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Namibia trip report and feedback from Ken Hall: Damara Tern & Burchell’s Courser

February 24, 2012

Ken and Lys Hall went on a Birding Africa self drive from Namib-Naukluft (Sossusvlei) to Etosha National Park and the Kunene last January. It was summer, they enjoyed the heat and top bird sightings such as a pair of rare Damara Terns with chicks near Swakopmund and Burchell’s Courser at Sossusvlei. To read some of their feedback and see some more of their trip highlights, please scroll down.

Birding Africa runs guided tours to Namibia and Okavango in April and November 2012. Take advantage of our last-minute discounts on our tour from 15 to 30 April with leader Callan Cohen. Please email info@birdingafrica.com or phone +27 (0)21 531 9148.

It was a bit of a shock landing at Heathrow at -6ºC, after leaving Windhoek at +30! We had a wonderful time, and cannot thank you enough for arranging the route, the transport and the accommodation. All went extremely smoothly…

The 4-wheel vehicle, with air-con, gave no trouble. Accommodation varied in style from tents to hotel rooms to lodges. All were very comfortable and added to the interest at each spot – we were never disappointed. Equally, we were very well fed at each place, and always received a warm welcome. Except for one afternoon’s heavy rain, it was hot on some days, cooler on others, but never unbearable – we like it hot anyway!

Most birds gave excellent views. We saw most of the specials, including Dune Lark and Burchell’s Courser at Sossusvlei, Pygmy Falcon at Weltevrede, Damara Terns feeding chicks near Swakopmund, Benguela Long-billed Lark at Brandberg, Hartlaub’s Francolin and Ruppell’s Parrot in several places, and Caspian Plover, Pink-billed Lark and Pallid Harrier in Ethosha, Cinderella Waxbill and Allen’s Gallinule and White-backed Night Heron at Kunene. We saw lots of antelope species, elephants in two places (including one crossing the main road north towards Ruacana – both we and the elephant skidded to a halt!), two black rhinos, three lions and a cheetah, the latter being a life-tick.

The South African Birdfinder also proved invaluable. We located the three Caspian Plovers (one in breeding plumage), the Pink-billed and Spike-heeled Larks and the five Red-necked Phalaropes all as highlighted in the book. Other Etosha highlights we saw included the locally rare Pallid Harrier, over 4000 Abdim’s Storks in one flock and of course the ever-delightful Blue Cranes.

All in all, a wonderful trip, due in great part to your organisation and planning. We are already thinking of another trip to Namibia, maybe taking in the Caprivi. It’s not just the wildlife that we enjoyed, but also the scenery, emptiness and space – so restful. Many thanks once again.”

Take advantage of our last-minute discount and join our “Namibia – Okavango Panhandle tour” from 15 to 30 April 2012 (only two places left!). Or join our 14 day tour in November. For more info, trip reports and itineraries, please email info@birdingafrica.com or phone +27 (0)21 531 9148.

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