Travel photographer Ted Stedman visited Namibia earlier this year for a scenic tour and came back with these winning shots of birds he encountered in the Caprivi strip and Etosha National Park.
The Caprivi Strip is a narrow finger of land belonging to Namibia but extending 280 miles further east than the rest of the country. The German Chancellor Leo von Caprivi bargained with the British to get this strip of land so they could have access to the mighty Zambezi River and thus a route to the east coast of Africa – the only problem being that Victoria Falls stands in the way.
The eastern Caprivi Strip is a world away from the desert after which Namibia is named. Instead, here one finds a watery world that can be regarded, ecologically, as an extension of the Okavango Delta, with marshes and forest-lined big rivers inhabited by Pel’s Fishing Owl, African Fish-eagle, Slaty Egret, a host of heron species, a plethora of bee-eaters and kingfishers, hippos, crocodiles and masses of other wildlife. This is wild Africa, a little piece of Namibia wedged between Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Angola.
Further to the west lies Etosha National Park. Etosha, which means “place of dry water,” encloses a huge, flat calcium carbonate depression (or pan) and is one of Africa’s most beloved game-viewing parks. The pan provides a shimmering backdrop to an area of semi-arid savannah grassland and thorn scrub. The endless horizon of Etosha is dotted with other waterholes that, when full, attract about 150 mammal species including zebra, lion, elephant, and antelope as well as the endangered black rhinoceros, black-faced impala, tssesebe, and gemsbok. During the wet periods, the pan fills with blue-green algae, which lures thousands of flamingos.
Below is a glimpse of just a few of the birds one might see during a scenic tour to Namibia.
African Pygmy Goose
Southern Carmine Bee-Eater
Related post: Shamvura Camp: Namibia’s Portal to the Kavango Region
Etosha National Park:
Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill
Editor’s Note: Once again, watch this Birding Adventures TV episode dedicated to the African Pygmy Goose in Botswana.