Dave Williams

Self driving Namibia...the way to go!

134 posts in this topic

@@Dave Williams , just being in Namibia is being lucky!

 

Did you ask the the lodge if you are allowed to drive your car around the plateau?! Because in 2014 they said only lodge cars are allowed to drive the tracks.

 

The X-Trail is not much smaller to Hilux. If you would drive a VW Polo, then that would be a different story. BTW what was the daily rate for the X-Trail? Do you have a full size photo of the model? Was it. 4WD or a 2WD version?

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@@Dave Williams , just being in Namibia is being lucky!

 

Did you ask the the lodge if you are allowed to drive your car around the plateau?! Because in 2014 they said only lodge cars are allowed to drive the tracks.

 

The X-Trail is not much smaller to Hilux. If you would drive a VW Polo, then that would be a different story. BTW what was the daily rate for the X-Trail? Do you have a full size photo of the model? Was it. 4WD or a 2WD version?

@@xelas You are of course absolutely right Alex. Not everyone has had the luck I have! Just being able to visit Namibia is indeed lucky.

The car was a 4x4. Nice comfortable ride over the bumpy surfaces and the extra ground clearance is certainly a benefit although we did have a few grating sounds from underneath on occasion (shh!). I booked it through Rentalcars.com, speaking to someone on the phone from their UK office.. They told me it was £880 for 25 days less 1 hour. This included the extra insurance to cover the excess and any other damage not in Avis's policy cover. They took a £55 deposit immediately, the rest was to be paid 1 month before picking it up.

This they duly did and my credit card was charged £825 in January so I had paid them £880 in total. However, on the same statement they also gave me two credits, one £55, one for £5. Perhaps because they give a lowest price guarantee. The hire therefore cost me £820 which works out at £33 per day( roughly 530NR). With unleaded petrol at only around 11NR per litre even with a total mileage of 4764kms the fuel bill was only 4066NR in total.

Speaking to some people who hired locally from ASCO for a Hillux looking truck, they paid less and were driving it through Botswana too. Their truck though would have been totally unsuitable for us as it only had two seats in the cab and a box behind. Great for securing your luggage but for photography pretty useless as you need one in the front, one in the back seat to allow clear viewing both sides.

These particular folk had made a previous trip but camping. They said that the cost of camping was higher than you first think as hiring the gear is expensive.I know that camp site fees are 400NR a night inside the park, much less outside apparently. I love my touring caravan but tenting in the rain would have been no fun at all. Mud everywhere!

I'll stick a photo in an episode of the blog just for you too Alex!

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Posted (edited)

Thank You, @@Dave Williams! It is so true what you have said about back seat bench; Zvezda would go ballistic if I would not hire a Double Cab; she also loves the wide square rear door windows, and higher seating (photographing) position of the Hilux.

 

In 2014 and 2015, for 2 weeks the daily rate was 1120 NAD (800 + 320 for insurance) with zero excess, tires and windscreen protection and fridge (Advanced Car Rental, Windhoek)

In 2016, for 2 weeks the daily rate was 1280 NAD fully insured, with fridge and coolbox (Kalahari 4x4, Upington)

In 2017, for 3 weeks the daily rate is 970 Nad with basic CDW, 30.000 NAD excess and camping equipment for 3 persons

 

That makes X-Trail half the price of a Hilux, and I might follow your example on our next trip to Namibia. Just where to put the fridge and its battery??

Edited by xelas
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If you are camping @@xelas the X-trail isn't going to be big enough. We had two holdall style bags in the 'boot" and there wasn't much room for anything else. My two camera bags were on the back seat when we were travelling from one place to another. I presume the reason for a Hillux is the tent is on the roof?

The back windows don't wind ( retract, they are electric!) all the way down in a Nissan either as they don't with so many cars. Not that much of a problem though.

If you are not camping you could save £27 per day on the car and £25 on the campsite and put it towards accommodation. We had 7 nights at under £50 for the room.

 

When I booked the Hyundai which morphed in to a Nissan on collection I seem to remember that a Hillux was nearly twice the price. What's interesting is the price you paid in 2016 which was a lot higher than this year or was that in South Africa?

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Posted (edited)

That high price was for Hilux collected in Upington, South Africa. However, that price was also full covered insurance, I have corrected my mistake.

