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

28 October 2017

The 17:30 leopard, right on time

Yellow mongoose - a favourite

Yellow mongoose – a favourite

18 October

Turns out each of the camps in Etosha has a sightings book in the main office. In classic national park style, it is tucked away on a desk in the corner, with no sign up, and none of the staff bother telling visitors about it. So in spite of the hundreds of people driving around Etosha seeing amazing wildlife, the books seem to average 2 or 3 sighting per day. We only found them because our Namibia guidebook mentioned them.

Hyena - another fave

Hyena – another fave

And in the Halali camp book, two people on different days in the last week said they had seen a leopard by the road about a kilometer before the Reitfontein waterhole at 17:30. Well, that sounded like a tip! So 17:15 found us cruising up and down the 3km of road from Reitfontein (because no-one judges distance very well). And on our fourth run, Maureen suddenly yelped “leopard!” and there she was, scarcely ten yards away. We got to watch her for more than five minutes before she wandered off into the long grass and not a single other car passed us in the meantime.

Astonishingly, it was still 38 degrees C at 5:30 in the afternoon. It doesn’t seem to cool down at all until maybe half an hour before sundown. That kind of heat is both oppressive and scary to be out in for anything more than a minute or two, and it’s no wonder that you see almost zero wildlife between about 2pm and 5pm.

Watching heffalumps

Watching heffalumps

Halali camp is better than Okakuejo, I reckon. Certainly there was a marginal improvement in food. We’ve tried oryx, eland and kudu in various lodges (steak is basically the staple dinner everywhere) and while the game taste is good it seems that only by pounding it to a pancake – as they do at Halali – can make these antelopes truly tender!

They have another floodlit waterhole at Halali, a bit further from camp, and there we saw more black rhinos and elephants, hyenas, and even a beautiful small-spotted genet hunting in the rocks right in front of us.



Earlier in the day we had some wonderful elephant watching at the large Goas waterhole. There must have been more that forty of them, all family herds with youngsters mucking about in the water and the mud, while adult elephants gave each other dust baths in the background. Of course, when we decided to leave we discovered that a half-dozen elephants had decided to wander onto the road that leaves the waterhole. They spent a while interacting and then, well, they decided they were going to head right past us. And unlike all the other animals that seem completely unaware of cars, elephants definitely know what’s what. The lead elephant marched right up to out bonnet with ears a-flap, gave us a long stare through the window… and then walked on by, the others following. And we breathed out!


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