Namibia is a country of vast open space, superb scenery, friendly people and fantastic birds and mammals. This tour is focused on searching for some of Africa’s most special and more difficult mammals with a number of night drives to increase our chances of such species. The itinerary allows for a relaxed time with very few one night stays and much of the tour is based in and around the mammal rich area of the world famous Etosha NP. June is not high season in Etosha so should be quieter than later in the year, but still an excellent time for game viewing. Our maximum group size is just 7 people and therefore everyone is guaranteed a window seat throughout the tour in a high quality vehicle – see details at bottom of page.
WINDHOEK to RIVER CROSSING LODGE
After arriving in Windhoek, we will make our way to the very relaxing River Crossing Lodge perched high on a rocky escarpment with some great views across rocky scrub / savannah. It is just a 30 minute drive from the airport and perfect to relax after a long flight. Here our first mammals are likely to include Yellow Mongoose and Rock Dassie. Overnight: River Crossing Lodge
WINDHOEK to ERONGO MOUNTAINS
After breakfast we will travel North-East to the Erongo Mountains where we shall spend a very pleasant night at the Erongo Wilderness Lodge. En route we shall make a few stops as we are likely to encounter a number of new mammals that may include (Hartmann’s) Mountain Zebra, Klipspringer and Gemsbok. We should arrive at the lodge in time for lunch where numerous Rosy-faced Lovebirds often visit the drinking pools and Harlaub’s Francolins are often quite tame! The Erongo Mountains are the best place in Namibia to try and see Black Mongoose and we may get lucky with this highly sought after species.
Overnight: Erongo Wilderness Lodge
ERONGO MOUNTAINS to ERINDI PRIVATE GAME RESERVE
Today we head towards the Erindi Game Reserve, translated as “The place of Water” in local Herero language. Here we will have some excellent opportunities to see some of Africa’s highly sought after and tricky mammals! This 71,000 ha pristine private game reserve teems with more than 15,000 head of game. We shall join an afternoon game drive and our focus will be both mammals and birds. Erindi has a good population of recently re-introduced Wild Dogs as well as a healthy population of cats with good chances of Lion, Leopard and Cheetah! The lodge also has regular sightings of Aardvark that sometimes come to drink at the waterhole by the restaurant! The bird interest is just as exciting with Hartlaub’s Francolin, Rüppell’s Parrot, Rosy-faced Lovebirds, Violet Wood Hoopoe, Verreaux’s Eagle and the superb White-tailed Shrike to name just a few! Overnight: Old Traders Lodge, Erindi Private Game Reserve
ERINDI PRIVATE GAME RESERVE
We shall spend a full day exploring Erindi focusing our effort on key mammals. We shall take both early morning and late afternoon game drives where we should find a good diversity of species.
ERINDI to RUSTIG TOKO LODGE
This area is a great base rich in speciality birds and mammals.The Violet-backed Starling and the Rosy-faced Lovebird can often be seen in the camp & photographic opportunities should be plenty with hides close to the main lodge. During the evening we will keep our ears will be kept open for the unmistakable grunts of the Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Namibia’s largest owl as well as the African Scops Owl and the smallest owl species to be found in the country. There is an excellent chance of finding Pearl-spotted Owlets in the lodge grounds too.
However, it is the evening when things really liven up and we shall explore the area for nocturnal species. The area has an excellent population of Aardwolf, Porcupine are also seen on a fairly frequent basis and there is also a reasonable chance of the highly prized Aardvark that we shall certainly try our best for! Overnight: Rustig Toko Lodge
DAYS 6 & 7
RUSTIG TOKO to WESTERN ETOSHA DOLOMITES
Etosha’s exclusive Dolomite Camp opens up the restricted western side of the park to a limited number of visitors. Here, we will have elevated view of the endless plains of Etosha National Park in Namibia. The wildlife has developed without too much human disturbance and species such as black rhino and black-faced impala are almost guaranteed here. We have two nights at this great lodge and we shall take full advantage of the night drives that are available here, as this facility is not available everywhere in Etosha.
