Day 280, Wednesday 10 October 2012 – Okaukuejo Camp, Etosha, Namibia
I had a lousy sleep last night; the herbal sleeping pills didn’t work so I popped half a proper one at midnight in the hope of a decent sleep. I still failed. It was the first warm night and the first night I did not need to use my sleeping bag.
Up at 6:00 and on to the truck with no breakfast as we were off for an early morning game drive.
We did not see much for quite a long time into the ride, the scenery was spectacular though and I enjoyed looking out the window trying to spot game. We were granted an interesting but unspectacular sunrise. As I have said a few times I love the landscapes here, so varied, so harsh in some cases but there is a photographic opportunity everywhere.
I really like the patterns the animal trails make in the grass, it would be great to see this from a hot air balloon and look straight down on the trails.
The animals are so well designed to fit into their environment, this does of course make taking clear photos from a distance quite tricky as these tussling male oryx show.
We did see zebra, springbok and finally some decent shots of ostriches.
After a bit more hunting around we saw a group of vehicles parked up so went over to have a look see and found a male lion (Hell yeah!) lying down sunning himself. I love this pose 🙂
Apparently in the nearby bushes were a number of cubs but we were unable to see them clearly due to the other vehicles blocking the view.
We waited and waited and finally gave up, I gave them a brief verbal server out the window as they were being incredibly rude. This actually turned out to be an awesome move as 500 metres up the road we spotted mum on her way home.
We stopped to take photos and after a while everyone left the cubs and came to see what we were doing – so we nipped back to the cubs and had prime position for the reunion, first of mum and cubs and then of the whole family. Just fabbo stuff, my first wild big cats, not too far away and so beautiful to see.
Dad finally showing some interest in his baby sitting.
The kids hear mum approaching.
Dad giving a mighty
and they finally left, probably to go find a kill that mum made.
What a fantastic expereince, certianly not something that is seen every day.
Brunch was at 11:30 and another great meal of salads and meats and potato cakes, I certainly loving the food here and it is not doing my waist line any favours at all, I am going to have to get out for a run sooner rather than later. After lunch we had three hours of down time before the evening game drive left, so I was back into the shade and on the computer again. I am enjoying having access to electricity for a change.
On the second game drive we didn’t see any more of the big five but I got some great shots of the other game, zebra, oryx, springbok etc.
My first wilderbeast
which often travel with zebra
sand squirrels 🙂
We stopped for a break in one of the human cages in the middle of the park, there are a number of these sanctuaries scattered around.
Some sort of basted
After dinner I went back down to the waterhole and a different rhino was there with some reasonable light so I managed to get a couple of shots before the sun was too low, and this was a better rhino shot than last nights, but only just.
Another African sunset!
I would like to a rhino in a more natural environment, the park is huge – at 22,000 sq km it is the second biggest in Africa, so it is pretty natural, but the waterhole is purely man made and totally geared up for tourists to look at the animals over a chilled chardonnay (or cardboard red in my case).
We had a couple of drinks after dinner and I think I managed to drink, beer, white and red wine, whisky, a G and T and an amurula. Only one of each, but a ridiculous combination…
It was the best in a series of best days!