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Bush dog

DAY 16

 

Continued

 

Always following the pan’s shores, we took a small road leading to a viewpoint, called Etosha, and gazed at the pan that was, it doesn’t matter for once, completely flooded, another consequence of the exceptional rains. And the flamingoes were there.

 

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On our way to Namutoni, we stopped at Halali and though we still had enough petrol, we wanted to fill up but their tanks were empty.

 

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We visited several waterholes.

 

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We reached our lodge in the end of the afternoon. Mushara Lodge, located about 10 kilometers outside the park, was a very good surprise; comfortable rooms and excellent cuisine!

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In July 2011, I made a 3 weeks’ self-driving trip in.   Overview :   ENINGU CLAY HOUSE : 1 night WOLVEDANS DUNE CAMP : 2 nights SOSSUSVLEI LODGE : 2 nights VILLA MARGHERITA (Swakopmund) :

DAY 7   Continued   The lagoon gets narrower every year with the dunes gaining ground on the sea. There was small fresh water lagoons as well, but these are also disappearing under the moving dun

DAY 8   Once again, a driver collected us at our hotel at 8:00 am and drove us to Walvis Bay’s harbour, to embark on the “Catamaran Dolphin Cruise”. It’s a three to four hours tour in and outside t

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Tdgraves

@@xelas

 

Thanks again for your generous words. Of course, wildlife is there but the chances to have good sightings of some species are low, too much trees and vegetation around some waterholes and when there is something, the crowds are there and the conditions of the good sighting are poor. You were very lucky to see a leopard. In 7 days I did not even see one so much so that I asked myself the question : Are there leopards in Etosha?

 

@@Bush dog I can confirm that there are! We had a lovely sighting at a small water hole, after waiting about an hour in 35 degree heat and wouldn't you know it, as soon as he came down for a drink, a game drive vehicle with 6 photographers in it appeared, took a few shots and then left - what about that for luck?

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Earthian

@@Bush dog

Your photographs are really very good. How far were you from the zebras? And what equipment did you use for that shot? (close up of zebras)

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Bush dog

@@Tdgraves

 

Thanks a lot for your comments. Of course, there are and you were so lucky to see one in such good conditions.

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Bush dog

@@Earthian

 

Many thanks for your generous words. The zebras were not really far from the road.

 

I used for the close-ups a 500mm lens + extender 1,4 on EOS 7D and for the 3 other pictures a 100-300 at 300 on EOS 1Ds Mk III.

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Alexander33

@@Bush dog

 

Your photographs, as always, are just outstanding.

 

I can see how that rental car debacle could certainly put a damper on the whole trip. Of course, I probably would have been thrilled to suffer only a broken window, but that's just because death in a head-on collision would be the far more likely outcome for me if I were ever foolish enough to put my American right side-of-the-road driving habits on the highways and byways of a left side-of-the-road country like Namibia. I've been told that the switch is easy, but I'm not buying it. In the meantime, all you self-drivers have my utmost respect and admiration.

 

Wildlife aside, I am very impressed with the haunting landscapes, the colors and the shadows. I keep looking at your shots of the rock engravings at Twyfelfontein -- fascinating.

 

Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to report on your observations and impressions. I am thoroughly enjoying your memories.

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Treepol

Lovely photos, and the first ST photos I have seen of flamingos on the pan.

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Bush dog

Lovely photos, and the first ST photos I have seen of flamingos on the pan.

Thanks for your kind words. It is exceptional to see flamingoes on the pan as well as the pan to be completely flooded. It's only during the extremely wet years that it becomes a lake of 15 cm deep drawing thousands of flamingoes.

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Bush dog

DAY 17

 

In the morning, we went to visit the north eastern part of the park and the eastern shores of the pan. This side was very green and there were a lot of waterfowls on the water and on the shores. We went up to Andoni and then back and did not see a lot, just a lonely lioness stalking a warthog close to Andoni. Then we went on the road that follows the shores of Fisher’s pan and again the same statement, almost nothing to see.

 

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The next stop was Klein Namutoni. There was a bit more wildlife there.

 

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Then we went to Chudob. There was a great diversity of species; about fifty elephants and impalas, kudus, zebras, guinea fowls, warthogs, giraffes, gemsboks and one eland.

 

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To be continued

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madaboutcheetah

Beautiful Kudu, Mike - you also have a Selinda like BG ;) with those palms ......

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Bush dog

Beautiful Kudu, Mike - you also have a Selinda like BG ;) with those palms ......

Thanks, Hari. Now I know why I like this picture. It's because my subconscious had immediatly caught the Selinda like background.

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Bush dog

DAY 17

 

Continued

 

Chudob waterhole.

 

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We had lunch in the courtyard of Namutoni’s fort. Then we visited the small museum and learnt that elephants, rhinos and lions had completely disappeared from the area at the end of the 19th century. Only, rhinos were reintroduced. Elephants and lions came back when the park was extended to regions other than Namutoni.

 

Then we went to Kalkheuwel, where there was nobody but us. Well, not exactly, while scanning the surroundings, we spotted the four lions finishing a warthog.

 

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A couple of giraffes came and after much hesitation had a drink.

