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NAMIBIA & THE OKAVANGO

Wednesday 5th November - Saturday 22nd November 2014

Dani Lopez-Velasco

Northern Black Korhaan (Dani Lopez-Celasco)

Northern Black Korhaan (Dani Lopez-Celasco)

This year´s Birdquest tour to Namibia and the Okavango was one of our most successful ever, producing virtually all of the bird specialties that we could reasonably expect, together with many fantastic mammals and some incredible scenery. Our epic journey of over 4,400 km through this fascinating region lived up to all expectations, and was remarkably trouble free, thanks to our great local guide, Steve, as well as to the excellent condition of the roads, superb accommodation and very friendly and helpful service. The weather was slightly unseasonal throughout our stay, with heavy rain on several days and temperatures way above normal, almost reaching 40°C on several occasions. Due to the rain, birds were more disperse than usual, and several species, including White-tailed Shrikes and various nightbirds, were very thin on the ground, but perseverance and a good measure of luck combined to produce almost all of the local birds. Highlights included Rockrunner and Monteiro´s Hornbill near Windhoek, Rufous-eared Warbler and White-tailed Shrike near Namibgrens, no less than 5 Herero Chats and Cinnamon-breasted Warbler at Spreetshoogte Pass, Ru¨ppell’s Korhaan, Dune Lark, Gray’s Lark and Stark’s Lark (out of 12 species of larks seen!) in the Namib Desert, Crowned Cormorant, African Oystercatcher, Chestnut-banded Plover, Damara Tern and Orange River White-eye at Walvis Bay, Benguela Long-billed Lark and Burchell’s Courser near Uis, Carp’s Tit and Bare-cheeked Babbler at Huab, White-backed Night Heron, Ru¨ppell’s Parrot, Violet Wood Hoopoe, Rufous-tailed Palm Thrush and Cinderella Waxbill – on our last attempt-, along the Kunene River, Hartlaub’s and Orange River Francolins and Burchell’s Sandgrouse at Dolomite Camp, Ludwig’s Bustard, Blue Crane and Pink-billed Lark at Etosha, Bradfield´s Hornbill, Souza’s Shrike and Rufous-bellied Tit near Rundu, Hartlaub´s Spurfowl, Wattled Crane, Slaty Egret (one of three seen during the tour!) in the Mahango Game Reserve, the amazing Pel’s Fishing Owl and Greater Swamp Warbler at Shakawe and Freckled Nightjar in the Erongo Mountains. As always, the tour produced an impressive selection of mammals: 50 species in all, including no less than eight Black Rhinoceroses, Roan, Sable, walk-away views of a female Cheetah with her small cubs, several Lions and a little band of Suricates (Meerkats).

The scarce Orange River Francolin (Dani Lopez-Celasco)

The scarce Orange River Francolin (Dani Lopez-Celasco)