Trip report: Namibia and Botswana (Aug-Sept. 2014)

Guided by Josh Engel This was a custom tour.

Namibia during the dry season is a stark land, yet it abounds with life. Birds and animals have evolved in its deserts to cope with a long, harsh dry season, knowing exactly where and how to get the moisture and sustenance they need to survive. It’s a brilliant time to visit the country, when these creatures gather around waterholes, puddles, and leaking pipes to find the water they so desperately need. It’s also the season that flamingoes gather on the coast, that antelope and their predators gather at waterholes, and that the clear desert sky is uninterrupted by even a single cloud, day or night. Botswana is dry, too, but the mighty Okavango River pumps water into the dry land, bringing with it an abundance of life and supporting forests and wetlands in the middle of the Kalahari Desert.
This trip took advantage of it all. The flocks of thousands of flamingoes at Walvis Bay; the birdbaths pumping with Rosy-faced Lovebirds in the stunning Erongo Mountains; hundreds of antelopes, giraffes, and ostrich wary of the lurking lions at an Etosha waterhole; and the abundant birdlife of the Okavango swamps. In between we visited the world-famous San rock engravings at Twyfelfontein, had our evening checklist session interrupted by rhinos and elephants, found virtually all of the endemic Kalahari birds, took boat trips on the Okavango River to find hippos and Pel’s Fishing Owl, and found ourselves wondering at the myriad forms that a desert can take. Below is a day-by-day account, with all of the photos presented taken on this single trip.

Click this link to view the full report in PDF format (1.2 MB file)