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Tuesday 22nd January – Palmwag to Etosha National Park, Namibia

We had an hour at Palmwag Lodge before setting off for Etosha and so I made the most of it by taking some bird photos. I was especially pleased to see the Rosy-faced Lovebirds.

dsc05518Speckled Pigeon

dsc05525African Red-eyed Bulbul

dsc05531Swift

dsc05549Speckled Pigeon

dsc05559Marisco Flycatcher

dsc05569Rosy-faced Lovebirds

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The journey to Etosha was stunning especially as our guide and driver were brilliant at spotting wildlife and stopping frequently for us.

dsc05607Giraffe

dsc05631Giraffe

dsc05644Kudu

dsc05663Welwitschia Mirabilis

The age of individual plants is difficult to assess, but many plants may be over 1000 years old. Some individuals may be more than 2000 years old. Because Welwitschia only produces a single pair of foliage leaves, the plant was thought by some to be neotenic, consisting essentially of a “giant seedling.”

dsc05667Petrified wood

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Click below for photos of the journey.

 

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Monday 21st January 2019 – Twyfelfontein Namibia

We covered long distances today but, nonetheless, it was a very full and exciting one.

Just up the road from Sakopmund we stopped  to see a shipwreck which, although fairly recent, was completely inhabited by cormorants.

dsc05287Skeleton coast?

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We had got used to the gravel roads but around our next stop, at Hente Bay, we saw them spraying saltwater onto the roads which made them much smoother but I imagine a nightmare in rainy conditions.

We were soon back to the gravel roads but the landscape on our way to Twyfelfontein was much more undulating and even more spectacular.

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At Twyflefontein we visited the ancienrpetroglyohs which were named Namibia’s first UNESCO World Heritage site. The site is thought to be the largest concentrations of Bushmen engravings in Africa, with over 2500 figures ranging from 2000 to 5000 years old. Our local guide described them as a sort of blackboard to teach about the animals to hunt and their various tracks. He also told us that they demonstrated that the Bushman had travelled further afield with pictures of animals, such as penguins and flamingos, as testament.

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En route we observed the two tribes we had learned about in the township in Swakopmund, the Herero and the Himbo tribes which originally were part of the same tribe but now with very different costumes.

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On approaching our lodge (Palwag) our guide and driver were constantly pointing out wildlife and we had plenty of stops to observe and photograph.

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In the evening we didn’t have much time for observing wildlife but there were plenty of birds flying around the lodge.

dscf2380Southern Masked Weaver

dsc05516Sunset at Palmwag Lodge

Click below for gallery of today’s photos:

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Sunday 20th January 2019 – Swakopmund, Namibia

We had two nights in the seaside resort of Swakopmund and on Sunday, whilst the younger members of our group went off and did fun activities such as sky diving (I think I wait for my hundredth birthday for that) we recharged our batteries by strolling  along the beach and watching a few birds, mainly  cormorants and gulls, and observing others doing more adventurous water sports.

dscf1940Kelp Gull

dscf2342Hartlaub Gull

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Although we were warned that it could be cloudy and fresh here we both managed to catch rather too much sun.

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dscf2092Typical seaside activities

In the evening we had a visit to a local township. Although we have visited Africa several times we have never felt inclined to do this, seeing it as rather voyeuristic. However,  we had confidence in the ethical  values of our tour company National Geographic G- Adventures and the reassurances of our guide, Julian, that we went along with it. It was, in the end, a very enjoyable experience, with a visit to a local market and to the home of a member of the Herero tribe; a lesson in the local click language from a women at an orphan centre; a visit to a local hostelry followed by meal of local foods at a restaurant in the township. The main reason for including this in my nature blog is that I did attempt the dish of caterpillars, some of which we had  seen earlier at the local market.

IMG_3455.jpgDried fish at the township market

img_3452Bags of caterpillars

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Click below for gallery of today’s photos: