Monday, 1 September 2014

DAY BY DAY ACCOUNT OF MY 2011 NAMIBIA TRIP - DAY 7 (2011-05-19)

See the previous installments at http://groblerdupreez.blogspot.com/


Etosha


Still at Halali. Up early and off to the Moringa waterhole. No animals, so back to camp for breakfast then off for a round trip through Etosha. Due to the exceptionally good rains, we saw very few animals. Even Springbokvlakte, which usually is littered with animals, was without animals.

Springbok lying in the grass

Patches of red and purple plants between the grass fields.

Picnic spot at Olifantsbad. waterhole

An unusual sight - the Etosha Pan full of water. This is the road to the viewpoint on the pan.
The Etosha National Park is a 22 750km² wildlife sanctuary. Etosha, meaning ‘place of dry water’, gets it's name from a large, flat calcrete pan of about 110 km x 45 km. The pan is subject to periodic, partial flooding during the rainy season. Direct rainfall accounts for only a small proportion of the pan’s water; three rivers supply the majority: the Ekuma, Oshigambo, and Omuramba Ovambo. The Ekuma River flows seasonally from the southern shores of Lake Oponono, situated about 70 km north of the pan. This lake receives input from numerous perennial watercourses and oshanas (linearly-linked, shallow, parallel lakes), the Cuvelai River being the most important (Berry et al. 1973). The Oshigambo River draws its water from southern Angola. The Ekuma and Oshigambo Rivers form deltas in the northwestern corner of the pan, about 13 km apart. The Omuamba Ovambo River receives its water from a catchment to the northeast of Etosha, and it flows into the pan through Fisher’s Pan, a small eastern extension of the main pan body. All three rivers flow erratically during the rainy season and, depending on their levels, flood the pan to varying degrees. In unusually dry years, the rivers may not flow at all, forming a series of disconnected pools. During these dry years, the pan holds direct rainfall only. The pan does, however, usually hold some water for a few months between January and April. Once in about 7-10 years, during exceptional rains, the oshonas and rivers fill with rainwater and sometimes with floodwater from the perennial Cuvelai River in Angola. This water reaches the pan, transforming it into a shallow lake holding large sheets of water, usually not exceeding one meter in depth. The water in the pan is, however, unfit for animal consumption as the salt content is often double that of sea water (Source of information). Have a look at the area above the pan on the interactive map further below to see this interesting phenomenon.

Waiting for the golden hour at Halali.

Lions at the lit Moringa waterhole at Halali.

Waiting at the waterhole til late - but no elephants visited. Dropped my Nikon SB800 flash in the dark on the rocky floor - not working any more...

Total distance covered today: 190 km, all gravel roads.

More to follow...

The map below is an interactive Google Map showing the actual GPS track we followed, imported from a .gpx file. Zoom in to follow our route. Click on a balloon for more information.