Birding in Namibia delivers exceptional delights.
If you’d enjoy waking up to the call of a Hartlaub’s francolin at sunrise and spending the rest of the day ticking off Ruppell’s parrot, white-tailed shrike, bare-cheeked babbler, Monteiro’s hornbill, Damara hornbill, Carp’s black tit and rockrunner, it will be well worth your while spending a few days camping on Windpoort farm, before carrying on to the Etosha National Park a few kilometres further.
A special aspect about Windpoort is that guests are welcome to take drives and hike anywhere on the 5 850 hectares of land. Sometimes it’s not even necessary to go on a game drive, since red hartebeest often wander through the campsite.
There are many other species at Windpoort and with a bit of luck and patience, and – of course – time, you are likely to encounter eland, zebra and gemsbok, or smaller species such as steenbok, dik-dik and duiker.
The habitat is similar to that of Etosha, with the added perk that visitors have the freedom to leave their vehicles and explore.
There are interesting stone-age and geomorphic features, because the farm is situated on a 650-million-year-old fossil stromatolite ridge.
Many examples of these ancient fossils can been seen if you know where to look. In earlier times when Etosha was a vast lake, its waters lapped at the foot of these hills. Stone-age tools left by man tens of thousands of years ago show that humans camped there long before year 2005.
The Windpoort farm campsite is accessed from the D2695 along the ‘short-cut’ route between Etosha’s Andersson Gate and Kamanjab. If you’re driving south from Kaokoland, this campsite will provide a welcome stopover on your way to the park.
The camp has three individual sites, each with a stone-built table, braai pit (firewood supplied) and a water tap.
Centrally located is an ablution block with two units containing hot showers and flush toilets. There is also a sink with hot water for washing up. The camp is run by Ben and Martha. The farm is also home to the Tandala Ridge B+B, well-known among international birders.
One of the owners is Tim Osborne, co-author of the popular Guide to the waterholes and animals Etosha National Park.
This article appeared in the Dec ‘05/Jan ‘06 edition of Travel News Namibia.
All photo's courtesy of http://www.kori.iway.na/birding.html