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Published: December 4th 2006
SAFARI Day 1:
I set off on the minibus from "Wild Dog & Crazy Kudu" for a 7-day safari to the north with 2 guides, an engaged couple form England , another woman from England, a 65 year old man from Germany and Diane, from Germany too.
Does the name "Wild Dog and Crazy Kudu" shoulds wierd, cheap, backpacker-like? Oh, Well. Maybe it will prove to be all that, but I very hopefull it will be worth.
From the start, I was the one asking most questions (surprised?) but I was also the first (proud) one to shout "WILD ANIMAL", not far from Windhoek. It was a buntch of Springboks right on the side of the road.
10 minutes later I announce again: "animal". It was a Blue wildbeest, and than 20 more, and than an Oryx. I suggested my election as animal spotting guide with right to move to the front seat. Elias, the official guide, laughed and said he'd consider my candidacy.
Fisrt stop was Okahandja. Lots of carvings and annoying barganing game from local salers.
We passed by a completely dry river, not a drop of water.
No air-conditioning and the heat
852 wild cats have been released back into the wild, 520 Cheetahs
is truly on. Another downer: 3 of the group members are smokers, I'm the only one going vegetarian, 2 confess to snoring, 1 coughs all the time, one paid only $250 from London (Don't ask how much I paid).
The first camp was at Okonjima/Omboroko, where the AFRICAT Foundation, a conservation area which rescues and re-introduces to the wild big African cats is
The guides quicky set up tents and prep a nice sandwich and Greek salad lunch.
We set on a odd looking green truck to the Africat grounds to see the cheetahs, leopard, wild dogs.... They were amazing to watch and 12 pictures later, my brand new 2 GB memory card announced :failure. Panic!!!!! In Africa, whatching these amazing display of wildlife in action and photo failure....
I was so glad to have listen to the advise of a photo magazine article on safari photo shooting: "bring extra camera and mem. card, as if you don't have replacements for a failed unit, it will hurt more than 5 root canals done on the same day" 😞
Well, my intention to film is gone, but at least I'll continue to click with my smaller back
up memorey card.
There is only one camp site at Africat, and it was all ours and gorgeous!!! Check the photos on the "one stick-wall-no-celling" shower and bathroom. 2 sets of each, for female or males, and super clean What a "fresh-and-free" feeling to shower looking over the african fields under an incredible sky!
My first dinner under the sky and around the burning fire was a surprisinly delicious, almost-gourmet meal: fresh corn, baked potatom mixed veggies in great sauce, fancy sald with 3 types of olives and peppers, feta, tomatoes and more, and for the meat eaters, lamb and sausages.
We took a short, and brave walk, in the pitch black night, and another electronic flop happens to me: the brand new fancy "will work forever, titanium flash light" (called torch, here) died on me, after less than 10 minutes of use!!! That's definatelly going back to Walmart, you can bet on it.
We could watch lighting on the horizon and a much welcomed breeze set in.
First day with a new group takes getting to know each other and the quiet night reviews sounds of the wild and also who snores . Truly
Wild dogs and Thermite mound on background
also called "wild painted dogs", have the stamina of wolves, killing faster than cheetahs because attack in packs of up to 50!!!
jet-lagged, I stared at the stars through the tent mesh window all night, listening to Elisa, the British gal, loudly snore and cough. I ended up actually disappointed that I did not hear any loud wild noises. Can you imagine how bored I must have been counting starts and detesting the noisy tent neighbor?
I was so happy to see the sun rising to excited about the next adventurous day.
OKAY: IF YOU ARE BORED BY MY WRITTINGS, SKIP IT (no hard feelings) AND GO DOWN TO THE PICTURES: DOUBLE CLICK ON THEM TO SEE DETAILS, and move arrow to get slide show.
SAFARI DAY 2:
Up super early and Breakfast was served efficiently at 6am. We all visited the "precious facilities". That's how our guide calls the bathrooms.
Leaving camp was hard as we all enjoyed this setting, but as soon as we got going early morning, when many animals are very active, we were in for quite a surprise: baboons, mangoosteens, zebra snake, springbok, steenbok, ..... popping on all directions and also crossing the road.
We hit the main road, and it was Nobert's, the 65yo, turn to shout: "Elephant". These animals don't
The water tank is wired because at night the baboons come for the water. They have destroyed 14 toilets before!!
belong this far south, but 40 escaped the park up north and have been causing trouble around. They destroy structures from farms, etc.
We arrive in Etosha Park, which covers 23,000 square kilometers. Superb wildlife viewing, as the park protects 114 mammal species, 16 reptiles, 340 bird species, 1 fish (lonely souls), and countless insects, including the malaria carring mosquito I dread.
Elias said that in 15 years of being a tour guide, he never met a Brazilian before. He recalls 1 Colombia, 2 Puerto Ricans, a few Americans. I can already see I am "a rare bird" around here. Europeans only around the camp sites.
The jackals soround our tents, the first one freaks me out, I fell down, scraped my knee and leg... Oh well, band-aids, and I'm good to continue.
Ended a wonderfully tiring day around the fire, talking politics and drinking decaff coffee spiced by chocolate and rum (yeap. me drinking a little!!! recommended for my insomnia/jet-lag).
That's plenty of sharing. Sorry if it's tooo long. But sharing makes me feel closer to you.
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