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Old Wednesday 26th July 2006, 08:27   #1
kevinguest
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Namibia June 2006

Here are my sightings for Namibia 2006. It is not a comprehensive list of what I saw at each site but what I added to my trip list as I travelled through the country. I hired a fully equipt Landrover Defender from Safari Drive Uk. The truck had a roof tent. I camped and staying in lodges during my trip.

I did not visit Aus or the Caprivi strip during this part of my African adventure (Tanzania list to follow).

My favourite location was Hobatere Lodge on the Western edge of Etosha. I found the owner Steve and his staff made a special effort to assist me to see the endemics on their private reserve. A good location for owls many heard around the accomodation area at night. A night in their treehouse in a remote part of the reserve added another dimension to my experience with a male lion to keep me company at the waterhole overnight!

Etosha is also a good place for watching game with a floodlite waterhole at each of the camps. Okaukuejo was the most commercial of the camps with many large groups camping at the site. Not a place to stay at if you like peace and quiet! Black Rhino were a regular feature at all the floodlite waterholes. Lion were seen every day in particular at Goas waterhole in the centre of the reserve.

Walvis Bay was particularly good for waders. If you visit this area make sure you visit the salt marshes at low tide African Oystercatcher visit this area at this time. I unfortunately did not tick this species on this trip.

Sightings:-

09/06 Sundown Lodge Windhoek

Ring Necked Dove x5
Laughing Dove x1
Little Swift x1
White Backed Mousebird x2 photo
Pied Barbet x1
Rock Martin x6 photo
Black Fronted Bulbul x2 photo
Short Toed Rock Thrush x1
Cape Crombec x1
Familiar Chat x1
Rockrunner x1
Fork Tailed Drongo x2
Red Billed Quelea x1
Green Winged Pytilia x1
Violet Eared Waxbill x3 photo
Common Waxbill x2
Black Faced Waxbill x4 photo

09/06 Road B1 to Okahandja

Yellow Billed Hornbill x1

09/06 Road B2 to Karibib

Pale Chanting Goshawk x1 photo

10/06 Spitzkoppe Camp

Rock Kestrel x1
Rueppells Bustard x3M photo
Alpine Swift x4
Red Faced Mousebird x1
Sabota Lark x2 photo
Black Chested Prinia x1M
Chestnut Vented Tit Babler x2
Mountain Wheatear x1M
Marico Sunbird x1M
Dusky Sunbird x1m
Bokmakierie x1
Pale Winged Starling x7 photo
Scaly Feathered Finch (Weaver) x5
White Browed Sparrow Weaver x3 photo
Lark Like Bunting x3

11/06 Spitzkoppe Camp

Spotted Eagle Owl x2 Heard early morning
Bearded Woodpecker x1F
Dusky Sunbird x1M imm
Common Fiscal x1
Brubru x1

11/06 Road B2 SpitzKoppe to Swakopmund

Pied Crow x2

11/06 Walvis Bay Lagoon

Great Crested Tern x1 W
Great White Pelican x3 photo
White Breasted Cormorant x3
Cape Cormorant x8
Grey Heron x3
Little Egret x1
Greater Flamingo x17 imm +1a
Pied Avocet x2 1imm
Blacksmith Plover x3
White Fronted Plover x10c photo
Bar Tailed Godwit x18 photo
Ruddy Turnstone x1
Red Knot x2 W
Curlew Sandpiper x11 W
Cape Kelp Gull x11 photo
Hartlaubs Gull x5 1as photo
Cape Wagtail x2 photo

12/06 Walvis Bay Lagoon & Salt Pans

Black Necked Grebe c.20 W & S
Black Winged Stilt 41x a & imm photo
Pied Avocet c.200 a & imm photo
Greenshank x7
Curlew Sandpiper c.1000 photo
Yellow Billed Egret x2
Greater Flamingo c.1000 a & imm

12/06 Walvis Bay Bird Sanctuary (Old Sewage Farm)

