Etosha

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Etosha

Etosha.

Etosha is a huge protected area in northern Namibia centered around a large salt pan. Despite what looks to be sparse vegetation, it features an abundance of animals, including zebras, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, oh-my-god!! lions, etc… There are three main towns/encampments in the park – all fenced off with gates open only during daylight hours. Those are connected by a network of gravel roads. It’s a place for DIY safaris – you drive your car from water hole to water hole (most are man-made) and watch animals. You stay inside your car except within the confines of the encampments and a few fenced off picnic areas in the park. In addition to water holes, we once also spent a good 45 minutes watching a British couple changing their “bloody tyre” on the side of the road …thinking we might see a lion. After nearly 5 days of living on freeze dried food in the bush, not sure who the losers were with the all-you-can-eat breakfasts and dinners.

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Etosha

Wake up time Etosha.

The whole package is a perfect set up for putting on weight. In addition to driving around, we also did two organized “game drives”: one at night and one pre-dawn. The former nearly killed me and eight German tourists. Had it been another 20 minutes in the open truck, hypothermia would’ve taken the whole lot of us. The only survivors would’ve been the driver and one very happy, long-johns-and-down-jacket clad girl from Oregon who that very night “Oh my god!!” saw a lion!! …and a black rhino. The morning safari went much better as somebody skipped the douchebag-tourist shorts/t-shirt outfit and went with the multi-layer and puffy jacket ensemble (and yes, saw another lion). Though the park doesn’t claim to have hippos, we saw plenty. Multiple herds would be observed around the breakfast and dinner buffets like clockwork. After two days we started to tire of interacting with dipshit tourists even if the eating overindulgence was very nice (mmmm – Eland steak!). And so with this mix of emotions we packed up and headed south to the famous Spitzkoppe for some low-stress (not!) cragging…

Photos

Namibia

Etosha-bound (May 2013).

Etosha

Okaukuejo – the encampment we stayed in while in Etosha National Park (May 2013).

Etosha

The huts at Okaukuejo inside the national park (May 2013).

Etosha

Quite comfy (May 2013).

Etosha

A nice change of pace from the bush camping (May 2013).

Etosha

Checking out the water hole snuggled up next to Okaukuejo encampment in Etosha. Elephants on one side and hippos on the other (this here) side (May 2013).

Etosha

Okaukuejo waterhole (May 2013).

Etosha

At the water hole (May 2013).

Etosha

Bring your favorite bottle with you and watch the wild life. Great way of spending the evenings (May 2013).

Etosha

Another evening visit by the herd of elephants at the Okaukuejo waterhole. The flood lights provide the distorted coloration (May 2013).

Etosha

Nice booties.

Etosha

Elephants and a black rhino at the Okaukuejo waterhole (May 2013).

Etosha

Observation tower at the center of Okaukuejo encampment (May 2013).

Etosha

Remember to stay inside your vehicle while outside of the encampments (May 2013).

Etosha

A springbok watching a duo of jackals (May 2013).

Etosha

A pair of ostriches (May 2013).

Etosha

A drive by (May 2013).

Etosha

Etosha (May 2013).

Etosha

Wild burro portrait (May 2013).

Etosha

Springbok and zebras (May 2013).

Etosha

Typical effing touristas (as in posing outside of the car despite the warning signs).

Etosha

A springbok and a zebra share a moment (May 2013).

Etosha

A jackal and a family of zebras (May 2013).

Etosha

Jackals (May 2013).

Etosha

A kori bustard (May 2013).

Etosha

A kudu (May 2013).

Etosha

A blue wildebeest grazing by the side of the road in Etosha (May 2013).

Etosha

A hitchhiker (May 2013).

Etosha

A springbok in profile (May 2013).

Etosha

…and in full frontal (May 2013).

Etosha

Traffic jam in Etosha (May 2013).

Etosha

Oryx poseurs (May 2013).

Etosha

Work it (May 2013).

Etosha

A handsome beast (May 2013).

Etosha

Different cabin, same Okaukuejo (May 2013).

Etosha

Sociable weaver nests at the encampment (May 2013).

Etosha

Safari-mobile in Okakuejo in the early morning (May 2013).

Etosha

Coooold morning “game drive”…but things are looking up as the sun is about to come up (May 2013).

Etosha

An Etosha sunrise (May 2013).

Etosha

Our guide Johnny watching a large stray dog near some water hole in Etosha National Park (May 2013).

Etosha

Same guy (May 2013).

Etosha

A beautiful tabby (May 2013).

Etosha

This kitty was casually crossing the road in Etosha during our early morning “game drive” outing (May 2013).

Etosha

A wide berth (May 2013).

Etosha

Quite handsome (May 2013).

Etosha

A morning sip (May 2013).

Etosha

King of Etosha (May 2013).

Etosha

Morning roll in some dung (May 2013).

Etosha

Wake up Etosha (May 2013).

Etosha

Southern yellow-billed hornbills (May 2013).

Etosha

Two red hartebeests at a water hole (May 2013).

Etosha

Red hartebeests (May 2013).

Etosha

One. Look at that smile of anticipation…

Etosha

Two…

Etosha

Three. Great times in a muddy water hole!

Etosha

Remember to stay inside your car while outside the encampments (May 2013).

Etosha

An afternoon in Etosha (May 2013).

Etosha

A water hole inside Etosha in the afternoon hours (May 2013).

Etosha

Nicely coated with dried mud (May 2013).

Etosha

Water hole action (May 2013).

Etosha

Shirley in action (May 2013).

Etosha

Etosha (May 2013).

Etosha

An odd looking ostrich grazing on some tall branches (May 2013).

Etosha

Etosha landscape (May 2013).

Etosha

Checking my animal recognition cheat sheet this here seems to be a one-humped camel (May 2013).

Etosha

Good morning (May 2013).

Etosha

An Etosha medley: springbok, ostriches, and an oryx (May 2013).

Etosha

A sip (May 2013).

Etosha

A sip (May 2013).

Etosha

Etosha (May 2013).

Etosha

A star!

Etosha

At the Okaukuejo water hole (May 2013).

Etosha

Well, hello.

Etosha

This odd looking deer was a cautious one – took an hour to complete the final 200 meters of the approach to the water hole (May 2013).

Etosha

A random giraffe drinking at the water hole next to Okaukuejo in Etosha National Park…is not what you call graceful, yes?

Etosha

Leaving Etosha (May 2013).

Namibia

On the drive to Spitzkoppe (May 2013).

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