There will be time to relax around the camp in the day to enjoy the commoner bird and mammal species with most activity around the waterhole visible from the camp.
Once again, it is the night drives that should be the most exciting for mammals with excellent chances for Aardwolf and Aardvark and possibly Caracal. Overnight: Dolomite Camp
DAYS 8 & 9
WESTERN ETOSHA NP
Today we travel to Damarland and the famous Etosha National Park where we enter in the west via the Galton Gate. Most of this area is Mopane woodland, interspersed with dolomite hills and outcrops. Once in the park we have our first opportunity to see many mammals including Leopard, Elephant an abundance of Antelope, Giraffe and other game. Raptors are well represented here and we should find Yellow-billed Kite, Brown Snake Eagle and Black-chested Snake Eagle, Tawny Eagle and Wahlberg’s Eagle, African Hawk-Eagle, Augur Buzzard, Gabar Goshawk, Shikra and Little Sparrowhawk. We have an excellent chance of seeing Black Rhino from the grounds of our accommodation overlooking a fantastic waterhole. This is probably the best place in Namibia to see Black Rhino which visit regularly, along with Elephants and Lions. Overnight: Okaukuejo Lodge
DAYS 10 – 11
WESTERN & CENTRAL ETOSHA – OKAUKUEJO & HALALI CAMPS
Etosha National Park covers nearly 23,000 square kilometres and is justly famous as one of the finest game reserves in Africa, immortalized in many wildlife films. The name ‘Etosha’ means ‘Big White Place’ in the language of the local Bushmen. Covering such a large area, the park naturally encompasses a varied selection of habitats and an unusually high diversity of birds and mammals. Etosha is also home to an abundance of ground loving species such as Northern Black Korhaan, Red-crested Korhaan, Double-banded Courser and numerous Lark species. For most of the year the area is very dry, ranging from near desert in the west to dried-out lake beds in the central sector and well developed woodland in the moister east, but the many waterholes act as a magnet for mammals and birds during the drier months.
We will travel to Halali Camp, located in the centre of the park and we will spend two days exploring this area as well as taking two night drives. Once at Halali we will search for day roosting African Scops Owl and Southern White-faced Scops Owl, both of which regularly use the camp. After dinner we will take night drives within the National Park to look for species like African Wild Cat, Caracal and other harder to find species. We shall return to the lodge late, but for those still keen for more there is a floodlit waterhole. It is always exciting as you never know what might turn up and sightings of Leopard are not uncommon. Halali lodge is also one of the best places to see Honey Badger with animals often visiting the camp grounds looking for any scraps of food that may be available. Overnight: Halali Camp Central Etosha
CENTRAL & EASTERN ETOSHA – HALALI CAMP to ONGUMA CAMP
Today will be our last full day in Etosha NP and after breakfast we will take a slow drive to Namutoni on the eastern side of the park. There are a number of waterholes in this area and it is probably the best chance of finding Blue Crane in the park. Of course mammals will also play a large part of our time and we shall enjoy the specatcle of many animals visiting the often busy waterholes in this part of the park. This particular side of Etosha is very good for Cheetah and Leopard sightings so we shall target these species during the afternoon. Of course we should also find Oryx, Elephant, Giraffe, Spotted Hyena, Steenbok and much more! Overnight: Onguma Bush Camp
ONGUMA to WINDHOEK
After a very relaxing breakfast at Onguma we will have time to explore the grounds a little where we shall target any species that we are missing. This lodge has recorded Caracal on a number of occasions and it also has a hide within the grounds for viewing wildlife. After lunch at the lodge we shall then travel towards Windhoek for our final night. Overnight: River Crossing Lodge
TRANSFER TO AIRPORT
After a leisurely breakfast we will then take the short transfer to Windhoek airport where the tour concludes.