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Namibia . In the green season of March 2022. postponed twice due to Covid plague.


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i really am enjoying your report @Galanait is greta fun although this is very near the area we got stuck in sand overnight in our honda ballad many many years ago. 

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17 minutes ago, Towlersonsafari said:

this is very near the area we got stuck in sand overnight in our honda ballad many many years ago. 

Thanks. There are two sorts of travel in Namibia. Those who have been stuck and those you have yet to be stuck.

My last effort was nicely recorded on Go pro for posterity complete with Lady G 's voice saying "Fred! You are stuck" I edited out my response of "Thank you Dearheart for pointinig that out but I had already come to that conclusion when the bloody car stopped dead quite suddenly just now!"

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Righto, lets get to the nitty gritty with a few pictures ..


Purros and Okahirogo Elephant Lodge for three nights.

I had booked the trip out here based on fond memories from two previous visits. A real outpost village with birds and ellies and even rhino. The two visits had both involved ‘camping’, the first with Elizabeth along and the 2nd just DanielBme for company. I am not too keen on small tents but will endure should the need arise. I do not care for all the cleaning up and other chores that others seem to feel adds an edge to their fun. Oh and so much better if inconsiderate sod’s sorry, fellow campers’, roll up to the next pitch with their unruly brood and, oh joy of joys, ‘Dad’ feels it his bounden duty once the chores are done, or left to the women in the party, to get out his bloody GITTAR and entertain us all with a few chords. I don’t have any use for chords but could find a good use for strong Cord if I had some and there was handy tree with a strong branch at just the right height nearby. Coupled with that allergy we are now approaching an age when pulling down or up ones nether garments calls for a more vertical posture than possible in such small places. Heaven knows what goes on when folks are daft enough to try all this whilst balanced on the roof of their truck and then have to negotiate a ladder that would fail Health and Safety rules in any civilised workplace. And of course I am given to understand that ladies must engage a multitude of zips, hooks and buttons etc., before they can make an appearance. Then of course is the ever present problem of normal bodily functions. Where does one go at any age let alone ours when often the only bottle I take into a tent will have been pre-filled in Scotland or Ireland and not by me.

So we took the plunge, no pun but they do have a horizon pool, and paid for one of the ten rooms in the Okahirongo Elephant Lodge which looked good to us. Our plan was for me to drive around doing our own game drives but with the rain, the Gorge was too wet even for ‘organised’ entry let alone this poor novice who will face elephant but not getting stuck in wet sand.

Ah well, get your hand down Fred, at least the booze is complimentary so the budget will find relief there. So morning Game drives with the lodge were booked as, being the only guests, I was sure of not having to share. AND they packed a cool box with booze and even water. Win win!

So as dawn broke I was in one of those Land Cruiser thingies with multi (happily empty) seats and we took off for the wilds of the Hoarusib valley. Itself an adventure with water in the river which made for some unusual groupings for ‘Desert adapted’ giraffe.




Sadly of elephants we found only footprints and droppings despite my driver ‘Whani’, really breaking sweat from time to time. He even did birds and had me out of the truck seeking obscure birds in obscure thorn bushes. He even had a call for Ruppell’s Bustard (Koorhan) which got the males to adopt a striking pose for my camera.


He did not have one for elephant which could have been fun. And so back to the lodge as I did not rate our chances on afternoon drives very highly and Springbok and Ostriches regularly paraded by the lodge plus other smaller birds of little interest on this page.

Dinners were excellent with a slight Italianate touch but when I mentioned this skill I was proudly told that the Chef was a pure bred Himba lady. And the ‘pure’ was heavily emphasised too by our Ovambo waitress.

Next morning the process was repeated but we took a different direction, indeed, on the road I had so recently enjoyed from Tomakas. We met more giraffe and springbok etc.., and then fresh ellie spoor. We turned off the ‘main road’ for the infant river bed and found a small family group of elephant browsing the tamarisk and got good views. However the views were not evidently good enough for me as Wahni back tracked, crossed the river and then after some heroic cross country travel we got back to a place where we could overlook the elephant who were browsing and moving in our direction.








