NamibiA &BOTSWANA ( NON BUSINESS TOUR )

Dates

16th Sept. 1st Oct 2018

Tour Cost

RAND 52.250.- 12 people party

RAND 67.550.- 6 people party

Ex. rate on 1st July 1 GBP = 16.800 ZAR

Single room supplement

RAND 6.720.-

Group size

12 plus two leaders

Tour leader

Local guides + Josele J Saiz

Airport

UK-Windhoek-Livingstone-UK

What´s included

All meals, accommodation, transport, guiding and taxes

What´s not included

Insurance, flight ticket and things of personal nature


Tour code

Accommodation: Comfortable lodges ensuite. Food: Good food , mainly game meat but lots of fresh vegetables. Weather: Not too hot Difficulty:  easy. Maybe we decide to start trhe tour iin Botswana and end in Namibia, depending of the amount of water inthe Victoria Falls, we let you know in advance

Selected species list

Blue Crane, Hartlaub's Francolin, Bronze-winged Courser, Burchell's Courser, Namaqua Sandgrouse, Rufous-cheeked Nightjar, Rosy-faced Lovebird, Ruppell's Parrot, Monteiro's Hornbill, Damara Hornbill, Violet Woodhoopoe, Bare-cheeked Babbler, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Narina Trogon, Wattled Crane, Goliath Heron, Groundscraper Thrush, Kalahari, Scrub-robin, Rockrunner, Herero Chat, White-tailed Shrike, Orange-river White-eye, Shaft-tailed, Whydah, African Fish Eagle, Schalow’s Turaco, Lion, Leopard, Black Rhino, Elephant, Giraffe, Southern Oryx, Burchell's Zebra, Hippo, Crocodile, Sable Antelope, Roan Antelope


More information

Trip Reports

Introduction

This tour comprise of three countries, Namibia, where we stay at the Waterberg Plateau park, with its rich near-endemic birdlife, then onto the Etosha National park, which in turn is Namibia’s premiere wildlife destination, then onto the Caprivi strip in north-eastern Namibia, with its abandoned  bird and wildlife. Secondly, Botswana, where we will spend a few nights along the Okavango panhandle and plentiful waterfowl, afterwards along the Caprivi strip back into Botswana, where we will spend two awesome nights along the Chobe river, from here we will do boat cruises and game drives into the Chobe national park, where thousands of wildlife congregate along the Chobe waterfront and finally Zambia, with the majestic Victoria Falls as the end.

 

Itinerary

Day 1:  Windhoek International Airport – Safari Hotel/ Windhoek
When done with your arrival procedures, our birding will begin almost immediately after dropping our bags in the vehicle! Some of the commoner species to be seen on leaving the airport should include Namaqua Dove, South African Cliff Swallows, Rock Martin, Little and White-rumped Swifts, Cape Wagtail, Grassveld Pipit, Fork-tailed Drongo, Cape Glossy Starling and many others. We will then go to our hotel and check-in and later in the day, we will do a pleasant bird walk along the local dam, where we hope to find some very good birds, such as Short-toed Rock-thrush, Ruppell’s Parrot, Monteiro’s, Red and Yellow-billed Hornbills, Rockrunner, Pearl-spotted Owlet, and a fine trio of Pin-tailed, Shaft-tailed and Long-tailed Whydahs. Watertfowl here includes, Common Moorhen, Red-knobbed Coot,White-breasted Cormorant, Little Grebe and the list continues.Night at Safari Hotel, Windhoek.
                              
Day 2: Windhoek – Waterberg Plateau Park
Before breakfast, we will do a leasurely bird walk, then breakfast and be off towards the Waterberg Plateau Park. Rising almost 200 metres above the surrounding African bush, the Waterberg Plateau with its dramatic brick-red sandstone formations and thick green vegetation, forms an island of colour above the flat acacia covered plains. The park covers 405 square kilometres and was originally created in 1972 as a haven for several rare and endangered species of the Caprivi region of Namibia such as Cape buffalo, Sable and Roan Antelopes and Tsessebe. We will stay at Waterberg Park for one night and it is a good spot to try and locate most of Namibia’s near endemic bird species such as Ruppells’ Parrot, Violet Wood-hoopoe, Carp’s Black Tit, Rockrunner and Hartlaub’s Francolin. There’s a whole range of good birding around this area with such delights as Cape Vulture, Pale Chanting Goshawk, Bradfield’s, Yellow-billed, Damara and African Grey Hornbills, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Klaas’s, Diederik, Black, Great-spotted, Levaillant’s, African and European Cuckoo, Short-toed Rock-thrush, Ashy Tit, Bleating Warbler and Cape Penduline-tit. As dusk approaches we could even see Orange River Francolin, Honey Badger or a Porcupine coming in to drink at some small pools. This is a great place to search for wildlife and will make a superb start to our tour. Night at Waterberg Plateau Park Resort.  
                               
