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Coronavirus: a message to our customers
If you are due to travel shortly, we will be in touch to support and guide you in either postponing or cancelling your holiday, based on current Foreign Office advice and your insurance arrangements.
 
We hope that international travel will resume soon, but to ensure you can still enjoy a holiday this year, we have introduced the following new initiatives:
 
(a) For all new 2by2 Holidays we have relaxed our Booking Conditions, with refundable deposits & later final payment dates. This will allow you to plan your next long-haul holiday with more confidence, despite coronavirus uncertainties.
 
(b) We have launched Auriel Holidays – dedicated to finding you a range of wonderful holidays closer to home. Working with like-minded tour operators, who know their destinations intimately, safety is uppermost in everyone's minds. Our holidays within the United Kingdom and Europe will be mindful of this, and can be tailor made to your exact requirements - whether travelling by road, rail, sea or air.
 
After three months of hibernation, we are more than ready to start dreaming again!

Warm regards

Claire Farley, Managing Director
2by2 for holidays that will change your life
2by2 for holidays that will change your life
Call 01582 766122
Namibia Holidays Road Trip Self Drive Safari Tours Etosha Namib Desert

Bird Watching in Namibia (self drive & self guided)
NCN14W
14 NIGHTS
FROM £1,595
Per person sharing
International flights + car hire quoted separately
Bird Watching Holiday Namibia Self Drive Birding Vacation Dune Lark Car

This bird watching holiday in Namibia allows you to explore the birdlife of this stunning country independently, on a self drive birding vacation. Visit the sand dunes of Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert, home of the endemic dune lark, Swakopmund, Spitzkoppe & Erongo Mountains, Etosha & Waterberg Plateau. Sossusvlei tour & Walvis Bay marine cruise included. Holiday & car hire can be tailored to your exact requirements.

Bird Watching Holiday Namibia Self Drive Birding Vacation Dune Lark Car
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Bird Watching Holiday, Namibia
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Windhoek
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Namib Desert
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Dune Lark, Sossusvlei
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Marine Cruise, Swakopmund
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Spitzkoppe & Erongo Mountains
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Etosha National Park
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Waterberg Plateau
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Self Drive Birding Vacation
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Car Hire
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Bird Watching Holiday, Namibia
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Windhoek
• 
Namib Desert
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Dune Lark, Sossusvlei
• 
Marine Cruise, Swakopmund
• 
Spitzkoppe & Erongo Mountains
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Etosha National Park
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Waterberg Plateau
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Self Drive Birding Vacation
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Car Hire
Day 1
You will be met at Windhoek Airport and transferred 1-hour to your hotel in this small capital city.
  
Check in and relax under warm blue Namibian skies.
Day 2
Today take delivery of your hire car in Windhoek today and drive 6-hours through ever-changing landscapes and dramatically beautiful desert scenery to the great Namib Desert.
 
Along the way you can look for birds such as the Southern pale chanting goshawk, Black-chested snake eagle and Vereaux’s eagle.
 
The terrain becomes more arid as you travel towards Gondwana Namib Park, Namib Naukluft Park and Sossusvlei, whose great mountains of sand are a monument to the extreme forces of nature. The petrified dunes of the dry riverbed of the Dieprivier are a special attraction, as these are fossilised remnants of an ancient desert that is now overlaid with the sands of the younger Namib. After the unpredictable desert rains (mid November/mid December), colourful desert flowers burst forth here and provide a delightful display.
 
After arriving at your lodge, you can search for birds such as the Mountain wheatear, Dusky sunbird, Ruppell’s korhaan, White-throated canary and Cape bunting. In the evening you can look out for the Freckled nightjar and Spotted eagle-owl.
Day 3
Set out early this morning on an included 4x4 drive into the famous sand dunes at Sossusvlei, as this is the coolest part of the day and the best for photography.
 
This clay pan is surrounded by some of the highest dunes in the world – an endless sea of reddish sand stretching all the way to the distant horizon. These monumental star shaped dunes, some as high as 1,000 ft (325 m), were formed by strong multi-directional winds. The warm tints of sand range in colour from apricot to orange, red and maroon - and contrast vividly with the stark white clay pans at their base. You will be astonished by surreal Deadvlei, surrounded by some of the highest dunes and Sossusvlei, where the mostly dry Tsauchab River abruptly ends.
 
