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Ornithology Tour: Windhoek – Victoria Falls

19 Days

This fantastic 19 day adventure for bird-watchers, focuses on Namibia's amazing birdlife, from the dry south to the lush north, it starts in Windhoek and ends at the spectacular Victoria Falls.

Flamingos, Walvis Bay.
B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; D=Dinner
Itinerary
Tour Dates
Map

Day 1

Windhoek – Kalahari Desert (±260km)

We depart early from Windhoek, travelling south towards the Kalahari Desert. This beautiful semi-desert area of red sand and rolling dunes is also home to a wide variety of plants and animals. Dunes are dotted with patches of yellow grass, while shepherd trees and thorny acacias add shades of green. The Kalahari supports herds of oryx, springbok and ostrich, as well as cheetah, zebra, jackal, porcupine, badger, mongoose and many more. This area is home to the Kori Bustard, the largest flying bird of all, and huge colonies of weaver birds are resident on the lodge's grounds.
We have lunch at the lodge, before embarking on a game drive in the afternoon.
Dinner will be at the Lodge.

[Kalahari Anib Lodge or similar | LD]

Day 2

Kalahari Desert – Fish River Canyon (±280km)

We have breakfast at the Lodge and then visit the striking Quiver tree forest.
We have lunch en route before arriving at this spectacular natural phenomenon which hides out of sight on the flat dry plateau until you are almost upon it. The canyon is believed to be the second largest in the world, after the Grand Canyon. Its enormous gorge meanders along for a distance of about 160 kilometres. It is up to 550m deep in parts and up to 27km wide. If time permits, we will visit the viewpoint.
We continue to the Lodge where will spend the night.

[Canon Roadhouse Lodge | BLD]

Day 3

Fish River Canyon – Lüderitz (±350km)

Today we head towards the Namib desert and coastal town of Lüderitz.
Lüderitz is a quaint, harbour town, known for its German colonial architecture. We visit Diaz Point and do some bird-watching at the lagoon. Dinner will be at the restaurant and we overnight at the Nest Hotel or similar.

[Nest Hotel or similar | BLD]

Day 4

Lüderitz – Sesriem (±445km)

After breakfast at the hotel, we depart for some bird-watching with the guide along the harbour. We visit Kolmanskop, the famous ghost town which lies abandoned in the sands of the Namib. It grew out of a diamond rush in the early 1900s, but was later abandoned when the diamond-field was exhausted. We continue towards Sesriem, passing by the wild horses. Lunch packs will be had en-route.
We arrive and check in at our Lodge. Dinner will be at the Lodge.

[Namib Desert Lodge, Quiver Tree Camp or similar | BLD]

Day 5

Sesriem – Sossusvlei – Sesriem (±120km)

We wake up early to enjoy tea, coffee and biscuits and a magnificent sunrise over some of the world's highest dunes.
We then set off on our journey to the magnificent Sossusvlei, stopping to have breakfast in the dunes.
We will visit the much photographed Dune 45, a stunning star dune which stands over 170 metres. Sossusvlei itself is a large, white, salt and clay pan located in the midst of this ancient, red wilderness and provides wonderful photographic opportunities. Occasionally the pan fills up with water offering a fantastic spectacle as the glassy lake reflects the surrounding dunes. Nearby is Deadvlei, another dry pan which is characterised by the ghostly skeletons of scorched dead trees, some as old as 1000 years, standing scattered across the white expanse. This eerie scene of stark contrasts, makes for stunning photographs.
We will visit both pans during the course of the morning.
Lunch will be had back at the Lodge before visiting Sesriem canyon in the afternoon. The canyon has been shaped over millions of years by the Tsauchab river and is one of the few places in the area that holds water all year round. It is up to 30 metres deep at points and about 1km long with a width of between 1 and 3 metres. The canyon is a fun and interesting place to visit and walk through it narrow passageway viewing the different rock formations and exposed layers along the way.

[Namib Desert Lodge, Quiver Tree Camp or similar | BLD]

Day 6

Sesriem – Swakopmund – Walvis Bay (±300km)

Today we depart for Swakopmund, one of Namibia's charismatic coastal towns. We stop over at Solitaire, famous for its German cake apple crumble. We continue our journey, passing by the Gaub pass and Kuiseb river, where two Germans once hid, trying to escape the South Africans. We arrive in Swakopmund and settle into our accommodation. Swakopmund is a typical German town with its historic buildings built in the years 1884 to 1915.

