Namibia: Etosha

We spent the first of our Etosha nights at Eagle Tented Camp, which is about an hour's drive from Etosha National Park. When we arrived, we were disappointed to learn we couldn't go on the afternoon driving safari because it was "already booked up"! We did manage to get into an after-dinner night safari instead.

Namibia - Etosha Area - Eagle Tented CampNamibia - Etosha Area - Eagle Tented CampNamibia - Etosha Area - Eagle Tented Camp - Tree - GeoffNamibia - Etosha Area - Eagle Tented Camp - TreeNamibia - Etosha Area - Eagle Tented Camp - TreeNamibia - Etosha Area - Eagle Tented Camp - GeoffNamibia - Etosha Area - Owl

For our other two nights at Etosha, we stayed at Ongava Main Lodge, which is on a private reserve right next to the Etosha National Park entrance. The camp had its own artificial waterhole, where we could watch lions and rhinos come to drink at night. We saw a mother rhino and her baby, and lions chasing zebras. There was also a "hide" right next to the waterhole for close-up stealth animal watching.

Namibia - Etosha Area - Ongava Main LodgeNamibia - Etosha Area - Ongava Main LodgeNamibia - Etosha Area - Ongava Main Lodge - PoolNamibia - Etosha Area - Ongava Main LodgeNamibia - Etosha Area - Ongava Main Lodge - Waterhole - TelescopeNamibia - Etosha Area - Ongava Main Lodge - CactusNamibia - Etosha Area - Ongava Main Lodge - Rhino at WaterholeNamibia - Etosha Area - Ongava Main Lodge - Rhino at WaterholeNamibia - Etosha Area - Ongava Main Lodge - Rhino at WaterholeNamibia - Etosha Area - Ongava Main Lodge - WaterholeNamibia - Etosha Area - Ongava Main Lodge - Waterhole - Hide

Up-close views - hiding in the hide

Namibia - Etosha - Waterhole from Hide - Wildebeest - ElandNamibia - Etosha - Waterhole from Hide - ElandNamibia - Etosha - Waterhole from Hide - Guinea FowlNamibia - Etosha - Waterhole from Hide - WildebeestNamibia - Etosha - Waterhole from Hide - ElandNamibia - Etosha - Waterhole from Hide - Bird

Ongava kept careful track of the black and white rhinoceroses on their reserve.

Namibia - Etosha Area - Ongava Main Lodge - Black Rhino ChartNamibia - Etosha Area - Ongava Main Lodge - White Rhino Chart

These cute tail-less animals hiding in the rocks at Ongava were hyraxes.

Namibia - Etosha Area - Ongava Main Lodge - HyraxNamibia - Etosha Area - Ongava Main Lodge - HyraxNamibia - Etosha Area - Hyrax

A sundowner and night drive on the Ongava reserve.

Namibia - Etosha National Park - Sundowner - Safari TruckNamibia - Etosha National Park - Night Safari - Lion

Etosha National Park

Etosha National Park is known for wide mostly treeless plains surrounding the vast featureless Etosha Pan. As usual, wildlife in this dry environment concentrates at the waterholes.

Namibia - Etosha National Park - Flight - Park Gate, seen from the airNamibia - Etosha National Park - Park - MapNamibia - Etosha National Park - Zebra Crossing RoadNamibia - Etosha National Park - LionNamibia - Etosha National Park - LionNamibia - Etosha National Park - JackalNamibia - Etosha National Park - Sign - Stay in Your CarNamibia - Etosha National Park - Birds next to the PanNamibia - Etosha National Park - Yellow MongooseNamibia - Etosha National Park - Waterhole - ZebraNamibia - Etosha National Park - Ostrich - Zebra - SpringbokNamibia - Etosha National Park - OstrichNamibia - Etosha National Park - Ostrich - Zebra - SpringbokNamibia - Etosha National Park - Lunch - in a little fenced-in picnic area

One morning, we came across a fantastic scene — a waterhole (Ozonjuitji m'Bari) where a group of lions were feeding on a dead giraffe, and hogging a waterhole to themselves while hundreds (perhaps over a thousand) animals stood around nearby, desperate for a drink. We watched for over an hour, as a few brave animals would occasionally attempt to sneak a drink, only to be given a chase by the lions.

