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Towlersonsafari

brilliant elephant sighting and lovely photos @toine

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toine

Second stop: Jakkalswater.

 

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Not a bad start, the waterhole was packed with animals, and a good variety..! Lot's of actions.

 

And all of a sudden this herd came out of the bush..!

 

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We only had about an hour at this waterhole, but wow, that was a good start..!

What was surprising is that we were now 2 hours in the park, and hadn't seen a single other car yet...!

Edited by toine

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toine

Time to drive to Olifantsrus, as the sun was setting fast...

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And that was our first couple of hours in Etosha, we were absolutely thrilled!

 

The waterhole at Olifantsrus is dimly lit with some red light, but only early in the evening. Later at night they switched it off, until early morning. I visited the waterhole at night, after the lights went out. It was almost full moon so visibility was quite good and I didn’t want to disturb any wildlife with my flashlight. I guess I was rewarded and was fortunate to see a leopard come to the waterhole for a drink. It turned out to be the first and last leopard we saw in Namibia.

 

Edited by toine

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Tom Kellie

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~ @toine

 

Not one, but two of the finest waterhole shots I've seen.

 

The elephants together — what a scene! 

 

Glorious photography — many thanks!

 

Tom K.

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toine

Day 9 – Jun 27: Etosha NP (Okaukuejo Campsite)    127 km

 

Before sunrise we were on our way and first drove back to Jakkalswater, which was so good the day before. How about this morning..?

 

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Believe it or not, but these are the first photos I took this day!

 

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How's that for a start :)

Needless to say, Jakkalswater became one of our favourite waterholes.

Edited by toine

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toine
22 minutes ago, Towlersonsafari said:

brilliant elephant sighting and lovely photos @toine

@Towlersonsafari thank you! Yes it was absolutely brilliant, couldn't have imagined it any better...!

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toine
6 minutes ago, Tom Kellie said:

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~ @toine

 

Not one, but two of the finest waterhole shots I've seen.

 

The elephants together — what a scene! 

 

Glorious photography — many thanks!

 

Tom K.

 

Thanks @Tom Kellie, the west of the park is clearly under-rated, but perhaps it's good that way...! I'll definitely spend more days there, next time, and do the full loop.

 

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toine

The lions disappeared fairly soon into the bush, time to check out Renostervlei, which yesterday was almost deserted.

 

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I don't know why, but also here we were very fortunate to have this little herd visit the waterhole for a drink, and then a standing nap. Brilliant..!

 

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The closer the herd gets to the water the more inpatient particularly the younger elephants become and steadily increase their pace until they're almost running... 

 

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A little bonus action from the zebras.

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And the only eland we saw in Etosha.

 

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Edited by toine

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toine

From Renostervlei we drove to Grunewald, with a lunch break at a picnic place along the road, somewhere half way the road from Olifantsrus to Okaukuejo.

 

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"Kiss my Ass".

They don't all understand the concept of posing for a photo... 

 

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We then drove through the so-called Fairy Tale Forest looking for leopard, but no luck. Somehow this didn’t surprise me, as we also didn’t see any potential leopard prey… Except this steenbok.

 

Edited by toine

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toine

Leeubron was dry and no action. Next stop was Okondeka’s natural waterhole, hoping to find the large residential lion pride...

 

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toine

Time was ticking, so we had to drive to Okaukuejo where we wanted to enjoy sunset at the waterhole.

 

Just before the camp a herd of giraffes was on its way to the waterhole.

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the sun was setting slowly and as the direction of the herd was predictable I was able to put myself close to where they would cross the road and be right behind them to take some photos into the sun, hoping for some nice silhouettes...

 

Almost crossing the road, now in gallop...

 

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Click click click... Golden hour!

 

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One of my favourite photos of our entire trip...

Edited by toine

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toine

And not a minute too early did we arrive at Okaukuejo, they must have closed the gate right behind us.

The sun was now almost gone, so we kinda ran straight to the waterhole. I was just on time for a few sunset photos.

 

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Time for a few beers and dinner! What a park... Unbelievable. And we still had the entire evening and night...!

Edited by toine

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toine

The rest of the evening we spend at the floodlit waterhole. It’s a busy place, but the magical setting, the animal action and sounds of nature seem to naturally silence everybody... Except the cameras…! If Canon, and particularly Nikon (!), could make their cameras more silent that would the experience even better…! I guess particularly for non-photographers.

 

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We had a great time watching animals come and go, of course hoping for rhinos, although I guess this time of the year that's pretty much guaranteed.

 

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And that was the end of day 9, 18 more to go, wow... It must have been 20 years ago I took such a relative long holiday. Feels good. 

Edited by toine

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Peter Connan

Fantastic photography throughout and some really great sightings!

Your back-lit images are really excellent!

