For the last few months our nature watching has been restricted, in the main, to our local urban parks. For the next few weeks it’s is going to be rather different and, hopefully, rather special.
The first part of or trip to Africa has started in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. Following an overnight flight from Heathrow to Johannesburg and a much shorter flight on to Windhoek we had a relaxing first evening in the Windhoek Country Club. This gave us a chance to meet and get to know the other members of our National Geographic G-Adventures group; a very exciting eclectic group with 3 Americans (a couple from Texas and a young man from Boston), 3 Canadians (a couple from Toronto and a young woman from Vancouver), 3 Brits (a young woman from London and us), a young German woman from Hamburg and a young Swiss woman from Lausanne. Plus our South African guide, Julian, has an interest in birds, which makes it even more exciting.
Before we set off on our long journey to the south of Namibia I had a few minutes for some bird photos in the grounds of the Country Club. The most interesting of the birds was a Groundscraper Thrush but there was plenty of others to see, including hirundines of some sort which were screeching back and forth to their nests in the apex of the hotel buildings.
En route to Sesriem (6 hours to the south) we saw lots of interesting birds and even stopped for a while to see and learn about the huge nests of Sociable Weavers which we would see regularly along the road.
Sociable Weavers’ nest
We stopped for an excellent lunch at Conny’s Restaurant (which would make a blog in itself) where we also saw lots of Cape Sparrows, Southern Masked Weavers (who also have interesting nests), a Sunbird and three quite spectacular noisy Grey Go-Away-Birds.
Gunter preparing a coffee tasting at Conny’s restaurant
Southern Masked Weavers and nests (below)
From the coach I saw several raptors and a Hornbill but there was no chance of photos. However, we did stop at one particular point and had great views of a particularly attractive lizard.
The roads were quite interesting but our excellent driver Immanuel was never phased by them and we travelled in comfort in his comfortable Chinese coach
Road works – and not a cone in sight!
In the grounds of our lodge (Sossuvlei) we saw Guinea Fowl, lots of Sociable Weavers (scavenging near the hotel with the Cape Sparrows) and a very attractive bird which I haven’t identified yet.
The view from the lodge with younger members of the group.
Dining al fresco
Click below for a gallery of photos from today (not always in chronological order as I used 2 cameras with different time settings – tut, tut.