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Atravelynn

Deserts, Dunes, Waterholes, Wildlife, Views, Vistas. Namibia.

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Atravelynn

When the big guys finished their romp in the water, the giraffes took their turn.

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All activity is at or near Klein Namutoni

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Atravelynn

Okonjima

 

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Okonjima means "place of the baboon."

 

I especially wanted to do the cheetah tracking activity because it is on foot. Guests also can track leopard and spotted hyena (and I think lion) by vehicle. Wild Dog Safaris requested cheetah tracking for me in advance and that’s what I did. There are about 8 cheetahs that are collared and tracked.

 

It might sound easy to find a collared animal, but there are 20,000 hectares to Okonjima, so it can take up to 3.5 hours and there are no guarantees.

 

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Collared predators can be anywhere. Okonjima viewed from an overlook.

 

About 3 pm the vehicle set off with 7 of us and climbed a steep hill so the radio transmitters could pick up a signal. Within minutes we had pings and then spent about 30 minutes descending the hill, driving toward the signal, with stops to check the frequency. Next it was time to approach on foot, which took another 20 minutes or so.

 

What we found was rather exciting. The cheetah was on a kudu kill made minutes before our arrival and she was in a densely wooded area, not typical for cheetahs, but that’s because she was soon to give birth. And it showed. We watched her consume what was most certainly her final meal before she found a protected area in the thick brush to have her cubs. The cheetah paid little attention to us as we slowly approached to within about 25 feet. She concentrated on devouring the kudu.

 

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Okonjima, collared cheetah tracked and viewed on foot. Collar is not visible. Collar is visible.

 

The guide would take your photo with you in the foreground and the cheetah in the background if you wished. I opted for a different shot.

 

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Where's the aardvark? Where's the aardvark?

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Sundowners after cheetah tracking

 

The night hide activity:

About 8:00 pm after the evening meal, guests can be led on a 10 minute walk to a hide overlooking a small waterhole where scraps are tossed. Flashlights are provided for the walk if you don’t have one. The hide is V-shaped. There are seats, and a ledge in front of the seats to rest cameras on. They even had some bean bags randomly placed on the ledges. I found a bean bag to be helpful, but a tripod or even monopod would have been cumbersome and not as effective. At first it seemed like the best place to sit would be right at the point of the “V” because that was most centered for the waterhole and the pile of food scraps. But there were some tree branches in front of the waterhole that got in the way when you sat right in the center of the hide at the V. So either side of the V, just off center was better. Once you are seated, you have to sit still and be silent. No moving around, relocating, swapping seats, or anything like that.

 

Using flash is fine. I used a hotshoe flash.

 

After about 15 minutes of viewing the porcupine, we were told it was time to leave and we were escorted back.

 

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Porcupine at night hide at Okonjima. About half the nights at least one porcupine shows up for guests viewing from the hide. Jackals are much more common. It is possible a honey badger might appear as well.

 

The morning tracking activities depart about 6:00 am and last approximately 3 hours, but sometimes can extend another 30 minutes.

 

QUOTE OF THE TRIP

Heading back to Windhoek at the conclusion of our trip Ian pulled over to the side of the road and hopped out. “Just checking the tires,” he explained to me. I had to laugh because on my previous Africa trip I had learned that phrase to mean stepping behind the vehicle when nature calls to relieve oneself. I explained to Ian that in Tanzania “checking the tires” also had a different and rather humorous meaning to which he replied. “In Namibia we never joke about our tires. We take our tires very seriously.” Good advice for self drivers too I suppose. The continuing saga of “checking the tires” just had to be the quote of the trip!

 

The End

Edited by Atravelynn

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Bush dog

Fantastic elephants and giraffes!!!

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xelas

@@Atravelynn

The End is The Last phrase I was willing to see, yet even the best things has to end. Thank You so much for this detailed report supported by so many great photos. Bookmarked for future visits.

Edited by xelas

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Atravelynn

Thank you @@Bush dog and @@xelas.

 

I almost forgot the PS--the "post strip."

 

 

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Edited by Atravelynn

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michael-ibk

Sad you´re already finished. A terrific report, but then this goes without - your reports always are! I loved all the waterhole scenes especially, you convinced me that Namibia can be as much a great place for animals as for landscapes.

That porcupine is really big, nice size comparison there with the jackals. The cheetah devouring a Kudu? Wow!

I like "Where is the "Aardvark?" If I ever make it to Tswalu this will be my trip report title. :)

Edited by michael-ibk

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Game Warden

As always @@Atravelynn another delightful report - where are you planning next?

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Soukous

awesome elephants in wonderful light @@Atravelynn

neat giraffes too

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TonyQ

@@Atravelynn

Thank you for a wonderful report. The way that you travelled here (with private guide rather than self-drive or group) is very appealing. You have showed off the variety and quantity of wildlife that can be seen here - as well as the beautiful scenery.

