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Monday, February 28, 2011

Self Portrait With Rock Art

The desert of Namibia at times was a lot like driving through the desert of Arizona. We hiked into an area of some great rock art. The best known was the "white lady" but there was a wide variety of both petroglyphs, rock carvings, and pictographs, painted images.
We camped that night at a camp that had pet Meerkats and a pet Spring Buck. the Spring Buck liked to be petted and the Meerkats wanted to be lap pets.
About dark a guy came around wanting to know if we wanted a show that night, no charge, donation only. We agreed and after dinner a group of about 25 showed at camp, I don't know where they came from as we were in a deserted area and didn't see any villages nearby. They were all the way from 3 years old and up including two pregnant ladies. About half of them wore shoes, the rest barefoot. It was one of those times you wish you had a good tape recorder. They sang and danced. One song was called "I don't want to dance" and by the end of it had our entire group up dancing. Another funny song was about an old Toyota and they went through the sound and motions of getting it running. When it was over they took donations, such a great group, they did very well.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011


The coast on Namibia is littered with ships that have run aground.
This ship had been there some time but while we were in Swakopmund another ran aground just up the coast.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Another Namibian Friend

A farmer found and rescued this guy as a baby, It had been caught in a fence and abandoned by its mother. He took it hone and nursed it back to health and let it loose. It has made its home on his farm and shows no desire to leave even though it is now tall enough to look in the second story windows of the farmhouse. It come by our camp the night before and when we left in the morning was there eating leaves from trees in camp.

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Namibian Friend

Our next camp was at a large farm. One of the problems for farmers in the area was the Cheetahs killing their animals. The owner of this farm, not wanting to see Cheetahs killed would live trap them and keep them in a 17,000 acre field he had fenced in with a tall fence to prevent their escape. He also had a camp and some bungalows on the farm for tourists. His house was surrounded by a tall fence and he had two pet Cheetahs, we were able to visit them. They were just like big cats who like to be petted. at one point I had one in my lap and the other leaned against my back, both were purring loudly. A few weeks earlier we had seen one chase down a small Impala, they can go from 0-70 miles an hour in a little over 4 seconds, and to be this close to them was surreal.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Now Thats a Birds Nest

This was one of the birds nests at our Okaukuejo camp, and a close up view of it. The birds all fly in from the underside.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Zebra Tracks

Our last camp in Etosha National Park was at Okaukuejo, early in the morning a long line of Zebras would come by on the way to the water hole.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

First Zebras, Then Come the Elephants

Etosha National Park is so large that we traveled more than one hundred miles with our heads out the roof of the truck on our own personal game drive. Zebras coming from three directions converged on this water hole. At one point there were over 500 Zebras and then came the Elephants. Two Elephants came out of the brush to chase the Zebras away from the water hole and after getting tired of their game they just left. Our trucked was surrounded by barking Zebras, hundreds of them, and they do make a sound like a dog barking. Our driver pointed out that the Elephants never took a drink there as the as the water was in a concrete pool and the Elephants can't reach the water, they can't bend that far down.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bird's Nest, No Really, it is a Bird's Nest

The birds build these large, this is actually a small one, nests. The birds like these two in the photo fly in from the bottom.This nest has an intruder climbing up from the bottom of the trunk.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Water Hole, Camp Okaukuejo

Our second camp in Etosha was Camp Okaukuejo, the long drive to get here from Camp Namatoni was a great game drive. Our truck had a hatch above each seat so you could stand on your seat with your head out the roof for a great view. The water hole always had a lot of wildlife even Rhinos which we saw very seldom in other parks. In the morning hundreds of Zebras filed past our tents on the way to the water hole.

Happy Valentines Day

Friday, February 11, 2011

Orecks on the Salt Pan

The center of the park is the salt pan which is flooded in the wet season. It looked dry but if you try and walk on it you sink past your ankles in mud, good luck trying to find your shoes.

