Etosha National Park
So far we have spent most of the time in smaller parks where we have been pretty much alone with almost no other tourists around. Our next stop is going to be different. We are on our way to the Etosha National Park which is one of the main attractions in Namibia.
On our way to Etosha our plan is to stop at the Muramba Bushman Trail Restcamp. The owner is known to speak the language of the Haillom - San and is said to provide a really good introduction into their culture. On our way there we stop by the National Monument Baobab located about 60 km north of Grootfontein. Have to say that we are a bit disappointed as we arrive there. We have seen a few Baobab trees and while this one is big it is certainly not as impressive as it was indicated to us. Never mind because the main reason for driving this way is to do a Bushman Trail. As we get there the we find out that the farm is actually closed. Maybe they are already on Christmas vacation . That's one of those things when you don't go with an organized tour and don't book things in advance. Sometimes you are missing out on things. Instead going on a trail we make our way to Etosha instead.
A little later that day we enter the Etosha National Park and make our way to the Namutoni Camp. Close by is an old German fort from where we watch the sun set and a little thunder storm approaching. Here you are not allowed to drive after dark. The best times are either really early in the morning or just before the sun sets. During the day it's too hot and all the animals are seeking the shade somewhere.
National Monument Baobab did not impress us too much.
Old German fort close to the Namutoni Camp.
The sun is setting and the rain is coming closer.
Very lucky to see a rhino, we believe it one of the very rare black rhino.
Crossing the street with its youngster.
The zebras wondering why we are watching them.
This is the big nest of the baya (Webervogel).
Giraffe crossing the street.
This is a springbok.
Michael and the salt pan on a hot day.
The red hartebeest.
A new born zebra baby, just minutes old.
A leopard in the tree.
A zebra chasing a hyena.
A water point next to Halali Camp with elephants.
One of those great sun sets in Africa.
This looks like a yellowbilled hornbill.
A the Okaukuejo Camp we encounter a lot of ground squirrel.
Over night it rained quite a lot and we are happy with our 4x4 car.
The salt pan looks very different this time around after the rain.
A lion in the mid sun resting after catching a zebra.
With the rain come the flamingo.
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We very much like the landscape of Etosha National Park. It's a diverse mix of lush forest, the big salt pan in the middle and savanna. However if you are not here with an organized tour you can only access the eastern part of the park. For the western parts your need a special permit. In the eastern part there are three camp sites. The map we get show various drives, the three camp sites as well as natural and man-made water points.
On our early morning game drive on the second day in the park we are very lucky. On our way from the Namutoni to Halali Camp we use various minor roads. We see a great selection of animals including impala, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, many different birds and to our surprise a black rhino. At least we believe it was one with its baby. Those are very rare and almost extinct.
On our late afternoon drive around the Halali Camp we are again lucky and spot a new born zebra only minutes old, a leopard in the tree and witness how a hyena is chased by a zebra. For the night we stay at the Halali Camp and visit the man made water point close by. Here we watch an elephant family, a lion and a couple of rhino drinking.
The next morning we decide to drive a bit further west towards the Okaukuejo Camp. As it still rains quite heavily we get started a bit later as planned and are not very lucky with spotting much. However, the landscape here is different to the parts so far. It's Christmas Eve today and as we arrive at the Okaukuejo Camp we like it immediately much better than the others. There is also a nice restaurant where we immediately make a reservation for tonight.
The rain continues during the night and many of the tents around us are flooded the next morning. We are lucky with our luxurious camper. Today we are leaving the park again via the Nehale Iya Mpingana Gate. On our way we do the Fisher's Pan circle and even come across a lion resting in the shade after catching a zebra. Now that the rain has finally arrived the flamingo arrive as well and as we leave the park we get to see them, too.
After almost four days in the park we make our way north towards the Epupa Falls.