 

We have used Hilux twice without RTT; maybe over the top for the routes and roads we did, but like it a lot. Not obligatory, for sure, but comfortable. For RTT, Hilux or Landcruiser.

There is one more candidate, it should be even cheaper: Toyota Avanza! Very roomy and also higher seating position then regular cars.

Edited by xelas

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We travelled with a Hilux without RTT last month. Due to the rains in the Kgalagadi the 4x4 came in handy a few times, though even in 4x4 mode we got stuck once. In all fairness a good car with enough clearance could have managed the trip, I think. The Hilux was a very comfortable ride, though and both the double cab and the fridge (with second battery) were very useful. In Augrabies and Fish River canyon we did a few trails that were only accessible to 4x4, so that was a bonus. We used the Avanza a few years ago. Nice car with enough clearance. The only drawback was that it is a rear wheel drive, which felt a little unstable on one or two sand roads. We'll take a look at the x-trail, too, next time, though I agree with @xelas: what about the fridge? I understand from this discussion that, even as a 4x4, the x-trail comes cheaper than a Hilux. That's with looking into.

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Love your photo of the deck in the downpour @@Dave Willams! That would have been a spectacle. It's a pity you had little time in Grootberg for more photography, but you certainly came away with some good ones! Looking forward to your next episode!

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Posted (edited)

Don't get me wrong I enjoyed our visit to Grootberg, what was there not to like about it ? OK the weather both on the way there and in part whilst we stayed might not have been the best but we did experience something a bit different from the norm in that respect and in it's own way it was a bit special.

The good points are that the location is spectacular but not my favourite, the food was pretty good but not the best, the room likewise was well appointed but not as good as some we were to experience. The Rhino trekking was well ... I have explained that already. Our final bill worked out at £605 for two nights D,B&B, the trek and a £30 bar bill, in my book expensive at an average £300 per night. We had diverted a long way to get here, changing our original journey plan to accommodate it.

Was it worth?

Yes, I suppose it was. Would I do it again? Probably not. Been there, done that , writing the story.

But the story isn't quite over yet!

The weather had improved dramatically overnight and the rains cleared again. Rain had produced a flurry of activity. Insects suddenly appearing and with them their predator birds.

Some new species to add to my list too!

Check out from the Lodge is by 10.00am so I was keen to get some photography in before we left. To save duplicating the walk to and from the car park more times than necessary I decided to put a few things in the X-trail on the way to breakfast.

Oh no!

A wheel jack had been laid out on the floor next to my back wheel to point out I had a flat tyre.

Great stuff. Not.

My spirits were immediately lifted with the arrival of someone who offered to change the wheel for me. Not only that, he'd take it to his workshop and repair it too. All for 200NR or £12.50. Done deal. I left him the keys and headed off to join Claire at breakfast.

No longer having to change a tyre I could then indulge myself whilst Claire packed our bags.

Standing on our balcony I managed to add a surprising number of photographs to my trip list.

Yellow-bellied Eremomela

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Cape Bunting

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and Bokmakierie were all 'lifers " too.

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The Pale-winged Starling offered a nice wing display.

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The Mountain Wheatear almost co-operated fully!

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The Tawny-flanked Prinia was gone in an instant.

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But the White-fronted Canary gave a good enough view to realise that yesterday's Black-throated Canary wasn't in all probability.

With my car keys returned with an explanation that the side wall had been repaired we were ready for the off. Etosha N.P. here we come!

In the car park a quick check on the tyre and for the life of me I couldn't see any signs of a repair and I wasn't going to check the inside sidewall so to this day I'm not 100% convinced. Strange that there was someone capable of repairing a tyre in the Lodge car park which is miles from anywhere and that he was waiting at 7.00am in the morning. Ah well, who cares.

We had one last challenge to look forward to, the return down the track from the lodge.

Coming up I said it was a piece of cake, we had been down again when we went on the trek but it had been dark. I decided we'd take a video to demonstrate so for all those intimidated here's the proof. ( you need to click on the photo to send you to Flickr to view)

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Piece of cake!

Our journey eastwards took us on to the gravel C40, a fairly uninspiring journey scenically but not from an avian prospective.

First a Pale-chanting Goshawk just had to be photographed even if it's perch was man-made.

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but what I spotted next had the cry to Claire, who was now driving,of

Stop! Stop! Stop! ( a command, in the nicest possible way, she would learn to live with later in the holiday!)