In all we counted seven animals in the group, including an impressive Bull tagging along with them. So we left them in peace after some photos and much enjoyable watching. The lone bull watched us carefully as we left via a piece of his territory. Mission accomplished. Back to the Lodge, I was memorising the route carefully as I had to remember it for leaving tomorrow. Dinner was again most enjoyable and the wine most palatable. Sleep as never so sound.

The Lodge was lovely and whilst pricey on my budget I feel it was certainly value for money and if one must use lodge vehicles for Game drives on some occasions then they were not outrageously expensive and the quality of guiding was excellent.









Ten rooms/bungalows plus a ‘Presidential Suite’ all provided for by wonderful local staff with excellent cuisine throughout including breakfast. A pool and lots of user friendly public areas for leisure away from your room. We would be happy to be asked back.

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1 hour ago, Galana said:

Those who have been stuck and those you have yet to be stuck.

We bikers have a similar quote :rolleyes:, and I am already in the past tense category ;). Lovely lodge! Your photos are excellent! A new camera?!

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the lodge truly looks very inviting. 

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On 3/15/2022 at 5:52 PM, xelas said:

Your photos are excellent! A new camera?!

Thank you. But the same camera for the last two years. It must be the Namibian sunlight.:P

Talking of which, I booked this trip in March for the green season and to be green it must rain. And boy, did I get that bit right. Etosha pan and most dry creeks are full. Never used screenwipers so much in Namibia. Evidently they are on a stalk on the steering column oppsite the lights and indicator buttons.

And the rain is doing the countryside well. I have been out of 'wiffy range' but will catch up as I can. Yesterday we were in MUndulea and woke t and rain. The entry road on Tuesday was 'tricky/sticky' so today we had enormous fun pirouetting like a ballerina, the car silly not me personally. It rained all day until about 15.00 but we still managed a few birds to the growing collection. 

@KitsafariIt was a splurge to compensate Lady G for even going to Purros but well worth it. We are again in relative luxury as after it is our final three nights.  

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Part 9. Return to the Khowarib.

The day dawned fine. Well it would do that in the desert.

We were packed and breakfasted in good time and ready to discover if I, and Gladys, could remember the correct route back over the river Hoarusib and, more importantly, over the road section that had caused the involuntary diversion on the way here. So we traced our memorised tracks back to Puros, remembering the ‘fields’ of golden Morning Glory on the way to the river bed.

Having crossed over and passed the school we were waved down by Wahni, who may have been keeping a careful eye on our progress, and asked if we would mind giving a lift to a young lady who was needing to get to Sesfontein to study. Of course we agreed and after reshuffling the rear seats she climbed aboard and we set off east up the valley that led to D3707. I recalled this from our game drive the previous day and suggested we may encounter elephant.




And as if on cue who should loom into view but the large bull of yesterday. He approached the road quite boldly so as we were not sure of his character or how comfortable our young lady guest would be up close to him, we simply took some decent photographs and moved off to let him cross to where he wanted to be.

Our guest was non committal but did say that lion were also frequently encountered but we never saw any.

And somehow the return drive seemed less forbidding than it had three days ago and we approached the ‘detour’ with confidence. Sure enough Elizabeth called out where our track left the road and with a bit of memory and luck Garmin led us safely back through Tomakos and eventually onto the ephemeral vestiges of D3707 and our road back to Sesfontein. Some of the scenery was truly beautiful with strong reminders of my native uplands and every bit as green after the welcome rainfall here.

