdlife is prolific. Top species such as Verreaux’s Eagle, Monteiro’s Hornbill, Rosy-faced Lovebird, Freckled Nightjar, Ruppell’s Korhaan, Black-backed Puffbird and Layard’s Tit-babbler are all possible. On Day 8 we’ll have a full day exploring Erongo.
Overnights - Erongo Lodge
Days 9 - 13: We head for Etosha, where we spend two nights at Okaukuejo, one at Halali and two at Namutoni. Morning and afternoon game drives in this marvellous national Park will provide opportunity to experience the superb array of wildlife present - Elephants, Black Rhino, Sable, Zebra, Black-faced Impala, Lion, Hyena, Jackal and Cheetah. Bird species include Secretary-bird, Martial Eagle, Blue Crane, Spotted Thick-knee, Violet Wood-Hoopoe, Chestnut-backed Sparrow-lark and a host of others. Overnights - Etosha Game Reserve
Day 14: Transfer to Waterberg Plateau, where our lodge is in an idyllic location, nestling into the plateau itself. The wonderful birdlife includes African Hawk-Eagle, Hartlaub’s Francolin, Bearded Woodpecker, Carp’s Tit and Ruppell’s Parrot.
Overnight - Waterberg
Day 15: Drive to Windhoek to catch our flight to the UK, where we arrive on Day 16. There will be stops en route.
Tour ref: AA1822
Single Room Supplement: £220
Leaders: Charly Rhyn & Cristian Jensen
Max. Group: 12 plus Leaders
Includes: Economy class scheduled return flights (UK--Windhoek--London), accommodation based on twin occupancy, all meals, all ground transportation, entrance fees to Reserves and services of Leaders.
Excludes: Travel insurance, drinks and items of a personal nature.