Day 13: Etosha – Namutoni

Pre-breakfast game drive:

The park gates opened at sunrise – 6:24am – and we went straight out.

Some interesting (and even some new) sightings in good morning light on this drive:

…Kori bustard…

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…Pale chanting goshawk…

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…Giraffe peeking over tree…

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…Wildebeest…

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…Zebra drinking…

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But the highlight of the morning was easily the three lion cubs playing at the Koinachas waterhole. We didn’t even see the mother until she stood up out of the grass behind them.

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Back for breakfast … buffet of course!

Mid-morning game drive:

After breakfast we headed back out. No rest for the wicked.

Big game-wise this pre-lunch game drive was pretty quiet. But birding-wise it was great. Sure, we saw some more wildebeest, zebra, oryx, giraffe, springbok and black-faced impala, but I was more impressed with the bird life.

Todd spotted an Ovambo Sparrowhawk at the same waterhole we saw the lion cubs…

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In Fischer’s Pan, one of the few areas of the park holding water (besides the waterholes), we saw Greater (the larger birds landing) and Lesser flamingos, with Pied Avocets feeding on the shore behind them…

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Near another waterhole (Andoni?), which was full of zebra drinking, there were two impressively-tailed whydahs (the Shaft-tailed Whydah and an even more extravagant Long-tailed Paradise Whydah). [I’ve posted this photo of the shaft-tail whydah – flying – mainly to show the tree full of Red-billed Queleas. The quality of the whydah is rubbish; I get a far better close-up of one “tomorrow”]…

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…and on the drive back to the lodge we stalked a very smartly dressed Secretarybird. I think Judy gets the credit for spotting this one (or was it Sandy?). From so far away the rest of us thought it was another bustard.

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For mine, the highlight of the mid-morning drive were the Lilac-breasted Rollers; more than a dozen of them seen between Andoni and Namutoni, one with a juicy preying mantis for lunch…

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The colours on this bird are nuts…

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Lunch … buffet … stuffed … the routine continues.

Afternoon game drive:

Very laid back afternoon. Not a lot of game in the areas we went but still saw a bambi-like steenbuck, two kudu males with four or five females, a Swainson’s Spurfowl up a tree, Red-billed Spurfowl with chicks, and a large male kudu hesitantly drinking alone at a waterhole…

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We headed back to the Koinachas waterhole for some sundowners before going back to the lodge (just made it back in time as they were closing the gates). [NB: Windhoek Lager goes down alright.]

Dinner … buffet … early night (well, early to bed, up until midnight reviewing photos). Up early tomorrow to make our way to the western corner of the park and our last two nights at Etosha.

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