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Etosha-mania and skeleton coast - Namibia


Antee

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wilddog

Fascinating as always. So pleased you found the desert elephants. 

 

Lovely photographs. My particular favourite is the portrait one of the 3 giraffe looking tiny against the massive rocky hills. Stunning 

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Day 2.   Today I went east towards Namutoni and the plan was to look for Cheetah on the plains between Halali - Namutoni. A fairly reliable place for them.  Not today however as we didn

I will start this trip report and say that it is probably not that much new in it...  I mean, people have been doing self driving in Namibia for long time and visit all these places already and I

Skeleton coast.   After a day off from wildlife we left Khowarib campsite in the early morning with the destination Terrace Bay on Skeleton coast.    Hartmann´s Mountain Zebra was

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17 hours ago, LarsS said:

That's an awesome landscape! And again, great pictures that put even the largest animals in perspective looking rather small in an environment like that. My imaginary wish list has one more destination on it :) 

 

Maybe I will put another destination on your list with my next update as well... :) 

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Skeleton coast.

 

After a day off from wildlife we left Khowarib campsite in the early morning with the destination Terrace Bay on Skeleton coast. 

 

Hartmann´s Mountain Zebra was up as early as us with the sunrise.

 

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Nice golden light.

 

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After some photostops we went on in the lovely Damaraland towards the coast.

 

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Because we are in Nambia, keep your eyes open for wildlife wherever you are. They are present... 

A Giraffe in the middle of nowhere.

 

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After a long scenic drive we came to Springbokwasser. The gate to Skeleton coast.

We had a reservation at Terrace bay lodge which means we had the permit to stay overnight inside the Skeleton coast park. 

The only way to spend the night here is to show a reservation at the gate. Otherwise you have to exit before sunset. 

 

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From this point the landscape got even more barren.

Believe it or not but Springboks where around in this barren land. 

 

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If you look even closer you find other things as well... 

 

Namib day gecko.

 

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we approached the sea and after a while we could see the big blue.

 

How mammals can survive here is a mystery for me... 

 

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But they do. 

 

Black backed Jackal welcomed us to the South Atlantic.

 

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Terrace Bay must be one of the most remote Lodges in the world. 

It´s a fascinating place. An old mining village now turned into a Lodge. 

 

The only thing missing is a black crow on the sign otherwise it would be a very stereotypical photo.

 

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We hardly mention that we needed a crow before it showed up... Perfect!

 

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I knew I would love staying here. Remote places is one of the best things I know. It´s a special feeling when you know that there is not a single soul around for many many hours in every direction. No people, no villages, nothing. Just desert and wildlife. 

That´s why I wanted to stay here in the first place.

 

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Our room is in the house in front of the car. 

 

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A lovely place with a surprisingly good restaurant and even more surprisingly good WiFi... 

 

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We spent the afternoon driving around and walking around in the area. We went some kilometers north, as far you can go before you need even more permits.

 

It´s more or less completely desert. Very little vegetation.

 

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The wildlife looked well-worn to put it mildly.

 

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We had a lovely evening. The wind stopped and from our Lodge we could see a group of Humpback whales playing around! 

 

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A cold beer in my hand, one of the most remote places on earth and Humpback whales who is playing just outside my front door... 

It is one of those evenings you remember. Forever.

 

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On top of this a lovely sunset over the South Atlantic with alla the Cormorants going back to their night roosting places after a day fishing.

 

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I had heard that sometimes you can see Brown hyena around Terrace Bay at night.

Of course worth to checking out. Therefore, after dinner we went out with the flashlight on foot and start search the area.

 

After only like 10 minutes we found one beneath a cormorant roosting place.

 

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He had bought himself some dinner. Cormorant dinner.

And decided that a wagon is the perfect dinner place. 

 

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He left his dinner and we followed on foot.

 

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If you want to see Brown hyena I guess Terrace Bay is a very reliable place. 

It took me 10 minutes and one of the workers at the lodge said they were common around here. A couple of them use to hang around here. 

On the other hand I talked to a re-searcher who study them in Mowe Bay further north and she told me they are not common at all in Terrace Bay... 

 

I really don´t know what the status is? Anyone else who have been here and seen Brown hyena? 

 

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The next morning we left for the very long drive to Swakopmund.

We noticed right away that the weather had changed. The wind was horrible. In some places it turned the area into a sand storm. 