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toine
7 hours ago, Peter Connan said:

Fantastic photography throughout and some really great sightings!

Your back-lit images are really excellent!

 

Thanks @Peter Connan ! Africa is still very new to me and I don't want to miss any of the experience by being busy with camera gear or thinking about settings...! I've only recently become a bit more serious about photography and still often prefer to just watch and enjoy, at least at new sighting for in Africa they almost all are :). It's very different when I'm back "home" in Asia and can sit for a few hours behind my camera waiting for a particular animal, or behaviour, in parks I visit often.

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xelas
9 hours ago, toine said:

It's very different when I'm back "home" in Asia

 

Indonesia is huge ... which island is your home base, if I may ask?

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toine
6 minutes ago, xelas said:

 

Indonesia is huge ... which island is your home base, if I may ask?

@xelas it's huge indeed and that's one of the reasons I'm still there...! Nowadays I live on Bali and in Jakarta, flying back and forth. I used to live on Sumatra for over 9 years though. I've travelled the country A LOT, probably more than almost anyone else, but there's still a lot to cover... And that includes national parks and wildlife! 

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toine

Day 10 – Jun 28: Etosha NP (Okaukuejo Campsite)

 

Today’s target: lions.

Early morning we did the Wolfsnes - Okondeka - Adamax - Natco - Leeubron loop, with a spectacular sunrise and most of the early morning the sun in our back. We did not find the Okondeka lions, which may have had a successful wildebeest kill the previous afternoon, just out of sight. But with the beautiful light any wild is great.

 

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Edited by toine

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toine

After this loop we drove back to camp for coffee and toilet, in that natural order, before driving to Nabrownii, Gembokvlakte and then to the beautiful scenic natural waterhole of Olifantsbad (with picnic place and toilets) and then Aus, before returning back to our camp for lunch and mid-day break.

 

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Two of a kind.

 

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Three of a kind.

 

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Burchell's Zebra, with the brown shadow stripes in between the black stripes.

 

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Edited by toine

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toine

Refreshed and with high hope to find lions we took off again towards Gemsbokvlakte. A kilometer before the waterhole we saw a group of 4 or 5 bat-eared foxes foraging over the savanna, but way too far for any decent photos, we could hardly see them without binoculars! I’m still not even sure how we spotted them in the first place… From their direction we knew they were probably slowly on their way to the waterhole, so we decided to wait for them there.

 

We had a great time watching particularly the giraffes.

 

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Edited by toine

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toine

All of a sudden the giraffes all stood up straight, backed-off from the waterhole and looked to somewhere behind our car: a lioness with 3 cubs walked right from behind our car straight to the waterhole in front of us, front row seats!

 

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Carrying a rock around...

Edited by toine

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toine

Half an hour later the lioness and cubs decided to have a nab in the grass just next to the waterhole. There were only about 5 or 6 cars, who then decided to leave. We waited patiently for the bat-eared foxes. They arrived 10 minutes later. We thought that the lioness maybe might be interested, but I guess she was too lazy..? It was obvious that the foxes were not really concerned when they passed the lioness within less than 20 meters.

 

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I wish we were on the other side of the waterhole... But there's no road.

 

Bat-eared foxes actually seldom have to drink water as they obtain most of the moisture that they need from their food, which mostly consists of small invertebrates such as ants, termites, spiders, scorpions and crickets. They use their large ears to find food and can even hear insects under the sand, but they are also used for thermo-regulation. 

Edited by toine

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toine

So, that was another “check”: bat-eared foxes, absolutely beautiful animals! The sun was setting fast now, time to go back to camp for our second and last night at Okaukuejo.

 

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I really love the colours of this photo.

 

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Again good black rhino action, but would have loved to see a White Rhino as well. Next trip...!

 

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Edited by toine

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toine

Day 11 – Jun 29: Etosha NP (Halali Campsite)    69 km

 

Today’s target: cheetah.

Today we move to Halali, with stops at Homob, Sueda, Salvadora, Charitsaub and Rietfontein.

 

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A Black Rhino at Homob.

 

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A Black Rhino at Rietfontein.

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Edited by toine

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toine

We had lunch at Halali and then decided to do the loop of this morning again, now the other way around: Rietfontein, Charitsaub, Salvadora, Sueda, still hoping to find cheetah, but without success and no other spectacular sightings either...

 

Just when we slowly had to make our way back to Halali, as the sun was setting fast, things became suddenly interesting again. I guess mother nature’s way to thank us for our perseverance and make up for some disappointment… Bat-eared foxes again..! Too far for proper photos.

"Another one..!: But wait a moment, that’s not a fox, that’s a honey badger…!

 

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A photo just for the record. Very hard to get a good photo, as they keep moving around very fast, looking left, right, left... Funny.

 

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An animal with balls, also literally.

Edited by toine

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