There it was , magnificent, a truly impressive bird.

Martial Eagle. Fantastic.

I'd seen one in The Gambia recently but despite efforts to get a photograph by walking 100's of metres through tall undergrowth, I'd failed. Here I just had to nip over a wire fence, avoid being seen ( hopefully by both the Eagle and the landowner), get on the right side for a frontal shot with the sun behind me and bingo.

Handholding the 600mm isn't the easiest but despite a couple of out of focus shots I got a couple I can live with happily.

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What a bird! Thanks Claire for putting up with me while I leave you on your own sitting in the car in the baking hot sun. The result was worth the suffering!!

I only asked her to stop one more time. I mean it can get tedious on a journey, this was on the tarmac'd section of the C40 when I spotted a White-backed Vulture flying over head.

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We had stopped at Kamanjab to re-fuel for the third time just to keep the tank topped up. This was the only place I seem to recall that stated they didn't take credit cards but as I was paying cash it didn't matter. Interesting that they chose to fill the car with the fuel nozzle that displayed the meter on the opposite side of the pump so hidden from view. Interesting no receipt was offered.... or asked for. It was only afterwards that I wondered. Suspicious? Me? Of course not! Fuel consumption would have been above average for the previous section as it was so mountainous. Wouldn't it?

Ah well, we were heading to my long awaited destination so I had other things on my mind.

For the record the C40 looks something like this for most of the way we travelled.

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Fast, traffic free..... and a bit tedious.

I had already decided to get to our destination, Etosha Village near the Anderson Gate, I would turn left off the C40 and take a more scenic short cut on the D2694 followed by the D2710. For anyone who tries this beware! The first turn right, the D2696, is clearly marked but definitely not the way to go. Our turning wasn't marked at all as far as I'm aware. By the time we realised it was too late to turn back. Our scenic shortcut ended up adding time although probably not too much mileage to the journey.

This back route though demonstrated that the rains had arrived further east than Grootberg.

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Today though was stunning. Beautiful blue skies and sun for the most of it.

It was mid afternoon when we arrived at Etosha Village and we were most impressed. 4 nights here cost £365 for D,B&B. £90 a night. For that you get a bungalow chalet that is huge, complete with your own private garden area.

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Well appointed room complete with lots of electric sockets for recharging and a fridge too! There is even another outdoor covered sitting area outside the French windows.

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Excellent bathroom with a very large walk in shower.

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and what is really good is you can park right outside the door so you don't have to struggle far with your luggage.

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That's just the room though. The restaurant has a huge variety of food in the self service buffet. This was just my salad starter.

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If that wasn't enough to make me happy the big screen TV behind the bar was showing my team playing live.

Liverpool vs Spurs and we stuffed them. Our run of bad form was finally ended with a superb display.

With Etosha to come in the morning,could I have been happier going to bed?

No!

T.B.C.

Edited by Dave Williams
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@@Dave Williams any idea why your photos are squashed/stretched in this thread and not in your big year?

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@@Tdgraves In a word No! They don't look too different to me so I can't really see what you mean I'm afraid. They all come from Flickr but the shots taken with the Olympus are straight from the camera whereas the others were shot in RAW and processed, re-sized to 5x7 and converted to jpeg. Maybe Flickr has re-sized differently? I know the iPad/iPhone shots can be in different shapes and sizes.

Anyone else see a difference? Maybe screen viewing size changes things too. I'm looking at a desktop monitor.

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Excellent report @@Dave Williams. As a keen birder, I always appreciate the bird-centric trip reports.

 

Thanks also for the detail you provide about car hires, places to shop for groceries, and other key details. That is one of the great values of Safaritalk and you are doing it right.

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@@Dave Williams I'm really enjoying your report so far, thanks for the fine detail.

 

I'm looking forward to an Etosha fix as this is one of my favourite African parks.

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@@Tdgraves In a word No! They don't look too different to me so I can't really see what you mean I'm afraid. They all come from Flickr but the shots taken with the Olympus are straight from the camera whereas the others were shot in RAW and processed, re-sized to 5x7 and converted to jpeg. Maybe Flickr has re-sized differently? I know the iPad/iPhone shots can be in different shapes and sizes.

Anyone else see a difference? Maybe screen viewing size changes things too. I'm looking at a desktop monitor.

