Did you know that penguins sometimes should not swim? - Namibia Safari and Lodges - Gondwana Collection

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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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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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Treat yourself to desert elegance and an extra touch of grace! Graceful spaces and gracious hospitality imbue this modern lodge with its elegance of yesteryear, spirited character and refreshingly stylish interior. Sip on a pink gin while appreciating the expansive desert scenery from one of the 24 bungalows, each with its own plunge pool. Book now!

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This package offers a four-wheel drive vehicle and a twelve 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 ten 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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Gondwana's Newsroom

Did you know that penguins sometimes should not swim?

Avatar of inke inke - 02. February 2018 - Environment, Discover Namibia


Dirk Heinrich

Visitors to the coast sometimes find penguins on the beach that seem to be sick and try to put them back into the water. When the little fellows look scruffy and unhappy they are not sick but in moult. A number of these flightless birds are sometimes brought to Swakopmund or Walvis Bay where they eventually make it to Dr Sandra Dantu and in Lüderitz to the rehabilitation centre of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources. In the southern harbour town Dr Jessica Kemper, a penguin expert and researcher is assisting with the care of oiled, injured or underweight African Penguins.

“A number of penguins are neither sick nor injured but are birds that have to stay on shore to moult. They change all their feathers that have become old and worn. They are replaced by new and strong feathers, which is a process that takes about two weeks”, penguin expert Dr Kemper says. A penguin in moult should therefore not swim, because in the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean they would quickly end up suffering from hypothermia, which could be fatal. 

Mainly young birds, who venture northwards from where they were born and raised, are found around Swakopmund and north of the holiday town. Unless these birds are visibly in distress or in danger of being attacked by potential predators, they should be left alone and in peace. Sometimes injured penguins are found on the beach or on the islands off the coast of Namibia. Seals are responsible for a number of bite wounds. 

Last year 58 penguins were rehabilitated in Lüderitz, including sixteen chicks, nine juveniles (younger than two years) and 28 adults. Twenty-eight of the birds were oiled, eleven injured and the rest in a weak state because of lack of food. So far this year nineteen penguins were rehabilitated in Lüderitz, of which two were injured and the rest very skinny and hungry when brought in. In Swakopmund, Dr Sandra Dantu had nine since October, of which one was oiled and died soon after, two had bite marks, two were moulting and the rest were underweight and in bad condition. Last year, 33 African Penguins were treated by Dr Dantu. Six were adults and the rest juveniles and chicks. Four birds were moulting, twelve were injured and had open wounds and the others were underweight and weak. Both ladies are doing the rehabilitation voluntarily and in part rely on sponsors.

The roughly 60 centimetre tall African Penguins only breed on the South African and Namibian coast. Here in Namibia they breed on a few islands and in one cave on the mainland. For many decades, the numbers of African Penguins on our coast have been declining. The main reason is a lack of food. African Penguins are classified as an endangered species. At the moment the Namibian population seems to be stabilising, while the South African population is still shrinking. 

The best place to see them in Namibia is at Halifax Island, either from the mainland shore near Diaz Point close to Lüderitz or by taking a boat tour to the island.

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