Saturday, 13 June 2015

May 19: Etosha in pictures

Etosha is all about the critters so I’ll keep the story part very short.

We drove up from Outjo, puttered the park, saw critters; went to a few waterholes, saw critters; went to our lodge, visited that waterhole & saw critters; went out on a game drive, and saw critters; came back, had dinner, went to the waterhole and saw critters. What did we see?

  • 6 black rhino;
  • A leopard;
  • 2 elephant herds including babies less than a week old;
  • Zebra herds including babies;
  • A bunch of giraffe;
  • All sorts of members of the antelope family: Orxy, impala, red heartbeast, springbok, kudu, wildebeast & eland;
  • Jackals
  • A honey badger in the campground;
  • Ground squirrels & tree squirrels
And a whole lot of vast open space.

Let the photos begin.

The entrance gate 
Springbok eating rocks 
The rare three-headed giraffe 
What a lot of Etosha looks like 
Elephant herd 1 
1 week old elephant and mom 
Hiding in the shade 
The communal waterhole 
A total of 16 animals in this herd
One of a herd of 10 
More of what Etosha really looks like 
What a face!

Bored kitty 
Lickin' his butt, like all kitties do 
Something caught his attention 
Off he goes, under our truck 
Red Heartbeasts 
More elephant babies 
Herd #2 
Kids in the water
At the waterhole

Not a standoff 
Impala and zebra 
Plains zebra 
Nursing baby 
And so they leave 
Curious giraffe 
A 15' long, recently fed, rock python 
Warily approaching the water hole 
Looking out for predators 
One last look, then... 
...assume the position, and risk attack 
Zebra herd 
Black rhino 
Giraffe in the late afternoon sun 
Small herd 
26 ostriches 
Omnipresent springbok near sunset 
Sunset. Time to get back 
Black rhino near camp 
I have 1,000 photos of animal assess 
Rhino at the waterhole 
Make that 2 rhino at the waterhole 
They move slower at night 
I like the bathtub ring 
Sniffing something
These things I learned:

  • Giraffe are scaredy-cats at a waterhole. From the moment they show up to the time they actually drink can be up to 45 minutes. Really wary, and always with their head on a swivel.
  • At night, nothing moves quickly near the waterholes. Every animal including elephants take their own sweet time to move, constantly on the lookout for predators.
  • For a vast expanse of dirt, Etosha has a lot of animals, MUCH higher animal density than the comparatively food-rich environment where I live. We don't see herds of 500 deer standing next to herds of 500 elk within a herd of 100 bighorn sheep and 50 mountain goats, all less than 2 km from the last herd of 500 deer. That's kinda commonplace in Etosha.


Today’s Travel Tip: NWR

NWR stands for Namibian Wildlife Resorts, and they run the government owned bush camps in the country. Hard to call them bush camps. The two we are staying in at Etosha were built in 1957 and 1967 and are both gorgeous. Huge rooms, lovely appointments, obvious upgrades, great pools, beautiful restaurants, excellent amenities, nice campgrounds – the list goes on. Pictures of our rooms on the next post.

NWR operates the 6 lodges in Etosha, plus the one we stayed at in /’Ai-/Ais, and dozens more. Great value and well managed properties that would probably rank at 4-star. If you can stay at an NWR resort, do so.

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