 

We stopped at Uniab riverbed and walked a couple of kilometers to it´s end in the ocean. Sometimes there is wildlife around here. Even Lions. 

No wildlife (only birds) but some tracks and a very beautiful coastline!

 

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Not many people have put their footprint here.

 

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Young Lesser Flamingos somewhere on the road to Swakopmund. 

 

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A quick stop at Cape cross...

 

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I do wonder how it feels when your friend is eaten by an ugly bird.

 

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My last photo section is from Sossusvlei.

Where I searched for some wildlife in front of the red dunes. 

Unfortunately the heavy wind had brought in some clouds and even rain to Sossusvlei! Which is very, very rare this time of year. 

But the clouds and the wind made up for some cool photos after all. 

 

Ostrich in front of the red dune.

 

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Wildlife was sparse but I saw a lonely Oryx roaming as well.

 

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More dunes.

 

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This weather in Sossusvlei is almost unheard of in July but pretty nice clouds.

 

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Thanx for reading and showing interest in this (mostly) photo-report!

Edited by Antee
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Ritsgaai

Your photos of the Brown Hyena are excellent and very special! 

Thank you for the lovely report, @Antee.

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On 8/24/2019 at 4:54 PM, Antee said:

 

Maybe I will put another destination on your list with my next update as well... :) 

 

Well, with humpback whales, a lovely sunset and brown hyenas on foot. How could I refuse to put it on my list? To be honest, Skeleton coast and Damaraland were both a bit on the list for when/if I decide to go to Namibia again. Last time we 'just' had two weeks, so we had to make some choices and went from Swakopmund straight to Etosha. Lots inspiration for a new trip ;) 

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Peter Connan

Indeed, the brown hyena sequence is excellent. I also really love the shot of the dune with the sand blowing off the top!

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xelas

Skeleton Coast and Khowarib area looks very inviting. Thanks for sharing your excellent photos with us, @Antee.

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michael-ibk

A great report Antee, really outstanding photography. Very cool Brown Hyena sighting!

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offshorebirder

Beautiful Brown Hyena @Antee!

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Treepol

@Antee thanks for your wonderful photos and a trip down memory lane in Etosha and Hobatere.

 

Your photos of the Skeleton Coast have inspired me to squeeze a couple of extra nights into our 2021 itinerary for a 2 night stay at Terrace Bay.  Could you tell me please how long did it take to drive from Khowarib to Terrace Bay and from Terrace Bay to Swakop?

 

Do you have any suggestions for drives to fill in a full day in the Terrace Bay vicinity?

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Kitsafari

spectacular landscape with wildlife looking miniatures in etosha!

 

and very jealous of the amazing photos of the brown hyena. 

 

Thanks for sharing. 

 

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Ok @Antee you have convinced me of going to Namibia for a 2nd time. I don't want to hijack this TR, but since I blame you ;)  would you be so kind to give your thoughts about my trip planning here? Much appreciated!

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18 hours ago, Treepol said:

@Antee thanks for your wonderful photos and a trip down memory lane in Etosha and Hobatere.

 

Your photos of the Skeleton Coast have inspired me to squeeze a couple of extra nights into our 2021 itinerary for a 2 night stay at Terrace Bay.  Could you tell me please how long did it take to drive from Khowarib to Terrace Bay and from Terrace Bay to Swakop?

 

Do you have any suggestions for drives to fill in a full day in the Terrace Bay vicinity?

 

@Treepol Khowarib - Terrace bay is approximately 270km and should take around 4 hours if you drive straight. But it´s a beautiful stretch and you will stop many times enroute to photo wildlife and scenery.

 

I started early in the morning from Khowarib and arrived by Lunchtime in Terrace Bay. Then I made the most out of it when staying 1 night. 

 

Please allow 1 hour more (4:30 - 5 hours) for Terrace bay - Swakop as it is longer, 360km. 

More time if you plan some stops enroute of course. 

 

You have Uniab delta 30km south of Terrace Bay where you sometimes find wildlife. I didn´t found any but had a walk towards the coast from here. It´s a great landscape!

You can also drive a couple of kilometers north of Terrace until you get to a sign which says you need permit to go further. Take a stroll on the beach or in the surroundings. 

Enjoy the atmospehere to be on one of the most remote places on earth. It´s a special feeling.  

 

 

Edited by Antee
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Treepol

@Antee thanks so much for the helpful details. A short trip to the Uniab and half a day to soak up the atmosphere at Terrace Bay will be most welcome.

