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Published: January 31st 2016
Every trip has some disappointments and for us our accommodations for two days in the Etosha area was below expectations. Anderson Camp was quite old and not updated so compared to the other accommodations, it was below standard although the cost was similar. It did have a good location and with an electric fence, we were able to view close up, quite a few animals that came to the watering hole. They also had a neat underground tunnel (hide)where you get very close.
We decided to do a "self drive" through the Etosha Game Reserve and in hindsight, probably would have enjoyed it more with a guided tour. It's a big area and if you're unsure as to where the game are located, a lot of time is spent driving. It was also the rainy season, so there was a lot of water and therefore many of the wildlife did not use the watering holes that were close to the roads.
If our stay at Anderson Camp was the low point of the trip, the next stop was the high point. We moved on to Plains Camp ( run by the Africats Foundation) heading south back towards Windhoek. This
was a fabulous facility with a beautiful lodge and our cabin was very large and modern with all the amenities. We booked on two guided tours, both of which were outstanding and provide experiences we'll never forget.
The first trip was walking with the Cheetahs. We found 2 (brother and sister) who were orphaned and re-introduced to the Wild by Africats. They had been in the wild for about 6 years but were so accustomed to people, they ignored us and went about their business. We therefore were able to get up close and followed them by foot for about 3 hours while they hunted. This was a wonderful experience to see first hand. They were almost successful until 4 Wild Dogs attacked them and there was quite a drama unfold which we saw. By this time we were in the vehicle so didn't get caught up in the fight). The Cheetah's managed to escape at a blistering pace.
Early morning the next day, we embarked on tour to find the elusive Leopards. This got interrupted by a sighting that most of the guides have never seen before. The 3 meter( 9 foot) Python was in the process
of swallowing a Duiker which is a small Antelope. Although somewhat gruesome to watch, it is so rare to see live (as opposed to seeing on TV), that almost every guide in the park along with their groups showed up. It was absolutely amazing how an animal that size could be swallowed whole!!!
To cap of the tour, we did find a female Leopard and her cub (about months old) lounging under the shade in the deep bush. In between them was a "kill" from an earlier hunt. As with the Cheetahs', they were quite accustomed to humans and we were able to get fairly close, although we did stay in the vehicle.
All of these experiences highlight the wonders of nature particularly how competitive and aggressive the food chain can be.
This was our final stop before heading back to Windhoek for our return to South African and our winter home of Gordon's Bay.
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