Monday, November 12, 2012

Arrival in Namibia, Windhoek

Regular readers will know I've had a long hiatus due to Helen tearing a leg muscle in early June, we combined her recovery with extensive work travel for me.  We have now however just returned from our latest trip, so here we go...

We had long ago decided we needed to visit Namibia, due both to it's outstanding natural beauty but also the diversity of bird species we might encounter.  I asked for and received a recommendation for a tour company, Bush Whisper from Johannesburg and booked a birding safari through them.  We juggled the schedule after BA moved our return flight forward by 12 hours, but overall preparations were smooth.  

We'd decided to treat ourselves around the time of the Air Miles to Avios conversion by consolidating various accounts and flying ourselves down to Johannesburg in first class with BA!  It's fair to say we were both looking forward therefore to the start of the trip.

The Concord lounge in Terminal 5 is very pleasant, spacious and quiet.  We enjoyed the quality of the wines and waiter service and were very relaxed boarding the flight.  The 747 was one of the old models.  The food was fantastic (I had Asian Vegetarian and it was top notch) and the wine good too, though Qantas's champagne was better.  The seat/bed was comfortable and on arrival in Jo'burg I realized what makes first class different.  I wasn't tired, just relaxed.  

We found a lounge in Jo'burg then caught our connection to Windhoek, Namibia.  Stepping out of the plane in Namibia the first thing you notice is the heat.  Wow it was hot!  

We were met by a contracted driver and taken to our first accommodation, the Klein Windhoek Guest-house  which I can recommend.  The room is comfy, has air con, the food and beer is good and the owner was very helpful.  Once settled we met our guide, Gys, made arrangements for the following morning and then wandered around the grounds of the guest-house.   

We managed to get some new species there and then, including African Red-eyed Bulbul:

Blue Waxbill:
















This one wasn't a lifer but a very close view of a Grey Go-Away Bird:














Nor indeed was the White-Browed Sparrow-Weaver:















Out on the scrub at the back, a Namaqua Dove, tiny little bird:





















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