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Sorry I am late!

 

But i am now standing firmly on the back bumper, as that seems to be the only spot left!

 

Wonderful use of light in your photography!

 

Hi Peter, better late than never! Welcome! Back bumper is too dangerous a spot, especially for the bumpy roads in Moremi, not to mention the three musketeers we will soon encounter. Better hop into the cab.

I think the light is because it's KTP, not because of something we did.

 

BTW, the trip in Botswana continues here, because evidently there is now a new section for self-drive trip reports.

 

http://safaritalk.net/topic/16985-self-drive-safari-tr-bots-nam-sa/

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Self-Drive Safari Trip Report Namibia-South Africa-Botswana-Namibia September 10 - October 27, 2016 "Are you ready to rumble?" It's time for all you arm-chair safari-goers to get up f

Halali waterhole is a very busy place. There is likely activity day and night and you sit on benches or rocks privileged to watch the spectacle and sometimes the interactions between animal species. L

Trip report summary Day 1-14 Windhoek to Sesriem to KTP to Buitepos   Highlights: Deadvlei at sunrise, meeting friends at Grootkolk, lions, cheetah hunt and kill, cape fox, brown hyena, camping at

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Robjwilli

Really enjoying your trip report, looking forwad to the next chapter. Nice job

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Atravelynn

Good thing you finally remembered the cheetah. 4 little ones, wow!

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Summary report: Divundu to Etosha, Etosha NP, Windhoek, October 14-27, 2016



Highlights: meeting forum friends from Canada and a couple from California, LOTS of lions, the lit up waterholes at Halali and Okuaukuejo, many rhinos and giraffe, camping at Olifantsrus


Lowlights: oppressive heat, campsites in Okuaukuejo and Halali, wasteland-look of park




In the morning, we make a spur of the moment decision to drive back east and visit Mahango NP. What's a few more kilometers and we have enough time!


The entrance fee is only Nam$ 90 and we game drive the inside road, not the drive-through to the border road. It's too early for ellies, but we see all the usual suspects with a very green and watery back drop. The highlight at the end of the road is a huge baobab tree that has new leaves. We only have seen them bare before. Other highlights are Giant Eagle owls, an adult and a baby in a nest, as well as a sizable herd of Sable antelopes resting on the floodplain.


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The next section of this TR will be about Etosha camps and its wildlife.

 

Hope you were able to read the Botswana portion of my TR at this link:

 

 

http://safaritalk.net/topic/16985-self-drive-safari-tr-bots-nam-sa/

 

Thanks for joining me on our trip! Cheers...

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Treepol

@@KaliCA good to see some photos from Mahango GR - do you think this park was worth the visit and what did you like best about it?

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@@KaliCA good to see some photos from Mahango GR - do you think this park was worth the visit and what did you like best about it?

Hi Treepol, IMO Mahango is worth a morning and an evening visit, about 4 hours time. When coming from the dry west and Etosha, it's nice to see water and greenery around the animals. In our three visits, we have never seen cats there, but if you are not going to Botswana, it's a great intro to see hippo and buffalo, as well as lechwes antelopes. So it's a Delta experience in a nutshell.

We have seen Sable and Roan, Nyala, vervets, hartebeest and Kudu, and there were huge Ellie bulls at the waterhole west of the river.

There are some nice lodges along the Okavango which offer boat rides up and down the river and to Poppa Falls.

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It's now after 10, and we have a long way to go, so we leave Mahango NP and drive west, once again suffering from the heat inside our car, as the AC is still not cooling right. This fact makes it all the more disappointing when we learn that Seidarap Guesthouse by Grootfontein does not have any AC at all. ( Snag # ? I forget. Again, lesson learned: know before you go)


We are received warmly by the host, Stefan, and choose a room with a ceiling fan. We can use power to connect our cool box then I visit the pool to cool off a bit. This is a former farm with outbuildings, gardens, lawns, and palm trees - a beautiful setting. Dinner is a grand affair with another small group of travelers and the food served on the patio is superb.


