Carmine bee-eaters: Yearly visitors at Zambezi Mubala Lodge - 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.

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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

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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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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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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

Carmine bee-eaters: Yearly visitors at Zambezi Mubala Lodge

Avatar of inke inke - 01. September 2017 - Environment, Gondwana Collection

Southern carmine bee-eaters at Zambezi Mubala Lodge

An exciting event occurs annually at Gondwana’s Zambezi Mubala Lodge: the arrival of a colony of southern carmine bee-eaters! The bee-eaters arrive in their thousands in mid-August in a celebration of crimson and blue to breed in tunnels on - and above - the riverbank. They depart towards the end of the year from early November to late December, when they disperse through northern Namibia, travelling to south-central Africa for the Winter in early Autumn.

For the three to four months of their visit, the air is alive with vivid colour, birdsong and the swooping flight of the birds as they catch flying insects like grasshoppers, cicadas and dragonflies. (In areas where their diet is predominantly bees, the birds rub the bee against a branch to remove its sting.) 

The name of the lodge ‘mubala’ meaning colour in the local Silozi language, is an apt name for the lodge with the rich colours of the river and its colourful Spring guests. Mubala’s colony of southern carmine bee-eaters (Merops nubicoides) is said to be one of the largest breeding colonies in Africa. The birds use the same site every year for their gregarious communal breeding, digging new tunnels (terminating in nesting chambers) in which to lay their eggs.

Endemic to sub-Saharan Africa, carmine bee-eaters occur from Tanzania southwards to north-eastern Namibia, northern and eastern Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and north-eastern South Africa. They favour savanna, especially in areas surrounding rivers and lakes.

Their predators include water monitors, snakes, mongooses, yellow-billed kites and humans. 

Also known as ‘rooiborsbyvreter’ in Afrikaans, ‘muhembo’ or ‘sisampamema’ in Kwangali and ‘scharlachspint’ in German, the bee-eaters are a burst of exuberant colour and activity on the banks of the Zambezi River.

Zambezi Mubala Lodge opens on November 1. 

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