Following on from my previous post on Kruger, I figured it would be fun to showcase another National Park. This time it’s Etosha in Namibia. Like Kruger, I’ve also visited Etosha on two occasions. My first trip was in August 2014 and then I returned in January 2015. It was quite interesting to see this place in two different seasons as the landscape changes quite noticeably. Both visits to the park were done while on a small group adventure tour with G Adventures. In fairness, my return visit was not so much about re-visiting southern Africa but more to do with catching up with a friend. You see my tour guide, on my first trip, has become a really good friend. And when he told me he was retiring from guiding I decided to fly over and join him on his final tour. The rest was just a bonus 🙂
Etosha is located in the northern part of Namibia and covers a little over 22,000 square kilometres. On both occasions we stayed at a camp ground called Okaukuejo. This camp ground does offer a variety of accommodation options from luxury chalets to good ol’ fashioned tents. We were opting with camping. I can tell you right now, pitching tents in the heights of the African summer is not fun! Particularly not the middle of the day! A short walk from where our tents were located is a waterhole. There is a barrier between you and the animals that frequent it but it’s a great location to just sit and watch the wildlife. We would venture down there late at night or early hours of the mornings to see who may have dropped by. Just remember, it’s a silent area … no talking which may spook the wildlife! In typical camping style, the group all chipped in to prepare dinner and the evening was filled with games and good conversation.
On both occasions the format for game drives was the same. The first day, we ventured out in the late afternoon with our amazing coach driver, Tim (after two trips with Tim, he has also become a valued friend). The following day is a full day in the open safari 4WD vehicles for some serious wildlife spotting. I just love the tough old Toyota Landcruisers … they so remind me of childhood camping trips back home in Australia.
Unlike Kruger, where the wildlife gets up close and personal, viewings in Etosha are typically at a little more of a distance. But not so far that you’d need binoculars or anything. Lots of the best wildlife sightings are to be found at the numerous watering holes throughout the park. Which can make for some spectacular photos … with different groups of animals all converging for a drink together. I should note though, we were really fortunate on my second trip when we ventured out with Tim one evening … we stopped in the middle of the dirt road while a pride of nine lions lazily made their way around our vehicle, only to decide to take a nap a couple of metres from us. Truly a great day!
If you’ve read my previous two posts on Namibia (on Sossusvlei and Deadvlei) you’ll not be surprised that, once again, I’m going to recommend you add Etosha to your bucket list! And for good measure, just while you’re over that way … be sure to see Kruger in South Africa for comparisons sake. Actually, Chobe National Park in Botswana is worth a look too … it’s totally different from the two parks I’ve written about so far. You know what? Maybe just see all of southern Africa while you’re there … 🙂
All photographs are the property of the author © Kim Richardson