As we descended the ‘trickier’ parts of the descent from what must be a ‘pass’ over these mountains the road did improve and we shortly thereafter reached Sesfontein where our lady guest wished to be set down. Following this we just headed south to re-join the C43 to cross the infant Hoanib before taking our left turn into Khowarib Schlucht and our Lodge for the next two nights. This time we were allocated ‘14’ which was slightly larger. A very nice tent on stilts with a platform overlooking if not actually over the infant river Hoanib on its exit from Khowarib Schlucht towards Sesfontein and on down to Ampoorts Gorge and eventually the South Atlantic via the ‘forbidden’ Skeleton Coast National Park. I have driven this river route as far as Amspoort twice previously as a more scenic route to Puros but would not tackle it this year in such conditions.


We were to be in Khowarib Lodge for two nights as I had intended to explore the start of the Khowarib trail as our next destination lay only 50km or so in that direction and if accessible, it is not, would have saved a 200 km drive around.

We did try on the morning but after only a couple of km the ‘trail’ fell off a cliff into the river and we did not attempt the descent in fear of not being able to get back up again. So after a short drive into Warmquelle to check the river crossing we returned to the Lodge and I took up station in the environs of the excellent swimming pool which was in midst of luxuriant vegetation with the promise of good birding. The promise was fulfilled as my other report will reveal.

Meals as always are taken in the open air restaurant and the standard is good. And so to bed for a good start tomorrow. It was blowing up a bit and there was thunder rumbling around with rain falling to the east. Indeed in the early hours the sound of ‘rain’ became more intrusive and a glance from our balcony showed the noise was not rain drumming the roof but the ‘infant’ Hoanib coming down in full spate about 5 metres away, (below).


It was still rushing down when it grew light and so we packed up ready to tackle the road to Palmwag once more and on to our next stop.


Khowarib Lodge is a beautiful place with about 20 ‘tents’ as well as an associated campsite nearby. The tents are spacious but not large and fully equipped with modern facilities including the recent trend for open air washing basins, showers and W.C. There is a swimming pool and a good bar area and restaurant. One of our favourite stops to break the journey north south to Puros or Epupa falls on the Angolan border.










Restaurant-Bar area.




Great birding zone. Some folks even swim.:D


Next, we return to an old favourite which we have not visited since a 'change of management' land grab nationalised it back in 2008 fr which we have some misgivings.

So! Let's take a look whilst keeping an open mind on one of our previous places of many visits pre 2008.


However. Our departure date looms after two more sleeps so perhaps this may wait our return home next week.


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Thanks for the photos of Khowarib Lodge, looks like a good place. How amazing to see all that water in the Namibian desert!

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23 hours ago, Treepol said:

How amazing to see all that water in the Namibian desert!

There is a lot more of that to come. In Etosha there were lakes where no lakes existed.

Glad that you liked Khowarib. It is nice as are a lot of places we will list.

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Great looking lodge, not so nicely looking river! 

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@GalanaI look forward to more water stories and photos when you return! Lakes in Etosha re hard to imagine.

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Well I arrived home today at lunch time after a marathon migration leaving Otiwarongo at sunrise yesterday, 28th to drive to Windhoek, hand back one dirty but unbroken (by me)  Hi Luxe and catch a plane to Addis, and on to Manchester and then a hop home where a nice shiny freshly valeted car awaited us to drive home. (We always treat the car to a good valet when stored for us near the airport.)

Now for more birds and to continue this tale.

First up I think a little catch up is warranted now I have the ability to records our tracks from Garmin so here goes with that.

The start.


From Windhoek to Point of View at Dusternbrook on our first two days. NB often the software will make the track appear to be a 'real' road when in fact it is not.



1185587965_DusttoSwak.JPG.6ccf727b1943ced45a16125ed51c34ff.JPGAfter two nights at Point of View we set off for Swakopmund. A dreary drive which Gladys had to break into two sectors it seems.


The second map also shows our 'lost' swamp on C28 and some of our daily birding outings to Walvis Lagoon.


Then for some reason Gladys switched off and we lost the bit up to Henties Bay but can pick up as far as Cape Cross and on to Khowarib Camp..


