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Stamps in a Weathered Passport

10,000 Birds

What drove me to this revelation was crossing the border of the tiny, enclaved nation of Lesotho via the Sani Pass, a ridiculously treacherous road. Hannah overlooking a valley Traveling into Lesotho from the Sani Pass is an experience more than just the journey to the top.

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Birding the Drakensberg, South Africa

10,000 Birds

One in November 2018 included a one-day birding trip in the Drakensberg area, a mountain range in the border area between South Africa and Lesotho. Pretty pointless, I guess, if it wasn’t for the birds – though it seems some tourists take the same tour just to get the Lesotho stamp into their passport.

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Sasol Birds of Southern Africa, 5th edition

10,000 Birds

And so, back to political entities, this field guide covers Namibia , Botswana , Zimbabwe , the southern half of Mozambique (south of the Zambezi River), South Africa , Lesotho and Eswatini ( Swaziland ). Yet, unless you live in the region, you are likely to have a vague idea where the Zambezi flows and no idea where Kunene is.

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Sani Pass – a Drakensberg birding gem

10,000 Birds

Albeit currently a rugged 4×4-only road, Sani Pass is the most accessible route from KwaZulu-Natal into the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. The final southern African stronghold of this species is the high Drakensberg mountains in Lesotho. Image by Adam Riley.

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Birding Botswana’s Borders

10,000 Birds

But I have visited Guatemala, Lesotho and Zimbabwe to actually visit them and count them, even though I spent less time in them than I did Zurich. I slept in hotel in Zurich but didn’t leave the airport or even clear immigration, so I can’t really say I’ve been to Switzerland either. It’s arbitrary, but there you go.

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The Storks of Africa

10,000 Birds

A large flock of resting Abdim’s Storks along the Nile, Uganda by Adam Riley A White Stork in its favored short grass habitat, Sani Pass, Lesotho by Adam Riley The White Stork is the most strictly migrant of all our storks. This stork is named in honor of Bey El-Arnaut Abdim, a 19th century Turkish Governor of Wadi Halfa in Sudan.

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Birding and Safari-ing South Africa with the ABA

10,000 Birds

The small group was a good counterpart to the large, convivial ABA Safari group of 98 birders.