After leaving the Hoba Meteorite and Etosha National Park behind us, we drove north to the very start of the Caprivi Strip, the stretch of land belonging to Namibia that streches far to the east of the rest of country, going all the way to Victoria Falls and Zimbabwe.
At the very base of the Caprivi, we stayed with Charlie and Mark Paxton, at their fantastic birding site, Shamvura Lodge. This was without doubt the best birding location of the entire trip, in two days there I saw 56 life bird species, including my 1,000th life bird, the Terrestrial Brownbul. The two real highlights, however, were the Least Bittern, above, and the stunning Malachite Kingfisher, below.
After two full days and a few hours in the third morning at Shamvura, we headed on to Bwabwata National Park, a tiny little bit into the Caprivi, staying for two nights at the Ngepi Lodge along the Kavango River, the same river that Shamvura was on, but which crosses the caprivi, goes down into Botswana, and disappears, forming the amazing Okavango Delta (the name of the river also changes as it goes south).
We did two small trips into Bwabwata, seeing wildlife that while not as dense as in Etosha National Park was still different and interesting, with lots of African Buffalo lazing about in the marsh and Bushbuck in the woodland. Also, there were still mant birds, including several sightings of Wattled Crane, a vulnerable and declining species.
Bwabwata N.P. behind us, we headed south and entered Botswana, staying the night at Guma Lodge on the very edge of the Okavango Delta panhandle. The drive in was very strenuous, extremely sandy and we even had to drive across a few deep water streches along the way. From Guma the next morning we took a moccorro trip, being boated a ways into the delta through the reeds on dugout canoes, to an island where we spent the night before returning the next day. Birds in the marsh included Lesser Jacanas, African Pygmy Geese, and Long-toed Lapwing.
The moccorro trip was really the last big event of the trip, we had only an overnight stop in Ghanzi, Botswana, before heading back to Windhoek and then back home.
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