NB. Not all to same scale as some days drives were transits to a new location.

In sections this drive was 221km from Cape Cross to exiting the Skeleton Park at Springbok gate, a further 97km to Palmwag Vet fence where we refuelled and 75km to our Lodge at Khowarib. Just shy of 400km so a good run on gravel for one day.


I may as well bring you into line with the text point so here is the eventful drive to Purros from Khowarib...




With a zoom in on the enforced diversion where teh road had disappeared near Tomakos.


This shows where the D3707 had gone under water and our casting around for a new route, in red, until we were shown a good way which also coincides with our return route three days later. (in dotted black). The rest of the return leg to Khowarib simply repeats the outbound leg so you are at least to be spared that. :P


That is trail and tale in sync now. Give me a few days and I will post more. Please ask if more detail needed.



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Part 10.

Khowarib to Hobatere.

Time to move on to our next stop for which we harboured very mixed feelings indeed. We knew and loved Hobatere Lodge having stayed there several times in the past when owned and managed by Louise and Steve Braine and their growing family. It was a ‘must visit’ place for us on every trip. Sadly our booking in 2011 was abruptly cancelled when, for reasons that are not clear even after ten or more years, the concession held for 25 years was removed by the Namibian Government and the lodge was taken over by ‘local community’ operators and the Braine family left for Swakopmund.  We had declined to return as we had too many good memories of the place under the Braine family to risk disappointment by comparison.

But we felt the time was ripe to return if only to try the ‘new’ tree house as we had really enjoyed the old one. This is very rustic and located some km from the main lodge where food comes from the cool box we take in with us.

So we booked three nights with the final one in the tree house and all seemed well. Sadly just weeks before our departure we received a mail saying the Tree House had sustained rain damage and our booking was transferred to the main lodge. No refund offered but my protests gleaned a response that we could be credited with ‘free’ game drives. I don’t do shared game drives, I self drive.  This was not a good omen and even I could not imagine running up a Bar bill to exceed the amount of our credit with them. Get on with the tale....

A glance at the map shows that Khowarib Lodge and Hobatere are only about 50km apart as the Pied Crow flies and the area does have several trails crossing the area. However  it was not allowed to enter Hobatere concession by the ‘back door’ and the amount of recent rain would have made the idea folly in any event so we faced the long way around. 278 km as opposed to maybe 50km. Two options:- North via Opuwo and nice tar for much of the drive or south back to Palmwag and over Grootberg pass to Kamanjab on gravel before 50km or so of tarred C35 to the gates for the 16km private track to Hobatere. We opted for the latter as more scenic and interesting.

See map and the blue line of our track. That thin red line would have been handy if a road but it is the Vet Fence for disease control that transects the width of Namibia.




 For those who like numbers to chart progress I can supply them:-

Khowarib to Palmwag is 76km and we drove it in 1 hour and 22 minutes.

Palmwag to Kamanjab - 119 km and 2 hours and 12 minutes.

15 minutes for re-fueling, Hardly F1 times here. and then

Kamanjab to Hobatere, 67km tar and 16km Gravel track took 1 hour and 46 minute but I will confess to a little birding and wildlife watching.


So off we went with some concerns about Hobatere undiminished. I knew the way and the drive was easy enough and was pleased to find that last night’s heavy rain had not disturbed the road that much. We made good time to Palmwag, and then turned left to climb Grootberg pass and on to Kamanajab and a decision to top off the tanks as the next available fuel would be in Okaukuejo in Etosha in 6 days time.

This was not a fun experience as whilst we have often taken on fuel here the place was overrun by touts and would be windscreen cleaners. We managed to take on fuel and repel most boarders but still managed to get into a small disagreement with the chap who had cleaned all our glass without being asked. But being the answer to the world’s poverty is not one of my functions and I declined his entreaties by suggesting he may like to ask drivers before performing a task in future.