We have trouble sleeping in a very hot room that is not cooling off and on top of that there is a rooster (really, a rooster at a guesthouse?!) crowing at 3:30 AM. So, a mixed bag staying at Seidarap Guestfarm for us. (Seiderap read backward in German means "paradise")


After a truly wonderful German Breakfast, we leave for Tsumeb, a pleasant small former mining town, where we fill up diesel, and stock up at the Spar supermarket.


Now we are ready for our 11 nights' camping in Etosha NP.


We enter at Von Lindquist Gate and get a paper to be taken to Namutoni reception. (The girl at the gate is charging us for a 6 plus seat car, but that gets corrected in Namutoni)There, we pay our fees, Nam $ 1870, and continue to check the neighboring waterholes before having lunch at Namutoni campground.


We already see a first rhino wallowing in cool mud, two tawny Eagles drinking, a few eland, as well as giraffes drinking.


We drive to Halali campsite and arrive there after 5 PM.



Tip: if you want a decent campsite, arrive before noon and ask the lady to assign you one of a few of your choice. It helps to know which ones you like ahead of time. Best one for me is number 37.



We came specifically to Halali first in order to meet up with my Canadian forum friend and Africa self-drive mentor and her family. As we set up the roof tent, my friend walks up and it is wonderful to finally see her in person. We all meet up at Moringa waterhole, the one reason not to miss staying at Halali overnight.


Almost as ordered, a Black Rhino shows up at exactly sunset and all of us are happy. We have dinner together at the camp restaurant; the food is very mediocre and not worth the amount charged IMO. However, the company and conversation is lovely as we have lots in common to talk about. It’s a short but nevertheless enjoyable evening. How wonderful to meet forum friends in Africa. I'm so fortunate to have made connections with fellow Africa enthusiasts who help with advise and also enrich our lives.


Before bedtime, we check the waterhole one more time and catch another black rhino in the yellow light.



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Seiderap Guestfarm, Grootfontein, Nam

 

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Chudop Waterhole, a favorite spot

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Edited by KaliCA
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My Canadian forum friend and self-drive guru :) at Moringa waterhole gallery, Halali.

 

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Black Rhino ordered to show up by my friend at exactly sunset time! :lol:

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We also stayed in Seidarap and loved the place but we were there in September so no need for airco.

The hosts are very nice and the food was very good.

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We also stayed in Seidarap and loved the place but we were there in September so no need for airco.

The hosts are very nice and the food was very good.

Agree, great hospitality and food. Nice hosts and property. But not during suicide month. That's what Namibians call the month of October.

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Here are a few notes regarding our visit to Etosha. This year, in October of 2016, is extremely hot and the place looks like a wasteland. The whole region is suffering from a drought and the lack of water is evident everywhere. Grass is low and animals have to walk many kilometers from pasture to water. However, we see mostly well nourished animals and there seems to be enough food for everyone after all.


The good news is that almost all the waterholes have water and the animals know where to find it. There are huge numbers of thirsty herbivores coming and going, waiting their turn at waterholes and the spectacle is truly amazing. Lions appear fat and lazy as they mostly wait around waterholes for prey to come to them. But, surprisingly, even after 10 days in the park, we only see lions feeding once, on a giraffe kill, and don't observe a hunt or a kill. We are guessing that all the taxing activities like hunting take place at night when the temperatures drop a little. When we see lions in the early morning, they usually have huge sagging bellies when they come to drink.


Our favorite camping spot is Namutoni. There is actually grass there and the attendant is keeping it green! There are nice shade trees, it's smaller than the other two and a lot quieter. We like the pool as well, but the waterhole is not our favorite. It is not visited as much as the other two, and I'm guessing because there are five very busy waterholes in the vicinity of Namutoni.


Camping at Halali and Okaukuejo is a chore and no fun at all. It's loud, dusty, and there is no privacy. There may be huge groups of over landers who travel in huge trucks present who love to party. If it were not for the two fantastic, lit-up waterholes with lots of rhino, ellies, giraffe, and even lion activity, we would not camp there again. This was our third time there and the conditions seem to get worse. They ran out of bread and fruit at the store and later, the fuel station ran out of diesel, and one day there was no electricity.