Day 3+4: Waterberg Park – Okaukuejo( Etosha National Park)
We will rise up early next morning in search of such localized species as Hartlaub’s Francolin, Carp’s Black Tit, White-tailed Shrike and Damara Rockrunner. Mammals may well include Banded, Slender, Dwarf Mongooses, Damara Dik-dik, Chacma Baboon and Rock Hyraxes. After breakfast we will move towards the world-renowned Etosha National Park, covering 22,270 square kilometres this is one of Africa’s finest and most dramatic national parks. The word 'Etosha' means "big white place", which refers to the great Etosha Pan that dominates the centre of the park. The pan is simply the floor of a large, shallow inland lake, one hundred kilometres long by fifty-six kilometres wide, which long ago dried up. The rest of the park comprises gravel beds, open grassland, savannah, thorn thicket and mixed woodland, and during our stay here we will visit all the major habitats. Water-holes can be found all over the park and it is at these that we will concentrate our efforts to look for Elephant, Giraffe, Greater Kudu, Burchell’s Zebra, Leopard, Lion, Hyena, antelopes and even the rare Black Rhino. Cheetahs are also possible, and out on the open plains we may find herds of Springbok, Gemsbok and Blue Wildebeest, alongside Black-backed Jackal, Warthog, Red Hartebeest and the tiny Damara Dik-Dik. This is a very exciting day as there are just so many birds to get out of the vehicles for, especially raptors, and we may well see White-backed, White-headed and Lappet-faced Vultures, Bateleur, Brown Snake-Eagle, Tawny and Martial Eagles, African Hawk-eagle and many more! Other possibilities include Red-necked Spurfowl, Little Sparrowhawk, Black Cuckoo, Common Scimitarbill, Capped Wheatear, Black-backed Puffback, Brubru, Southern White-crowned Shrike, Red-billed Buffalo-weaver and Chestnut Weaver. By late afternoon we should have reached the Okaukuejo Resort in Etosha where we will spend the night. At times the waterhole at Okaukuejo is regarded as the best waterhole in the world to view large mammals ranging from Elephants and Lions, to the endangered Black Rhino and many more antelope species.
Amongst the astonishing array of 340 bird species recorded here we will be looking for Ostrich, Blue Crane, Kori Bustard, Swainson's Spurfowl, Red-crested Korhaan, Double-banded Courser, Spotted Thick-knee, Secretarybird, Spotted Eagle-owl, Meyer’s Parrot, Sabota, Spike-heeled, Pink-billed, Red-capped and Clapper Larks, Violet Wood-hoopoe, Southern White-crowned, Crimson-breasted, Red-backed and Lesser Grey Shrikes, White Helmetshrike, Black-faced and Southern Pied Babblers, Wattled Starling, Long-billed and Grassveld Pipits, Marico, Scarlet-chested and White-bellied Sunbird, Melba and Scaly-feathered Finch, Yellow-bellied and Burnt-necked Eremomelas, Carp’s Black Tit, Chestnut Weaver, Blue Waxbill, Golden-breasted Bunting, and both Paradise and Shaft-tailed Whydahs. Raptors are well represented with 35 species being recorded, from Bateleur and Martial Eagle to the tiny Pygmy Falcon, and we could see up to 12 different ducks include White-backed Duck, Hottentot Teal and South African Shelduck. Our time spent in this park will be very special and there will be wonderful opportunities for photography, as well as being able to take our time to watch the wildlife and fully appreciate Etosha in all its glory. We will spend the next three nights at three different camps, including one that overlooks a floodlit waterhole, to maximise our opportunities of seeing as much as possible here. Nights at Okakuejo Lodge
                       

