Monday, 13 August 2012

10 July 2012 - Namibia

Today is one of the days I looked forward to the most before the trip: Driving through the great Etosha National Park.

We were up bright and early in order to get to the gate by the time it opens up. We had to pack everything so that Oom Piet and Tannie Magda could get the rooms ready for their other guests who were due to arrive back by the afternoon. We had some rusks and coffee and set off to the park by half past 6.

Its only about 50km from the farm to the park on a road that was previously un-tarred. The new road is in mint condition. On our way to the park we already saw Giraffe, Warthog and plenty of birds. It was destined to be a great day…

It the main entrance we signed in and took some photos. You have to drive to the first rest camp, Okaukeujo, to pay for the park entry. For foreigners it was about R60pp. We also bought some memorabilia and I took the chance to buy my customary Zebra. The day already seemed perfect! On your way to Okaukeujo we saw a jackal. We climbed the old tower that German soldiers build during the war. Oupa also climbed it despite his 82 year old body. Well done! At the rest camp there is a lookout point. It is floodlit by night and has several benches to sit on around the camped off area. I saw it in one of our local travel magazines, die WEG. I wanted to go and see what is like. When we got there an elephant was standing in the middle of the waterpond. What a sight! Barely into the park and we already saw an elephant…

We started our journey to the west. The locals gave us some tips for day-drives. Do not rush through it. Also, do not try and go to Halali if the time doesn’t allow. Rather turn around earlier and go back via the southerly route. We saw a whole list of animals:
·         Jackal
·         Kudu
·         Elephant
·         Springbok
·         Zebra
·         Giraffe
·         Rooibok
·         Rooihartebees
·         Blou-wildebeest

Plenty of birds:
·         Crow

At a certain waterhole called Rietfontein, we stopped for a while. As we stopped 2 crows approached our vehicle. It is obvious that people fed these crows since they came begging for food. We also gave them breadcrumbs, unfortunately. People in the other cars told us that lions are close-by, so we waited quite a while. Some of the ladies needed to go, and they also wanted more food. So we went to the Halali camp. Not as impressive as Okaukeujo, but only because of the waterhole. We had our break and started the journey back.

Again we stopped at the Rietfontein water hole just in case the lions where there, but no such luck. To my surprise, and my wife’s dismay, hundreds of lions flooded the scene. I dubbed it Zebra Heaven! AAAAH, life’s good! We carries on south-east. At some point we saw Giraffe by the dozen. They were standing on the horizon and made a pretty picture. I know a few people who would have loved that! One of our last stops was at the Gemsbokvlakte water hole. Here we saw elephant, giraffe, springbok and zebra in one photo.

We went back to Okaukeujo for a last visit to the water hole and saw 8 elephants, and then our journey away began with a last stop on the farm. We said goodbey to 2 great new friends, oom Piet and Tannie Magda, as well as the farm, Tsobaas. While we were there the othjer visitors came. A sad goodbey, but not good riddens.

That night we slept in Outjo at Ombinda Lodge, a very nice place @ R300 per head including breakfast. For me, worth all the money and effort already!

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