Lesser Flamingo c.150 photo
Cape Teal x14
Hottentot Teal x1
Purple Gallinule x4
Moorhen x5
Red Knobbed Coot x1
Three Banded Plover x1
Pearl Breasted Swallow x2
African Reed Warbler x1

13/06 Walvis Bay Lagoon and Salt Pans

Chestnut Banded Plover x25 M F J photo
Caspian Tern x1
Grey Plover 1 as photo

13/06 Walvis Bay Bird Sanctuary (Old Sewage Farm)

Southern Masked Weaver x2

14/06 Swakopmund

Damara Tern x1w
Whimbrel x1

13/06 Beach Lodge Swakomund

Cape Gannet c.50

13/06 Guano Platform Walvis Bay

Crowned Cormorant x10

1 hour before dusk c.20000 cormorants present on platform.

15/06 Swakopmund

Cape Sparrow (Mossie) x9 M F J

16/06 Road C35 to Uis

Crowned Lapwing x4
Namaqua Sandgrouse x2 M F

16/06 Brandberg Mountain

Red Billed Frankolin x2
Speckled Pigeon x2
Grey Go Away Bird x2 photo
Glossy Starling x1

17/06 Brandberg Mountain

Black Breasted Snake Eagle x1 photo
African Hawk Eagle x1
Namaqua Dove x1 M photo
Common Scimitar Bill x1
Grey Backed Camaroptera x1
Carp's Tit x2

18/06 Hobatere Lodge Etosha

Black Shouldered Kite x1
White Backed Vulture x1
Double Banded Sandgrouse x1
African Scops Owl x2
Swallow Tailed Bee Eater x2
Lilac Breasted Roller x1
African Hoopoe x2
Monteiro's Hornbill x2
African Pipit x1
Groundscraper Thrush x2
White Crowned Shrike x3
Red Billed Buffalo Weaver x1

19/06 Hobatere Lodge Etosha walk with Steve (Owner)

Lappet Faced Vulture x1
Little Sparrowhawk x1
Tawny Eagle x1
Secretary Bird x1
Rosy Faced Lovebird x3 photo
Rueppell's Parrot x1 photo
Bradfield's Swift c.60
Melodious Lark x1
Southern Penduline Tit x1
Crimson Breasted Shrike x1 M
Long Tailed Glossy Starling x6
Southern Grey Headed Sparrow x1
Red Headed Finch x1
Shaft Tailed Whydah c.20
Black Throated Canary x1
Cinnamon Breasted Bunting x5
Golden Breasted Bunting x1

20/06 Hobatere Lodge Etosha Tree House Hide (Overnight)

Augur Buzzard x2
Double Banded Sandgrouse c.60
Pearl Spotted Owlett x1 photo
Monteiro's Hornbill x1
African Grey Hornbill x1
Southern Anteater Chat x3
Black Backed Puffback x1

21/06 Okaukuejo Etosha

Green Heron x1
Northern Black Korhaan x2
Double Banded Courser x3
Capped Wheatear x1
Social Weaver c.20

22/06 Okaukuejo Etosha

Ostrich x1
Egyptian Goose x1
Bateleur x2 M F photo
African Goshawk x1 photo
Pygmy Falcon x1
Kori Bustard x3 M F photo
Chat Flycatcher x1
Mariqua Flycatcher x1 photo
White Winged Scrub Robin x2
Three Streaked Tchagra x1
Cape Crow x2

23/06 Halali Etosha

Greater Kestrel x1

24/06 Halali Etosha

Red Billed Teal x11 photo

25/06 Namutoni Etosha

Blue Crane x4
Greater Painted Snipe x3 M F photo
Kittlitz Plover x2
Burchell's Glossy Starling x1

27/06 Waterberg Plateau Park

Cardinal Woodpecker x1 F
Yellow Rumped Eremomela x2
Pririt Batis x3 M F
Ashy Tit x1
Blue Breasted Cordonbleu x1

28/06 Waterberg Plateau Park

Violet Woodhoopoe x1 Imm photo
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Old Wednesday 26th July 2006, 19:56   #2
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Wow - I am off to Namibia in November - if I manage to tick half of what's on your list I will be over the moon! Nice job Kevin :-))
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Old Thursday 27th July 2006, 06:39   #3
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Excellent list Kevin.

