30 August 2016
Still up early as we had to drive to our next tented camp on the other side of the Park, plus we wanted to see as much as we could of the animals. The Park closed at 5.30.
A full breakfast today to keep us going, packed, loaded the car and we were off. There was a queue at the Park gates yesterday, but today only two cars in front of us, so quickly through (well as quickly as the Park Officials would allow!) and on to the first waterhole, Ombika, where we saw the lion yesterday, but no luck today, just the usual collection of zebra, springbok, oryx, kudu and impala.
We carried on to Okaukuejo to pay the Park fee (N$170 or about £10), another bureaucratic process, but we got there in the end. We visited many of the waterholes and saw quite a collection of animals. The waterholes we visited today were Ombika, Okaukuejo, Nebroni, Gemsbokvlakte, Olifantsbad, Aus, Homob, Sueda, Salvadora, Rietfontein, along the Rhino Drive,, finishing at Halali at lunchtime. At Halali we saw 45 elephant in and around the waterhole,it was fanatstic.
In the afternoon we drove on to Goas, Springbokfontein, Batia, Okerfontein and Koinagas. Lots of waterholes with varying success at seeing wildlife. The highlights were the elephants at Halali, so many elephants, all doing their own thing, half a dozen youngsters, some very large, obvious teenagers; it was elephant soup! Other highlights included a white rhino on the Doring Drive which runs along. the edge of the Etosha Pan, plus lots of giraffe (they are Ruth's favourite and they do walk so elegantly) on the same drive. A lion with a dead kudu, though almost hidden under a dense bush. White elephants (they had been to the waterhole, sprayed themselves with water, then dust and it had dried white) along the ridge, also on the same Drive. Many, many zebra and oryx drinking at Batia. Will have to check the photographs, of which there are very many, to be sure what we saw and where.
Finally, on through Namutoni and onto the tarmac road, a real relief, to Onguma Tented Camp, just outside the ENP Von Lindequist Gate at the eastern end of the Park. Once again we entered through the Onguma Reserve gate only to be told there was another 10km to the Camp and it was, as usual along a gravel road, in not very good condition.
Anyway, we reached the camp, walked in to be asked if we were just looking around. It appears the gate guard hadn't radioed ahead to say we were coming, hey, TIA. Once they realised their manner changed and a refreshing drink and cold flannels were produced with lots of smiles. The sunset was beautiful, a typical African sunset with a great afterglow. Good photograph across the waterhole. A quick briefing and we were shown to our tent. It was fabulous, overlooking the waterhole, which was illuminated at night (and all night!) so well appointed and very comfortable.
They collected us for dinner (it was dark by then and they had a 'healthy' population of lion and leopard, so we were not allowed out after dark without an escort. The fact that the escort was unarmed, unlike other camps we had been to, seemed to have escaped them. (We did get to dinner un-eaten!)
Good dinner of ostrich steak, lovely bottle of wine and we were ready for bed.