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Etosha & Hobatere

12 DAY TRIP       12 to 23 July 2023

 Namibia is a very diverse country with an impressive array of habitats and vegetation. It is one of the few countries where animals still roam freely, mostly unrestricted by human influence. The country has a great mix of desert, semi-desert, and savannahs.

Our tour takes us to two iconic destinations, Etosha National Park and Hobatere Game Reserve.

Within Southern Africa, thirteen species of birds are exclusive to Namibia and are classified as national endemics. Our destinations offer us the possibility of finding eleven of these species.

 Etosha National Park

Etosha National Park, with its wealth of animal, bird and plant life lies in the north of Namibia and covers an area of some 22 000 square km.

The Park is a magical and unforgettable African destination.

The name Etosha comes from the Ndonga language and means the” great white place”, referring to the huge salt pan.

One of the most well-loved and unique wildlife sanctuaries in all of Africa, Etosha’s signature feature is its immense salt pan, so impressive in size that it can be seen from space! Surrounded by semi-arid savannah grassland and thorny bushveld, the pan itself contains water for only a few days each year, stimulating the growth of a blue-green algae that lures thousands of striking Greater and Lesser Flamingos to the area.

A top wildlife safari retreat, Etosha is rich with game scattering the horizon, and frequenting the plentiful watering holes that dot the area.

The park is excellent for game viewing, especially in dry season from April-October. It is also excellent for birding.

We cover eastern, central, and western Etosha and stay in each area for easy access to the various habitats. Habitats include grassveld, dwarf shrub along the edge of the saline pan, mopani savannah and scrub, mixed woodland, and dolomite hills and koppies

Game viewing

Etosha is generally accepted as one of Africa’s greatest game sanctuaries with four of the “Big Five” namely Elephant, Black Rhino, Lion and Leopard being present.  Other larger mammals include Eland, Giraffe, Zebra, Kudu, Gemsbok, Blue Wildebeest, Red Hartebeest, Black Faced Impala, Spotted Hyena and Cheetah.

A feature of the Etosha experience is the abundance of waterholes.

Spread throughout the park, they are either natural springs in which some water can be found throughout the year or were artificially created. A great diversity of animals congregates around these waterholes, some in large numbers, more so during the dry season. During the heat of the day, one can still find a high concentration of different wildlife surrounding these waterholes. It is not uncommon to see ten or more species together at these waterholes.

The cherry on the top is the floodlit waterholes at three of the main camps. A great diversity of animals is very often seen during the day as well as during the night. Sighting of the rare Black Rhinoceros is not uncommon in the evenings. Due to the floodlights, the visibility is very good, even for night photography. The animals are not disturbed by the light and will come for a drink or to cool down.


Approximately 410 bird species have been identified in the park, about a third of which are migratory. Of the 35 raptor species recorded in the park, ten are migratory.

Lappet-faced and White-backed Vultures are regularly seen, whist White-headed and Hooded Vultures are occasionally encountered.


Other diurnal raptors seen throughout the year include Martial and Tawny Eagles, Bateleur, African Hawk-Eagle, Black-chested and Brown Snake-Eagles, Southern Pale Chanting and Gabar Goshawks, Lanner, Red-necked and Pygmy Falcons, Greater Kestrel, Shikra, Ovambo and Little Sparrowhawks.

Owls occur throughout the park, the best place to see them being in the Rest Camps at their roosting sites during the day. Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Spotted Eagle-Owl, Western Barn Owl, Southern White-faced Scops- Owl, Pearl-spotted Owlet and African Scops Owl are all realistic possibilities.

Floodlit waterholes offer the possibility of seeing Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Western Barn Owl and Rufous-cheeked Nightjar at night.

Five Namibian endemics are found in Etosha, namely Bare-cheeked Babbler, Violet Wood-hoopoe, Monteiro’s Hornbill, Ruppell’s Parrot and Carp’s Tit. Near-endemics include Rosy-faced Lovebird, Black-faced Babbler and Chestnut Weaver.

