- Depart the UK on an overnight flight via Johannesburg
- On arrival at Windhoek we meet our tour leader at the airport and travel to our guesthouse in the city. There will be time to visit Windhoek Botanical Gardens in the afternoon.
- Accommodation: Windhoek, guesthouse, 1-night with dinner.
- After a leisurely breakfast we will leave Windhoek and head north towards the bushveld area of the Waterberg Plateau. These woodlands are a magnet for a variety of bird species otherwise not found in the drier parts of the country.
- We spend the best part of the afternoon walking some of the many trails, birdwatching and botanising.
- The following morning we go for a pre-breakfast birdwatching walk on one of the many trails through the forest below the cliff face. Chacma baboons, Damara dik-dik, kudu, banded mongoose and slender mongoose can be seen on these trails, along with local endemic birds such as Ruppell's parrot and the white-tailed shrike. After lunch, we take a 4x4 vehicle to the top of the plateau, where we will be able to visit a few hides, hopefully seeing sable and roan antelope, Cape buffalo, eland, common duiker and white rhino. After dark, lesser galago (bushbaby), porcupine, and spotted genet can be seen with a torch.
- Accommodation, Waterberg National Park Camp, 2-nights on full board basis.
- After breakfast we enjoy a morning walk amongst the fig forests and reed beds around the main accommodation. These are usually excellent for most of the bird specialities, especially Ruppell's parrot and Bradfield's hornbill.
- After a leisurely breakfast we will head north to Etosha National Park, one of Africa’s greatest wildlife parks and home to some 380 species of bird. We enjoy a late afternoon safari around Namutoni Camp, which has a large floodlit waterhole which attracts a steady procession of wildlife during the course of the night.
- Accommodation: Namutoni Camp, Etosha National Park, 2-nights on full board basis.
- This morning we start the day with the birds and mammals at sunrise for a two hour local drive. Birds that we will be searching for include secretarybird, red-necked falcon, kori bustard and Ludwig’s bustard.
- After breakfast we go for a wildlife safari around the local area, with a view to finding more mammal and bird species such as rhino, elephant, African wild cat, Burchell’s zebra and many buck species.
- We will be heading west to Halali Camp for lunch, following the edge of the pan. The huge Etosha Pan is dry for most of the year, but in exceptional years when wet, it is spectacular and abounds with birds. Halali Camp is the best place in Etosha for bare-cheeked babbler and violet wood-hoopoe.
- Many mammals use the cool of the night to come to the camp’s floodlit waterhole, including rhino, elephant, lion and leopard.
- Accommodation: Halali Camp, Etosha National Park, 1-night on full board basis.
- We start the day with an early morning birdwatching walk around the camp, before continuing west towards our next camp in Etosha National Park. After arriving at Okaukuejo Camp, the late afternoon sees us enjoying another safari drive, this time exploring the area south of the camp and hopefully chalking up some new sightings.
- Our full day at Okaukuejo sees us following a similar pattern to our previous days. Hornbills, coursers, larks, raptors and finches are well represented in this area of the park and we will be looking to fill the gaps in our sightings list.
- Accommodation: Okaukuejo Camp, Etosha National Park, 2-nights on full board basis.
- We start the day with an early morning birdwatching walk. Birds here could include secretary bird, red-necked falcon, Ludwig's bustard, yellow-throated sandgrouse and Bennett's woodpecker.
- Our destination this afternoon is the Erongo Mountains, a range that stretches across the plains between the tours of Omaruru and Karibib, and is home to a remarkably rich natural heritage. This expanse of rugged wilderness serves as one of Namibia’s most spectacularly scenic landscapes, magnificent caves and rock painting sites, along with an impressive array of wildlife species.
- Accommodation: Erongo Mountains, 2-nights on full board basis.
- During our full day here we enjoy a wildlife drive where we hope to see rhino, elephant, cheetah, leopard, giraffe, blue wildebeest, black-faced impala, blesbok, waterbuck, greater kudu, warthog, mountain zebra, gemsbok, eland, springbok and many of the over 200 species of bird recorded here to date.
- There are many walking trails from the property and we will have time to explore them along with the opportunity to visit some of the San rock art in the area.
- Early this morning we enjoy a walk around the grounds of our accommodation. Hartlaub’s spurfowl, Orange River francolin, Carp’s tit, rockrunner, violet wood-hoopoe, Monteiro’s hornbill, rosy-faced lovebird, Bradfield’s swift, chestnut weaver, white-tailed shrike and Ruppell’s parrot are all a possibility.
- After breakfast, we drive to the coast and Swakopmund. This afternoon we spend time birdwatching around Walvis Bay Lagoon, which is regarded as one of the most important wetlands along the west coast of Southern Africa. Flamingos by the thousands can be observed and the area around the lagoon holds 90-95 percent of the worlds population of chestnut-banded plover.
- Accommodation: Lagoon Lodge, 2-nights on full board basis.
- Leaving Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, we head inland, into a unique ecosystem of gravel plains, sweeping dunes and river valleys. The first part of today focuses on a variety of classic dune formations, a fascinating insight into a world of reptiles, birds and insects living among the sand dunes, all uniquely adapted to desert survival.
- We venture deeper into the desert and the massive Namib-Naukluft National Park - its 1,500 year old welwitschias, aloes, euphorbias, hoodias and mist-gathering lichens are all unforgettably strange. Its geological formations are stunningly beautiful, with marble, mica, spider-web dolorite and granite cliffs making for interesting walks and climbs.
- There will be time to return to Walvis Bay Lagoon for a final morning of birdwatching, looking for any species that that have so far given us the slip from our lists. We then transfer to Walvis Bay for our overnight flight back to the UK via Johannesburg.
Day 15 Arrive UK
All prices are per person and include:
- Services of the naturalist leader
- All meals
- Guided activities
On this tour we stay at a mixture of guest houses and park lodges. In Namib-Naukluft Park we stay at the Sossus Dune Lodge, a desert camp with tented cottages. Our accommodation at Etosha is new four-star chalets, while at Waterberg the chalets are simpler but adequate.
All rooms are en suite.
All meals are included.
We will be looking out for Namibia’s endemic birds and specialities, as we travel through the country – rosy-faced lovebird and rock runner, amongst others.
- Pale chanting goshawk
- African black oystercatcher
- Gray’s larks
- Blue crane
On our game drive into Etosha, we will look out for the white, and black rhinoceros, the park has the largest population of the western sub-species of the latter.
- Red hartebeest
- Desert adapted elephant
Namibia has spectacular desert scenery and some of the most dramatic dunes in the world, rocky central uplands and coastal wetlands, and Etosha National Park – one of Africa’s finest wildlife reserves.
The dunes at Sossusviel are one of the world’s most stunning – and most photographed – desert areas. The drive to Swakopmund focuses on a variety of classic desert formations, offering perfect photographic opportunities.
Cost includes return flights: London – Windhoek.
Ground transportation is by minibus, with driver.