Etosha, at last! Etosha is a massive national park in the northern aspect of Namibia, it crosses about 2/3 thirds of the country heading east. And that is how I travelled, headed east.
When you enter Etosha you are struck, almost immediately, by the reality of driving in a vehicle amongst the world of the beasts, hairies and scaries. Just you, the car and them. But oh how lovely they are. You travel waterhole to waterhole looking for anything with a pulse and spot everything in between. You sit, windows down to let the cool winter breeze cross over you as the heat of the African sun rises. It brings the dry dust with a fine salt mix from the pans. You breath in Africa. Dry, brittle and fragrant in pockets. Almost passion fruit like to the kind of wild jasmine-ish scents. And then the waft of dry leather with dust as the elephants saunter joyfully for a drink and a dip. The continuous belches of Springbok calls and bleats from Zebra, birds fluttering around. You sit watching as row upon row of Zebra, Wildebeest, Hartebeest, Impala and Springbok spring to the waterhole. The young, full of the joy of life, bounding and chasing one another. And as quickly as they came they dissipate into the heat until the next group appears… Giraffes, Ostrich and Jackals. You glance at the time and hours have passed. On to the next waterhole to see what that may bring. Days are spent unhurried, meandering, wondering from point to point staring out the window in awe of it all. Giraffe and Zebra road blocks. At my favourite waterhole (Moringa at Halali Camp) I had the immense pleasure and privilege to silently watch alone as over 50 elephants with numerous babies ran to the waterhole. They proceeded to play, splashing in almost toddler like joy, for half hour before getting to the business of drinking. As part of the group left another bounded up. By the end of 2 hours I had seen over 100 elephants. Alone, just me and them. It was epic! Yes I have a video clip. Not sure how to upload it but I will do so (Excuse the commentary I may have been a bit excited and reached octaves I didn’t now I could). In one 24 hour period I have spent numerous hours with 4 lions, 3 cheetah, 2 battling rhino’s in the night and 1 amazing elephant pool party. It has been beyond anything I imagined. Sadly, the sly and elusive Leopard was unseen.
Now for the long line of photos. Please enjoy.
Let’s start with the birds…
Aside from the animals Springbok underwent his first tire change and I learned of tire snot. Buffalo Thorn!
I mustn’t forget Mary and Corbit (sorry if I misspelled it) who not only invited me to a true SA braai, which was so good, they also had indispensable knowledge to pass on about my future travels and great bird spots and Kgalagadi advice you can’t find in bookstores. Lions that use car tires as chew toys and enjoy smacking side mirrors. Thank you!
Bid farewell to Etosha and off to Popa Falls before crossing into Botswana for a whole new adventure. Self-Drive Namibia, honestly, it needs to be on your bucket list. Call me if you need a travel buddy, I’ll happily go back.