Monday, February 28, 2011
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
Friday, February 25, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
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
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.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
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.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
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.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Friday, February 11, 2011
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
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
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
Monday, February 7, 2011
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
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
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.
Friday, February 4, 2011
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.
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.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
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.