Trip to Namibia and Southern Zambia

Day 1: The tour begins with an overnight flight From Johannesburg to Walvisbay.

Day 2,3: Our time in coastal Namibia will be spent looking for such specialities as Gray's and Dune Larks, Dusky Sunbird, and Bokmakierie. The bay itself, together with the nearby salt pans and freshwater lagoons is home to literally millions of birds, as huge numbers of Palearctic terns and waders mingle with resident Cape Cormorants, Kelp Gulls, Damara Terns, and endless flocks of Lesser Flamingos. Nights in Walvis Bay.

Day 4: An early start will take us into the desert to search for Rüppell's Korhaan and Burchell's Courser and we'll linger for a while at the towering inselberg of Spitzkop. Here we should find Rosy-faced Lovebird, Sabota and Long-billed Larks, Pale-winged Starling, and Layard's Tit-babbler. However the real prize here is the little-known Herero Chat and we should hopefully get good views of this enigmatic bird. Our final destination is Omaruru in the foothills of the Erongo Mountains where we'll search for Hartlaub's Francolin, Freckled Nightjar, and White-tailed Shrike. Night in Omaruru.

Days 5-7: The Etosha National Park is a vast region packed full of mammals and birds and we'll be based here for three nights. The lodges are situated inside the reserve, some alongside floodlit waterholes where mammals and birds come to drink 24 hours a day. The grassy plains that stretch to the horizon are dotted with mammals and their attendant predators. Black and Red-crested Korhaans are common, as are Double-banded and Burchell's Sandgrouse, while Blue Cranes and Kori Bustards can usually be found with ease. Raptors are abundant and spiralling flocks of vultures might, with luck, include the Southern African Cape Vulture. Larks are numerous in the drier regions and we'll look for Rufous-naped, Spike-heeled, Grey-backed Finch, Chestnut-backed Finch-, Red-capped, Pink-billed, and Clapper Larks. Nights in Etosha National Park.

Days 8-9: After leaving Etosha we'll wend our way northwest into the heart of Ovamboland. Our drive takes us through much more lush scenery and an area with much higher rainfall, before we enter the Namib Desert again at its northern end on the Angolan border. Here, a vast river, which drains the highlands of Angola, bisects the desert and is paralleled with lush riverine vegetation and towering palms. In this area we'll search for the elusive Cinderella Waxbill and Rufous-tailed Palm Thrush, at what is virtually the only area in the world where they can be seen. Other species found here are Bennett's Woodpecker, Grey Kestrel, and possible migrant flocks of the massive Dusky Lark. Nights in Oshakati

Day 10: Our drive today will take us from Oshakati , south past Etosha and then Into the Otavi Mountains where we will spend the night.

Day 11: After a mornings birding in which we hope to find ruppels parrot, damara rock jumper and more, we head North east towards the Kavango river on the  Angola border. We'll travel through fascinating habitats that change from dry acacia woodland through to moist palm savanna and into mature teak forests in a truly tropical African setting. Our hotel for tonight is on the banks of the famous kavango river. In the nearby woodlands we'll search for bird parties which can contain Rufous-bellied Tit, Racquet-tailed Roller, and Sharp-tailed Starling

Night in Rundu. 

Days 12-13: after mornings birding we take a drive that follows the course of the mighty Kavango River we enter Botswana for a two-night stay in a luxury lodge. Here in the depths of the Okavango Delta's panhandle we'll explore the vast region's swamps and riverine forests. On small powered boats or poled 'dug-outs' we'll wend our way through beds of papyrus in search of Slaty Egret, Rufous-bellied Heron, Lesser Jacana, Black Crake, Pygmy and Spur-winged Geese, African Skimmer, Rock Pratincole, Long-toed Plover, Greater Swamp Warbler, and many more. The adjacent forests and grasslands hold Western Banded Snake-eagle, Bradfield's Hornbill, and Swamp Boubou, with a supporting cast of bee-eaters, warblers, shrikes, rollers and weavers. At night our small craft will silently traverse the choked papyrus channels in search of the enormous Pel's Fishing Owl and White-backed Night Heron.
 Nights in the pan handle of The Okavango Delta.
Day 14: Today we leave Shakawe in the Okavango and drive through to Mahango Game Reserve in the morning, where we will spend the day bordering the Kavango River as all the large African game, including elephants, lion, hippopotamus and several species of antelope including Sable, Roan and Red Lechwe. In the woodlands we will have time to look for Bradfield's Hornbill, Broad-billed Roller, Arrow-marked Babbler, Terrestrial and Yellow-bellied Bulbuls.
While along the edge of the flood plain we might find Long-toed Plovers, Pygmy Geese, Mosque and Grey-rumped Swallows, White-rumped Babblers, Chirping Cisticola, Greater Swamp Warbler and Brown Fire Finch and with luck we might bump into African Hobby or Western Banded Snake Eagle

Day 15: Today is a long travel day. We will head east across the Caprivi Strip and back into Botswana at Kassane, where we will leave our vehicle and transfer to our lodge at Lost Horisons on the Zambia side of the falls {3 nights here]

Day 16:  Today will be at your leisure with time to visit the falls, on Both the Zimbabwe and Zambian sides. It is advisable to keep your bins handy while in this area as there will still be plenty of opportunity for incidental birding on these excursions.

Day 17:Today we take a long excurson to the Mugmwe regen west of livingstone in order to look for Black-cheeked lovebird, a Zambian endemic, extremely localized and rare.

Day  18:  Choma:  we drive  NE to Choma and  spend time birding  in an area of Miombo woodland with its attendant endemics, Spotted Creeper, Mashona Hyliota, Green capped Eremomela, Souzas Shrike, Violet backed sunbird, Miombo Grey tit, Mennels Seed-eater, and Cabanis Bunting though the target bird here is Zambia’s other endemic, Chaplins Barbet.

Day 19&20:  Saivonga Today we drive down to the lower Zambezi valley below Lake Kariba for 2 nights. An extremely bird rich area, birds we can expect though include Livingstone’s Flycatcher, Barred, Thick-billed, and African Emerald Cuckoos, African Broadbill, Western-banded Snake Eagle, Cuckoo Hawk, Dickenson’s Kestrel, and numerous others, Palearctic visitors like Sprosser and red-backed shrikes are abundant at this time of year here.

Day 21,22: Depart early and head north to the Lusaka region  Visit The Miombo Sanctuary and Trotover farm   Bar winged Weaver(possible), Palebilled Hornbill, Souzas Shrike, Yellowbellied Ermomela, Bushveld & Longbilled Pipits, Bennets Woodpecker, Racket tailed Roller, and Black backed Barbets, Miombo Scrub-robin, Miombo Wren Warbler, Boehm’s Flycatcher, Chestnut-backed Sparrow-weaver, Orange-winged Pytilia, Black-tailed Waxbill and Cabanis’s Bunting.

Our final day will have some early morning birding before packing and heading for the airport for our series of long flights home.