Day 6 - Omaruru to Okaukuejo (Etosha National Park):
We started our day with a trip to some rocky areas in search of Hartlaub's Francolin and Rockrunner. It was a glorious morning in terms or weather, but not at first for birds... We stood around for a bit calling for Hartlaub's Francolin, and had no luck at all, no replies, nothing. But, we did see a Slender Mongoose poking around in the distance, and got good scope views. After giving up there we walked down the track a bit, and finally got a response to the Hartlaub's Francolin call - one flew in front of us and landed in great view! Then we saw a family of them, being very vocal, as well as 2 Rockrunners on the rock face.
In total we had 69 birds and 17 mammals, with 20 and 10 lifers respectively. The highlights from our journey up to the Etosha National Park were:
By the late afternoon we had arrived in Okaukeujo, on the south-west side of the Etosha Pan in the national park. We soon saw amazing animals like African Elephants, Burchell's Zebras and Kori Bustards. Someone spotted a pair of distant Secretary Birds - a species I have always wanted to see for some reason! And whilst looking at them, a very distant so called Spotted Hyena was roaming, but after a few people got a scope view, it was soon realised that this 'spotted' hyena was in fact striped - it was an Aardwolf - our Namibian guide hadn't seen one for 4 years. These creatures, although related to hyenas, eat mostly termites. I also saw my first Black Rhino, which was surprisingly close, and running - a little scary! A pair of Bat-eared Foxes were also spotted.
After dinner we took our first evening trip to a waterhole - the first of 4. There were many Namaqua and Double-banded Sandgrouse gathering at the hole as the sun set, and a very close Black Rhino as well as Elephants, and in the awful light at the back of the hole, a pair of Lions strolled across! An amazing end to an amazing day!
I'm Sorrel, a young birder and wildlife artist based in the East Midlands - this is my blog all about my birding and wildlife adventures.