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...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

28 October 2017

Etosha

Game

Game

16 October

Today we are in Etosha, the key wildlife destination of Namibia, and indeed counted by many as one of the best wildlife destinations in the world. If it’s quantity you’re after, I can see why! There are sooooo many game animals here. Oryx, zebras, springboks, wildebeest, giraffes. Giraffes are amazing animals. You can be looking at a bunch of bushes, and then you look away, and when you look back there’s suddenly a giraffe there. How on earth do such towering animals develop such superb ninja skills?

We drove from the western Galton gate to Okakuejo camp in the middle of the park. Okakuejo has all the hallmarks of national park accommodation around the world: uninspiring rooms, unedifying buffet dinners, disinterested and inept service. Particularly loved the interaction when we arrived for dinner:

Us: Can we have a table for dinner please?
Waitress 1: Did you reserve a table?
Us: Nooo… did we nee-
Waitress 1: Oh. (wanders off)
Us: (wait, bewildered)
Waiter 2: Hello
Us: Can we have dinner please? We haven’t reserved-
Waiter 2: Did you reserve a table?
Us: No.
Waiter 2: Oh. I will see… (wanders off)
Us: (wait, bemused)
Us: (continue waiting)
Waitress 3: Hello
Us: Can we have dinner please? We haven’t res-
Waitress 3: Tut. You need to reserve a table. Write it in the book. Here.
Us: Okay… (writing)
Waiter 2: I have made up a table…
Waitress 3 (in local language): You stupid waiter! You cannot give them a table if they haven’t written in the book!
Waitress 3 (to us): There. That table there.

These encounters with inept service in Africa are always amusing. Afterwards.

Baby rhino wants milk

Baby rhino wants milk

But what Okakuejo does have that is wonderful is a waterhole that they keep floodlit all night. You can stand quietly (amazing, all the tourists stayed quiet!) and watch the animals come and go. There were at least seven black rhinos, and several elephants, as well as jackals and antelope. One of the elephants, a bit young and testosterone-driven, felt the need to keep rushing around to show the rhinos who’s boss.

I think we puzzled the other tourists because we were shining our torches into the trees around where the spectators all stand. We had spotted some cute little arboreal black-tailed rats that I don’t think anyone else was aware of clambering around above them. Well, for most people rhinos are more impressive!

Black-tailed tree rat

Black-tailed tree rat


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