 

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On the way back to the lodge.

 

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elefromoz

@@Bush dog, all lovely but I am particularly taken way back with the Humpback with the sand-dune background, extraordinary. Also love the real close up of the Zebras nose and mouth, I can almost feel the velvet touch and smell the "equine", so horse-like. Very nice Eland taking a drink with their almost "war-paint" faces, I have never seen this species. The last couple of series of photos must surely make amends for you initial setbacks.

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Bush dog

DAY 18

 

Early in the morning, we saw two cheetahs, whose attention was focused on a red duiker, standing in the tall grass. We did not wait a long time for the action to start. Unfortunately, they all disappeared zigzagging in the grass and the outcome of this hunt remained for us a big question mark, very frustrating! I witnessed something similar in Kgalagadi but there, though the action took place in a very short time, I was able to clearly see the chase from the start to the end. I leave it to everyone to draw his own conclusions.

 

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At Okerfontein, we had again a great view on the pan and the flamingoes.

 

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At Chudob, the elephants were still in great number.

 

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Close to Namutoni, a vehicle overtook us, and three others, at a much too high speed, hurling stones on the windows and windscreen and leaving us in a large dust cloud, forcing us to almost stop, for momentary non visibility. We came up with him again a few hundred meters further. The driver-guide had brought the vehicle to a standstill because there was a black rhino in the bushes alongside the road. The rhino was certainly the reason why he was driving madly. It was a vehicle of Ultimate Safaris, again an upscale safari company. As I was already very scalded by the previous incident, I stopped at his level and told him sharply, in the presence of his guests, the fund of my thoughts, that he was a shame for his company, and so on…….. We stopped at Namutoni for lunch.

 

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In the afternoon we went to Twee Palms and found that elephant sleeping?

 

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Giraffes at Klein Namutoni.

 

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We ended that day at Kalkheuwel. The lions had gone but the giraffes had been multiplied by four.

 

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xelas

The sleeping elephant ... If for only that one photo, it would make my trip a success story! Great bird of prey photo, I love the colour of its eyes.

 

Any reaction from the mad driver?

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Earthian

nice shot of the drinking giraffe

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Bush dog

The sleeping elephant ... If for only that one photo, it would make my trip a success story! Great bird of prey photo, I love the colour of its eyes.

 

Any reaction from the mad driver?

Once more, thanks a lot for your comments.

 

The driver, and incidentally his guests too, kept low profile. They probably pushed him to race when someone told them that there was a rhino near Namutoni. They knew that they were guilty of a blameworthy behavior.

On the other hand, he certainly feared I could point out the incident to the park's authorities in Namutoni. He could have, in the worst case, lost his job when his employer would have received a warning from the park administration.

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Bush dog

DAYS 19 to 22

 

Okonjima is home of the Africat Foundation. The rooms of the Bush Camp are huge and have a great view on the plains where gemsboks are grazing.

 

In the afternoon of our arrival, we participated to their leopard viewing activity within one of their rehabilitation nature reserves. The leopards are totally free and autonomous which means that they catch their preys. To find them, the guide uses a radio-tracking system. Even with this help, a leopard still remains a very difficult to spot specie.

 

The next day, we visited the care center for cheetahs and the 50 ha electrically fenced enclosure where one can find the cheetahs (13/14 years old) that are too old to be released in the wild and to catch their own preys.

 

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Other younger cheetahs - sheltered and treated or brought up if they were orphans – are released in another much bigger section of the property where they are followed by radio to see if they are able to catch their own preys. If yes, they are released in the wild somewhere in Namibia and if no, they will end their life on the property.

 

In the afternoon, we again took part to the leopard viewing activity. After a long search and only because it was on the move, we found the big male seen the previous afternoon. On the way back, we drove alongside one of the cheetahs’ enclosures at about sixty kms/hour, when a male decided to run level with the car. It was quite easy for it. It was like it was running in slow motion and very interesting for us to very well see the movements that make the cheetah’s run.

 

We spent our last night at Elegant Farmstead which is a nice place and perfect for a first or last night of a trip.

 

This is the end of the report. A big thank you to all those who put comments or marked some interest in this topic.

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michael-ibk

Thanks for this report. Although Namibia was not your personal favourite place one could never tell by your pictures - lots of outstanding ones, scenery shots in the beginning and awesome waterhole scenes in the end. :)

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Earthian

yes,

a good, comprehensive TR with some outstanding photographs

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madaboutcheetah

Thanks, Mike - Lovely report and pictures as always..........

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Zim Girl

Great report and beautiful pictures, enjoyed it a lot.

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xelas

Also myself I have enjoyed your trip report, showing how many faces the nature can offer. A water filled salt pan in Etosha with flamingos in July is surely hard to be repeated soon. The quality of your photos is outstanding, and the motives/angles such one can learn a lot from them. Thank you for sharing both positive and negative sides, as also this is important to learn. Alex

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Peter Connan

Thanks for an excellent trip report filled with magnificent photography Mike.

 

Your photography hides your dismay well, and this report (amongst several others here) has just increased my desire to visit this beautiful country.

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@@Bush dog

 

The image of the zebras in post #84 is magnificent. Absolutely love the composition.

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