4-3-2-1 and 0

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…

Martial-Eagleweb
Martial Eagle
Unknown-Birdweb
Not sure what bird this is, if you know let me know.
Bateleur-looking-for-lunchweb
Battler looking for lunch.
Pintailed-Whydahweb
Pintailed Whydah…long long tail.
Secretarybirdweb
Secretarybird
Booted-Eagleweb
Booted Eagle

 

Kori-Bustardweb
Kori Bustard
African-scops-owl---so-tiredweb
African Scops-Owl
Korhaanweb
Red-crested Korhaan
African-Grey-Hornbillweb
African Grey-hornbill on the Etosha Pan Edge
Pearl-spotted-owletweb
Pearl-Spotted Owlet
Monarch-Butterflyweb
Monarch Butterfly
Cape-Ground-Squirrelweb
Cape-ground Squirrel
Banded-mongoose-playing-marblesweb
Banded Mongoose playing marbles
Banded-mongoose-and-Springbok---Hiweb
Springbok and Banded mongoose say hello.
Plains-and-Hartmann's-Zebraweb
Hartmann’s Zebra and a Plains Zebra. Notice the grey shadow strip of the Plains Zebra
Baby-Zebra---So-fuzzyweb
Baby Zebra….so fuzzy!
Zebra-Conventionweb
Zebra convention
Zebra-Search-for-Waterweb
Continuous search for water in the dry Etosha Pan
Waterhole---zebra,-springbok,-ostrichweb
Sit and wait and you’ll see it all as everything has to drink.
Kudu-Familyweb
Kudu Family
Elandweb
Eland next to Zebra and Kudu Ewe.
Oryx-with-a-bad-hornweb
Curly horned Oryx…wonder if like Rudolph he’s shunned from all the Oryx (Gemsbok) games.
Giraffe-tongue-after-drinkweb
Yummy water
Giraffe-nap_1web
Of all the trees and shrubs this scraggly bush was the one to sleep under.
Warthogs-running-with-tails-upweb
Warthogs, love how they run with their tales in the air.
Springbok-battleweb
Young Springboks testing their skills
Hartebeest---this-one-is-a-model-look-at-those-sacral-dimplesweb
This Hartebeest is a supermodel for sure…look at those sacral dimples!
Elephant-in-the-duskweb
Elephant sauntering to waterhole at dusk.
Ellie-spraying-betterweb
Quick shower before he heads off.
Baby-ellie-pool-partyweb
Baby elephants and water are instant magic.
Lion---Duskweb
Sandstorm blew in…still majestic!
Lion---Dusk_1web
Sandstorm or not food and water are a must.
Lion---Dust-storm-stareweb
Quick pause on his good side for the paparazzi.
Jackals---nom-nom-nomweb
Black-backed Jackals….nom nom nom. I think it was a black-faced impala at some point.
Lioness---tired-kitty-roll-overweb
Tired kitty.
Lion---Meatsicleweb
Would this count as a meatsicle???

 

Lion---Spare-Ribsweb
Spare ribs for breakfast as I munched on mine.
Tawny-Eagle-for-the-stealweb
Greedy Tawny Eagle, took to much and couldn’t fly off.
Jackal---wait-did-you-say-braai_web
Black-backed Jackal…someone say braai?
Jackal---mine!web
Mine, alas a larger Jackal got that piece from this little guy.
Tawny-vs.-Jackalweb
Tawny Eagle vs. Jackal and the scraps from a lion kill. Pics are epic but way to many.
Lion---Steamrollweb
Lioness steamroll
Lion---Steamroll_1web
And perfect
Lion---Steamroll_2web
I was just kidding
Jackal---so-hot-and-sleepyweb
So hot, must sleep under this bush.
Jackal---so-hot-and-sleepy_1-web
Or this teeny tiny shrub. Much maligned Jackals, I still love ’em.
Cheetahweb
Driving along and I spot this. Had a serious fan-girl moment, I’ve wanted to see Cheetah in the wild for sometime. Settled. Clutch, brake, don’t stall and camera, go…
Cheetah_1web
So awesome to see a Cheetah!
Cheetah_2web
Wait a minute that’s three heads. Now by this time everyone has left as they are doing what cats do, sleep during the day. I spent the next 2-3 hours with them. I ate my lunch and just reveled in their presence.
Cheetah_3web
So worth the wait to get this shot. I think a Mum and her sub-adult sons. They still have a little spiky hair left on their heads. Saw them again the next morning on a kill but much much farther.
The-rock-incident-web
If you stare long enough you’ll be convinced that is a cat of some sort squatting. Right?! Well you’d spend 30 minutes trying to convince yourself this rock, yes rock, is anything but. Totally spent at least half hour trying to do just that. Stare at anything long enough your mind will make it so, even if brief.

Aside from the animals Springbok underwent his first tire change and I learned of tire snot. Buffalo Thorn!

Buffalo-thorn-the-cause-the-first-flat-tireweb

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.

3 thoughts on “4-3-2-1 and 0

  1. Sheila June 12, 2016 / 15:48

    Simply magical! What a life altering experience. I enjoy traveling with you Jana! If time, give us some details of how you live- sleep, get food etc. It all seems so remote- Springbok and you!

    Like

  2. Ian June 16, 2016 / 08:41

    Hi Jana, Love the photos, I think they are superb. Good to hear you are getting on OK with 4×4 now.
    I think your mystery bird is a Red-necked Falcon – though possibly not a fully mature bird, and I think your Booted Eagle is also possibly the same falcon. Booted Eagles don’t have barring on their breast.

    Like

Leave a Reply to waywardphysician Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s