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Angola

Highly targeted tour to Angola focusing on all ~20 endemics and many West African specialties in a pleasingly short timeframe. With camping no longer required, and an eVisa available for citizens of most countries, now is the time to visit this hidden gem! Much of the habitat around Angola is fragmented and highly threatened, but we still have access to some excellent Afromontane forest and Miombo woodland, where we can expect to find over 400 species. From stunning species like Red-crested Turaco, Gabela Helmetshrike, Braun's Bushshrike, and White-headed Robin-Chat, to scarce and poorly-known oddities like Brazza's Martin, Angolan Cave Chat, and Bocage’s Sunbird.

Next Dates

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Price: $

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Leaders:

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Single Room Supplement: $

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Group Size Limit:

6

Deposit: $

TBD

Add a Title

Price: $

TBD

Leaders:

Add a Title

Single Room Supplement: $

TBD

Group Size Limit:

Deposit: $

TBD

Please note that our tour cost includes the flight from Luanda to Lubango at the start of the tour.

Accommodation:

Simple but comfortable hotels and guesthouses throughout. Note that twin rooms are a rarity in Angola, so participants must choose either double or single!

Walking difficulty:

Mostly flat and easy, but some optional longer walks away from the road to access good habitat on one or two mornings.

Tour cost includes:

All accommodation, main meals, drinking water, internal flights (as stated in itinerary), overland transport, tips to local drivers and guides, travel permits, entrance fees, and guide fees.


Tour cost excludes:

Flights before and after the tour start/end, visa, travel insurance, tips to tour leaders, laundry, drinks, and other items of a personal nature.

Day 1: International arrivals into Luanda International Airport (LAD) early this morning, in time for an afternoon flight to Lubango (this domestic flight is included in the tour price). The easiest international arrival option is via Lisbon with TAP. We may have time for our first visit to the impressive cliffs at Tundavala, which tower 1400 m up above the coastal plain far below! Night near Tundavala.


Day 2: Among the stunted windswept vegetation of the escarpment, we will search for the handsome Angolan Cave Chat, Rockrunner, and Oustalet’s Sunbird. At the time of writing, there is a reliable group of the endemic Angolan form of White-headed Barbet (split by BirdLife as White-bellied Barbet) in a degraded valley, and we will make sure to target this highly threatened species. Tundavala is the first of several sites on the tour where we have a chance to see the tricky endemic Swierstra’s Francolin, while in some of the gullies and little gorges with some vegetation, we will look for the handsome Miombo and Short-toed Rock Thrushes, as well as the near-endemic Red-backed Mousebird and the endemic Angolan Waxbill. The brightly coloured local form of Jameson’s Firefinch can also be found mixing with beautiful Violet-eared Waxbill. On the rocky slopes, we are likely to encounter the cute Yellow-spotted Hyrax and maybe Rufous-cheeked Nightjar, Freckled Nightjar, or even Caracal at night. Night neawr Tundavala.


Day 3: Driving down over Leba Pass, we will work our way through progressively drier habitats as we approach the barren coastal plains of the Namib Desert. The amazing Ground Batis is common in small family parties bouncing around in the scrub, while we will also search out “Capricorn” Bennett’s Woodpecker and possibly “Benguela” Meves’s Starling. The scarce near-endemic Cinderella Waxbill is unpredictable, but we will spend as much time as we can at the drinking holes that are sometimes attended by this species. Other specialties we will hope to encounter include Ruppell’s Korhaan, Damara Red-billed Hornbill, Monteiro’s Hornbill, Ruppell’s Parrot, Bare-cheeked Babbler, Tractrac Chat, Cape Penduline Tit, “Benguela” Karoo Long-billed Lark, and Stark’s Lark. Night near Tundavala.


Day 4: After a final morning of birding around Tundavala to further our chances for Swierstra’s Francolin and White-headed Barbet, we will take a long drive towards Huambo, stopping at dusk in a small marsh where Bocage’s Sunbird and Bocage’s Weaver can sometimes be found, along with the range-restricted Chirping Cisticola. Night in Huambo.


Day 5: One of several very early starts on this tour, we will aim to be at some excellent remnant patches of Afromontane forest in the Namba Range by dawn. After a short climb, we will set to work on finding Laura’s Woodland Warbler and Margaret’s Batis, with another chance for Swierstra’s Spurfowl and also Finsch’s Francolin. There are many other great birds to be found here, including Bocage’s Akalat, “Angola” Western Tinkerbird, “Angola” Grey Apalis, Angola Slaty Flycatcher, “Angola” Bronze Sunbird, “Huambo” Rock-loving Cisticola, “Ludwig’s” Montane Double-collared Sunbird, Angola Waxbill, and “Angola” Dusky Twinspot. After we are done, we will drive back to Huambo via some areas of low-lying dambo where the scarce Brazza’s Martin will be searched out, along with Fülleborn’s Longclaw, Angola Lark, Marsh Widowbird, the disjunct population of Yellow-crowned Canary, with further chances for Bocage’s Sunbird, Bocage’s Weaver, and maybe Blue-breasted Bee-eater or Locustfinch. Night in Huambo.


Day 6: This morning, we will head to Mount Moco, which is the best site at which to find several species seen less regularly at Namba (and also a good backup for anything we may have missed!). The strange Black-collared Bulbul and range-restricted Black-chinned Weaver are likely, but we will also look for the elusive