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Namibia: four weeks, four people, four-wheel drive.


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xelas

Pel's is a fantastic sighting. Sorry to hear owners will change at Drotsky.

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To Sers   After a long, uneventful flight, we arrived in Windhoek at noon. A warm sun awaited us and felt good after the low temperatures we had left behind. The Namibian customs officials h

We had been thinking about Namibia before. In fact we had gone as far as venturing into the south last year, before heading into the Kgalagadi. Fish River Canyon gave us a taste for more and after stu

Our next destination was Swakopmund. From there we intended to do a boat trip in Walvis Bay and visit the salt works to do some birding. Our accommodation was ‘Alternative Space’, located in a quiet p

PeterHG

After three rewarding days at Drotsky's we headed back to Namibia. As we were driving through the Mahango Game reserve again and we did not have a long drive ahead of us, we decided to pick up another permit at the visitor’s centre and do the same loop we did earlier. This means passing the border control, driving down the main park road to the centre on the other side and then doing the loop back almost to the border post again. A rather roundabout way, but you cannot get a permit on the Botswana side of the park. Although we did not see as much as on our first drive it was still pretty good, especially when we spotted a Slaty Egret, a lifer we had been looking for on our previous visit.

A herd of Elephants came to one of the pools to drink.

 

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The game drive finished we drove down the B8 again for some time, before turning off to Mobola Lodge, a small camp on the banks of the Okavango river. Very friendly staff, who suggested we might wish to take the family unit instead of the two separate bungalows we had booked. This offered more space with a nice terrace overlooking one of the side arms of the Okavango. It even had a very complete kitchen, although getting food to use it was quite a challenge. No decent shops for may miles around. Instead we settled for the the braai with some frozen Oryx meat we could purchase at the lodge. Excellent quality!

 

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The next morning we decided to drive back for some 40 kilometres to visit the Buffalo Core park. Like the Mahango game reserve it is part of the Bwabwata National Park. On our whole drive we only saw one other car in the park, proof that the area is not widely known. The park’s name implied that buffalo should be present and indeed they were. Another herd of elephants slowly crossed the dirt road in front of us, but because of the undergrowth we did not get clear views this time. The loop took us to the Okavango floodplain and the birding was quite good with Squacco Heron, Intermediate Egret, Striated Heron, Fish Eagle, Black-winged Pratincole, Long-toed Lapwing and even some Wattled Cranes.

 

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Back for lunch at our own terrace. We were quietly chatting and eating away when Jeannette suddenly cried out and jumped onto her chair. A snake had dropped from the beams of our chalet with its jaws around a sizeable tree frog. Later we learned that it was a non-venomous bush snake, but she got quite a scare. The snake hastily made off with its prey.

 

 

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In the afternoon we decided to book a boat trip on the Okavango river. Always pleasant, being on the water and enjoying a cloudy, but beautiful sunset in this superb setting.

 

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elefromoz
17 hours ago, PeterHG said:

We were quietly chatting and eating away when Jeannette suddenly cried out and jumped onto her chair. A snake had dropped from the beams of our chalet with its jaws around a sizeable tree frog.

 Poor Jeanette, that would be terrifying, we will all be checking the roof beams now...

Beautiful photos, Namibia really is special for landscape photography.

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Dave Williams

Claire says she'd have had a coronary with the snake ! Mind you she survived when one fell out of a Palm tree and landed next to her poolside sun bed in Kenya.

Excellent report with some good ideas for a future visit by us!

 

 

and the Pel's Owl is something else. Wow!

 

and of course the Peregrine and Red-necked Falcons too...... and the..... nah, too many crackers to mention individually!

Edited by Dave Williams
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Marks

A beautiful sunset indeed!

Hopefully everyone was able to laugh about the snake scare after the fact - you certainly got a nice photo out of it!

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PeterHG

By now we had arrived at the final part of our trip. We left the Caprivi strip again and drove south to Grootfontein. An overnight stop at Roy’s Restcamp gave the opportunity to search for the Black-faced Babbler, a lifer for me, which should be relatively easy to spot here. Well relatively is the right word, for it took some time and various walks round the camp, but I did find it. And I also found a Violet-backed Starling. What a beautiful bird that is!

 

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The next day we headed for Wabi Lodge, in the Waterberg area, but not before making a short detour to admire the Hoba Meteorite near Grootfontein. Wabi lodge turned out to be the most luxurious accommodation we had encountered so far. The bathroom was the size of the whole unit at Roy’s camp (only slightly exaggerated) and we had a large terrace overlooking a wooded valley with a little waterhole and the Waterberg mountains in the distance. The access road was a stark contrast to the smooth lodge and were lucky that the rainy season had not been rainy at all so far, or it might have posed  quite a challenge even for our 4x4 Hilux.

 

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We did two game drives on the vast property, which were really nice, although the fact that we saw mammals like the Black Wildebeest and Lechwe, attested to the fact that some species had been introduced here in the times it was used as a hunting lodge. Still, beautiful scenery, nice people and a perfect way to spend a relaxing last few days in Namibia.

 

(Bradfield's Hornbill)

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And finally back to Windhoek, to hand in the car, sell back the guitar and a get a ride to the airport. Namibia more than lived up to our expectations: incredible scenery, abundant bird- and wildlife and very friendly people. The total bird score (after a few additions by going through the photos) was 261 (33 lifers) and the mammal score 32. We felt very lucky to have spotted lions and cheetahs and both the Black and the White Rhino. We'll be back.....!

 

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michael-ibk

No wonder you will Peter, you really had top sightings. Great report, I especially enjoyed the Caprivi section, an area which is not featured all that often here on ST. Great photography as always, just wow to that last Bee-Eater photo!

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Peter Connan

Lovely trip report!

 

This last batch of photos is outstanding too. 

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xelas
18 hours ago, PeterHG said:

We'll be back.....!

 

Many times, I recon! Your bird list is extensive, yet there are more waiting for you. One day I might hear the sweet sound of a guitar playing at a braai, and will join the fun ...

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Marks

Lovely rhino photos to close out the report. Sounds like it was a great time!

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Zim Girl

Really enjoyed reading this, great trip report Peter.

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madaboutcheetah

@PeterHG - Absolutely superb report and images!  Not sure how i missed this .......... 

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  • 4 weeks later...

A little bit late, but thanks for a wonderful report and amazing photography! That violet starling...wow!

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PeterHG

Thank you @xyz99 . We had a wonderful time in Namibia and the birding was excellent.

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