Anyway enough of that. We departed more or less full of fuel, our second uplift of the trip, and set off up the tar road for the next 60km to Hobatere Gate where we turned off for the last 16km to the Lodge. The track which I have done previously in normal saloons had deteriorated markedly and in places I was concerned for even the higher ground clearance of the Hi Luxe. Parts had eroded into the small river and needed great care. But the wildlife was visible with giraffe, zebra and impala in addition to many birds.

On arrival we found reception and for the first time in the trip had our temperatures checked and recorded at check in. It was apparent that they had only a few guests and this was borne out at dinner each day where we dined with only one other couple per evening. This presented a solution to the refund problem as if no other guests then why not take a couple of night drives of which I have fond memories. We were surprised to learn that we could not self drive around the concession in daylight which we had planned to do as before and the two hides where we had watched daily elephants bathing and even lions were defunct. Such a shame. The hide/platform by the swimming pool still existed but due to the new Lapa being built nearby the ellies don’t come any more. I can’t say that I blame them. The other distant hide, in view but needing to drive there was totally defunct although there are evidently plans to build a new one.

This is getting rather wordy so I will just describe our Rondavel with photos and start a new ‘page’ for our activities and daily routine with more photos of what we saw.



Front door. Only door to be truthful.


Beds with nets leading to Bathroom.


Small but perfectly formed. In the old days there was no door just a 'wild west' saloon style double flap. I am not sure the new ones are an improvement as it did not fit anyway.


Our towels neatly arranged.


1-DSCN2940.JPG.a8f429b3595f5512b6bf8f37c153aefb.JPGAnd one of our resident squirrels who deemed the unruly actions of the Babbler quite unseemly.



Oi! leave my bloody wing mirror alone.

To be continued.



Edited by Galana
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That is worrying news from Hobatere, looking forward to reading more about your stay. I stayed there in 2008 when Steve and Louise were there and really enjoyed the game drives with Steve and the ambience of the place.

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3 hours ago, Treepol said:

That is worrying news from Hobatere, looking forward to reading more about your stay.

Indeed it is . I have corrected the date we got 'bumped'. It was 2011 when it happened. 2008 was the date of our last visit and memory played tricks over time. I will try to keep objective when the next post comes up which will mainly be what we did when at Hobatere and what we saw.

You would recognise the Rondavels from your stay. I insisted that we got one as the terrace of rooms did not appeal. Choice was unlimited as we were the only guests to stay three nights..

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2011 was the year of the fire I think. How times change, I had a terrace room in 2008 and the place was fully booked!

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On 4/2/2022 at 11:15 AM, Treepol said:

2011 was the year of the fire I think.

Ah, the famous fire. Very true.


Here is a more detailed report/view on our visit to  Hobatare.


A previously enjoyable place but sadly the takeover in 2011 does not appear to have been of benefit. The new Lapa building whilst splendidly done is too close to the viewing platform and swimming pool and wildlife simply don’t come that close to human presence. The viewing platform still exists but there is nothing to view other than distant bush and birds. Despite this we did sit there sporadically and did observe passing elephants on two occasions.



Seen here passing the remains of the waterhole hide, now a generator house. His memory is almost as good as mine.:P

On the last sighting I commandeered a vehicle and driver and insisted we go over and get a closer look.


On arrival we watched him splashing about in the old waterhole but was advised by my driver that this chap was known to be short tempered and he was not keen to get too close to him.



As he wandered off to browse I watched from the Platform as he interacted with a Purple Roller who seemed to less delighted to see him.







Similarly the old more distant hide, where for safety reasons one had to ask for a car and not walk due to lions present, is still there but seems to be a generator house and not in use as a hide for the adjacent waterhole where close views of game including the resident lion pride could be obtained. I understand that there are plans for a new hide but currently they are ‘just plans’.