 

The aspect ratio of the images is perfect when viewed on a desktop, but a little distorted when viewed on an iPad (well, on my iPad anyway)

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It it the iPad I have an issue with, but on his big year pages on the iPad, it is fine....

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@@Dave Williams

 

Our run of bad form was finally ended with a superb display.

 

Unfortunately, not the case :angry: ! Reds can beat the top guys but they underperform with underdogs. Hopefully my words will be put back into my mouth tomorrow :P .

 

Thanks for showing me the X-Trail. That is what I was afraid of,; those rounded style is just not my style. I will stick tot the Hilux if not able to hire the old style X-Trail.

 

@@Tdgraves it must be the iPad problem as iPad safari has stretched images and iMac safari don't. Go look at the report on an iMac, photos really deserves to be viewed in its full glory!

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@@Tdgraves In a word No! They don't look too different to me so I can't really see what you mean I'm afraid. They all come from Flickr but the shots taken with the Olympus are straight from the camera whereas the others were shot in RAW and processed, re-sized to 5x7 and converted to jpeg. Maybe Flickr has re-sized differently? I know the iPad/iPhone shots can be in different shapes and sizes.

Anyone else see a difference? Maybe screen viewing size changes things too. I'm looking at a desktop monitor.

 

The aspect ratio of the images is perfect when viewed on a desktop, but a little distorted when viewed on an iPad (well, on my iPad anyway)

Same here, images seem to 'squared' when viewed on my ipad.

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@@Dave Williams

 

Our run of bad form was finally ended with a superb display.

 

Unfortunately, not the case :angry: ! Reds can beat the top guys but they underperform with underdogs. Hopefully my words will be put back into my mouth tomorrow :P .

 

Thanks for showing me the X-Trail. That is what I was afraid of,; those rounded style is just not my style. I will stick tot the Hilux if not able to hire the old style X-Trail.

 

@@Tdgraves it must be the iPad problem as iPad safari has stretched images and iMac safari don't. Go look at the report on an iMac, photos really deserves to be viewed in its full glory!

 

Looking forward to the game tomorrow, my son and I have tickets but i believe it's on Sky too.

 

If you view the report on an iPad the Safaritalk version does indeed give square pictures that don't look quite right, however, if you look at my blog page where the original is written it looks fine on an iPad.The link is on my signature bit below.

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Posted (edited)

We had now been in Namibia for five and a half days and, despite having a close encounter with the Rhino I felt that the real Africa was about to open up to me. My original plan had been to spend the day locally in and around Etosha Village and their grounds which are substantial. however, my wanderings the previous afternoon after we had arrived had been a little frustrating. The grounds are so wooded, reminiscent of a large English orchard, that what birds I found were difficult to photograph as there was so much cover .

I wasn't totally unsuccessful in terms of record shots.

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The Pririt Batis and the Southern Grey-headed Sparrow were both new species to me.

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I also decided that I'd better takes some shots of the Southern Masked Weaver.

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This was one of many that was nest building and I had had lots of opportunities in the previous couple of days but, as so often happens, when something is so incredibly common, as is this species, you tend to ignore them. The danger is you get home and realise you never got around to taking any shots at all!

Anyway, the previous day's weather had been wall to wall sun. Although much of it was spent travelling Claire had at last had some R&R by the swimming pool which she deserved having done all the driving so far. Even I had taken the time for a quick dip too!

Sadly however, the morning greeted us as being dull and damp as it had it appeared rained during the night.

My mind was made up, I was heading in to the Etosha NP. I was itching to get in there, and with the weather looking as it did Claire decided it was the best option for her too.

The park entrance, The Anderson Gate is actually only about 1Km from Etosha Village so you arrive there in minutes. On arrival you fill in a form with your details and then take it to the reception area in your chosen camp to pay the fees. In the case of Anderson Gate, the nearest camp is Okaukuejo ( and one which's name I never can pronounce!) which is 30 kms away.

Tip. Make sure the form is filled in and signed by the people on the gate, I heard one person being told they had to go back and get it signed which seemed a bit extreme.

Anyway to avoid having to make that journey everyday I applied for entry for the next 3 days. Originally I had asked for 9 days but as we were staying in different camps both inside and outside the park, they told me to re apply after 3 days when we were beginning our stay inside the park. Why I don't know but you don't argue with officialdom, especially as a new arrival.

