Etosha National Park

Etosha Travel Blog

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1. We are in the 2nd to last country on our whirl wind tour of a continent

2. If you only go to one country in Africa then Namibia is THE ONE!!!!

3. The best game reserve we went to was Etosha National Park in Namibia (other than Negronegro Crater)

We drove into the park in the truck, picking up a rather smelling and wierd polish guy just outside the gate, who was a vegitarian and therefore wouldn't eat with us. The park its self is beautiful and set up around a serise of water holes where the animals come to drink and so you get to see large groups of many types of animals all drinking and interacting. At the first water hole there were 2 giraffe trying to drink, this is a long process for them as they are most vunerable when drinking - in fact it is the only occassion when a lion can successfully attack a giraffe. This means that they are very cautious, looking round for long periods of time, slowly edging their legs outwards adn when they get to drink the water, they stay there for only the briefest period of time before raising up quickly and moving round. They then repeat this process again.

While watching this a small intruder to the secene - a warthog (pumba) came dancing through the obligitory group of impala, practically skipping through the antelope and came to the water to drink also. He was super cute and started Aarons love of the small creature with very little brain! For example they are regular prey for lions as they begin to run from them, however after a few moment running they forget what they are runing from and normally get side-tracked by a juicy looking patch of grass so they stop to eat and end up as lunch themselves.

We also took a trip to the etosha pan, which used to be a massive lake but now is a huge salt pan that is so vast and dry and it gets so hot there that you can actually see mirages in the distance. The sun is so hot you burn in minutes but we got out and played a bit of rugby and wandered round - just to say you have! Plus you can see any animals coming from miles away.

In addition to this we saw elephants drinking (nothing compared to Chobe) and three elephents sleeping standing up around another water hole. Also 8 lions wandered across the the road right in front of us - 3 adult females and 5 cubs of differing ages, they wandered right across the road infront of us and then they went into the bushes, our driver Chris had a hunch he knew where they were going. So we doubled back and sure enough they came down to drink around an other water hole. We sat totally quietly and watched them for over half an hour and it was an increadible sight. Chris even said it was the second best lion sighting he has had in the 4 years he has been in africa.

We stayed at 2 campsites in the park itself while we were there at the first one (other than Aaron making an amazing stue) the highlight was a jackel coming to join us for dinner. He hung around the edges of the group waiting for certain members to throw him some beef. That night we went to bed listening first to the sound of hyenas (something i was rapidly getting used to by this point) and then latter lions (something i was definitely not used to - luckily I was so tired i didn't really register the noises till someone told em what they were the following morning). At our second campsite there was a...POOL!!! Yay!!! Except it was freezing...brrrrr...even with all that african heat on it all day when we went in the at 4 in the afternoon it was enough to make you think you were back in England. This campsite has an unusal feature, it had a water hole which was lightly lit all night so you could sit on a bench and watch the animals come to drink, this is extra amazing as you can see the nocturnal animals that you dont normally see as most national parks close 1/2 an hour before sunset and so you dont get to expierence this. So we went down to the waterhole armed with a camera and a good bottel of red, with warnings ringing in our ears not to fall alseep as a man once did and got mauled by a lion who was drinking from the waterhole and noticed a snoring snack!!!! We saw three male rinos drinking and then one of them charged the other and they had a stand off, which was very impressive with lots of snorting and stamping. As soon as they left another three rinos came out of the bushes this time though they were female and each one of them had a small baby with them. They stood far apart from each other and were very quiet with the baby rinos looking so very cute. After this there was an invasion of zebra and then i made a fatel mistake of falling aslep!!! Luckily Aaron was there he covered me with a blanket-type-thing and let me sleep untill he was ready to go. You'd be surprised how tiring it is doing game drives all day and then coking dinner for 8!

Off tomorrow to see animals that we didn't see in the last 2 days...the cheeter!

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photo by: marg_eric