This was our second visit to Namibia in just over 12 months, with Reef and Rainforest and our seventh consecutive wildlife trip with them. I think that speaks for itself. This year we were particularly keen to try and observe some desert adapted Lions. The Lions found in ‘The Namib Desert’ are genetically identical to those found in the rest of Southern Africa but have adapted to live in one of the harshest environments on earth. They number around 150 and have a huge range, and are rarely seen. They came to prominence in the outstanding documentary film ‘Vanishing Kings’. The best chance of observing members of this subset of Lions is during a stay at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, although sightings cannot be guaranteed and weeks can pass by without any success. Therefore a stay at this camp was at the heart of our itinerary and we were very lucky to spend time with a Lioness and her niece who had killed an Oryx in the conservancy. The camp itself is absolutely outstanding in every respect and the location is just spectacular.
Visitors should be aware that this is not ‘The Serengeti’ and that the wildlife is quite thin on the ground. However you would have to be very unlucky not to see Elephant, Giraffe and several other species. Whilst we were out in the desert we were lucky to bump in to Dr P. Stander who has dedicated the whole of his adult life to the conservation of The Desert Lion, what a thrill. The day trip out to the coast was pretty special as well.
The rest of the itinerary worked very well and we were very pleased to have three full days in Etosha N.P. where we recorded 25 mammal species, including 32 individual Lions, observed the aftermath of 4 zebra kills, 11 Rhinoceros (both Black & White), an African Wildcat and the rarely seen in Etosha, elusive Leopard.
So a big thank you to ALL at Reef and Rainforest, another highly successful trip, you certainly delivered again.