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Our starting point is a lodge close to Windhoek which has fine views over the surrounding countryside.
Where we may encounter a splendid male Shaft-tailed Whydah,
or an equally splendid Crimson-breasted Shrike.
Stunning Violet-eared Waxbills should also be present,
along with Green-winged Pytilia,
and Monteiro’s Hornbill.
We may also have our first encounter with one of the star birds of the tour, Rockrunner.
Moving south we find ourselves amidst the stunning dunes of the Namib Desert.
Their size hard to appreciate until you see people walking on them,
or a Beisa Oryx standing at the base of one.
And it is here that we’ll see our first Dune Lark, Namibia’s only endemic bird.
The numerous dead trees are adorned with the nests of Sociable Weaver,
and their inhabitants live up to their name.
We’ll spend a few nights amidst this wonderful landscape,
which can at times be hauntingly beautiful,
and full of surprises such as this Shovel-nosed Lizard,
or a flowering Houdia.
And we come across reminders of the past, both recent..
and not so recent.
This is good lark country - here a solitary Sabota Lark,
while Stark Larks are usually in small flocks.
Heading north and towards the coast, we cross the amazing Namib-Naukluft desert where we’ll encounter the ghostly Tractrac Chat.
and the equally pallid Gray’s Lark.
But we soon find ourselves surrounded by colour when we reach the coast at Walvis Bay.
In an area literally teeming with birds we’ll seek out local specialities such as Damara Tern,
African Black Oysterdatchers,
and dapper Chestnut-banded Plovers.
Moving inland we reach the Erongo mountains - and another comfortable and wonderfully located lodge.
Perhaps finding another local speciality on the way - Benguela Long-billed Lark
Short-toed Rock Thrush is at home in this boulder-strewn habitat,
as are Mountain Wheatear…,
the aptly named Long-billed Crombec,
cute Rosy-faced Lovebirds,
and everyone’s favourite - Lilac-breasted Roller.
Out on the open savannah we may get a fly past from a Ludwig’s Bustard,
and we should also see two more of the regions special birds - the striking White-tailed Shrike,
and the enigmatic Herero Chat.
Throughout the tour we stay at a variety of lodges,
all comfortable and well-appointed,
and once in Etosha we may have our own waterhole to watch over at dusk.
It is out on the sun-baked plains of Etosha that we find oursleves surrounded by classic images of Africa, be it a herd of Elephants,
a Black Rhino,
or a beautifully marked Cheetah.
Here any source of water is a magnet for all wildlife,
and a great place to get close views of normally shy creatures such as this male Greater Kudu.
That is until the Lions arrive for their drink.
Birds are attracted to the water as well - here a pair of elegant Blue Cranes,
and Namaqua Sandgrouse.
Out on the plains we may find Double-banded Coursers seeking shade,
or a Rufous-eared Warbler busy feeding young,
while a Red-necked Falcon keeps an eye open for its next meal.
The various lodges attract birds as well, such as this Ruppell’s Parrot dropping in to drink.
And we could find an African Scops Owl roosting through the daytime
or a party of Bare-cheeked Babblers.
All of which ensures that your time under African skies will be memorable.