Resident terrestrial birds to look out for are Kori Bustard, Secretarybird, Northern Black and Red-crested Korhaans, Burchell’s, Double-banded and Temminck’s Coursers, Namaqua, Double-banded and Burchell’s Sandgrouses

This is an excellent place to come to grips with LBJ’s, with ten species of Larks to test even the experienced birder. Insectivorous birds include Short-toed Rock-Thrush, Crimson-breasted and Southern, White-crowned Shrikes, Southern Pied Babbler, Ashy Tit, Barred Wren-Warbler, Rufous-eared Warbler, Cape Penduline-Tit and Pririt Batis. Great Sparrow, Violet-eared and Black-faced Waxbills, Shaft-tailed Whydah and Laklike Bunting are some of the more interesting seedeaters to be found

We will be staying at all four rest camps in Park, namely Namutoni in the east, Halali in the central area, Okaukuejo in the south-west and Dolomite near the western boundary.

Hobatere Game Reserve

One of Namibia’s top birding destinations, Hobatere Game Reserve, is situated 80 km north of Kamanjab on the western border of Etosha National Park. The area consists of rolling granite hills and kopjes, interspersed with open valleys, plains, and dry watercourse


Approximately 280 bird species have been identified, of which about a quarter are migratory. As the majority of the “specials “are resident species, we can still expect a very rewarding birding experience

Hobatere is home to several Namibia’s endemics and special birds, including Hartlaub’s Spurfowl, Rockrunner, Ruppell’s Parrot, Monteiro’s Hornbill and Violet Wood-hoopoe, while Bare-cheeked Babbler and Damara Red-billed Hornbill are found in camp. The camp is also great for owls, including African Scops-Owl, Southern White-faced Scops-Owl, Pearl-spotted Owlet and Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl. Migrant raptors include Black Kite, Steppe Eagle, Red-footed Falcon, Lesser Kestrel and Booted Eagle. Red-necked Falcon breeds in the area.

JOther interesting species found are Burchell’s and Bronze-winged Courser,Chestnut Weaver, Rosy-faced Lovebird, Bradfield’s Swift, Barred Wren-Warbler and Stark’s Lark. Hobatere is an excellent place to come to grips with L B J’s, with nine species of larks to test even the expert birder.

Bare-cheeked Babbler

Game viewing

The lodge is situated in a concession area of 32 000 ha and is home to a wide selection of game, including Elephant, Lion, Cheetah, Leopard, Eland and Hartmann’s Zebra.

We spend two nights in comfortably furnished chalets nestled between large Mopane trees, with en-suite facilities.

Birding en route


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Day 1

Date : July 12, 2023


Early morning flight from Johannesburg, arriving mid-morning in Windhoek.
Travel via Okahanja to our overnight destination, a game lodge near Otjowarango.
Night drive in open safari vehicle.
Overnight at lodge.

Day 2

Date : July 13, 2023

Otjiwarango-Etosha NP

Early morning birding in lodge grounds.
After breakfast, head for Etosha, via Otavi and Tsumeb.
Arrive at Von Lindequist Gate in the early afternoon.
Afternoon birding and overnight at Namutoni Camp.

Day 3 to 8

Etosha National Park

Days spent birding and game viewing
Overnight in Etosha NP

Day 9

Date : July 20, 2023


Early morning birding in Park
Depart after breakfast for Hobatere, arriving early afternoon.
Afternoon game drive in open safari vehicle.
Overnight at Hobatere Lodge.

Day 10

Date : July 21, 2023


Morning game and birding walk.
Rest of day spent birding and relaxing.
Night drive in open safari vehicle.
Overnight at Hobatere Lodge.

Day 11

Date : July 22, 2023


Early morning birding in camp.
Depart after breakfast for Usakos, via Brandberg, birding en route.
Overnight at lodge near Usakos.

Day 12

Date : July 24, 2023


Early morning birding around area.
Depart after breakfast for Windhoek for mid-afternoon flight to Johannesburg.

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Alcoholic beverages, gratuities and items of a personal nature.

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