You definitely managed to make a dent in that list. Please let us know what your totals were.

r2didi2: Namibia at worst, is really good at most times of the year and at best, the lists are pages long :-))

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Old Thursday 27th July 2006, 08:09   #4
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Wow - I can't wait! I've got the Sasol guide and am trying to buy the Robert's eGuide for the PDA - looks like I'll have to get it mail order from South Africa unless anyone knows where I can get it in the UK?

Cheers
Didi
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Old Thursday 27th July 2006, 14:45   #5
kevinguest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r2didi2
Wow - I can't wait! I've got the Sasol guide and am trying to buy the Robert's eGuide for the PDA - looks like I'll have to get it mail order from South Africa unless anyone knows where I can get it in the UK?

Cheers
Didi
I used the Sasol guide (which has served me well in Southern Africa) in conjunction with the Roberts eGuide for my PDA. I also have the Roberts guide for my laptop another valuable purchase. I purchased these products on the internet from SABirding (sales@sabirding.co.za). The eGuide was despatched promptly I think it was sent registered post but I am not certain of this. I dont think this product is available in the uk.

I hope you have a great trip. I certainly enjoyed my time in Namibia.

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Old Thursday 27th July 2006, 15:10   #6
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Hi Kevin

Thanks so much for the link for Robert's eGuide - I will get straight on and order that.

Cheers
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Old Thursday 27th July 2006, 15:16   #7
kevinguest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcellC
Excellent list Kevin.

You definitely managed to make a dent in that list. Please let us know what your totals were.

r2didi2: Namibia at worst, is really good at most times of the year and at best, the lists are pages long :-))

Cheers
MarcellC

My Namibian trip list stands at 154 species of which 59 species were firsts for Africa. Some of the 59 firsts were waders seen regularly in the UK.
Northern Tanzania stands at 163 species.

My total trip list which includes Northern Tanzania stands at 271 with 95 lifers. I am in the process of completing a similar list for Tanzania which will be posted in due course.

The figures given are produced using Wildlife recorder which I purchased from Wildlife Computing Ltd (support@wildlife.co.uk) in conjunction with a PDA version.

Regards

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Old Thursday 27th July 2006, 15:21   #8
kevinguest
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Originally Posted by r2didi2
Hi Kevin

Thanks so much for the link for Robert's eGuide - I will get straight on and order that.

Cheers
Didi
Didi

No problem. I have bought several products from them and have not had any problems with delivery to the UK.

Regards

Kevin
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Old Saturday 29th July 2006, 20:08   #9
Robert L Jarvis
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Kevin, what was the full name of the company you hired the Land rover from and do they have a website.

Robert.
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Old Saturday 29th July 2006, 22:37   #10
kevinguest
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Kevin, what was the full name of the company you hired the Land rover from and do they have a website.

Robert.
Robert

Safari Drive (Migration) is the name of the company. Their website is www.safaridrive.com. The postal address is The Trainers Office,Windy Hollow,Sheepdrove,Lambourn,Berkshire RG17 7XA. Tel: 01488 71140.

Regards

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Old Monday 31st July 2006, 09:23   #11
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Quote:
My Namibian trip list stands at 154 species of which 59 species were firsts for Africa. Some of the 59 firsts were waders seen regularly in the UK.
Northern Tanzania stands at 163 species.

My total trip list which includes Northern Tanzania stands at 271 with 95 lifers. I am in the process of completing a similar list for Tanzania which will be posted in due course.
Oh well done, that's a good number considering especially some of the species you have on the list.

Many of the endemics are harder there than most as they tend to be mostly pipits, larks & cisticolas.

Cheers
Marcell
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Old Monday 31st July 2006, 16:35   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcellC
Oh well done, that's a good number considering especially some of the species you have on the list.

Many of the endemics are harder there than most as they tend to be mostly pipits, larks & cisticolas.

