Following an overnight flight the group met up with Nick Bray and our excellent local guide Charles Rhyn at Windhoek Airport and within a short while had seen a few South African Cliff Swallows and a pair of the scarce Orange River Francolins before reaching Windhoek. Not a bad start to what promises to be an exciting African adventure.
|Orange River Francolin|
|South African Cliff Swallow|
By early afternoon we had arrived at our destination of Daan Viljoen Reserve near Windhoek and as it was almost 2 o’clock we dived straight into the restaurant for a late lunch. Afterwards we had a little time to rest in our very nice bungalows before meeting at 4.30pm for an afternoon walk along the road. The strong wind hampered our birding and the surrounding area was a little quieter than we would have liked, but we still managed to see a number of really nice birds. A favourite of mine is Golden-breasted Bunting and we had some rather brief views of a pair feeding on a slope above us, in company with another star bird – Violet-eared Waxbill. We also had nice scope views of Mountain Wheatear, Short-toed Rock Thrush and Red-billed Spurfowl before continuing our walk along the road.
We picked up quite a lot of commoner species such as both Common and Black-faced Waxbills, Marico Flycatcher, Familiar Chat, a distant soaring Martial Eagle, Rock Kestrel, Namaqua Dove, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Alpine Swift, Greater Striped Swallow, Groundscraper Thrush, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, African Hoopoe, with several nice close views of the delightful Swallow-tailed Bee-eater. So not a bad haul, although a pair of Pririt Batis, Burnt-necked Eremomela, Long-billed Crombec, Cape Bunting and Rufous-vented Tit-warbler were also rather cool, whilst a Crimson-breasted Shrike posed briefly as well.
It was also really good to kickstart our mammal list with Chacma Baboon, Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra, Giraffe, Gemsbok (Southern Oryx), and Eland. Safe to say we were all rather tired tonight after a long journey to get here from the UK and after an excellent dinner we headed straight to our nice rooms for some well earned rest.