Namibia - Etosha National Park - Ozonjuitji m'Bari Waterhole - SpringbokNamibia - Etosha National Park - Ozonjuitji m'Bari Waterhole - Springbok - GiraffeNamibia - Etosha National Park - Ozonjuitji m'Bari Waterhole - LionNamibia - Etosha National Park - Ozonjuitji m'Bari Waterhole - Oryx - Ostrich - SpringbokNamibia - Etosha National Park - Ozonjuitji m'Bari Waterhole - Springbok - LionNamibia - Etosha National Park - Ozonjuitji m'Bari Waterhole - Springbok - LionNamibia - Etosha National Park - Ozonjuitji m'Bari Waterhole - Lion DrinkingNamibia - Etosha National Park - Ozonjuitji m'Bari WaterholeNamibia - Etosha National Park - Ozonjuitji m'Bari WaterholeNamibia - Etosha National Park - Ozonjuitji m'Bari Waterhole - LionNamibia - Etosha National Park - Ozonjuitji m'Bari Waterhole - Lion - OryxNamibia - Etosha National Park - Ozonjuitji m'Bari Waterhole - Lion - OryxNamibia - Etosha National Park - Ozonjuitji m'Bari Waterhole - LionNamibia - Etosha National Park - Ozonjuitji m'Bari Waterhole - LionNamibia - Etosha National Park - Ozonjuitji m'Bari Waterhole - Dead GiraffeNamibia - Etosha National Park - Ozonjuitji m'Bari Waterhole - Lion

Just when we eventually decided to move on, we spotted a bull elephant approaching. We knew he must be heading for the water. What would happen? We hurried back to watch. The lions didn't notice the elephant until it was almost on top of them, when they jumped up and ran a few yards away to safety.

Namibia - Etosha National Park - ElephantNamibia - Etosha National Park - ElephantNamibia - Etosha National Park - Ozonjuitji m'Bari Waterhole - Lion - Fleeing - Elephant

Etosha National Park has its own walled tourist "village" of sorts at Okaukuejo, near the western entrance. Here are rental cottages, a fantastic waterhole for viewing, swimming pool, a gas station, general store, and a stone viewing tower.

Namibia - Etosha National Park - Okaukuejo - TowerNamibia - Etosha National Park - Okaukuejo GateNamibia - Etosha National Park - Okaukuejo - PoolNamibia - Etosha National Park - Okaukuejo - Safari TruckNamibia - Etosha National Park - Okaukuejo - Overland Safari TruckNamibia - Etosha National Park - Okaukuejo - Gate

One day when we didn't have too much luck out in the park itself, we spent an hour at the Okaukuejo waterhole watching a group of lions who were feeding on a dead rhinoceros, and chasing hundreds of other animals (except the elephants) away from the water.

Namibia - Etosha National Park - Okaukuejo Waterhole - Zebra - Wildebeest - Springbok - KuduNamibia - Etosha National Park - Okaukuejo Waterhole - Lion - ZebraNamibia - Etosha National Park - Okaukuejo Waterhole - LauraNamibia - Etosha National Park - Okaukuejo Waterhole - Lion Eating RhinoNamibia - Etosha National Park - Okaukuejo Waterhole - LionNamibia - Etosha National Park - Okaukuejo Waterhole - Giraffe - LionNamibia - Etosha National Park - Okaukuejo Waterhole - SpringbokNamibia - Etosha National Park - Okaukuejo Waterhole - Springbok - Oryx - ZebraNamibia - Etosha National Park - Okaukuejo WaterholeNamibia - Etosha National Park - Okaukuejo Waterhole - ElephantNamibia - Etosha National Park - Okaukuejo Waterhole - Elephant

Back at Ongava, it was time for an afternoon safari on the private reserve. This reserve used to be a cattle ranch, but since then wild animals have returned. We spotted giraffe, waterbuck, rhino tracks, three roughhousing young lion siblings, and a pair of fighting male oryxes. The feces below is old lion poop — everything eventually breaks down except the hair they ate.

Namibia - Etosha National Park - GiraffeNamibia - Etosha National Park - WaterbuckNamibia - Etosha Area - Rhino Print TrackNamibia - Etosha Area - LionNamibia - Etosha Area - LionNamibia - Etosha Area - LionNamibia - Etosha Area - LionNamibia - Etosha Area - LionNamibia - Etosha Area - LionNamibia - Etosha Area - Hair from Lion PoopNamibia - Etosha Area - Oryx Fighting

Our last sundowner.

Namibia - Etosha Area - Sundowner - Safari TruckNamibia - Etosha Area - SundownerNamibia - Etosha Area - Dung

That's it! After a wonderful adventure, we were only 5 flights (24+ hours) from our home in Seattle!