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Great TR @Antee    Wonderful photos, but your clear enthusiasm and joy to be in this place is what made it so special. Thank you for sharing that joy :)

 

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Atravelynn

Great job locating the elephants as well as the giraffes in that spectacular setting, and you found lots of them.

Spectacular shot of the brown hyena in the dark.  Really shows it in its element.

You avoided crowds at Dead Vlei!

Excellent variety in your Namibian itinerary from scenery to wildlife both land and marine!

I see you have inspired one traveler already to follow your route.

 

 

Edited by Atravelynn
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madaboutcheetah

Beautiful @Antee - I need to go to Namibia!!!!!

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kittykat23uk

Maybe someone needs to organise a safaritalk trip to Namibia!  I'd definitely be interested in joining.  Brown hyena is high on my list! :) Fantastic report @Antee

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Pamshelton3932

@kittykat23uk, I'm with you about organizing a STer Nambia trip!  I've been reading @LarsS proposed Namibia itinerary and have been remembering some of the highlights from my own trip in 2016.  It would be great to return to see more, but I'm solo and wouldn't drive alone. 

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Zim Girl

@Antee Wonderful brown hyena sighting and your landscape shots are stunning.  Really enjoying this TR.

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johnweir

@Antee, yet another wonderful and highly interesting trip report. Your images are also superb, the Brown Hyena shots are fantastic. It was a shame you didn't get to see some d/a Lions, but at least it gives you a good reason to return, not that you needed one. I agree fully with you the Hoanib River Basin is indeed a wonderful and magical place to visit. It certainly remains one of my favourite wildlife locations visited so far. Thank you for reminding me of one of our most treasured trips to date.

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On 8/27/2019 at 4:53 AM, Atravelynn said:

Great job locating the elephants as well as the giraffes in that spectacular setting, and you found lots of them.

Spectacular shot of the brown hyena in the dark.  Really shows it in its element.

You avoided crowds at Dead Vlei!

Excellent variety in your Namibian itinerary from scenery to wildlife both land and marine!

I see you have inspired one traveler already to follow your route.

 

 


@Atravelynn Well, I avoided much of the crowd yes. Probably because of the  unusually cold, rainy and windy weather. But not all of them... the ones who was still there I reduced in Photoshop :) 

Edited by Antee
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On 8/27/2019 at 5:11 AM, madaboutcheetah said:

Beautiful @Antee - I need to go to Namibia!!!!!

 

@madaboutcheetah, Yes, exactly. You are banned from Botswana now and need to go to neighbour Namibia. :)

 

On 8/27/2019 at 9:36 AM, kittykat23uk said:

Maybe someone needs to organise a safaritalk trip to Namibia!  I'd definitely be interested in joining.  Brown hyena is high on my list! :) Fantastic report @Antee

 

@kittykat23uk It was high on my list as well. Thanx alot. 

 

19 hours ago, Zim Girl said:

@Antee Wonderful brown hyena sighting and your landscape shots are stunning.  Really enjoying this TR.

 

@Zim Girl Thank you for your kindness. 

 

15 hours ago, johnweir said:

@Antee, yet another wonderful and highly interesting trip report. Your images are also superb, the Brown Hyena shots are fantastic. It was a shame you didn't get to see some d/a Lions, but at least it gives you a good reason to return, not that you needed one. I agree fully with you the Hoanib River Basin is indeed a wonderful and magical place to visit. It certainly remains one of my favourite wildlife locations visited so far. Thank you for reminding me of one of our most treasured trips to date.

 

@johnweir, Exactly! It gives me a perfect reason to come back. I will go back to Namibia for a third time in a near future. 

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Carol Rushton

@Antee  Thank you so much for sharing with us all your trip to Namibia. I have really enjoyed reading it and " sharing " your trip through your beautiful photographs. You really contextualise the landscape so well  and the placement of the animals within it, which seem tiny against such dramatic backdrops.

 

I particularly love your black rhinoceros shots; the lion pride positioning for the "hunt"; the night sky; the windswept dune captures; the leaping humpback whale and the Brown Hyena. I have only once had the privilege of seeing the latter, in Botswana, at distance. That you could follow yours, on foot and get such intimate captures conveys so well the magicalness of the encounter .

 

Thank you, again, Carol

Edited by Carol Rushton
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