African shoestrings – Namibia Day Sixty three – Etosha NP
We now on our way to Halali, the next rest camp that was 70 kilometres away, which should only have taken us around hour but this place was teeming with animals. Every waterhole had an abundance so we didn’t end up getting there until after midday some 4 hours later!
This wildlife viewing slows you down!
But how can you hurry when a big herd of elephants turn up at waterhole that you’ve been watching for a few minutes or two or three giraffes bend over, legs splayed, to have a drink.
At Halali we were back to camping after the dubious luxury of a chalet at Okaukuejo. It was fine, a bit dusty but there weren’t many other happy campers, so it was quite quiet.
That was until an overlander with at least 20 people hanging off it parked next to us. Needless to say we didn’t get much sleep that night.
Halali also had its own waterhole and that evening we saw a three black rhino again. We tried to work out whether it was the same three we had seen at Okaukuejo the previous evening. It seemed almost impossible that three rhino (one was a baby) would walk 70 kilometres in a day but who knows! As they lapped away at the water, a lioness and a couple of hyena appeared. They didn’t hang around long! One of the rhino continually went for them so that eventually they got the hint that they weren’t welcome to join the rhino family for a drink.
Our morning game drive yielded more lions again. How boring! There were three males strolling down to Salvadora waterhole obviously thirsty and possibly hungry. We hung around for a while but they just found a shady tree and slept.
Lions actually sleep or rest for around twenty-one hours a day, leaving just three hours to hunt and eat. It’s a little known fact that they actually have a very low kill hit rate but one decent kill can last them for almost a week. Of course these three guys probably weren’t thinking too much about actually hunting that’s a predominately female occupation. They actually looked like they were having a boy’s day out, a bit of strutting and a few drinks and whole lot of sleep.
We had the same distracting problem getting to Namutoni the last of the rest camps in the afternoon, which again is 70 kilometres away. Elephant, giraffe, gemsbok, etc all appeared from time to time at different water holes.
Namutoni is home to the rather out of place Namutoni fort; a relic of German colonial days. Built in 1899 as an outpost for troops to control the Owambo people, it’s now tourist accommodation. In 1904 seven soldiers faced the impossible task of defending it against 500 warriors, needless to say they didn’t succeed.
Namutoni had its own waterhole but for some reason it’s not as popular with the animals as the others at Okaukuejo and Halali, even though it’s a lot more picturesque. Still we couldn’t really complain we had seen a cheetah close up and fifteen giraffe on our late afternoon game drive earlier.
It was time to leave Etosha. It really was an experience and great value for money in comparison to some of the other game parks in Africa. US$22.00 per day for a chalet and US$13.00 per day for a camp site including all the game viewing you can cram in during daylight hours is pretty good. Especially when generally speaking there’s so much game around.
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