Namibia and Kgalagadi Adventure – Day 11 Namutoni, Etosha National Park

Apologies to my regular followers for not posting every day. The internet in the bush is slow and won’t even think of obliging  to upload my photographs!  My diary is up to date so I will post when I can.  There probably won’t be another until I return to Struisbaai.  Today I’m in Windhoek but then it’s The Kgalagdi  where there’s no internet at all.

6 November 2018\

The picnic sites in Etosha are not great so we usually stop at a waterhole and have brekkie in the car.  This can be tricky when it comes to pouring coffee and dishing out cereal but a chopping  board, balanced on Pat’s file which just fits over the box of field guides makes a suitable table.

When we parked off at Groot Okvevi, there was not much to see except for a few doves and starlings taking the waters.  We sat and watched for a while and then other birds appeared to entertain us. Then a dear little steenbok appeared and timidly took a drink before scampering off.

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The Earl captured the reflection so beautifully

After that the action really began – we munched on cereal and boiled eggs while watching zebra. Then a family of four kudu emerged from the bushes and took turns to drink.  They became very alert and then something frightened them and they sprang out of the water and further up the bank.

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A pregnant hyena came loping down the from the thicket and plunged straight into the water.  She sat down up to her neck and the other animals could only look on and hope she’d leave soon. But she was enjoying her bath and stayed for ages.   Tony quipped – I think she’s planning a water birth!

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We also enjoyed watching Namaqua and Burchell sandgrouse fly in to the water’s edge take a drink and then fly off again.  This happens in waves and is fascinating to watch.

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We spent about three hours just at this one waterhole.  The hyena did eventually leave the water but she plopped down under a nearby tree and had a sleep in the shade.  When we returned in the afternoon, she was back in the pond.

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We went back to camp just before 11 and spent some time at the Camp Waterhole then rested till 2:30 when we went out again.

After stopping off to see our pregnant hyena we drove some roads and the highlights were at Tsumcar waterhole which is really popular with the in-crowd.  Not sure what the waiting list here is but it’s always busy.

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This warthog had fun rolling in the mud

We also enjoyed the shore birds

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Marsh Sandpiper
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Kitlitz Plover

We arrived at another waterhole just in time to see the elephants come down for their evening drink and bath.

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Our day ended with a delicious chicken stir fry.  Pat and I prepared the ingredients and Tony cooked it expertly on the Skottel.

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Namibia and Kgalagadi Adventure – Day 10 Namutoni, Etosha National Park

5 November 2018

This morning we packed a breakfast basket and set off at the gate opening time of 6:00 am.  It is cooler in the mornings and the animals are most active then so the earlier you get out there the better your chances of seeing interesting wild life.

 

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The first bird of the morning – Kalahari Scrub-robin
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How amazing to spot these two endangered beauties.   These are Black Rhino  – the leaf eating, narrow lipped variety.

We stopped at a waterhole where guinea fowl and doves were taking the waters.  The coffee craving had set in so we sat in the car to enjoy our breakfast.  This turned out to be a great thing to do because the waterhole became a hive of activity.  Warthogs came to wallow and buck to drink but they soon scuttled off when they smelled somebody approaching.

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This hyena came down to drink
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Off he went after slaking his thirst.

We followed him until he disappeared into the thickets

My favourite is this elegant and graceful, long-necked creature

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There are thousands of guinea fowl in the park and one tends to overlook them – but they are really rather beautiful
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A tawny eagle
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We saw two like this wily jackal out on the salt pan

 

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The Kori Bustard also fancied a walk on the pan

 

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A rrufous-naped lark entertained us with his lovely song and wing flicking
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Seen frequently were Pale Chanting Goshawks
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The scaly-feathered finch do look cross but they’re very sweet
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This little skink caught our attention
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Gemsbok or Oryx are very handsome creatures

Later in the morning we visited another waterhole on the pan where we found a huge gathering of animals and birds.

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What a handsome brute
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The water’s lovely once you’re in!

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Mud glorious mud
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Kitlitz Plover

As we continued our drive we saw more lovely creatures

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Namibia’s National Bird – The Crimson Breasted Shrike
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Red Hartebeest

Back at Namutoni we visited the camp waterhole again and were delighted to see a few animals come down to drink and the highlight for me was the Marabou Stork who preened and displayed beautifully.

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The marabou stork reminds me of an undertaker!

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Namibia and Kgalagadi Adventure – Day 9 Namutoni, Etosha National Park

4 November 2018

We left The Waterberg and enjoyed a very pleasant trip to Namutoni.  Check in went well and we were excited to be back in Etosha National Park.  We had thoroughly enjoyed our trip in July 2015 and were very much looking forward to this our first caravan trip to the park.

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Entering the Etosha

 

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Within minutes of entering the Gate we encountered springbok, black faced Impala and this gorgeous giraffe
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Entrance to Namutoni Rest Camp
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We were assigned a lovely shady campsite

Once we were set up we had some lunch, a rest and then set out at just after 4 pm.  Etosha is made of saline desert, woodlands and savanna grasslands.

The salt pans in the park are mostly devoid of vegetation with the exception of a protein-rich grass that is used by wildebeest, zebra, oryx and springbok among other grazers.

Although our first drive was a short one we saw a number of interesting birds and animals.

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Kori Bustard
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The sabota lark welcomed us with a song
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There was little to be seen at Two Palms
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Lesser Grey Shrike

We were on our way back to camp when this fellow appeared and crossed the road.

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We followed him for 15 minutes – there was only one other car to share the experience with.

IMG_1954Each camp in Etosha has a waterhole that you can visit any time of day or night.  Before dinner we popped over to Namutoni’s Hide to watch the sun set.  We did not braai tonight, but instead cooked chicken and vegetables in the Remoska Pot. It was an awesome end to a delightful day.