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Published: February 10th 2011
After driving a few hours, we arrived at Otjiwarongo. We headed to the one attraction in town – a crocodile farm. As we all know, I heart all lizards so this was awesome! They had areas for the adult crocs, the juniors and the babies.
I went to bed on the earlier side as there was nothing really to do. There was a TV in the room and Casino was on… I watched for a bit and BOOM! A storm hit. It was intense rain, winds, thunder, and lightning. Ann still wasn’t back from chatting the entire hotel up yet. She arrived back after an hour into the storm, soaked.
We woke up to a lot of mud, but it wasn’t going to stop our drive to Etosha. Etosha is famous for their watering holes. At nighttime, around 9 or 10pm, the rhinos come and drink. Anyone who has seen it said it is amazing. We arrived in the early afternoon. After some lunch, I headed straight to the watering hole, and there it was… my first African elephant. He was simply drinking the water and cooling himself down by throwing the water and mud all over itself. It
We then took an afternoon drive. The drive was pretty nice – I saw my first giraffe and zebra. We also saw many birds, jackals, springbok, blue wildebeest (my boy blue!), and other animals. I think we counted 12 species in total. This was pretty great considering Locke told us not to expect all that much action. Dinner followed by a shower and BOOM – the thunder and rain started. This didn’t stop me from taking a walk to the watering hole. Locke came with and we stayed for about 20 minutes until it was time to go inside and dry off.
So we are supposed to be camping for 2 nights at Okaukuejo (in Etosha national park). After the storm in Otjiwarongo, and the grey clouds in yonder… we had the option to upgrade to a room. The rate was R800/night, but after some negotiating and taking off the camping cost, it came to R500/night. Well, for 2 nights this is approximately $150 USD. Is it worth it… once I saw my room – absolutely! It is what you would imagine – all wood, mosquito nets… the kicker is that there is AC! I am
a happy camper. Ann still wanted to camp despite the rain.
I signed up for the morning open vehicle drive which starts at 5:45am. The rain stopped for the most part – it was sprinkling a tad… The driver gave everyone the option to cancel as visibility may not be so good. I am here for 1 day – this is my only option. I figure might as well try and not see anything vs. not try at all. In order to go out on the drive, 2 people are needed. 7 people (I think 6 were German tourists) walked away included loveless Linda. Linda was the first to say no thanks and walk away. Where is Ann? I know she wanted to do the drive no matter what. I waited and waited. Finally after 30 minutes, the driver felt bad but he said he will have to wait 2 hours until his manager gets in to see if he can just take me. I was bummed out – but he saw that and said give me 20 minutes. So I head back to my room and there is Ann. She said she was on her way to the vehicle and Linda told her the drive was cancelled (which it wasn’t – she chose not to go). OYE. I nearly flipped the F out. Linda knew I stayed behind with the hope to still do the drive. What a major bitch. Ann came with me back to the driver and he was happy that we can go. He said he got permission to take me alone either way.
The drive was wet, chilly and absolutely breathtaking. I heart nature. It was family day out in the park. We started with a bunch of guinea fowl. They sleep on tops of trees so they don’t get attacked in the middle of the night. We then see our giraffes and springbok. I get to see my first black faced impala. After seeing the first one, we continued to see many more. Then they are… a family of lions! OMG – the driver definitely did not expect to see these in this weather. They were a distance away, but there was a young one. As they don’t like the wet grass, they were on top of rocks which made it easy for us to see.
Then we found a family of jackals, followed by a family of blue wildebeest. We even got to see a mother nursing. We stopped for breakfast in a gated area… 4 hours later we arrived back at the campsite (we only paid for 3 hours). I am so happy we went! I crashed for 3 hours after the morning.
I had some lunch and went back to the watering hole for a bit. I sat and starred at 5 zebra hanging out and playing for a bit. It was marvelous!
We head to Windhoek in the morning. This is the last day with Ann as my tour is made up of 2 separate tours. She is only on the 1st half. It will come down to me, the wicked witch from the UK and Coleman (the man who eats French fries and milkshakes to help his heartburn). Already they asked Locke if they can stay in a hotel vs. camping when we go to the delta in Botswana. I was looking forward to staying on the island (where camping is the only option), so I said I still want to go (obviously) and not miss out on the boat rides and nature walks. There is a chance we can ditch the old folk for 2 days if Locke finds it impossible to get them to and from the island on the same day. Locke is happy as he said he would love a break from them too! OYE!
Just a note on safari’s in Africa… the better viewing is in the winter months (opposite of the US – June/July). The pros of coming to Southern Africa in the summer include: not as crowded and this is the time of year when most babies (animals) are born so there is a good opportunity to see these young animals.
As my trip is only 1/4 about the animals and mostly about nature… this has been quite a treat. I have been lucky as the rain storms have cooled some areas off a bit. I expected 100 degree heat almost every day. Besides 2 or 3 days of extreme heat so far… I have been wearing long sleeves most of the time.
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