Etosha National Park
Etosha National Park Reserve is open to visitors all year round. It is entered by paved road through the Andersson Gate from the west or through the Von Lindekvist Gate from the east. There are three campsites within the park – Okaukuejo in the west, Namutoni in the east and Halali in the middle. All campsites have equally comfortable bungalows, campsites, stores, bars, restaurants, swimming pools and gas stations, and well-equipped animal-watching areas.
We came through the Andersson Gate. The distance between the camps is about 70 km. Movement along the roads of the reserve is permitted at a speed of no more than 60km/h. On the territory of the reserve is forbidden: – to ride in open cars – to leave the paved and specified roads – to get out of the car – to use any firearms.
Most people come to the country to go on safari in Etosha National Park. This park is definitely one of the top five in Africa because of the huge number of animals and because of its unique landscape. Just as you enter the park there is a body of water. There were many zebras, Oryx Okaukuejo is well known for its lakes, which are the watering places of elephants and black rhinos.
The very center of the park is occupied by a “dry lake,” locally called the “great white dry water spot,” a flat, giant salt marsh desert that is actually the bottom. The lake fills with water only during heavy rains, which, understandably, are infrequent in the desert. Trees and bushes grow along its rugged edges, and in the middle stretches the frayed ground, where herds of antelope, giraffes, and elephants roam.
There’s a lion hiding from the sun under a tree. We wouldn’t have noticed it if we hadn’t gotten behind the tour van. And we had to choose carefully the lost roads to see all this wildlife.
There are signposts at road forks.
It is considered the most favorable season to visit the Etosha National Park in winter; in Namibia it lasts from May to August. But we came in the spring. And I consider it a good time, too. There is almost no water in the lake, so animals gather in herds around the few puddles and shallow reservoirs on the edges of the desert. You can make a whole series of unique photographs at such a watering hole. Just drive up close to such a puddle, turn off the engine, and wait. In half an hour, zebras, giraffes, elephants, impalas, springboks, wildebeests, and warthogs will pass in front of you.
In doing so, they manage to get around the water in incredibly pictorial poses, as if posing.
And what sunsets. The real African ones… The ones you dreamed of in a cold St. Petersburg winter….
And here is the main feature – the giraffes at sunset. This is exactly how I imagined the real Africa.
All three camps are built near watering holes. Even in a severe drought, these reservoirs are filled with water. Therefore, there are many animals near the camps.
At night, the national park is full of life. You only have time to set up your tents and make a fire when guests come to the camp. This is the most interesting part of the safari. After dark, curious animals pull closer to the camp. You direct a flashlight into the darkness and you will definitely catch a couple of yellow eyes out of the gloom. Uh-oh, a lion? No, just a jackal. Apparently, despite a strict ban on feeding animals, these animals get some. You throw a piece of meat to jackal and immediately realized your mistake, he would not leave, and would make noise all night. At least it’s not lions. I was about to fall asleep when I heard the howling. Distinct, but distant. It howled again, but in a different direction, and then everything around me howled and howled and howled and howled. There was a moment’s confusion- what if it was hyenas (probably jackals) who smelled meat? I looked out of the tent and looked around – silence. I closed the tent, and again all around began to howl, and some eerie yapping sound began to play. I didn’t want to sleep anymore. I went to watch the animals at the waterhole. There were elephants, a whole family. Then, having made a round of the lake, they went away imposingly…
The rhinoceros appeared next to the waterhole … So we sat up to 3 am watching the animals. Overnight at http://www.namibian.org/travel/lodging/okaukuejo.html in the campsite.
Twenty-first day October 4. Etosha.
Morning. On the cars and faster to catch the animals…
The first to be caught were two lions, they went away from the eyes of pesky tourists, deep into the savannah…
Then there were all sorts of ungulates, lounging in the rays of the rising sun.
And here on a withered tree weaver birds have built huge “communal” nests, numbering up to 2 thousand feathered inhabitants.
Here we almost ran into a giraffe. Everyone was looking at the nest and the giraffe came out of the bushes on the other side.
And if you get used to a couple of long-necked giraffes sticking out here and there, and herds of grazing antelope pretty quickly, then the herds of elephants roaming the park never cease to give the impression of something colossal.
Suddenly we saw an elephant (African elephant, Loxodonta Africana) walking along the side of the road just a few meters away. Elephants are of course common in Africa, and you can find elephants wandering alone in other places as well – it turns out that at the end of their lives, the elephant leaves the herd and lives out its life alone, eating fruit and nibbling on grass.
Only females are dangerous and can be very aggressive, but lonely old elephants are just for sniffing flowers… So we’ve seen such an unforgettable spectacle as an elephant fight…
When drunk, oryx can clash horns – to see who’s the boss.
Elephants pour water on each other and it’s like a white porcelain, just have time to click your camera!
In the western part of the park is the famous “Fairy Forest”, the only place in Africa where the moringa tree, the so-called “upside down tree” which, according to Bushman legend, was thrown by the Thunder God from Eden and landed on earth with its roots upwards, grows on a flat area.
Meeting place Halali http://www.namibiareservations.com/halalie.html : campground under renovation, gas station and store. Paid for camping. Olga and Vlad booked an overnight safari. Safaris cost : Okaukuejo 350 rand, day, 450 rand, night Halali 300 400 Namutoni 350 450
Morning from 6.45 am to 10 pm Daytime from 3.30 pm to 6.30 pm Night from 8 pm to 11 pm
We exchanged impressions and went away to cover the kilometers. Here is a jackal looking for something.
The first thing we did was to go to the Goas pond, where life is boiling, lots of zebras and antelope (impala, gnu, kudu. ), dark blue starlings (Pale-winged starling, Onychognathus nabouroup) sit on the branches of acacia trees.
Then we drove the 32-kilometer by-pass: there is a tall bush all around, and you can only see someone just by the road. Antelopes, birds. But no, a giraffe could be seen even in the high bush! Five kilometers from the big road – a giraffe, then three more.
The roads of Etosha Park.
It’s up to you to decide how fast you drive on these roads. We (red Subara) almost hit a giraffe, and our fellow passengers dented the hood with a springbok.
Days and nights on safari pass so unnoticed and fascinating that soon you realize: you could go to these wild places if only every day, in fact – you could live on a safari!
There’s a barnacle in a tree.
Going out in Etosha is forbidden, except for the territory of camps, because besides the antelope under any acacia tree can be any predator, and there are only three camps, and each is located one from the other at a distance of about 70 km.
I liked the park very much, both in its diversity and the number of animals, especially since there is something to compare it with in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
These daily crazy sunsets, this nighttime conspiracy by reservoirs – you get involved in safari so much that you feel like a real hunter, only instead of a spear you have a digital camera, and in the evening you can sit quietly by reservoirs and listen to the music of the savannah…