Take the opportunity to climb one of these dunes, which afford endless vistas across the desert landscape and the sea of sand.
 
Also visit the narrow gorge of the impressive Sesriem Canyon, with its rock pools fed by the Tsauchab River during the rainy season. The name is derived from the six “rieme” (leather thongs) that early pioneers used to draw water from these pools. Afterwards return to your lodge, with time in the afternoon to enjoy some independent birding in the grounds of your lodge.
Day 4
At leisure to relax and enjoy the stark beauty of the Namib Desert.
 
You can do more independent birding or participate in one of the optional activities offered in the region, such as a pre-dawn Hot Air Balloon Ride over the majestic sand dunes. Alternatively simply enjoy the spectacular desert landscape surrounding your lodge, with amazing star gazing in the evening.
Day 5
This morning drive 6-hours through the starkly beautiful Gaub and Kuiseb Canyons of the Namib Desert to the beach resort of Swakopmund with its old lighthouse.
 
Swakopmund is situated on the Atlantic Coast where the cold Benguela Current sweeps up from Antarctica, releasing no moisture into the prevailingly onshore winds – hence the very low rainfall and desert conditions. Fog is common along the coast in the early mornings and late afternoons and this is what gives life to the desert-adapted flora and fauna of the region. The cold current is also highly oxygenated, causing it to teem with marine life and the birds that feed off them.
 
Check into your hotel and relax on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.
Day 6
This morning drive 30-minutes to Walvis Bay for an included 3-hour Marine Cruise to see a resident school of dolphins and a large colony of Cape fur seals at Pelican Point. You should also see many Cape cormorants and hopefully some more difficult birds such as the Cape gannet, Pomarine skua and African black oyster catcher. You may also see migrating whales in season (September to October).
 
Afterwards we suggest you do more independent birding along the shores of Walvis Bay Lagoon. At this RAMSAR site, marine bird life is abundant and includes pelicans, terns and large flocks of greater and lesesser flamingos that live in the shallow waters of the lagoon. The ideal time to visit Walvis Bay is from October to April, when the long-distance migrants have arrived from the northern hemisphere in their thousands. Here you can hope to see the Chestnut-banded plover, Pied avocet, Cape teal, Black-necked grebe, Curlew sandpiper, Sanderling, Grey plover, Ruddy turnstone, Little stint, Red knot, Great knot, Palaearctic tern, Common tern, Sandwich tern, Arctic tern and Black tern.
Day 7
At leisure to relax or explore the area surrounding the small town of Swakopmund.
 
We suggest you rise early, to beat the heat of the day, for a morning of independent birding in the sand dunes of the surrounding Namib Desert. If you have a 4x4 vehicle, you can head off towards the dry river bed and sparsely vegetated sand dunes of Rooibank, which is a prime habitat for today's target - the Dune lark, which is Namibia's only true endemic. This small ground-dweller is one of the most desert-adapted birds in the world. It does not drink water but instead feeds solely on seeds and insects.
 
Your afternoon is at leisure to relax at the beach resort of Swakopmund.
Day 8
Today drive 3-hours from Swakopmund to your next lodge situated in the foothills of the volcanic Erongo Mountains near the small town of Omaruru.
 
As you leave look out for the Zeila Shipwreck, one of the more recent shipwrecks that can be viewed from shore along the barren and inhospitable Skeleton Coast. There is small lichen reserve here, where a relatively large variety of these slow growing organisms are protected. You can also visit the thriving population of seals at Cape Cross Seal Reserve, which has a large colony of gannets and other sea birds (pay entrance fee locally). Also look out for the last time for desert specials such as Ruppell’s korhaan, Burchell’s courser and Tractrac chat.
 
You can also detour to the Spitzkoppe (meaning 'pointed domes' in German), an ancient group of bald granite peaks that are over 120 million years old and rise up dramatically from the surrounding desert plains. Birding is particularly good in this region, with a sighting of the Herero chat being particularly prized. You can also see the ancient Welwitschia Mirabilis plant that survives in these harsh conditions.
 
Continue towards the magnificent Erongo Mountains, flanked by the Namib Desert to the west and woodland savanna to the east, with breathtaking views of its huge granite boulders. Check into your lodge in this beautiful region, known for its Bushman rock art paintings. It is an endemic hotspot for a variety of plants, reptiles and small mammals - including kudu, baboons and agile klipspringers, as well as wonderful bird life.
 
