Birding Around The Omaruru Area, Namibia

This would be our last chance for birding in Namibia before heading home.  After leaving Huab Lodge, we headed south to Omaruru via Outjo to avoid dirt roads.  I had had enough of those to last a lifetime!  We arrived in Omaruru around 3pm so headed off towards the Erongo Wilderness Area for birding before heading to the hotel for an overnight stop.

Approaching Erongo Wilderness Lodge which has a gorgeous setting but was way out of our budget.

What’s this?  Looks interesting!  (Seen on the Erongo Road)

Shaft-tailed Whydah

There is a guarded gate but they let us in, no problem.

We were planning to go to the lodge, have a drink at the bar and see as many birds as possible.  We were stopped in our tracks by a bad road.

Lower car park, lodge guests are given transport if they can’t drive themselves but not day-trippers.

Bad photo of a beautiful Violet Wood-hoopoe

We stopped in here for a quick look around and I was hoping they had some of those Lovebird artworks for sale (they don’t).  I wish I had known Camp Mara existed, we would have stayed here!  For future reference:  Camp Mara

With the sun rapidly going down, it was time to go to the hotel we already booked:  Omaruru Guesthouse.

Good morning!  Time for some early birding before the final drive back to Windhoek Airport and the flight home!

OK, OK we will Go-away, Bird!

Flock of Rosy-faced Lovebirds

Pale-winged Starling

Let’s see if I can get a decent shot of a Rosy-faced Lovebird in flight!

Not this one!

Getting better!

These next 2 were the best I can do, they are a pretty small and fast target!

A final goodbye to Omaruru as we drive to Windhoek.

 

Birding The Grounds Of Huab Lodge, Namibia

One of the reasons for choosing Huab Lodge is that there had been several reports on eBird of Ruppell’s Parrots in the area.  We did find ONE parrots and lots more birds!

This pretty bird was seen on the roadside.  I think it’s a Yellow-crowned Bishop.

Quite a few lizards around sunning on the rocks.

And here he is…………….the ONE Ruppell’s Parrot we saw on the whole trip!  Thankfully he stuck around for awhile.

Ring-necked dove

Ring-necked dove

Another lizard

Dusky Sunbird

Laughing Dove

Guineafowls coming right into the restaurant.

Cape Bunting

Rock Bunting

Squirrel

Workers seen from the deck

Pale-winged Starling

African Red-eyed Bulbul

Fork-tailed Drongos

White-browed Sparrow-Weaver

Lilac-breasted Roller

Monteiro’s Hornbill

Apologies for not being able to id all the birds, if anyone knows what the LBJs & stripe-faced birds are, please comment!

Dusky Sunbird (Cinnyris fuscus)

The Dusky Sunbird (Cinnyris fuscus) is found in arid savanna, thickets and shrubland in southern Africa and is duller than most other sunbirds.

They can be found throughout Angola, Namibia, Botswana & South Africa.  I saw this one right near our room at Huab Lodge in Namibia.

LEARN MORE ABOUT DUSKY SUNBIRDS

Wikipedia

Birdlife

Biodiversity Explorer

VIDEOS

Here’s some slides with a sound clip.

 

Rüppell’s Parrot (Poicephalus rueppellii)

Rüppell’s Parrot (Poicephalus rueppellii) or Rueppell’s Parrot is named after the German naturalist and explorer Eduard Rüppell.

They can be found in Namibia and Angola.  I saw this one at Huab Lodge high in a tree but at least he stayed there awhile!

LEARN MORE ABOUT RUPPELL’S PARROTS

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife

Biodiversity Explorer

VIDEOS

There weren’t a lot of wild bird clips but lots of pet Ruppell’s Parrots out there!

 

Lodge Review: Huab Lodge, Namibia

Huab Lodge has a stunning location in Damaraland, Namibia and is one of the country’s top birding lodges.

It is accessed via a 35 km dirt road just south of Kamanjab.  Look for D2670 on the signs, then just follow the signs to the lodge.

The buildings are very cool architecturally………….

…………even the local birds think so!

They offer a variety of activities including game drives.  We didn’t do the game drive as I thought the lodge grounds offered excellent birding.

Meals are served at fixed times around one large table shared by hosts and guests.  Teh food was excellent and dinner was quite a show when one of the local ladies described the food in their language which has a lot of clicks.  Just beyond the dining area is a deck where you can watch birds and relax.

