Southern Africa - Namibia - Huab Area and Etosha National Park
August 12 to 19, 2012
Huab Area - August 12-15, 2012
Sunday - August 12, 2012
Arrive at Huab airfied at 11:15 AM.
Huab - Second Plane Landing
Huab is situated between Khorixas and Kamanjab in the Damaraland
region of Namibia. Greeted by lodge builders (built in 1993) and owners, Jan and Susie. Birded from a safari vehicle on the
way to lodge's reception area where a welcome drink of refreshing orange juice awaited us.
Huab Safari Vehicle
Huab Reception Building and Lodges
Huab Dining Area and Meal Time
Birded from reception/dining area viewpoints.
Lunch at 12:30 PM. Break until 3:00 PM to unpack and relax in our bungalow.
Our room at the Huab Lodge
Boarded the open safari vehicle (8 passenger with tiered seating) for afternoon birding in the dry Huab River bed and the
Huab Valley, followed by a "Sun downer" to greet the sunset, Returned to the main lodge at 6:00 PM with time to refresh
before doing birds at 7:00 PM and dinner at 7:30 PM.
We were treated to an oral rendition of the nightly menu in two languages.
The first, the Nama-Damara language which is conspicuous for its 5 clicking sounds produced with the help of the
tongue and palate and was spoken by several of the Damara ladies who prepared our tastey meals. This was followed by the
menu repeated in English. Wine was served with dinner each evening we were there. Bed at 10:00 PM.
Monday - August 12, 2012
Up at 5:30 AM. Coffee and biscuits at 6:00 AM. Leave for early morning birding at 6:30 AM (while temperatures were low). Full
breakfast at 9:00 AM followed by more birding from 10:00 AM until lunch at 12:30 PM. Siesta until 3:00 PM. Four of us
plus guides went on the afternoon outing to look for birds and Mountain Zebra. Followed by "Sun downer" libations to watch the sun
set. Around 6:00 PM we went to look for a flock of Double-banded Sandgrouse as they started to arrive at their
favorite watering spot. The Sandgrouse soak up water into the downy feathers on their breast to take back to their
chicks. Went over the birds we saw at 6:35 PM with dinner at 7:00 PM and bed at 10 PM. Bungalows are located within walking
distance of the lodge. Flashlights were provided to us each evening, and we returned them the next day. The cozy duvets and
hot water bottles made the cool evenings comfortable.
Tuesday - August 14, 2012
Up a 5:30 AM. Coffee and biscuits at 6:00 AM. Leave for early morning birding at 6:30 AM. along the dry Huab River bed.
Got out of vehicle to walk along the river's bank. Returned to lodge for full breakfast at 9:00 AM. Hike near pool
and spa area from 9:30 until 10:30 AM. Continue morning birding by safari vehicle until lunch at 12:30 PM. Siesta
until 3:00 PM. Bird from 3:30 PM until "Sun downer" and return to lodge by 6:00 PM. Birds at 6:30 PM followed by
dinner at 7:00 and bed at 9:30 PM.
Wednesday - August 15, 2012
Up a 5:30 AM. Coffee and biscuits at 6:00 AM. Start birding at 6:10. Hike around pool area and rocky areas past some
of the bungalows to look for the Rock Runner. Breakfast at 8:00 AM, followed by packing and getting ready for a
9:25 AM departure for Etosha National Park. This wildlife sanctuary is located in the vast arid space of Northwestern
Namibia (approximately 220 Km away). Our mode of transportation was a covered, open safari vehicle. Very cold during
the initial part of the drive..felt like 45 degrees. Being able to stop and bird while driving made this journey
enjoyable. By 12:15 PM (half way there) we stopped for a picnic lunch and more
birding between 1:00-2:00 PM.
Etosha National Park - August 15-19, 2012
Etosha National Park
Wednesday - August 15, 2012
Enter the Anderson Gate to Etosha National Park around 3:00 PM.
Etosha - Anderson Gate
The Anderson Gate entrance to Etosha is located pretty much in the middle of the park, on the southern boundary close to the Okaukuejo Camp,
our destination for the night. Okaukuejo is drier than the eastern parts of the park. Most of the area is covered
with acacia scrub. Arid shortgrass plains border the Etosha pan,a large endorheic (closed drainage basin) salt
pan, forming part of the Kalahari Basin in the north of Namibia. Since we were there during the dry season, the
75-mile-long lake bed consisted of mostly dry mud coated with salt.
Birded along the way to Okaukuejo Camp (Etosha).