Cheers
Marcell
Marcell

I have found the Roberts PDA version some use with these species in particular identifying calls, but if I am not certain of what I am looking at it does not get added to the list.

Thanks again for your comments

Kevin
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Old Monday 31st July 2006, 19:40   #13
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Hi Kevin

Just been looking at the Safri drive website and a selection of tips from the handbook.

Did you encounter game at your camp site in the day and night and what was it and what did you do.

Bearing in mind the tips how exactly did you go birding in the bush if there was game about without ending up as somethings lunch?

That should raise a chuckle. regards

Robert
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Old Monday 31st July 2006, 19:48   #14
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Robert

Birding is done with one eye on the bird the other on the bush - Carefully! from the vehicle preferably. :-))

Important question to ask before you go though.

Marcell
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Old Monday 31st July 2006, 20:19   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinguest
Walvis Bay was particularly good for waders. If you visit this area make sure you visit the salt marshes at low tide African Oystercatcher visit this area at this time. I unfortunately did not tick this species on this trip.

Anybody heading to Walvis Bay would be recommended to visit the extensve saltpans and oysterfarm immediately south of the bay - very often these hold numbers of waders that must must rival the bay itself and I have never failed to see African Oystercatcher there too (saw 75 at the oysterfarm last visit, an impressive count). Incidently, would thoroughly recommend the entire southern continent - last trip (admittedly seven months long) notched up 715 species.
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Old Tuesday 1st August 2006, 00:19   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert L Jarvis
Hi Kevin

Just been looking at the Safri drive website and a selection of tips from the handbook.

Did you encounter game at your camp site in the day and night and what was it and what did you do.

Bearing in mind the tips how exactly did you go birding in the bush if there was game about without ending up as somethings lunch?

That should raise a chuckle. regards

Robert
Robert

I concur with Marcells remarks I stayed in my vehicle parking up at waterholes and areas with bird activity waiting for the birds to come to me.

The campsites were enclosed particularly at Etosha but you can't leave anything to chance so I always walked back from the floodlit waterholes with other people. The Namibian campsites were generally busy with people therefore game tended to avoid these areas.

Tanzania was different ballgame all together. I camped in special campsites pitching the tent in a a clearing (No long grass trees or bushes) where I had good vision around the tent. It is amazing what you can see once your eyes are allowed to adjust to night light.

At night I posted the main fire at the front of the tent and either used a lamp or built a smaller fire at the rear thus declaring the camp boundary. The truck was parked (unlocked) allowing my brother and I an escape route from the tent to the truck in an emergency! Otherwise its better to stay zipped up in the tent until the game moves on. Game including Lion, Hyena and Elephant were seen in the campsites mainly at night but they stayed clear of the boundary.

If you respect the games boundaries then they generally respect yours but nothing is written in stone with wild animals so give thought to all possibilities before choosing a camp site even in designated camping areas. I found my brother and I were the only people in the campsites in Tanzania.

Regards

Kevin
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Old Tuesday 1st August 2006, 10:11   #17
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Oh yes Robert

Don't fall asleep at those lit up waterholes in Etosha. A year or two ago a tourist became lion feed as he fell asleep at the Okaukeujo waterhole and the lion quietly clambered up and ... the rest became history. They obviously don't tell too many people - I know about this as I was a guide and we were quietly informed to warn the clients not stay out there alone and fall asleep. Being a diplomatic guide :-) we just talked our way around the "Why?" questions that immediately followed the brief.

Also at Sossusvlei Dunes in Nambia, don't sleep outside (very tempting though). Two tour companies had their guides dragged around by their heads by an old hyaena - both survived but strangely never wanted to sleep outside or under their trucks (overland trucks) again.

Remain careful and vigilant - keeps you alive.

Cheers
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Old Tuesday 1st August 2006, 14:32   #18
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Wow, no wonder they don't want to publicise!
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Old Wednesday 2nd August 2006, 19:18   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcellC
Oh yes Robert

Don't fall asleep at those lit up waterholes in Etosha. A year or two ago a tourist became lion feed as he fell asleep at the Okaukeujo waterhole and the lion quietly clambered up and ... the rest became history. They obviously don't tell too many people - I know about this as I was a guide and we were quietly informed to warn the clients not stay out there alone and fall asleep. Being a diplomatic guide :-) we just talked our way around the "Why?" questions that immediately followed the brief.

