Birders can do crazy things.  They plan trips around random bird sightings that others have had or hop on a plane and fly halfway across the world to catch a glimpse of a particular bird.  We consider ourselves keen birders, and I’d like to say that we aren’t that fanatic, but we do occasionally visit a particular area in search of elusive birds, so I guess that puts us somewhere on the ‘crazy scale’. 

An ‘out of territory’ bird sighting

We read on social media that a Northern Carmine Bee-eater (Merops nubicus) had been seen at Nunda River Lodge in Namibia.  That was exceptional because these birds are typically only found up north, ranging from Senegal in the west to Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya in the east of Africa.  Such a sighting made it incredibly special in Namibia, instantly captivating the attention of bird enthusiasts.  As we were travelling in Namibia a few weeks after the initial sighting, it was decided that we would camp at Nunda River Lodge, hoping that the bird was still there.  A long shot, I know, but sometimes one gets lucky.  Well, we didn’t see the Northern Carmine Bee-eater, but what a wonderful time we had camping on the banks of the Okavango River.

Birdwatching at Nunda River Lodge

A wide variety of birds visited our campsite, and the wooded grounds of the Lodge were also great for birdwatching. 

At night our chats by the campfire were punctuated by the distinctive grunts of hippos talking to each other.  It’s these iconic sounds that make camping such a pleasure.

Cruising up and down the Okavango River

We took a cruise up the river with the bird guide, Basie, who had spotted the rare bee-eater. He went out of his way to show us the birds along his stretch of the Okavango.  Fortunately, it was summer so most of the migratory birds were there, and we were able to tick off some ‘lifers’. 

Basie is an amazing guide and well worth hiring for his local knowledge of where to find the more unusual birds.  The cruise goes upriver to Popa Falls near Divundu and also downriver, depending on the duration you have chosen for  your tour.

As you can see from the photo, Nunda River Lodge boasts an amazing deck overlooking the Okavango River. 

This is a wonderful spot to sit, enjoy a sundowner or dinner, whilst watching the diverse bird and animal life that the river offers.  The Lodge’s location is described as being situated in the Kavango East region of Namibia.  It offers beautiful chalet accommodation with river views, as well as a number of campsites.  The management and staff went above and beyond to assist and provide us with advice, and we appreciated their welcoming approach towards customers.

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Jane is an avid birder and nature enthusiast, whose deep love for travel, camping and exploring the natural world knows no bounds. Assisted by her nature-loving husband, Rob, a skilled photographer, they form a dynamic duo dedicated to visiting remote and breathtaking landscapes. With their camera lenses as their creative instruments, they capture the beauty of birds and wildlife, all while advocating tirelessly for conservation.

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