Okaukuejo Camp - Entrance
Our room at the Okaukuejo Camp
Dinner at 6:00 PM. After dinner bird the permanent waterhole at Okaukuejo until 8:30 PM. It was wonderful to be
so close to the elephants and rhinos that came in to socialize and/or drink. The floodlights at the waterhole gave
the entire scene an eerie/surreal feeling.
Okaukuejo Water Hole
Bed by 10:00 PM.
Thurday - August 16, 2012
Up at 5:30 AM. Meet for early morning hike around Okaukuejo Waterhole area at 6:00 AM. Hike until breakfast at 7:00 AM.
After breakfast bird around the Okaukuejo Camp and waterhole. Drive from Okaukuejo Camp to Okondeka Waterhole. Had a
picnic lunch in our vehicle from 1:30 until 2:00 PM. Drive back to Okaukuejo Camp for a pit stop and then head to
Kapupuhedi Waterhole, followed by Homob Artesian Well, Homob Waterhole, Riefontein Pan, and, finally, arriving at
Halali Camp (Etosha) around 5:30 PM.
Halali Camp - Entrance
Our room at the Halali Camp
Bird list at 6:15 followed by dinner (and enjoyed the Eland) at 7:15 and bed at 9 PM.
This was a very busy and exciting day with a lot of birding and big game sightings.
Friday - August 17, 2012
Up at 5:00 AM. Bird around Halali Camp followed by breakfast at 7:00 AM. Additional birding at the camp until departure
at 9:00 AM. Our goal today is to drive to Naumatoni Camp (Etosha) via Etosha Lookoutt, Nuamses, and Goas. 3,000 sq.
meters from the center of the Etosha Pan is Etosha Lookout. (Etosha National Park has an area of 8,600 sq. miles.)
Etoshia Lookout - Joanne & Brad
The lookout was a stark, barren desert, comprised of grassveld and mopane treeveld. Saw a large herd of elephants
heading away from Nuamses Waterhole. Our next stop was the waterhole at Goas around 11:30 AM. Picnic lunch in vehicle.
The pride of lions that we saw lounging around here consisted of three young males and two females. Left Goas around
1:00 PM and drove to Naumatoni Camp arriving around 3:45 PM.
Etosha - Namutoni
Quickly got settled into our room before leaving
again at 4:15 for some additional birding along Dik-Dik Drive.
Our room at Namutoni Camp
Bird list at 6:15 PM and dinner at 7:00 PM. Bed at 8:30 PM.
Due to a broken waterpipe, we were without water from 6:00 PM until 4 AM. Noticed problems with both cameras and Brad's
zoom lens (due to dust..sandy grit).
Saturday - August 18, 2012
Up at 5:35 AM. Following a light breakfast,
leave for birding at 6:22 AM. Bird around Naumatoni, then drive along Dik-Dik
Drive. Bird the waterhole at Klein Okevi. Return to Naumatoni Camp for a full breakfast at 8:00 AM. Leave at 8:45 for more
birding at Klein Okevi Waterhole until 10:07. Return to Naumatoni Camp until 11:00 AM for a rest stop. Brad and I birded
around camp. Leave at 11:00 AM for Klein Okevi Waterhole followed by the waterhole at Groot Okevi. Tsumcor Waterhole was
our next birding stop. Had our picnic lunch here. Around 1:20 AM leave this waterhole and drive along the main road that
eventually ends up in Angola (north to Andoni). Return via Stinkwater Road birding along the way. Head back to Naumatoni
at 3:35 and arrived at 4:00 PM. Didn't go on sundowner. Just took a nice, hot, outdoor shower and relaxed (good thing I
did since the water went off at 8:00 PM and didn't come back on until 3:00 AM). Review bird list at 6:30 PM followed by
dinner until 8:00 PM. Enjoyed a meal of well-prepared Orex. Bed at 9:00 PM.
Sunday - August 19, 2012
Up at 4:50 AM with breakfast at 5:30 AM. Drive to the airstrip at Mokuti Lodge for a 7:00 AM flight.
Fly to Rundu, Namibia, land at 8:35 AM, refuel, and then take off on the second leg of our flight at 9:15 AM.
Land in Bagani (Namibia) located in the Caprivi Strip at 10:15 AM.
Board a safari vehicle and drive through the majestic baobab woodland and floodplains
of the Mahangu Game Reserve. Antelope, Lion, Cape Buffalo, and plenty of different bird species were there to greet us!
Lunch from 12:30-1:30 PM at a marshy area in the game reserve. We squeezed in eating in between photographing a variety of
different bird species. Cross into Botswana via the Muhembo Border Post around 15:10 PM.