Wild Life in Etosha National Park:
Accommodation: I have stayed 2 nights at a lodge near to the west side entry of Etosha, than crossed Etosha to the east and stayed one night at a lodge near to east side entry:
- Etosha Safari Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia (West Entry)
- Mushara Lodge (East Entry)
There are many other options which you can choose online according to your budget. Mushara Lodge was a nice one.
Entrance: With an entrance fee of only about 6 Euros, you can drive freely with your own car whole day in Etosha and hunt for a good photo. I am still asking myself how come such a luxury can be so cheap?
Self Driving Safari Tips:
Self driving safari is really fun. Hunting for a photo, driving for hours to find a wild animal, for sure you will also enjoy it. When doing that:
- remember wild life may surprise you any time,
- never get out of the car.
Etosha is a well organized national park, (to me, too organized) you will see signs directing you nearly in all crossings, its nearly impossible to get lost.
Be attentive especially about elephants. This solitary elephant was the first I came across with, and he gave me a good lesson ...
There are about about 2500 elephants in Etosha and hot afternoons they are around to drink at waterholes. It is very likely to meet them more than once in a full safari day; to be on the safe side, better to read about their unpredictable behaviour to understand when an elephant is really charging you or attempting to threaten you. This attack was a complete surprise to me; luckly I kept the motor running. These are the last shots before I drove away full throttle.
In Etosha there are many elephants, rhinos, giraffes, hyenas, zebras and oryxes.
As for lions; I did not see any male but a few female ones. In dry season it is really hot and they are not around (Tanzania has the continent's largest lion population, Etosha was incomparable with the safari I did in Tanzania).
Leopards; I did not see any, but a photographer friend had great shots on the same day. In general, leopards are very few in Etosha.
Etosha is one of the best places to spot rhinos; however rheinos are severely endangered and illegal hunting is a huge problem. There are many dehorned Rhinos to protect them from the threat of poachers. Rhino horn is made of keratin, the same material making human fingernails. If a Rhino is dehorned, it can grow back to almost full size after three years. On the other hand, rhinos also have their horns for a reason, to protect their young and defense. If the horns are removed, the rhinos may not be as well equipped to survive.
Who is poaching the rehinos?
Rhino horn is highly prized in traditional Asian medicine. There are two different types of poachers; locals and professionals. Local poachers are from poor people living around and driven by hunger and poverty. Professional poachers (mostly from Asia) are highly organized and very well funded. The use drones to spot rhinos. It is strictly forbidden to fly a drone in Etosha.
Sunset and the following thunder / Etosha:
Namibian village house made of metal sheets.
Some shots from Etosha:
Worlds largest and heaviest bird:
An ostrich standing alone in the Namib Desert.....
The most handsome of antelope species:
Oryx, the spirit of the Namibian desert. Everytime I was amazed by its beauty and incredible adaptation to desert conditions. An Oryx uses several methods to minimize its water needs: allowing body temperature to rise up to 45 degrees, concentrating its urine and absorbing all possible moisture...
Oryx was chosen as Namibia’s national animal due to its courage, elegance, pride and has the ability to wander far and wide when food and water is scarce...
Walvis Bay Bird Paradise:
I have seen many places which are called 'bird paradise'; all were a bit of disappointment. Well here in Walvis Bay nobody will be disappointed. Walvis Bay Birds Paradise is a wetland supporting about 2,000 birds at any given time, you can see many flamingos and pelicans here. `Sandwich Bay' and 'Pelican Point' are also located around here (Sandwich Bay about 1 hour off-road drive on the coast; Pelican Point 20 mins off-road drive). You can check the next post, 3 unforgettable points.
There were many huge termite mounds in Namibia, surprisingly many.