After our luxurious trip to Etosha a couple of weeks ago we went back to basics this time: sleeping in a rooftop tent in the largest game park in Namibia.
We stayed just outside the park the first night so that we would be at the gate when it opened the next morning. The Etosha Roadside Camp was located just opposite of the Galton Gate. Since the camping didn’t have any fences and was situated in a concession where game roams freely we had to be careful at night. Luckily the only visitor we had was a giraffe the next morning.
Once at the gate of Etosha it turned out that we were too early. This despite the fact that the sun had risen and thus the gate should’ve been open. Eventually someone opened the first gate but then we had to wait for someone of the ministry of wildlife. With a ‘delay’ of 30 minutes we finally managed to drive into the Western part of Etosha!
Sleeping at Olifantsrus campsite
That afternoon we arrived at the Olifantsrus Campsite. This camping is situated in the Western part of Etosha which only recently opened to the public. It’s a rather small campsite (10 spots) with an amazing hide next to a waterhole. Since the hide even had electricity we could combine both spotting wildlife and working on the laptop a bit. The name of the campsite is a bit sad though. This used to be the place where they would kill elephants since they thought that the high number of elephants would harm the biodiversity. The scaffold used for this was still there…
We rather see desert elephants when they’re alive and kicking. After several attempts to spot them in Twyfelfontein today was the day. A big herd was eating away happily next to the road. Two of them were busy with destroying a termite hill.
It wasn’t the best day to be a termite since a bit further down the road there was a lion pride (8 lions!) on top of a sandy hill. Three of them decided to climb on top of a termite hill and destroyed this hill while playing on top of it. How lucky can you be to see all this!
When we were lurking our freshly brewed coffee on one of the pick nick spots in the park we were parked under a big ‘sociable weavers’ nest. These little birds share this huge nest which results in funny sightings. Moreover it was an excellent opportunity to test our bird in motion photography skills.
The hell of Okaukuejo
Hell is a bit exaggerated but the huge Okaukuejo campsite is definitely in our top two of worst campsites so far. It wasn’t just expensive but the sites are that close to each other that you can hear your neighbour snore at night. The toilets were disgusting, the showers only had cold water and the staff was unfriendly. Other than that it was great ;).
Hell to heaven
Yet again an exaggerated title. The next morning we couldn’t wait to leave the campsite. This is what we did as soon as the gate was open. About 10 kilometers down the road we were rewarded with five lions in the morning sun chasing down a prey. Not far from us was a wildebeest near a waterhole. After spending two hours next to the lions they decided not to go for the opportunity and walked away.
After a good lunch at Halali campsite we moved on. We passed the Etosha pan one more time and got a great ‘farewell gift’. Far far far away I saw something moving. As it came closer we noticed it was a black rhino! He walked all the way to, and then on, the road and then drank as much as he could form this little pool of mud.
The wildlife, Etosha pan and the nature in general are stunning in Etosha. When talking about accommodation inside the park I would rather stay outside the park in the future.