Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Etosha Arrival

We headed to the Erongo Hills at dawn in search of Hartlaub’s Francolin, and duly scored with a pair calling back at us from their rocky perch. It was quite good to give directions to them from the pair of Klipspringers that they were hiding behind at one stage! We waited here for a while and were rewarded with a pair of Monteiro’s Hornbills (another key species) calling from the top of a tree, and the peculiar dipping motion of their bodies as they called made the branch they were perched on shake. Quite amusing really. Then we spent a little time in the lodge gardens after another great breakfast and saw Rufous-crowned (Purple) Roller, Red-billed Spurfowl, Black-backed Puffback and a pair of African Paradise-Flycatchers. I must say that this was another excellent lodge, with good rooms and great food – a trait of the whole tour.

We stayed here.....
We spent the rest of the morning driving along good roads to Outjo, making a few stops for a Tawny Eagle eating a snake, Jacobin Cuckoo, and our first Lilac-breasted Rollers amongst others.

Lunch was good, with Lesser Masked Weavers in the garden, and we also saw Red-billed SpurfowlCrimson-breasted Shrike, Pririt Batis, Marico Sunbird, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Acacia Pied Barbet,  and best of all, a White-browed Scrub-Robin

Red-billed Spurfowl

From here it was a 100kms or so to the entrance to Etosha National Park, but one more quick stop was necessary as we needed to find Fawn-coloured Lark, which we did and also saw Pearl-breast Swallow, Desert Cisticola, Southern Ant-eating Chat, Yellow Canary and Kalahari Scrub-Robin as well. And  a family of Warthogs was also much appreciated, especially by Laurie.

Entrance to Etosha National Park

On entering Etosha at around 3pm we drove to our accommodation inside the park, at Okaukuejo, dropping the trailer off here and setting out straight away on safari. 

We had only just arrived when this huge bull African Elephant was seen!

In the space of about an hour and a half we had an unbelievable time with so many of those typical African mammals you see on the wildlife shows on tv such as Plains Zebra, a distant 

It was very thrilling to see our first Lions

Plains Zebra are very common in Etosha
Our first Black Rhino

Giraffe, Blue Wildebeast, Red Hartebeast, Black-faced Impala, Springbok, Oryx, Black-backed Jackal, a huge male African Elephant ‘in must’ walking down the road towards us, Black Rhino, and to cap it all a pair of Lions sat in the grassland beside the road!

I was very surprised to see how common Kori Bustards are here.
Northern Black Korhaan

Oh and a Western Barred Spitting Cobra crossing the track in front of us was also quiteinteresting. And I mustn’t forget the birds as we had at least 8 Kori Bustards striding around us in the savannah, Ostrich, several Northern Black Korhaans, and a wonderful Secretarybird as well.

Lions at Okaukuejo Waterhole at night

We ended the evening watching 3 Lions drinking at the floodlit waterhole at the edge of camp, with Barn Owl and Verreaux’s Eagle Owl present as well. Phew! So good to finally be here and so excited..!

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