With the form filled in however, we were free to go and could remain inside the park until just before sunset. Certainly no need to go straight to the camp to pay the fee until later in the day and the nice thing about Anderson Gate is you can turn off the main tarmac road leading to Okaukuejo Camp almost immediately on entering the park and this we decided to do, taking the road eastwards towards the Gemsbokvlakte water hole.

It was still quite early, there was a heavy dew on the grass and I was very excited at our prospects of at last seeing some notable sights! Driving incredibly slowly we almost inched our way through the first 15 minutes. We passed a couple of distant Oryx and a Springbok but our first photo opportunity came in the unexpected shape of a Mongoose. At first I shouted to Claire "Stoat!" as it had the same colour and profile from some distance.

To this day I'm not sure what it is, but it's not a Stoat. They don't exist in Africa.

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We came to the conclusion it was a Slender Mongoose but I'm open to suggestions to the contrary.

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Had we been driving faster we may well not have seen the mongoose ( the only sighting of our trip of this species) but it soon became apparent that the distances within the park are not inconsiderable so we did increase our speed to around 25-30 kph. ( The speed limit is 60kph) because the distance to the first waterhole alone was 27 kms.

I'm not sure what drew our attention to stop , I think it was this Kori Bustard

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but whilst we were parked Claire spotted something in the distance.

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No mistaking Bat-eared Fox ! Before I could stick my 2x converter on my 600mm lens it had disappeared in to the thick undergrowth. It was another species we were to see just the once. Crazy start with two unexpected sightings!

Birdwise I was seeing a few new species like Crowned Lapwing.


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Cape Crow

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and Larks galore.

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I'm always confused by those little brown jobs or L.B.J's as they are collectively known.

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Depending on their pose they can look so different. I think those last two are probably one and the same, a Sabota Lark. Whatever, there were Larks all over the place!

The other really common species was the Lesser Grey Shrike.

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As with the Masked Weaver, unless the opportunity to photograph was really good you drive on by and as yet I haven't found a photograph better than this which hasn't turned out the best! They are incredibly flighty though and we soon got fed up of stopping the car only for the bird to immediately fly off.

One bird that appeared far more common than it actually was turned out to be the Northern Black Korhaan.

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It's the noise they make that carries a long long way so you think they are everywhere!

Presumably trying to attract a mate !

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It seemed to work.

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A stunning bird, I was delighted to see for the first time and they are very confiding so a photo wasn't too difficult.

With all theses new species to see and record it took us all morning to each the first waterhole.

After all, you realise you will see another Cape Glossy Starling but just in case get the shot while you can.

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Even a species previously seen in another country might be rarer here so grab it while you can.

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We hadn't seen too many mammals by this stage but I had at least taken my first shots of Oryx

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and Springbok

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We somehow managed to miss that the waterhole we were heading for was a left turn and instead travelled another 8 kms to Olifantsbad Waterhole.

It was deserted by mammals but there were a dozen African Openbills lining along the waterhole.

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In the water some Little Grebes and a pair of Egyptian Geese.

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By now the sun had come out and it was very bright indeed. We continued on to Aus waterhole, yet another 8 kms further only to find that was deserted by mammals too.

A single bird was in the vicinity of the car park, I think it's an African Pipit.

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so after hanging around for 5 minutes we decided it was a lost cause and went to head north only to find the road was closed. That meant doubling back the 16 kms to Gemsbokvlakte. Not in the plan but we might see something on the way that wasn't there before. Wildlife doesn't stay still !

Sure enough we had some good views of a pair of Double-banded Sandgrouse.

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The male being the one showing the bands.

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We also came across this one.

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It looks most like a Forest Buzzard to me but as that doesn't occur in Namibia it could be something else. A Jackal Buzzard perhaps?

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Opinions very welcome!

Anyway, we found our way back to the waterhole we had originally intended and were delighted to find quite a lot of animals there.

one or two Black-faced Impala

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but mainly Springbok

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By now the heat was quite intense and it was effecting my photographs with the haze distorting the image unless the subject was very close.

Due to the rain the water hole wasn't the only place to drink, there was a large puddle in the car park.

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So the Springbok were very close indeed.!

So too were some small waders which I hadn't noticed on arriving as they are well camouflaged.

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Kittlitz's Plover, yet another to add to my life list!

Moving on again we found some Common Ostrich

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Greater Kestrel

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My first ever Blue Wildebeest

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Common Zebra

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and some better views of the Korhaan.