In the afternoon, you are free to try out some of the many activities Swakopmund has to offer (own account). These include:

  • Scenic flights over the Namib dunes and Atlantic ocean in a small Cessna 210 aircraft of 5 passengers.
  • Sandwich Harbour 4x4 Drives on the Namib dunes with a very well experienced off-road driver including champagne and a lovely brunch with a selection of seafood.
  • Quad bike rides in the dunes boasting lovely views of both the sea to the west and the plains on the east.
  • Shopping and exploring the historical German buildings in town.
  • Sand boarding in the dunes.
  • Desert Living Adventure in the dunes looking for small reptiles such as snakes, geckos, lizards and scorpions.

We will do some bird-watching at the Walvis Bay Lagoon with the guide, updating our checklist of birds seen so far.

Dinner will be at the Pelican Bay Hotel.

[Pelican Bay Hotel or similar | BLD]

Day 7

Walvis Bay

After breakfast, we will embark on a boat cruise which includes a wonderful brunch (no lunch). Get up close and personal with seals, dolphins and pelicans. Other possible sightings include whales, penguins, cormorants, petrels, gannets and oystercatchers. Enjoy a variety of seafood, soft drinks and sparkling wine.
Dinner will be enjoyed at one of the restaurants in town.

[Pelican Bay Hotel or similar | BLD]

Day 8

Walvis Bay – Cape Cross – Brandberg (±260km)

We travel north along the beautiful Namibian coastline to visit Cape Cross, home to one of the largest breeding colonies of Cape Fur Seals on the planet, with up to 210 000 seals present during November, December. Many species of coastal birds are often present here.
Lunch will be at a restaurant in Uis, before continuing to our Lodge near the Brandberg mountain, the highest mountain in the country at 2573m above sea level. We walk up to see the famous White Lady painting, part of a group of several paintings found in a cave including other human figures and oryxes. The White Lady is the most detailed and measures about 29.5 x 29cm. There has been a lot of conjecture about her role and the interpretation/meaning of the scene itself.
Dinner at the lodge.

[Brandberg White Lady Lodge | BLD]

Day 9

Brandberg – Twyfelfontein (±160km)

After breakfast, we leave forTwyfelfontein, where we enjoy lunch at the Twyfelfontein Country Lodge. Twyfelfontein is the site of one of the largest concentrations of rock petroglyphs (engravings) and rock paintings in Africa. It consists of a spring in a valley flanked by the slopes of a sandstone mountain. The rock art forms an extensive record of ritual practices relating to hunter-gatherer communities in this part of southern Africa over at least 2 millenia. UNESCO approved it as Namibia's first World Heritage Site in 2007.
We have dinner and overnight at the Lodge.

[Twyfelfontein Country Lodge or similar | BDL]

Day 10

Twyfelfontein – Etosha National Park (±315km)

Today we visit The Living Museum of the Damara, which lies close to Twyfelfontein and is the first traditional Damara project in Namibia and the only one of its kind. Here we have the unique opportunity to experience traditional Damara culture. Together with the Bushmen, the Damara belong to one of the oldest nations in Namibia. Their original nation was a mixture of hunter-gatherer culture and herders of cattle, goats and sheep. Although their culture is now largely lost, the museum contributes to its preservation, as well as bringing in an income for the Damara community that built it.
We visit the Petrified Forest before driving through the spectacular Damaraland landscapes towards the Etosha National Park, passing through Khorixas (khori means mustard tree), former capital of the Kunene region.
We have a picnic lunch on the en-route.

The Etosha National Park spans an area of 22 270 square km, a large part of which is taken up by a vast salt pan. This beautiful barren and often haunting landscape is surprisingly abundant in game, which often congregate around the various waterholes scattered around the park, allowing for some spectacular game viewing. The park is home to hundreds of species of mammals, birds and reptiles, including several threatened and endangered species such as the black rhinocerous. Visitors can expect to see many buck species, elephants, giraffe, rhino and lions. If you are lucky you will see leopard and cheetah. After good rains, the salt pan fills with water attracting a mass of flamingos. More than 340 bird species have been counted in the park.
We spend the night Okaukeujo Lodge inside the park.
Dinner will be at the Lodge.