Camp Namatoni

The fire pit at Camp Namatoni, this was our first camp in Etosha National Park. There are several parks in the park which are by permanent water holes. The water holes are even lit at night and the wildlife don't seen to mind, of course it is the only place they can get water in the dry season.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Old Elephant

Adolescent Elephants are forced out of the group they were born in and will later join another group. Old Elephants also are forced out. This guy was all be himself eating thorn bushes, seemed kind of sad to watch him.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Namibian Air Force

We left Ngepi camp to travel to Etosha National Park. The park is 22,000 square miles dominated by a large salt pan about 70 by 30 miles in size which fills with water during the rainy season but is dry the rest of the year. the park is home to a wide variety of animals and birds which congregate around the water holes in the dry season. There are several camps near water holes and we camped at two of them. Several places along the road there were locals selling wood carvings like these planes. Cars and other vehicles were also a common subject. One gentleman even had carved and built an almost life size VW Bug complete with wooden keys.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hippo and Croc Cage

The camp solved the problem of swimming with the Crocodiles and Hippos by building a cage for humans. It was great in the heat of the day to be able to swim with no worries.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Camp Shower

This was the shower near my tent, you walked up a couple steps into a tree and when when you turned on the water it came down from above like rain. There was hot water also, a big plus. The toilet was back in some bushes and when you pulled a chain it flushed. We saw a lot of Elephants and Hippos during the day, in fact, it was like a wildlife stage show just across the river. During the night I heard Hippos on our side of the river and even heard some get out of the water on our side, being as big as they are they are not stealthy getting in and out of the water. It was still dark when I headed to the restroom and of course you shine the flashlight around checking for animals, in this case Hippos, before leaving the tent. None were visible even though I had heard them earlier. When I left the bathroom I again turned on the flashlight to check and was shocked to see two eyes shining out of the dark looking right at me. It took several seconds to realize it wasn't a Hippo but was the camp dog that had just followed me.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Camp at Ngepi, Namibia

This was a great camp with nice big grassy area and great bathrooms right across the river from Angola. There were a lot of Elephants playing on the far bank, they would go in the water and spray themselves with water then go up the dusty bank and spray themselves with dirt. Also lots of Hippos in the river.
The Ngepi Camp is famous for its bathrooms. There were several surrounded by 12 foot tall bamboo slat fences, one was labeled the Throne Room and inside the toilet was on top of a bank of dirt giving a view over the fence. In one you entered a maze that had men go one direction and women go the other direction, both mazes entered the same area and there was a pink toilet with the seat locked down with a padlock labeled "woman" and another toilet next to it with the seat locked in the up position labeled "men".

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Village on the Delta

We had left our truck in this village where we picked up our 4WD vehicles. When we were back and loading up the truck we saw these kids playing with a ball made of paper and tape. I had this rubber ball that I had got at a rubber plantation. It was made from pure latex and bounced almost as good as a super ball so left it with them as they were having such great fun with it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


This guy popped up right in front of us and as my guide polled us backwards several more popped up. They were quite vocal, as the guide explained they are very territorial and you don't want to cross them. Our dugouts would be just toys to them.

Papyrus Plant

The Papyrus plant grew along all the channels in the swampy areas. This is the plant we saw them make paper from in Egypt. Paper or papyrus is made from the spongy center of the stalk.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


They don't paddle the dugouts, they pole them through the channels and weeds. The heavily loaded dugouts only had a few inches above the waterline but all made it without tipping. I guess sometimes they do go over and you always worry about the cameras which you definitely want out as you never know what you will see.

Hey this isn't hard, until you tipover

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Headed for Camp

After the night of the Lunar Eclipse we loaded up in dugout canoes to go to our island camp for two nights. the fully loaded dugouts sat low in the water and seemed really tipsy but no one overturned and no cameras were dunked. At camp we had to make sure the tents were far enough apart so Elephants could pass between with plenty of room and each tent had a light placed out front to discourage visitors[animals]. After a month of camping out with Lions , Hippos, Elephants, and who knows what else, we just now find out a light outside the tent really helps keep wild animals away.

Home Sweet Home, on Island in the Delta