DAY 5+6:      Okaukuejo – Halali – Mokuti Lodge( outside Etosha)
After spending some time birding around the area we will set off towards the middle camp at Halali, which is good for Harlequin Quail, Red-billed Francolin, Helmeted Guineafowl, Greater Kestrel, Violet Wood-hoopoe, African Scops-owl, White–faced Scops-owl, Crimson-breasted Gonolek, Sharp-billed Honeyguide, Chat Flycatcher, Bare-cheeked and Southern Pied Babblers, White-crested Helmet-shrike, Pirit Batis, barred and Rufous-eared Warblers, flocks of Red-billed Quelea, Grey-backed Sparrow-lark and many other species.
After lunch, we will drive to our next accommodation at Mokuti Lodge, which is situated just outside the park and is our base for the next two nights. From here we will be exploring the eastern side of Etosha, a very good area to see Leopards and also very good for sightings of Giraffes drinking at waterholes. Early morning we enter the park and late in the morning we will return to the lodge for lunch and an afternoon 'siesta' before re-entering the park mid-afternoon for another game and birdwatching drive. This area might also produce species such as Crested Francolin, Swainson's Spurfowl, Kori Bustard, Red-crested Korhaan, Northern Black Korhaan, Burchell's Sandgrouse, Verreaux's Eagle-owl, Lappet-faced Vulture, Red-necked Falcon, Temminck’s Courser, Violet Wood-hoopoe, White-browed Scrub-robin, Burnt-necked Eremomela, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Black-faced Babbler, Long-tailed Paradise-whydah, good chances of Secretarybird, and the much-wanted Blue Crane. Nights at Mokuti Lodge. 
                             
Day 7: Mokuti Lodge - Nkwazi Lodge, Rundu
Today will see us off to the far north –eastern corner of Namibia, where we stay at Nkwazi lodge. This is a very important stop, since we are entering  new habitat. Trees are much taller, we are on the banks of the Okavango River and the riverine forest will introduce an array of total new birds to us. Valerie our hosts, cooks up an amazing farmers style cuisine and this is served on a buffet that surrounds a fire burned oven, very special!!!
Along the way to Nkwazi we will stop a few times for birding and leg stretching, but one stop will be very important to try and locate a few specialties, such as Rufous-bellied Tit, Green-capped Eremomelas, White-breasted CuckooShrike and Cut-throat Finch.
Back at Nkwazi, birds to check out for includes, Swamp Boubou, Kurrichane Thrush, Arrow-marked Babbler, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Red-headed Weaver, Paradise Flycatcher, Dark-capped Bulbul,Yellow-bellied Bulbul. Later in the afternoon we might see hundreds of cormorants, Night herons and egrets following the waterways onto their roosting spots for the evening.
If lucky here, the local staff might give us a great African singing and dancing performance. Night at Nkwazi lodge, Okavango River
                                
Days 8+9: Nkwazi Lodge – Poppa Falls – Lawdon’s Lodge, Okavango Panhandle, Botswana
After our stay at Nkwazi our next destination is Lawdon’s Lodge. Lawdon’s Lodge is situated on the western panhandle of the Okavango Delta, near Shakawe in the north-western corner of Botswana. It is one of the original lodges in the country and especially popular amongst tourists keen on fishing and/or birding. The papyrus lined channels and lush vegetation of the river make Lawdon’s Lodge a haven for fishing and bird watching. Also be on the lookout for hippos and crocs in the Okavango River. But before we get to Lawdon’s Lodge, we make a stopover at the popular Poppa falls. Here we will have  a look at some falls ( actually rapids running over rocks, along the Okavango river) and we might be lucky with the skulking Terrestrial Brownbul, Black-collared Barbet, White-bellied Sunbird, African Goshawk, Green Woodhoopoe and along the falls if we are extremely lucky, Cape Clawless Otter.
 
Other birds  to look out for in the vicinity of Lawdon’s Lodge include, Pied  Kingfisher, Martial Eagle, Brown Snake Eagle, Wahlberg’s Eagle, Bataleur and Tawny Eagle, Shikra, Dark chanting Goshawk, Steppe Buzzard, African Golden Oriole, Carmine Bee eater, Little Bee-eater and Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Pygmy Goose, Red Bishop, Golden Weaver, Rufous-crowned and Lilacbreasted Rollers, Red billed, Yellow-billed and Bradfield’s Hornbills, Magpie, Lesser-grey and Red-backed Shrikes, Yellow billed Kite, Grey go-away bird, Tawney-flanked Prinia, Lesser-striped, Eurasian and Grey-rumped Swallows, Golden, Spectacled, Thick-billed, Southern Brown- throated and Golden Weavers, but the real reason we are staying here is that this is one of the best places to spot the gigantic Pel’s Fishing Owl. Another good bird here is the Narina Trogon, this time of year they usually just arrived from central Africa. 2 nights at Lawdon’s Lodge
          
