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Published: August 18th 2012
I am always unsure how to start these blogs without using the word WOW. Well there we are I have used it again. Perhaps cheetahs, warthogs and black mambas would be a better way to start, with a bit of low-range 4x4 stuff to get to our accommodation for the next couple of nights.
We left Etosha early this morning to start knocking off the miles of a busy day, we were treated to tarmac roads for the first leg of our journey to Outjo where we stopped at Etotwongo Lodge where they have an internet cafe so we could post the last three days of blogs, and a stop for fuel and cash before pushing on again on tarmac to Africat Foundation at Okonjima, where they have just started giving day visitor tours this August. At Africat they take cheetahs and leopards as well as other large carnivores and try to rehabilitate them back into the wild, but those that are not successful they keep in another part of their reserve so the day visitors can go round and see them. We did not get to see any leopards but saw six cheetahs close at hand. We then
saw the vetinary centre and went round their education centre where they can take groups of school children and adults to educate them about the large cats and how to avoid human animal conflict particularly on the farms where the cheetahs and leopards take livestock, a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.
We then hit the road again as time was now against us to get to our next destination before sunset. Visitors are discouraged from driving after dark, as it becomes quite difficult when you cannot spot the patches of soft sand and rocks in the road, let alone the number of wild animals that may be crossing. Our first stretch was again on tarmac before we hit the gravel roads again cross country. These roads are very rarely used and we kept coming across warthogs on the road as well as lots of birds for Meg to tick off in her book. But as we approached one of the many dry river crossings what I thought to be a stick lying in the road reared up at the car as we headed towards it. I had nearly driven over a black mamba one of the most poisonous snakes in
Africa. I am glad we had the windows shut!
After that the journey was quite uneventful until we got to our accommodation, and we had to drive up a steep rock face to get to the car park. All the two wheel drive vehicles have to be left at the bottom. Again I am thankful we have the 4x4.
There are heaps of rock dassies here and where we parked the car there were several running up and down on trees around a bamboo fence. If you don’t know what they are, they are a bit like large sandy coloured guinea pigs, but are related to elephants. As we were pulling up one of the smaller dassies slipped and landed between two of the bamboo canes and all we could see was its behind and two little feet wriggling as it tried to get through. They really are the cutest little creatures.
Oh and to sign off yes we are under canvas again in Africa, complete with double beds and mini bar... well, Meg enjoys camping so much. This place is like a cross between Tsala Treetops and Shamwari in South Africa, the latter
for the tented lodge and the former because it is built up on stilts over the rocks and accessed by board walks. At the moment we can hear the wood creaking around us as we finish writing this.
We have booked an early morning hike tomorrow so another early start.
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