Also at Sossusvlei Dunes in Nambia, don't sleep outside (very tempting though). Two tour companies had their guides dragged around by their heads by an old hyaena - both survived but strangely never wanted to sleep outside or under their trucks (overland trucks) again.

Remain careful and vigilant - keeps you alive.

Cheers
Marcell
Hi Marcell

Blimey, I have sat at that water hole. I was warned to look out for snakes but not lions. I sorta foolishly thought I was safe from them in the camp. I am sure everyone else did as well. No wonder the information is supressed. I am not naive enought to think that your safe from wildlife in Africa and I have slept in tents in Botswana when there were hyenas eating my soap and drinking my water and lions and elephants passing throught the camp site. I knew what to expect there. In an enclosed camp I expect something different I suppose. God, I walked back from that waterhole in the black dark, alone!
I was told of campers who foolishly kept their feet outside of the tent because of the heat and had their toes bitten off by hyenas. Now that was asking for trouble!
I see someone recommened the SASOL guide. Ideal I reckon.
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Old Wednesday 2nd August 2006, 20:47   #20
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Woah - I won't half be being careful when I go out there in November then - I don't want to end up with bits of me being digested in a lion's stomach!
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Old Wednesday 2nd August 2006, 21:19   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcellC
A year or two ago a tourist became lion feed as he fell asleep at the Okaukeujo waterhole and the lion quietly clambered up and ...

Have spent many months in Namibia over the years and actually very very few incidents happen - some of the stories are myth, some are real ...but the tales of both circulate for years and years, making it sound it has all been recent. The lion story has been doing the rounds for a good few years now - I don't think authorities tried to keep it quiet, it is just that it is a long time ago now - it is a good few years since I was last at Okaukeujo and the event had happened 'a year or two' before that. The watching place is usually fairly busy (with people) until about midnight or some time after, but the basics of it were this one guy decided to stay longer and fell asleep whilst there alone. The lion climbed up the wall and chomped him. A fence has been added since to make it harder now (a lazy lion probably wouldn't be able to make it now)

Also heard the hyena story too. And one about a Japanese tourist that got of a car to be photographed by a lion, then promptly got eaten. Not sure that one's true though.
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Old Thursday 3rd August 2006, 11:53   #22
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Visited Namibia in oct/nov 2004 and it really is a great place, Walvis in particular is spectacular, waders (incl terek, red necked phal etc) and many chestnut banded plovers superb place, inland the dunes reach massive heights and are a site to behold (see pic), certainly didnt see all the endemics,some can be tricky (dipped herero chat and dune lark),very friendly country with no major problems, anybody with a digital camera will have a field day in etosha,I only digiscoped at the time but everything was close to the car anyway,giving great views, especially birds like korhaans which are usually quite shy and unobtrusive, id recommend Namibia to anybody!!
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Old Monday 7th August 2006, 07:15   #23
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Quote:
Also heard the hyena story too. And one about a Japanese tourist that got of a car to be photographed by a lion, then promptly got eaten. Not sure that one's true though.
Hi Jos

I know some of these things are myth (suppose it makes it more exciting for visitors?) but as for the hyaena at Sossuvlei, I personally know the two guys who were dragged around the site and managed to not get killed. Their respective companies were looking for replacement crew when I arrived 2 days later. That particular hyaena was tracked down and found to be an old sick individual male and was subsequently shot.

The story about the Japanese tourists; this has happened more than once in South African reserves with the papers actually publishing video captures from the deceased's last video clip. Friends of mine working as rangers have also had to go out and deal with the situation when it got reported.

You'll be astonished by the things people do when they're out in game reserves - I've actually had to take clients aside and threatened to kick them off a trip because they're endangering all aboard.

But yes, the myth's will also remain - strengthened by the guides and rangers to try and instill some caution in their clients.

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