Days 10+11:  Lawdon’s Lodge – Mahangu Safari lodge (Namibia)
This morning after breakfast we continue on to Mahangu Safari   Lodge for a 2 night stay. The Mahangu Safari Lodge lies just 5 kilometres from the Mahango National Park. It is in the western Caprivi region of north east Namibia. It is a convenient stopover en-route to or from Maun, the Okavango Delta in Botswana or the famous Victoria Falls, from either the Zambian or Zimbabwean side. The thatched lodge is built amongst Jackalberry trees and wild date palms. Activities include game drives to Mahango National Park and to the West Caprivi National Park, bird and game viewing boat trips on the Okavango River, and the river areas are a bird watchers paradise. This area boast with a lot of elephants, crocodiles, hippos and fish eagles.
 Birds to look out for here includes, Bradfield's Hornbill, Broad-billed Roller, Arrow-marked Babbler, Long-toed Plover, African Pygmy Goose, Grey-rumped Swallow, Brown Firefinch, Carmine Bee-eater and Greater Swamp Warbler is a possibility. Mahango Park also marks the western-most limit of several Okavango specialities including Wattled Crane, Lesser Jacana, Coppery-tailed Coucal and Black Coucal and for its size has the most diverse wildlife of all the Namibian parks.  Nights at Mahangu Safari Lodge             
 
 
Day 12:  Mahangu Safari Lodge – Caprivi Strip – Katima Mulilo
After an early morning pre breakfast bird walk, we pack up and head along the Caprivi Strip. Along here we must really check out for the stunning Dickinson’s Kestrel, this area will be our best hopes for these elusive raptors.
We will again stop half way along the strip for a picnic lunch and at the same time try and locate the very difficult to spot racket-tailed roller.
At the town of Katima Mulilo, we will try and locate another great bird, the Schalow’s Turaco. Other birds here include Copper Sunbird, Brown-hooded, Grey-headed and Striped Kingfishers. We will do an afternoon and morning bird walk on the hotel premises, which should produce a whole lot more. Night at Zambezi River lodge

Day 13+14:  Katima Mulilo – Chobe Safari Lodge (Kasane, Botswana)
After an early morning pre breakfast bird walk, we pack up and head along the Caprivi Strip. Along here we must really check out for the stunning Dickinson’s Kestrel, this area will be our best hopes for these elusive raptors.
We will again stop half way along the strip for a picnic lunch and at the same time try and locate the very difficult to spot racket-tailed roller.
At the town of Katima Mulilo, we will try and locate another great bird, the Schalow’s Turaco. Other birds here include Copper Sunbird, Brown-hooded, Grey-headed and Striped Kingfishers. We will do an afternoon and morning bird walk on the hotel premises, which should produce a whole lot more. Nights at Chobe River Lodge
       
Day 15:  Chobe Safari Lodge, Botswana – Maramba River Lodge, Livingstone, Zambia
After breakfast this morning we travel to Maramba River Lodge. Maramba River Lodge is set on the banks of the Maramba River in the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park. Ideally located just 4km from the Victoria Falls, Maramba River Lodge provides a most attractive all-year-round base in a shaded woodland setting. The Lodge is situated in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park on a bluff overlooking the Maramba River.  They are often visited by the resident wildlife with elephant wandering through the grounds at certain times of the year. In the late afternoon, we will give Victoria falls a  visit and also try for the very difficult Cliff Chat, which is dwelling on the lower cliffs of the falls, other birds here includes Trumpeter hornbill, Red-winged Starling, if lucky again Shalow’s Turaco. Birds further away from the falls  includes, Spur-winged Goose, Knob-billed Duck, White-faced Duck, Fulvous Duck and African Pygmy Goose, Narina Trogon, African Finfoot, Collared Palm-Thrush, African Green-Pigeon, Half-collared Kingfisher, Magpie Shrike, Retz’s Helmet-Shrike, Copper Sunbird, Red-headed Weaver, Bronze Mannikin, Cutthroat Finch, Melba Finch, Orange-winged Pytilia. Night at Maramba River Lodge
                   
Day 16:  Maramba River Lodge – Livingstone International Airport
 Every good thing must come to an end and we will then get you to the Livingstone Airport in time for your connecting flight back home.

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