Etosha National Park, Namibia


When we entered Etosha National Park, we were on the west end where all the game had migrated to for the end of the rainy season. We saw so, so many animals and, all in all, had an incredible day. We saw 2 bull elephants, giraffes, springbok, wildebeests, red hartebeests, zebras, black-backed jackals, Southern yellow-billed hornbills, vultures at a dead zebra and impala. The baby and mother zebras are the cutest things together. There were oryx and zebra EVERYWHERE.

We again arrived late at Okaukuejo Rest Camp, which had a tall tower, presumably for game viewing. We arrived as the sun was setting and decided to go on a late night game viewing drive. It turns out that was a bad idea, but I thought it might be a way to see big cats, who wisely sleep during the day.

Jen went into the office to pay and the people there had zero hustle and everyone was frustrated. Jen and I crossed paths trying to get ready and we got more frustrated. We had to get a quick snack and rush to the game drive. It was led by someone named Johnny who was an all around unpleasant guy. He flashed a red light back and forth across the bush, driving back and forth on the roads right around the camp we were staying in. We saw a giraffe and some springbok. When we asked to see the giraffe again, which, by the way, looked exactly like they do in the day, he told us that he wasn't going to spend time on that, because we had already seen the giraffe. We were cold and asked to go back to the camp. Johnny was not happy with us. But Joseph had saved us some dinner and we were happy to be back.

We had to get up before sunrise so we climbed the tower to watch the sun come up. It was stunning.

We left the camp the moment the gates were opened for us at 7:15 am. We were headed for the pan of Etosha. It's a dried up lake, but even where there is enough water, the depth of the water is never more than a few feet deep for the entire expanse of the pan.

In the middle of the park, on a deserted road, the truck broke down. We limped, 10 miles at a time, backed to Halali Game Lodge in the park. Nomad immediately dispatched a spare truck to rescue us.

We were stranded there for the night, but because we were delayed, Nomad provided us with nice rooms, a good dinner and breakfast in the hotel's restaurant, and a game drive on a 4x4. We had a fabulous view of rhinos, the pan, and lots of interesting birds.

There was a water hole at our hotel too. We had walked out earlier to see it and Jen went back later with Karen, but because there was generally so much other water from recent rains in the park, not much game was to be seen there. These waterholes were manmade boreholes drilled down into the water table to create a sort of pond. In drier times, these waterholes are the only game in town so it draws the game to the water and the parks set up safe, well-lit viewing areas for visitors. It's a great idea, but again, for us, we were just there at the wrong time of year.

The following day, we were many, many miles further away from our next stop in Windhoek, so it was a long day on our new temporary truck called Luther, which is also a funny name to me because I'm a Lutheran. Chuck was a funny name to me because I once saw a great show on Netflix called Chuck.


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© 2020 by Leigh Haubach, The Buzz on Travel

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