Ringed Blue Cranes offer new insights - Namibia Safari and Lodges - Gondwana Collection

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Where the Namib Desert stretches languidly from the Atlantic Ocean and wild land extends into infinity, dreams become real. At this place where fantasy meets reality, you'll find the Gondwana Collection safely positioned.

Take our outstretched hand and let us introduce you to our extraordinary country, Namibia. From the massive chasms of the Fish River Canyon, the fossilised dunes of the Namib Desert and the red sands of the Kalahari Desert to the waterways of the Kavango and Zambezi, there are countless marvels to behold. Explore this awe-inspiring wilderness from the warmth of our lodges, created with conservation cognizance and ample character. And return to relax after an exciting day of discovery.

This is the Gondwana feeling: Namibia with heart and soul.

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10-Day Namibian Highlights Tour
Enjoy Namibia’s most popular destinations on this compact guided tour that incorporates visits to the Kalahari and Namib deserts – including the famed Sossusvlei dunes, the intriguing coastal town of Swakopmund, the Twyfelfontein rock engravings and Etosha National Park. more

3 Day / 2 Night – Sossusvlei Shuttle Safari
Exciting adventures await those who partake in this exhilarating safari to Sossusvlei, one of the most spectacular sites in the world. The magnificent star dunes are a photographer’s dream and the spectacular landscape will leave memories to last a lifetime. more

Namibia Road Map 2018/19

Anyone touring Namibia should definitely take our road map along. It is available from Gondwana free of charge, or as pdf download. This map features fascinating experiences plus recommended accommodation. At the same time it is an ordinary road map with all the essential information of the official Namibia road map by Prof. Uwe Jäschke and the Roads Authority of Namibia.

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Go Big

Discover Namibia’s main attractions.

This package offers a four-wheel drive vehicle and a thirteen day trip through the beautiful Namibian landscapes. Starting from Windhoek you will head south, into the Kalahari where your first night will be spent enjoying the sunset at the Kalahari Anib Lodge.


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Go Epic

Experience Namibia's famed locations.

Take eleven days to discover Namibia in an Epic way. This self drive safari - which includes a four-wheel drive vehicle - will take you to the famous Namibian locations that will make you long for the vast open spaces long after you return home. Starting in Windhoek you will head south to the Kalahari Desert.


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Go Wild

Track Namibia's awesome wildlife.

This 12 day self drive safari includes a four-wheel drive vehicle and stopovers at all major wildlife-viewing sites. Starting from Windhoek you will head towards the famous Etosha National Park, where 3 nights will be enjoyed at the unique Etosha Safari Camp.


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Enjoy an active Namibian adventure.

We offer a comprehensive travel service including car rental, accommodation, safaris and self-drive itineraries and day trips. Interested? For detailed information and vehicle specifications of our Renault Dusters SUV 4WD and Toyota Hilux Double Cabs 4x4, please click below.


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Gondwana's Newsroom

Ringed Blue Cranes offer new insights

Avatar of inke inke - 06. July 2017 - Environment

The Blue Cranes with the green-white coloured rings NHE and NHH were ringed as chicks, in the Etosha National Park in 2006 and 2007

The Blue Crane, critically endangered in Namibia, occurs exclusively in the Etosha National Park and the Omadhiya lakes, a series of oshanas (seasonally flooded lakes) to the north of the park. To see this rare bird, tourists often visit areas near the Chudop waterhole in the Namutoni area, Salvadora in the Halali area, and recently at Nebrownii, east of Okaukuejo in Namibia’s most famous park.

In January 2017, Alexandra Wilhelm from Germany photographed a pair of Blue Cranes with a chick, near Charitsaub in the Etosha National Park. The foreign visitor was amazed when she realized that both parents were ringed. Inquiries made with Holger Kolberg, scientist at the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, revealed that one of these birds (colour ring NHE) was ringed on 26 April 2006 by Kolberg himself, together with its sibling (ring NHF). The other bird with the engraved colour ring NHH, was ringed as a chick, near Salvadora, by nature conservation officer, Wilferd Versfeld on 12 March 2007. The two cranes, who were marked over ten years ago in the Etosha National Park, are now a breeding pair in the park, raising their own chick.

In the 1970s, more than 100 Blue Cranes occurred in the Etosha National Park and neighbouring Omadhiya Lake area (1976:138). In December 1994, there were only 60 of these rare birds left and in recent years the number has varied between 30-35 individuals (adults and chicks). It is not known what caused the decline and where the birds move in certain months.

To gain information, chicks were marked and some adults were fitted with radio transmitters. Several of these ringed birds have been sighted in the National Park. Unfortunately, the transmitters, especially the very expensive Satellite transmitters, only worked for a few weeks and then all signals were lost. Therefore, the researchers have not yet been able to establish where the small, isolated group of cranes disappear to when they leave the Etosha-Omadhiya area. A theory that the birds move to Angola lacks confirmation. It is, however, certain that the small population in Namibia has no contact with the 25,000 Blue Cranes in South Africa. The birds, endemic in southern Africa, are threatened by extinction, as numbers are continuously decreasing.

Photographs of ringed birds along with their location and date of sighting are very valuable to researchers and help them to slowly but surely understand the behaviour of the birds.

Dirk Heinrich

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