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Trip Report - Central and Northern Namibia - Nov 21-Dec 4 2006

This report is long and quite detailed. We have thus decide not to put the whole trip report on the web, but it available on request. The report that appears here is only a summary of a few highlights. To receive the full report, please
You can also view images taken on this trip at this link here.

Trip report Summary

This was a 16 day trip during which over 400 species were recorded (In Namibia and Botswana). The following highlights are worth mentioning in this summary:

  • Excellent birding at Daan Viljoen, with many calling Rockrunner which provided for superb views near the restaurant.
  • A stop at the spectacular Ameib Guest Ranch north of Usakos which provided White- tailed Shrikes, Rosy-faced Lovebirds, Chestnut Weavers and Monteiro's Hornbill amongst others.
  • A wooded river valley just north of Usakos also produced Rueppell's Parrots and Violet Wood-hoepoe.
  • The Spitzkoppe area offered more excellent birding with cracking views of Herero Chat, many White Tailed Shrike on the rocks, Bradfields Swift, and Augur Buzzard. Nearby on the plains we saw the first of many Rueppell's Korhaan as well as Karoo Long-billed Lark, the pale Karoo Chat, Starks Lark and Rufous-eared Warbler. Further into the desert we encountered Tractrac Chat, Gray's Lark, Namaqua Sandgrouse and Ludwig' Bustard.
  • Walvis Bay provided Dune Lark, including a nest with chick and egg in it, and a massive flock of 651 (Yes six hundred and fifty-one) Bar-tailed Godwit. Rarities seen were at least 24 Red-necked Phalarope and 2 Black Terns, amongst all the huge numbers of other birds seen there.
  • Around Uis and the Brandberg we found Benguela Long-billed Lark to be quite common and in the Ugab river valley saw a host of specials including Carp's Tit, Damara and Monteiro's Hornbill and Violet Woodhoepoe. Khorikas Rest Camp produced ridiculous close up views of Bradfields Swift as well as Short-toed Rock Thrush and Namaqua Sandgrouse.
  • Etosha provided excellent big birds, including many Secretarybird, Kori Bustard and various Korhaans. Pink-billed and Sabota Lark were much in evidence around Okeukuajo. Raptors included Red-necked and Pygmy Falcon, the latter eating a lizard.
  • Roy's Camp produced great views of Black-faced Babbler, along with a host of other dry country birds.
  • The Popa Falls and Mahango area was birded for two days. Brown Firefinch, Rock Pratincole (with young) and Swamp Boubou were birds seen at the "Rapids" themselves, while Mahango produced Long-toed Lapwing (many) 6 Bee-eaters in a morning, Bradfields Hornbill and many Slaty Egrets and Rufous-bellied Herons. The floodplain viewing was even better on the northern side of the river (reached via the Buffalo Reserve) where up to 12 Wattled Crane, White-browed and Senegal Coucal, Slaty Egret and many Rufous-bellied Herons were seen along with Meyer's Parrot, Saddlebilled Stork and Luapula Cisticola. On the north side of the rapids (reached from the camp-site) we saw Western Honey-buzzard, Greater Swamp Warbler and Chirping Cisticola, with really good close up views of Rock Pratincole (with young). A boat trip from Ngepi Camp produced hundreds of Collared Pratincole and African Skimmer. Many hundreds of Grey-rumped Swallow were seen in this area.
  • Birding in the woodlands west of the Kavango river bridge produced a wide variety of birds including Rufous-bellied Tit, Tinkling Cisticola, Arnot's Chat, African Golden Oriole, Northern Hobby, Dark Chanting Goshawk and dozens of Yellow-billed Kites, including many juveniles.
  • Rundu area produced cracking views of Coppery-tailed Coucal, Brown-throated Golden Weaver, Grey-hooded Kingfisher, Red-footed Falcon and Lesser Moorhen. A dawn vigil at the sewerage works produced an African Hobby, Baillon's Crake, African Rail, Osprey and many Rufous-bellied Heron.
  • A Souza's Shrike (reported to us by locally based Chris Townend at Rundu) was seen at the "Radio Mast" 20km sw of Rundu, along with Tinkling Cisticola and Fawncoloured Larks and a nice Cuckoo Hawk.
  • Waterberg Plateaux Park produced extended scope views of two pairs of duetting Hartlaub's Spurfowl, while Violet Woodhoepoe, Rockrunner, Short-toed Rock Thrush, Damara Hornbill and many others were seen.
  • The TransKalahari highway across Botswana is currently very green and alive with Clapper and Fawncoloured Larks, while Tinkling Cisticola appear quite common in the western part (around Jwaneng). Birds like Ashy Tit, Red-billed Spurfowl, Pale- chanting Goshawk and Kalahari Robin are ridiculously numerous along this road.

You can also view images taken on this trip at this link here.


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