After lunch at your lodge, we suggest more independent birding in the late afternoon in the surrounding area. Birds you can hope to spot here include the Monteiro’s hornbill, Carp’s tit, Rosy-faced lovebird and Ruppell’s parrot, all of which are near endemics so this is a very important stop. At night you may be fortunate enough to see a few owl species, including the Spotted eagle-owl and African scops owl. You can also try to see the rock dwelling Freckled nightjar.
Day 9
Today enjoy birding independently in and around Omaruru, which is surrounded by dry acacia savanna and offers the best bushveld birding in Namibia. Two major rivers traverse this region - the Omaruru and the Khan - and the riparian woodlands are a magnet for a variety of species not found in the drier parts of the country.
 
The granitic Erongo Mountains to the west of the town are home to a variety of endemics and near-endemics. An early morning on the Paula’s Cave Road south of Omaruru should reward you with sightings of the Rockrunner, Hartlaub's spurfowl and White-tailed shrike. Some of the best birding can also be done along the bed of the Omaruru River in the town itself. Woodpeckers, owls and migrant warblers all favour the big acacia trees along the river banks and bat hawk are regularly seen over the river in the late evenings in summer.
 
You can also hope to see Violet wood hoopoe, Chestnut weaver, Rüppell's parrot, Monteiro's hornbill, Carp's tit, Rosy-faced lovebird, Orange River francolin, Bradfield's swift and numerous raptors.
Day 10
If you rise early this morning, there is time for more independent birding in search of localised species such as Hartlaub’s francolin, Carp’s black tit, White-tailed shrike, Monteiro’s hornbill and Damara rockrunner. You may also see mammals such as the Chacma baboon and Rock hyrax.
 
Then drive 5-hours through the vast open landscapes of Damaraland to Etosha National Park, one of the largest and greatest game parks in Africa (picnic lunch included). Etosha owes its unique landscape to a vast shallow depression – the Etosha Pan.  During the dry season it becomes an expanse of white cracked mud, shimmering with mirages and spiralling dust devils, with its open pans offering magnificent game viewing. Etosha is home to over a hundred different species of mammals including elephant, rhino, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, lion, cheetah and leopard.
 
Birding is also outstanding, especially raptors. You may see the White-backed vulture, White-headed vulture, Lappet-faced vulture, Bateleur, Brown snake eagle, Tawny eagle, Martial eagle, African hawk-eagle and many more. Other possibilities include the Red-billed spurfowl, Little sparrowhawk, Black cuckoo, Common scimitarbill, Capped wheatear, Black-backed puffback, Brubru, Southern white-crowned shrike, Red-billed buffalo weaver and Chestnut weaver.
 
On arrival check into your rest camp situated near the southern entrance to the park (pay park entrance fee locally).
 
Note: All game drives are self-drive (pay Etosha entrance fee locally) unless game drives are included in your lodge package. Vehicles are not allowed to drive off-road in any national park in Namibia.
Day 11
Today is devoted to independent birding and game viewing in the famous Etosha National Park, which surrounds an enormous salt pan that is the size of the Netherlands. Once the summer rains arrive, the vast salt pans are turned into seasonal lakes that attract thousands of migratory and wetland birds.
 
We recommend setting off early each morning as the park gates open (05h30 to 06h00 depending on the season) to take advantage of the best conditions of the day. Etosha is renowned for its vast arrays of plains game and predators, which are easily seen on these open plains. You can also hope to see springbok, oryx, black-faced impala and the small Damara dik-dik. A series of waterholes throughout the park guarantees rewarding sightings.
 
Etosha is also home to 340 different bird species, about a third of which are migratory. These includes the colourful Lilac-breasted roller, Greater and Lesser flamingos and 35 raptors - ranging from the Bateleur, Tawny eagle, Martial eagle, Goshawk and Lapped-faced, White-backed and Hooded vultures to the tiny Pygmy Falcon. Namibian specials include the Bare-cheeked babbler, Violet wood hoopoe, Carp’s tit, Monterio’s hornbill, Rockrunner and Rüppel’s parrot. You can also see the world’s largest bird, the Ostrich and the heaviest flying bird, the Kori bustard. Eight owl species can be spotted after sunset.
 
