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Yearly Archive 20 August 2018

Birds of the African swamp

The Okavango Delta is the largest delta in the world that is not connected to a sea. A number of bird species feel right at home in that kind of area. During my trip through Africa I’ve also sailed through the Okavango and spent the night there. You can read more about that over here. Of course along the way I didn’t just have a look at the (very) nice scenery but also at the birds that can be found over here. You can encounter a lot of different birds that either like to stay very close to the water or not that close to the water, but not that far away either. I would like to share the pictures of the more conspicuous of those, there are some interesting birds among them!

Birds of the African garden

Although the average Dutch garden does contain more birds than one might initially think, the African garden is something else. Here no Blackbirds or Finches but very different birds. In some ways the basis stays the same, they also have doves here, but there is a lot of stuff  on top of that.

Birds of the savannah

If someone talks about the savannah, most people will probably think about lions and elephants. Those species do indeed live there and they certainly are nice to look at! Still I can recommend everyone to pay also some attention in the birds around the pile of mammals. Of course there is the Ostrich, the largest bird in the world although it can’t fly. That’s a bird most people will still recognize and probably have on their Wishlist when they go on safari. And, to be fair, they are worth the trouble.

Ungulates of Africa

Africa has many kinds of ungulates, ranging from the prehistoric like rhino’s to the tiny steenbok. That’s why I wanted to give them some special attention in a separate blog and give you an idea of the kinds of ungulates you could encounter in Africa, which I’ve indeed encountered during my trip through South-Africa, Botswana and Namibia.

Elephants: fascinating beasts!

Before I went to Africa, elephants didn’t do much for me. Of course it’s a colossal animal with a trunk and tusks and that all points in its favour, but I just wasn’t feeling so excited about them. The first elephant I ever saw was a worn out female that was spending the last years of her life in Okavango. Pretty cool of course, to see your first elephant, but still it didn’t really change my mind about elephants. Till I saw them together.

Hornbills of Africa

When you’re in Africa as a birder there is much to be seen. Although birds in the Netherlands certainly are nice to look upon and each bird is beautiful in it’s own way (except Egyptian Gooses they will always remain hideous), but Africa is a different playing field! Yes, sadly Egyptian Gooses are still an evil that can also not be avoided here, although at least here they are actually countable, but to compensate for the inconvenience there is a whole lot of other colourful birds. A family that I’ve grown especially fond of are the Hornbills. All colourful birds with huge beaks, what else do you want! That’s why I wanted to give this group of birds in a separate blog some extra attention.

A visit to the red dunes of Sossusvlei

Sossusvlei, the red desert of Namibia, is famous. Here beautifully shaped sand dunes can be seen with a peculiar red colour. The most iconic place is however Deadvlei. A white clay plain surrounded by some of the highest dunes in the world, some amount even to 400 meters! The plain is filled with gnarled acacia trees. Those often make for nice pictures.

Stars of Spitzkoppe

Spitzkoppe is a mountain landscape with all kinds of whimsically shaped rock formations. We’ve set up camp here. The stars are beautiful. Tonight will be extra special tonight, because there will be a lunar eclipse! We couldn’t have imagined a better place to watch it! So while we are preparing our chili con carne at the campfire, the moon slowly disappears behind the earth. A very special experience!

A great afternoon

Today would be our second and final day in Etosha National Park. Alas, we must go on! Of course we hope to get the maximum out of this day at least so we’re standing early at the gates again. We’re all still sleepy from yesterday. About one hundred meters after the entrance we’re wide awake. A lioness is stalking a prey! The prey turns out to be a Springbok. Sadly the stalking takes a long time and because of the dense bushes we lose sight of the animals after a while. So we move on. In the morning we see about the animals we’ve seen already. Just like yesterday we go swimming in Halali. Completely freshened up we go at it for the last time in the afternoon. If any animal is planning on showing itself, now is the time!

Savannahsoap

We’ve been traveling for about half a week now with a group of seventeen. We’re traveling in three cars. Today is the day on which we will finally visit Etosha National Park. The day before we left from Maun in Botswana and we’ve driven via the border all the way to Etosha. For those among us that look at maps sometimes: that is quite a distance. We left at 6 in the morning and about 2.30 in the night we arrived. We quickly put up our tents and at 5.30 we were already waiting at the gates of Etosha. But now it’s finally happening: a visit to the famous Etosha!