More of concern to me was the ban on self driven own car game drives in the concession which had been permitted in the previous ownership. But given the state of some of these tracks, post rains, this restriction may have been a blessing in disguise as we discovered on the two game drives in lodge vehicles we did. This restriction did hamper us and our daylight excursions were confined to the track to and from the main gate which did yield a few mammals such as Black-faced Impala and Hartmann’s Zebra as well as many tracks in the sandy soil and a few birds such as this Hoopoe and Chestnut Weavers.DSCN3643.JPG.06b5e9fc8720f99ff5c4d8fc91d882d3.JPG



But it was my ‘free’ night drives where the excitement peaked. The tracks were rough but we managed sightings of giraffe, White-tailed Mongoose, Black-backed Jackals, one of which yielded a surprise sighting of Spotted Dikkop and many Flap-necked Chameleons which I was told were sleeping so proving difficult to get photos of their heads.




But we managed with one of them. Plus some Nightjars keeping warm on the sandy tracks.1-DSCN3023-001.JPG.7f9d73fae97d14cec88da802740ffbc3.JPG


One night we found a delightful African Scops Owl



but the star of the evening was a Caracal which whilst difficult to ‘extract’ from the dense cover did provide a useful photo of this elusive cat.




Overall we did enjoy our visit to Hobatere despite the changes noted and obvious disappointment of not having the Tree House as booked. Whether or not I would have enjoyed it as much had it been busier with more guests I really do not know.

I never got to ask the Bare-cheeked Babblers what they thought. They were too busy checking out the strange birds in my wing mirrors.


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Hobatere and into Etosha.

We now must leave Hobatere and take the 16km track with which we have grown very familiar back to the tar road and enter Etosha NP via Galton Gate. This was a very short transfer day of only 120 km so we had plenty of time to stop and stare and smell the roses.


Entry proceedings was very quiet indeed and the friendly gate staff had time to chat with us. Quite a change from the normal busy days of the past. We timed our entry carefully as we knew that this would count towards our exit time in six days time. OK. So we cheated a little bit to make sure we had time in hand later.

We immediately noticed the improved surface from the corrugations of the past s our eyeballs got some relief and could be used to see wildlife.

1-DSCN3098.JPG.8d9e968b508a52ee0f83673a455e5818.JPGWe got our first Etosha bird when a Red-crested Bustard stood and posed for us. We also saw a large chameleon crossing the road but when I backed up to have a closer look it had vanished. Blimey those normally slow pedantic climbers can put in a lightening spurt when the need arises.

We made two diversions from the main track to visit two usually productive waterholes, Rateldrai and Klip pan. The former was virtually empty, nay it WAS empty, but the drive to Klip pan was an eye opener indeed. Not so much for wildlife but the amount of water standing where previously no water had been. Indeed one large lake contained dead trees so they must have drowned in the flood. Sadly it was just too far from the track to be accessible for viewing but further on lay another expanse of water where none had existed on previous visits and this was full of water birds in the form of Abdim’s Storks and many egrets etc., As an aside these storks follow rains and on our next visit there they had moved on. This flood yielded many sightings of birds and it was fascinating to see how the storks in particular used passing zebras to disturb insects from the grass for them to feast upon. Green grass in Etosha?? Whatever next?1-DSCN3121.JPG.df07f46db170863fa32ef076f25cbfc5.JPG

Klip pan itself was surrounded by greenery with Red Hartebeest and Hartmann's Zebra indulging in the feast whilst nesting Stilts and Avocets were on the pool margins along with the ubiquitous Egyptian Geese.



Hartmann's Zebra enjoying a love in. Note the lack of shadow stripes and lump in the throat..