Also look out for the Blue crane, Swainson's spurfowl, Red-crested korhaan, Double-banded courser, Spotted thick-knee, Secretarybird, Spotted eagle-owl, Meyer’s parrot, Sabota lark, Spike-heeled lark, Pink-billed lark, Red-capped lark, Clapper lark, Southern White-crowned shrike, Crimson-breasted shrike, Red-backed shrike, Lesser grey shrike, White-crested helmetshrike, Black-faced babbler, Southern pied babbler, Wattled starling, Long-billed pipit, Grassveld pipit, Marico sunbird, Scarlet-chested sunbird, White-bellied sunbird, Melba finch, Scaly-feathered finch, Yellow-bellied eremomela, Burnt-necked eremomela, Chestnut weaver, Blue waxbill, Golden-breasted bunting, Paradise whydah and Shaft-tailed whydah. You may see up to 12 different duck species including the White-backed duck, Hottentot teal and South African shelduck.
 
Note: All game drives are self-drive (pay Etosha entrance fee locally) unless game drives are included in your lodge package. Vehicles are not allowed to drive off-road in any national park in Namibia.
Day 12
Enjoy another wonderful day of independent birding and game viewing as you drive from the southern sector of Etosha National Park towards the eastern gate.
 
Fisher's Pan near Namutoni is a particularly good spot for birding, with large flocks of flamingos in residence during the wet months (December to April). Egyptian geese, Cape teals, African spoonbills, Great white pelicans and Lesser moorhen can be seen here when there is water in the pan, as well as the honey badger, bat-eared fox, aardwolf and caracal.
 
This area can also produce bird species such as the Crested francolin, Swainson's spurfowl, Kori bustard, Red-crested korhaan, Northern black korhaan, Burchell's sandgrouse, Verreaux's eagle-owl, Lappet-faced vulture, Red-necked falcon, Temminck’s courser, White-browed scrub robin, Burnt-necked eremomela, Yellow-breasted apalis, Black-faced babbler, Secretarybird and the sought after Blue crane.
 
At the end of the day check into your rest camp situated near the eastern gate.
Day 13
Today drive 3-hours southwards from Etosha to the beautiful Waterberg Plateau, a vast 156-sq.mile (400-sq km) wildlife reserve that offers sanctuary to some of the rarest animal species found in Namibia.
 
Along the way we suggest you stop at the water treatment ponds in Otjiwarongo to search out waterfowl such as the Hottentot teal, African jacana, Black-winged stilt and Black-crowned night heron.
 
Afterwards continue to the Waterberg. This massive red sandstone plateau, elevated high over the plains of the Kalahari, was the site of a devatating battle in 1904, when a force of 1,600 German colonial soldiers almost annihilated over 40,000 Herero men, women and children.
 
As it is largely inaccessible from below, today it is used very successfully as a breeding area and to protect endangered species such as black and white rhino, sable antelope and roan antelope. The reserve is also home to more than 20 different types of bats, over 13 frog species and over 200 varieties of birds, including the only breeding colony of rare Cape Vultures.
 
Check into your lodge on this serene plateau that towers over the surrounding plains. Here you can try to locate species previously missed, especially endemics such as the Ruppells’ parrot, Violet wood hoopoe, Carp’s tit, Rockrunner and Hartlaub’s francolin. You will also see several different hornbills here including the Yellow-billed, Damara and Grey hornbills.
Day 14
At leisure to relax and enjoy more independent birding on the magnificent Waterberg Plateau, which was once home to dinosaurs and the ancient San Bushmen people, whose rock paintings can still be seen on the plateau.
 
Whilst the plateau is arid on top, there is a lot of surface water and strong permanent springs at the foot of the mountain, resulting in lush green vegetation.
 
Wildlife on the plateau includes black and white rhino, buffalo, eland, gemsbok, giraffe, kudu, roan antelope, sable antelope, impala, klipspringer, steenbok, black-backed jackal, caracal, cheetah, hyena and leopard. A day visit is also possible to the Cheetah Conservation Fund, who are working to preserve this majestic but highly endangered species (pay entrance fee locally).
Day 15
Drive 3.5-hours to Windhoek Airport for your flight home.