Birding in Namibia: Sossusvlei

A key stop-off point on our 2012 Namibia road trip was Sossusvlei. My wife, being a true Namibian, insisted that no trip through her homeland would be complete without at least two nights at this iconic site. To be honest I wasn’t expecting much, perhaps a few large dunes and average birding, but I was wrong. The scenery and light were spectacular and the birding was top notch!

Sossusvlei Balloon

For those who enjoy camping I can recommend the Sossus Oasis Camp  that is across the road from the entrance to Sossusvlei. There is a campsite at the entrance to Sossusvlei, but Sossus Oasis is exactly that, a welcomed oasis in the desert – each site has its own covered kitchen, bathroom, electricity etc and there’s a pool for those hot summer days!

Sossus Oasis CampingBe sure to enter the park as the gate opens in the morning to enjoy the great light and birding opportunities. Most cars speed into the park and head for the dunes, but don’t be tempted as there’s lots to see as you drive in. Also don’t ignore the touristy spots like Dune 45 and Dead Vlei, they’re all great!

Sossus TreeSossusvlei

 We managed to buy our permits the evening before we entered the park so we had limited faffing in the morning and were in by 6am. Top birds for the day were Burchell’s Courser (4 birds along the road as we drove into the park), Bradfield’s Swift (in and around Sesriem Canyon), Ludwig’s Bustard, Ruppell’s Korhaan and a dark-phase Booted Eagle.

Burchell's Courser_Flight

David Winter

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