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After some distance we found the turnoff for Nebrowni waterhole and that too had a fair few Springbok in attendance.

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and more Zebra.

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but best of all was this Blue Crane which I had read was there in someone else's blog from December.

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It was mid afternoon by now so we headed to the camp to pay our fees. The daily rate is a mere 80NR pp plus 10 for the car. Just 170 in total or a fraction more than £10 per day for the two of us.

Whilst I was in the camp I decided to check the visitor log for sightings and I must say, what a disappointment. A total waste of time in fact and such a shame. Instead of meaningful notes the book is full of childlike scribbles and comments like "I love Etosha". Never mind! I had my tips and I'll come on to that later!

I offered to take Claire back to Etosha Village but she suggested it was too late to take in the sun now so I suggested we headed towards Okondeka Waterhole and she agreed. More driving and not too much along the way but we did stop for some shots of Ant-eating Chat that were posing nicely.

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Okondeka proved to be deserted save for these two Shellduck

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but the return journey was more fruitful when we spied this Tawny Eagle sitting on top of a small tree.

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It posed nicely as did a Common Fiscal.

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albeit briefly.

I strained to lean out of the window to get a fly past Lappet-faced Vulture.

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You are not of course allowed to get out of the car in the park but I wasn't going to miss that opportunity.

Best of all though was on the return from nipping down to the Wolfnes waterhole we spotted a second Mongoose species.

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Emerging from it's burrow perhaps, Yellow Mongoose.

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A bit of a stunner to look at too and well worth the diversion.

Time was getting on though, I'd subjected Claire to a very full day of wildlife watching and so it was time to return to our accommodation.

There was just one last stop though, as we headed down the tar road to the Anderson Gate we spotted a pack of our third Mongoose species of the day.

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They had crossed the road in front of us and were all fairly close to the roadside. There were at least a dozen and their behaviour was fascinating.

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Standing on handles to get a view of what was going on you could clearly see why they are called Banded Mongoose.

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Anyway, something they saw made them head back in our direction as they re-crossed the road and disappeared once more.

A great way to end the day though as we headed home for showers, beers and dinner !

All in all we had covered 150+ kms just driving from waterhole to waterhole. We had seen some glorious sunshine and suffered in the heat at time too. Claire had been very supportive although she must have got a bit fed up in the end as we must have been in the park and on the go for 10 hours .

Me ?

I was as happy as the proverbial pig ! Bring on tomorrow!

 

T.B.C.

Edited by Dave Williams
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I must say, I'd never have expected Open-billed Storks in Etosha!

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@@Dave Williams immature common buzzard?

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@@Dave Williams immature common buzzard?

 

@@Tdgraves Common Buzzard doesn't occur but juvenile Steppe Buzzard is a possibility although the picture in the Sasol guide suggests a darker head and a yellow eye. The one in my shot has neither but does have the attributes of a Forest Buzzard including being rather slender in comparison.

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Common buzzard is steppe buzzard and Roberts says they occur...

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Common buzzard is steppe buzzard and Roberts says they occur...

 

Common Buzzard is Buteo Buteo, Steppe Buzzard is Buteo Vulpinus so they are classed as different . Common Buzzard found in western Europe is a short range migrator or permanent resident, Steppe Buzzard found in the east winters in Africa. That doesn't alter the fact that there are several key points that don't match for Steppe Buzzard, everything looks spot on for Forest Buzzard other than location but birds do crop up in unexpected places.

The jury awaits instruction !

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Not according to Roberts. More likely than a bird which lives 2000km away I would have thought.....

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Not according to Roberts. More likely than a bird which lives 2000km away I would have thought.....

 

Most definitely more likely but not necessarily impossible. Far from it in fact. We have many instances of migrant birds in the UK that have arrived from America, the Far East, etc,etc.

On Monday I was on the ferry from Holyhead to Dublin and two colleagues watched a Bulwer's Petrel for over a minute. They are only found around Madeira normally. There have been two records, both around 100 years ago for UK/Irish waters.This record won't be accepted as there is no photographic proof.

I photographed a Caspian Plover in Goa, the first ever record for there, but I had the evidence.

These things can happen hence I await more opinions before accepting the answer as definitely Steppe Buzzard. Not that it makes too much difference to me personally as I'm not really that bothered about lists and such like. Mind you this Biggest Year thing might get me addicted.

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