[Okaukeujo or similar | BLD]

Day 11

Etosha National Park (Okaukuejo - Namutoni) (±80km)

Today will be a full day of safari game viewing allowing plenty of opportunities for good sightings and spectacular photographs of African birds and wildlife.
We will enjoy lunch at one of the resort restaurants in the park.
Dinner will be at Halali.

[Halali Lodge or similar| BLD]

Day 12

Etosha National Park (±80km)

We have breakfast and depart early for a game drive in the eastern side of the park. Lunch will be enjoyed at one of the resorts inside the park.
We meet to discuss and update our checklist for the day.
Dinner at Namutoni Lodge.

[Namutoni Lodge or similar | BLD]

Day 13

Etosha National Park – Rundu (±426km)

We have breakfast and depart early (the best time for seeing birds and animals) for another game drive in the eastern side of the park. We depart the park in the direction of Grootfontein where we will stop for lunch before continuing our journey to Rundu.
We have dinner at Omashare Lodge.

[Omashare Lodge | BLD]

Day 14

Rundu – Divundu (±200km)

After breakfast at the lodge, we depart in the direction of Bagani. We will have lunch at the Popa Falls Lodge or similar.
In the afternoon we will enjoy a boat cruise on the perennial Okavango river where we can look out for crocodiles, hippopotamus, birds and other riverine species.

[Popa Falls Lodge or similar | BLD]

Day 15

Divundu – Kongola (±180km)

After breakfast, we embark on a game drive in the Mahangu National Park. This small game reserve is abundant in wildlife and offers great opportunities to see four of the big Five – Elephants, Buffalo, Lion and Leopard. More than 300 bird species are found here. The park is famous for its collection of wetland birds; including egrets, cranes, herons, pelicans, storks and various birds of prey like Pel's Fishing Owl and Montagu's Harrier. The park has even been designated as an “Important Bird Area” by BirdLife International. Look out for the very large Baobab Trees which are numerous in the park.
We travel in the direction of Kongola and will have lunch at Mazambala Island Lodge or similar. We will enjoy a game drive in the Bwabwata National Park in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.

[Mazambala Island Lodge or similar | BLD]

Day 16

Kongola – Camp Chobe (±150km)

Breakfast will be enjoyed at the lodge. We visit a nearby traditional village before departing towards the Caprivi region via Katima Mulilo. We arrive a Camp Chobe, near the Ngoma border post to Botswana, in time for lunch.
In the afternoon, we go on a boat cruise on the Chobe river to experience African wildlife and birds as well as its stunning landscape on this perennial river. A birdwatcher's paradise, the rich and diverse habitat of the reserve is home to a surprising diversity of birds, with almost 500 species, from water birds to forest dwellers. Look out for hippos elephant and crocodiles. We have dinner and overnight at Camp Chobe.

[Camp Chobe | BLD]

Day 17

Camp Chobe – Kasane (Botswana) – Victoria Falls (±145km)

After breakfast, we cross into Botswana and continue to Kasane. We enjoy a game drive in the Chobe National Park and have lunch at the Chobe Safari Lodge.
We transfer to Victoria Falls from Botswana to Zimbabwe (Remember the Visa - US$30 pp)).
We arrive at the Victoria Falls and check in at the Rainbow Hotel or similar.
We enjoy a sundowner boat cruise on the Zambezi river. Dinner will be at the hotel.

[Rainbow Hotel or similar | BLD]

Day 18

Victoria Falls

Today, we visit the spectacular Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe side), considered the largest in the world. The thundering waters can be heard from 40 km away while the spray and mist rise to a height of over 400 metres.
The afternoon is free for some optional activites. We take final stock of our checklist of all the birds seen during our tour.
We enjoy a farewell dinner at the Rainbow hotel or similar.

[Rainbow Hotel or similar | BLD]

Day 19

Victoria Falls

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Victoria Falls Airport for your connecting flight.
End of service. We trust you enjoyed your time with Omuhimba Safaris!

[B]

COST: N$ 37 750 per person

MIN seats for this tour: 3
MAX seats for this tour: 9

Departure DateReturn DateSeats Available
29 November 2017 17 December 2017 9
SecretaryBird Bee-eater, Caprivi Elephants, Botswana