We checked in to Dolomite Camp at around 2 pm and for those that do not know this camp a short description may prove helpful. The camp consists of about twenty ‘safari tents’ on platforms built in a line along a hill which provides splendid views over the plain below. There is also a bar, swimming pool and two restaurants plus reception buildings at various levels. One gains access from the car park via golf carts/quad bike things which are (or more accurately should be! TIA!) available on demand. It can be quite a walk from the far tents 13, 14 & 15, to even reach the restaurant and guess what? We got allocated 15. It is not recommended to walk these paths after dark so you are reliant on your booked buggy coming on time. Whilst the place had few guests this buggy business did become a ‘bit of an issue’ and at one point I had to make a point by requesting we be allocated a closer tent but as it still would not solve the transport problem we decided to stay put as our tent was very nice and the shuttle service improved from then on.


Tent 15 looked out to the north east over the vast park dotted with acacia and whilst distant we could observe elephant, giraffe as well as lion from our balcony. We awoke to Lion roars two mornings. The birding was terrific as well. Rock Martins actually roosted in our thatched roof and the wooded slopes yielded many worthwhile sightings.



Wildebeeste and Burchell's Zebra frequented the camp waterhole and we met this lone Black-backed Jackal coming home late from his/her wanderings one morning.




Venturing out early whilst the moon was still high.

Our 'tent' was very well equipped and in good repair so no complaints here.





Meals were very good although the menu choice was restricted and the staff were extremely friendly throughout our three night stay despite coming under pressure one evening when a bus load of tourists arrived. The game viewing was not too bad but we failed to connect with any Rhino at all. There is no camp gate as such but game driving before sunrise and after sunset was discouraged. We could have driven miles and miles but as the nearest fuel was well over 100km east, at Okaukuejo, and there was no guarantee they would have any when we got there, we confined our drives to the local area which was no hardship to us. Indeed the only real problem, shuttles, had been resolved and we really enjoyed being somewhat lazy on our balcony, glass in hand, or indulging in early morning and late afternoon drives. Apologies to non birders if the accompanying photographs are more birdy than usual but who could not love that Rock Kestrel in the tree next door?



Next we head east to Halali and the road ain't good.

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1 hour ago, xelas said:

@Galana, are all tents replaced by more solid structures?

Maybe tent is too generic but whilst solid in construction they have canvas walls and shake in a breeze. Canvas bungalows perhaps?

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To Halali.

After our three nights at Dolomite camp we now move on to Halali, our favourite camp in the park. 1610320225_DolomitetoHalali.JPG.5edec1d2b390b87e42d987cf8a7327a4.JPG

We have to endure the corrugations of the main track which got bad after Olifantsrus and had been diverted in parts to protect it.

We did see a small pride of lion resting up a short distance from the track where workmen were re-surfacing nearby but it was not clear if they were there to help or just supervise.  


This  was the sole wildlife of note on the long drive to Okaukuejo Resort where we called for an ice cream and more water. This is not our favourite place as it can get hectically busy in season and the behaviour of some visitors can been found wanting. So we continued our drive east to Halali and called first at Neubrownie waterhole where to our surprise we again encountered a huge flock of Abdim’s Storks jostling for position with Springbok, Wildebeeste and Zebra.

DSCN3676.JPG.7c19231eab92fe458e5e970e75ae13b8.JPGFrom there to a disappointingly empty Gemsbokvlaat and on to Oliphantsbad waterholes. Again the wildlife was notable by its absence. We never saw a single elephant. We knew it would be quiet but this verged on the moribund. As we proceeded over the Salvadori plain we picked up a few interesting birds such as the delightful Blue Cranes. Some of these carried radio tags and one had a readable leg ring. NAT. We found out later that this bird was only 2 years old and was consorting with a much older female.


A stop at Rietfontein yielded some falcons including Lanner, Red-necked and a single female Red-footed plus a very pale Tawny Eagle to boost our raptor count. The waterhole itself was quiet apart from a few Kudu and a solitary wildebeeste.

And so on to Halali where check in was swift and efficient as we picked up the key to Bush Chalet 57. This was nicely located in a quiet area and on internal inspection was well up to our expectations.

A kitchen, lounge area and of course netted bedroom and a spacious and well furnished bathroom. There was Air conditioning too and a Brai outside on the private patio.






