Portfolio 12 Travel Namibia BEE- EATER BALLET BY CHRIS VAN ROOYEN A boat moored on the Zambezi was the perfect hide from which to observe the colony. At least 1000 carmine bee- eaters were breeding in this area of riverbank, in Caprivi, Namibia - one of the largest colonies in southern Africa. Whenever a loitering raptor drifted too close, a burst of carmine would explode from the numerous burrows. Activity was constant, and the birds never stopped chirruping to each other as they chased insects. " I had the distinct impression some were just having fun," says Chris. " They would weave around in the wind, hover in the updraft created by the riverbank, and then fold their wings to parachute back into the nest- hole."
Heritage Travel Namibia 13 SAND SPRINTERS BY DAN MEAD Far away and sprinting - that was the kind of ostrich sighting Dan was used to in Namibia. Then, late one morning, on a dried- up riverbed on the Skeleton Coast, he came across a lone ostrich chick. It was struggling to keep up with the rest of its family some distance ahead. The mother was in the lead, scouting, and seemed to have judged the situation - a straggling chick, a strange vehicle, a vulnerable family - because her next move took Dan by surprise. " She suddenly turned sharp right and headed straight up the nearest dune," he says. " It must have been 100m high and at an angle of 30 degrees. The sand slipped away under their feet. It was an amazing effort". At the top, the mother waited for her family. The little straggler fi nally caught up with its siblings, and the whole family disappeared over the crest of the dune.