 

In these late sections, the elephants playing in the water are a joy to see, and the protrait of the jackal is beautiful.

 

Thank you for all of the work that has gone in to this. For this reader it has been really enjoyable and informative.

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Knowafrica

On one cold winter’s night in the bushveld, just as all our friends snuggled into their beds, I had one last peep at the burning embers of the dying fire in front of the cottage. There, chewing on some left-over bone or scraps was a fully grown civet. Then out of the dark edges came a side-striped jackal to join in the spoils. The civet did not take of that, arched his back, raised his hair and growled - softly but with intent. The slightly larger jackal was so intimidated that it scuffed back to the fringes, never to be seen again that night. I called those who cared to listen and with the help of a strong LED torch got few decent shots (unfortunately I don't know how to load the photos directly from my pictures directory into the post).

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Peter Connan

Lovely report of a lovely trip, thank you @@Atravelynn!

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Safaridude

@@Atravelynn

 

I missed this while I was away. Just catching up. Thank you for this excellent TR/Instruction manual on Namibia.

 

Love the desert horses. My favorite is the peering jackal though in your first post.

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Sangeeta

Sad you´re already finished. A terrific report, but then this goes without - your reports always are! I loved all the waterhole scenes especially, you convinced me that Namibia can be as much a great place for animals as for landscapes.

That porcupine is really big, nice size comparison there with the jackals. The cheetah devouring a Kudu? Wow, I think Paolo once told of a cheetah-Kudu-kill-scene at Mombo, but this must be very rare. Or was it a young one?

I like "Where is the "Aardvark?" If I ever make it to Tswalu this will be my trip report title. :)

Michael said everything I wanted to say!! Esp the bit about the size of the porupine compared to the jackal. I loved that yawning mongoose too. Another superb report Lynn - one that many others (including me) will emulate at some point.

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Marks

Sad that we reached the end already...but some great moments posted over the last few days. I especially enjoyed the elephants in the water and the cobra.

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Atravelynn

@@michael-ibk

The kudu looked older than a calf to me. Maybe pregnancy cravings had something to do with going after a sizeable prey.

Tswala is destination to shoot for someday.

 

 

@GameWarden

The next trip is Okinawa, off of Japan, with my husband who wants to return to this area.

 

Thanks for tuning in, @@Soukous, @@Peter Connan, @@Marks.

 

The jackal was getting ready for a sandstorm, @@Safaridude.

 

You’ll have fun in Namibia, @@Sangeeta, whenever that trip takes place. As I recall you even had a ground operator in mind.

 

What a captivating interlude, @@Knowafrica.

These posts show how to include images, which you mentioned you did not know how to do.

 

http://safaritalk.net/topic/29-creating-your-gallery-album-and-uploading-images/

http://safaritalk.net/topic/14-posting-images-in-the-text/

 

Or you can do this:

In the bottom right, click “more reply options”

 

On the left see the paper clip and “attach files.”

Click “choose files” and browse your files until you find the photo you want. Click the photo. Then on the right side you’ll see “add to post.” Click add to post. When you post the thread your photo will appear.

 

@@xelas, I see you are seriously investigating a self drive trip, making use of all the various forums. I also see you are a Costa Rica expert!

Edited by Atravelynn

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xelas

@Atravelynn:

Yeah, that is me. Have done self-organised. self-booked and self-driven trips in Europe and around the world for the last 20 years. And will continue to do so for as long as I can.

However, having a good guide is such an added bonus ... your excellent trip report surely emphasize this fact.

Now, if planning a trip to Costa Rica, now you know whom to contact ;) !

Edited by xelas

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Galana

Thanks for the tour Lynn. Enjoyed it from start to finish and the photos as always are stunning.

Your Double-banded Plover is a DB Courser of course.

Loved the Leopard which had gone to the trouble of colour co-ordination its nose with the bush. That very trendy. The three old boys on patrol brought back memories as I have more or less the same shots from 2012.

I have to be a tad controversial now. I don't think the guy with the leopard was wrong. From what I see the cat had joined him to lie in the shade of the car. If that was the case, then the cat had made the decision and was comfortable with him being there. However I DO stress such actions are not without some risk and not undertaken lightly.

Thanks again for letting us ride along with you.

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Atravelynn

@@xelas, you'll be hearing from me about Osa. I got my ploving and coursing mixed up, @@Galana. Thanks. The guy in the car rolled down his window to peek out at the leopard. Maybe that's ok too. I probably would not have done that, but an open vehicle exposes you even more.

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xelas

@@Atravelynn, looking forward to share all of my (limited) knowledge!

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