See the previous installments at http://groblerdupreez.blogspot.com/
Etosha (Halali) - Outapi (Ombulantu Baobab tree)
Up early and off to the Moringa waterhole. No animals, so back to camp for breakfast. Break up camp then off to Ruacana via Namutoni, hoping to see elephants.
Apart from giraffes "necking" and "butting" and a few lions hiding between bushes on route to Namutoni, not much to see.
Except for thousands of flamingoes on the pan in the distance, not many birds either.
An unidentified plover
A young Impala male
Fort Namutoni, a rest camp in Etosha. For more information on it's rich history see Namutoni
"On 28 January 1904, 500 Ovambos attacked the station. Seven brave German riders repelled the attack"
The King Nehale waterhole as seen from the top of the wall of Fort Namutoni
Inside Fort Namutoni
From Namutoni, we traveled North. Not many animals - no elephants. Not a good year to visit Etosha - the best rain year in history caused a lot of open water in the veld, resulting in few animals visiting the waterholes. Lots elephant dung. Our companion, Rene, said that she doesn't believe us that there are elephants - "the park rangers pick up elephant dung from elsewhere and dump it all over so that the visitors should think there are many elephants"!
We exited Etosha at the King Nehale Gate in the north and suddenly there were many animals, but not the type I prefer to see. Our companion, however, grew up on a farm and during the next few weeks we would learn that it would be impossible to drive past a herd of cattle without stopping...
At Oshikati, we bought lunch and supplies. The flowing water in this photo is not a river, but an oshana in Oshakati, one of many perennial watercourses (linearly-linked, shallow, parallel lakes), Once every few years, during exceptional rains, the oshanas fill with rainwater and sometimes with floodwater from the perennial Cuvelai River in Angola. Have a look at the area above Etosha on the interactive map further below to see this interesting phenomenon. The fish which breed in the oshanas provides an important source of dietary protein to the local population. Here they are using traps to catch fish.
We were aiming for Ruacana, but realised that we would not reach it before dark. We decided to camp at the Ombalantu Baobab tree at Outapi. Only us in the camp. No staff. The attendant gave us the gate keys before she left and we only realised the following morning that it included the keys to the curios shop and office. The people in Namibia are very trusting... We fell asleep to the sounds of farm animals and indigenous music...
The tree is hollow inside and is currently configured as a small church chapel which could seat approximately 20 people.
Distance traveled for the day: 360 km of which 139 km were gravel road.
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. Double click on a balloon for more information.