Roaming around Etosha

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We only spent one night at Okaukuejo, and spent the next two nights at Halali.  The location is more central (marker B in the map) and the waterhole in the camp proved to be much more enjoyable.  The map below shows the general route we plied around.  One thing that kept surprising us was the size of elephants, giraffes, & ostriches.  You know they’re big, and yet you find yourself scanning the horizon, squinting at every bush to see if it’s an animal.  When an elephant or giraffe is actually on the horizon, there’s no missing him!


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The major storylines from our 2+ days driving the Land Rover around:

  • My mom and I were the lone spotters of a little cheetah cub off the road before it quickly disappeared.  That little stuffed animal like face is burned into my brain.
  • Naveena ran over a pretty giant rock in her first stint at left side of the road driving.  (disclosure: I’ve had left side driving issues in Cyprus and South Africa, so it happens to the best of us.)
  • The Land Rover battery dying while we sat at a waterhole that earlier in the day (at least) had a pride of lions hanging out.

That last bullet point has spawned tall tales of me “attempting to feed Lillie to the lions.”  It’s all relative, I suppose.  We were in need of a jump, so it was pretty necessary to get out of the car and ask a nearby vehicle for help.

The tricky part is that you’re not supposed to ever get out of your car—a totally sensible rule given said lions, and Lillie got yelled at by a guide in a huge Overland vehicle who made no effort to help.  To me it seemed sensible for Lillie’s friendly face to be the one to freak out another car by tapping on their window.  Big thanks to the Dutch folks with the kitted out Land Cruiser for helping us out in a pinch!

A few months later, I’m pretty certain that my eBay purchased refurbished Garmin GPS caused this battery drain.  I’ve had three different cars in the last year randomly die on me—the Garmin is the common thread.  I should really consider replacing that…

Anyway, lots of good animal sightings.  The favorites you’ll see in the slideshow below:

  • Lots of lions.  Though lions proved to be extremely boring to watch as they spend most of their days sleeping, Lillie & I were both excited to see male lions for the first time.
  • A solo elephant drinking under a tree at the Ngobib waterhole.  It was a bumpy little spur off the main road, but we were rewarded with this guy all to ourselves.
  • Driving down a road called Dik-Dik Drive and seeing dik-diks.  Pound for pound, these foot tall ungulates were my personal favorite sighting.

Some of the photos in the below slideshow have captions, which for the life of me I can’t get to display during playback like they should.  So feel free to head directly to the gallery for such commentary as “Just missed catching this black backed jackal in mid-poop.”

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