This year, we camped for the first time at Olifantsrus in the western part of the park. We liked it a lot as there are only 10 sites. Get there early for a spot with electricity, as not all spots have outlets. They have a two-story hide which can be reached over a long arching bridge. Very ingeniously built. The only drawback is the RED floodlight, that is not very becoming to the animal visitors. Red rhino? No thanks.


The toilet and picnic areas outside the rest camps leave lots to be desired and are basically an embarrassment to NWR. 'nuf said.


DH loves Etosha for its wide open spaces and painted ellies; a photographer's dream. I love Etosha for the lions and the chaos of herbivores at some waterholes. This year we have seen a total of 78 different lions. One day, we checked 6 waterholes and found lions at 5 of them. We are lucky enough to encounter lions every day during our ten day Etosha visit. I'm especially happy to have seen lion under the iconic tree by the Salvadora waterhole.



So rather than describing our activities and drives in Etosha, I'm going to post some of our best shots and write captions below them. Let the pictures do the talking.






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This shot was taken by the first waterhole when driving into the western section from Okaukuejo called .... Bari something. It shows 7 species of thirsty animals and birds.

 

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The density of herbivores here was simply astounding and there was a big traffic jam because of the 4 lions at one end. we were surrounded by probaby hundreds of springbok and zebra waiting to drink, but not daring.

 

 

 

 

 

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Halali waterhole is a very busy place. There is likely activity day and night and you sit on benches or rocks privileged to watch the spectacle and sometimes the interactions between animal species. Lions do not like to get too close to rhinos and will run away! And one rhino came close to the fence to look at the humans gathered there.

 

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Kissing cousins

 

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Who is looking at whom?

 

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Edited by KaliCA
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The above pictures are taken at Halali waterhole is a very busy place. There is likely activity day and night and you sit on benches or rocks privileged to watch the spectacle and sometimes the interactions between animal species. Lions do not like to get too close to rhinos and will run away! And one rhino came close to the fence to look at the humans.

The fighting lion shot does not belong and all my editing would not remove it!

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Klein Namutoni waterhole had lions on a giraffe kill. it was quite comical to watch a sub-adult male sitting atop of the carcass and playing king of the kill. it was a very uncomfortable position, but he was perched there until another lion came close and then the carcass clown came down and had to step into the mud up to his belly. Those were the dirtiest lions we have ever seen. At one point a sub-adult challenged the pride male and there was some roaring interaction.

Later, the pride male rubbed himself in ellie dung and now he was dirty AND stinky.

 

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The scene, early one morning

 

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Meanwhile, kudu, giraffe, impala, and eland were drinking at the other side of the waterhole

 

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Then these three showed up a second time. The first time, the pride male chased them away by roaring and approaching them. The second time, he was further away and they sneaked up and had a drink.

Had they been part of this tribe once and were homesick for their family?

 

 

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The king in sh...t, not very dignified!

(Why do animals roll around in feces?)

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Photo 2 in post #32 is stunning.

Loving the report.

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Here are some shots from Okaukuejo camp and its surrounding waterholes.

 

For the third time this trip we had the pleasure of meeting a lovely forum couple, this time from our former home state of California. They are world travelers and have done many self-drive safaris all over southern Africa. It is indeed rare, to meet AMERICAN self-drivers, and we usually get disbelieving stares when we let people know we live in the USA. Thanks to their generosity, we ended up with a good campsite, # 29 in Okaukuejo, and # 37 in Halali. We had dinner and lunch together and enjoyed their company at the waterhole.

Happy trails, CA friends!

 

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Dusty campsite with little shade in 40+ (104) degrees. We did see ellies, giraffe, and a rhino walk along the fence to the waterhole from this spot. But... not a pleasure to camp there.

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At Neubrownie WH the ellies paint themselves white which gives them a caked-over ghost-like appearance

 

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The iconic tree by Salvadora WH and there are three surprises under the tree! Well, we waited about 4 hours for the lions to move from the reeds under the tree. Finally,they got tired of us and moved off!

 

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The famous Okaukuejo WH

 

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Edited by KaliCA
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Peter Connan

The sun and Giraffes is a magnificent photo!

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I agree with Peter regarding the sunsetting on the giraffe's super pic, also that is a cool lion hair do in post 73.

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