Our room was stunning!  We weren’t bothered by mosquitoes so didn’t use the nets, preferring to have an open look out the window to the scenery below.

The bathroom is actually a bit similar to ours at home with the walk-in shower and stone floor although our window doesn’t have such a nice view!

Here’s our deck and you can see how amazing the scenery is!

The swimming pool is just next to the restaurant.

You can walk down this trail to the hot pool below.

The gorgeous hot pool with the stonework is nice and hot and very relaxing.  A great place to loosen up those aching muscles………………

…………………before a nice relaxing massage!  This was our “spoil ourselves” treat after a long trip through Africa!

You can book on their website or try an online travel agent for better deals.  We used Orbitz as they had a good discount already and I was able to stack it with a 15% coupon code that was emailed to me.  We only stayed one night as it’s not a cheap place but wish we could have stayed longer.

Hotel Review: Oase Guest House, Kamanjab, Namibia

We needed a place to break the journey between two birding hotspots – Kunene River Lodge and Huab Lodge so Oase Guest House in Kamanjab was a good choice for our budget.  It’s right off the main road as you drive south and enter Kamanjab from the north.

The property is very secure with a huge wall around it and a pool in the back.

The fan-cooled brick rooms were actually a good size and had ensuite bathrooms and wifi.

Dinner is served a-la-carte and they had some good choices at good prices.  Breakfast is a continental buffet.

I had been hoping to see birds in the garden but there weren’t any.

Someone told me there were Rosy-faced Lovebirds visiting another guesthouse just down the street a bit called Oppi-Koppi Rest Camp so I had to go over for a peek!  They were kind enough to let me see this little guy and his friend having a meal!

Kamanjab is kind of in the middle of no-where so whether you are headed north or south, I strongly suggest filling up your fuel tank before moving on.  I didn’t see any petrol stations between here and Huab Lodge.  There aren’t any restaurants that I could see in town so plan on eating at the guest house.

Burchell’s Starling (Lamprotornis australis)

Burchell’s Starling or Burchell’s Glossy-starling (Lamprotornis australis) is a species of starling in the family Sturnidae.  The name of this bird commemorates the English naturalist William John Burchell.

They can be found in Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.  I had my best viewing at Kunene River Lodge but also saw a few in Etosha NP.

LEARN MORE ABOUT BURCHELL’S STARLINGS

Wikipedia

Birdlife

Biodiversity Explorer

VIDEOS

A safari guide explains some bird facts.

Stunning close-up of this beautiful bird.  Note the black eyes which are a major identification point.

 

 

 

Birding The Grounds Of The Kunene River Lodge

We were up early the next morning to bird the grounds of the Kunene River Lodge.  I had hoped to see Cinderella Waxbills but Pete, the owner said it was the wrong season.

First we wandered through the camping area.  Plenty of monkeys were lurking around hoping to steal food.

Swamp Boubou

Possibly a Goliath Heron in silhouette

The visibility was much better on the deck and we were able to see the trees in the lodge grounds and the river banks.

Yellow-bellied Greenbul

Burchell’s Starling

African Golden Oriole

The Rufous-tailed Palm-Thrush led us on a merry chase, even Pete was surprised they weren’t co-operating more.

Goliath Heron (Ardea goliath)

The Goliath Heron (Ardea goliath), also known as the Giant Heron, is the largest heron in the world.

A younger Goliath Heron

They have a huge range in Africa but I can only recall seeing them during the Zambezi River Cruise in Livingstone and the sunset cruise at Kunene River Lodge.

LEARN MORE ABOUT GOLIATH HERONS

Wikipedia

Birdlife

Heron Conservation

VIDEOS

Nice close ups here!

 

Fish for lunch!

 

Crocodile for dinner!

 

Kunene River Lodge Sunset Cruise

A sunset cruise at the Kunene River Lodge is a treat for birders and non-birders alike and not to be missed.  Lodge owner Pete knows all the local bird species and the best places to find them.

We did see a rare Grey Kestrel right off the bat, couldn’t get a decent shot of him though.

Goliath Heron

Rosy-faced Lovebirds flying off on the wrong side of the sun.

Small crocodile

Pied Kingfisher

Thick-knee

Finally, a Rosy-faced Lovebird poses for the camera!

A Dove points the way.

Landing on the Angola side.

Swamp Boubou

Time for some wine and a good sunset viewing spot!