Meals are taken in a semi open restaurant, similar to an oversized pergola, close to the swimming pool. The surrounding camp area was very green from the recent rain and had a nice village atmosphere. I put out my Trail Camera but nothing was caught in its beam on all three nights it was deployed.

There is an excellent waterhole in the camp/resort which is very active after dark. We watched a rhino come to drink on the first night and on the second were entertained by a

large herd of elephant and two spotted hyena.



Our daily routine was to leave camp as the gates opened at 06.50 and make a circular game drive to the plains of the west along the two Chudop loops and on to Sueda, Salvadori to return via Rietfontein. Chudop has been historically good for Foxes and Yellow Mongoose but with the longer grasses they could have been only feet away and still been invisible. A bit disappointing overall but we knew what we were letting ourselves in for when booking March.1428231586_Halalitours.JPG.259d4b0657881c55757c0053d3169ae7.JPG

One highlight was discovering a large flock of Amur Falcons all feeding around the plains and resting in trees. In the good light it was possible to position the car for some nice views of these lovely birds. Our afternoon drives, following a midday rest period, were to the east but even our favourite waterhole of Goas failed to deliver the usual bathing herds of elephant. And our attempt to visit Noniams waterhole was an object lesson in 4WD driving in deep mud only to find the waterhole itself overgrown with shrubs. We did however manage to find a White Rhino closer to Halali but the views were quite obscured by shrubs to such an extent that I was quite pleased to have spotted it at all.


But we do enjoy Halali as an ideal place for a few days when in Etosha, with many birds actually in camp such as Hornbills, Cuckoos and Wood-Hoopoes in the surrounding trees. One afternoon we were well entertained by the efforts of a Shikra (Little Banded Goshawk) that was making determined attacks on the local striped squirrels without much success.

But it did yield some nice photographs.


See the Shikra on the garden fence? The squirrels were hiding in the braai.



A final Warthog, mechanic, to complete this sector.


Edited by Galana
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@GalanaEnjoying your report. I've been toying with the idea of a self-drive in Namibia for a few years now and it is good to hear about it from someone with a good deal of experience.

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I think my biggest worry at Okaukuejo was the stories of awful tourists but it was actually great for me there. Super active waterhole without a million tourists around me are some of my favorite safari memories. 

Halali was a bit of a disaster for me but it was crazy honeybadger that caused the problem not the tourists 😁


Interesting report @GalanaI sometimes seem to forget that I enjoyed Namibia but then I'll check out a report and think to myself that I should go back sometime. Maybe even have a trip that isnt a bit of a disaster as well🤪

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@anthracosaurIf you have some experience of being in close proximity to large and dangerous mammals then you will love Namibia. A self driver's paradise. Plan it carefully and take it slow. Don't try to see it all in 10 days.


@dloThe crazy honey badger would have been the highlight of my trip. Tell us more. Sadly the pair that used to hang around Halali are no more. They got too habituated and did not like standing in line to be fed scraps. They wanted it all.

Go back soon. You will enjoy it like meeting up with an old friend.


Good to know my report is helping folks decide about Namibia. Beasts and birds. It has something for everybody.

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20 hours ago, Galana said:

The crazy honey badger would have been the highlight of my trip. Tell us more. Sadly the pair that used to hang around Halali are no more. They got too habituated and did not like standing in line to be fed scraps. They wanted it all.

Go back soon. You will enjoy it like meeting up with an old friend.

As mentioned in my amazingly entertaining and informative Namibia trip report we were sitting and watching some rhinos in the stands at Halali when a ruckus started behind us and several people were gathered around something! That something was a honey badger that had tipped over a garbage can and was now all over any scrap he could find!

This was probably one of the pair you were talking about. He was large and in charge during my time at Halali.


Honestly I really do need to return. Maybe after Tanzania I can do another Namibia and Zambia combo.

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