Etosha Sep 2012

With the Discovery pulling a 4 x 4 trailer, we left Johannesburg on the afternoon of Friday 7 September 2012, crossed the Botswana border at Skilpadsnek and continued on the Trans Kalahari Highway towards Kanye in Botswana. We made camp at Motse Lodge. There is nothing really, but it was a safe place to camp and if you were brave, you could use the ablutions. It was really cold that night and we were sitting around our camp fire wearing warm jackets - for the last time!

The next day we proceeded towards the Namibian border which we crossed at Buitepos without any hassles. From there we continued to Windhoek and camped at Arebbusch Lodge for one night. This lodge is across from huge sports grounds where a music festival was being held into the late hours of the night. We were really tired and fell asleep to the tune of Karen Zoid, Elvis Blue, Nicolas Louw, Juanita du Plessis, Kaptein-Kaptein and the rest!

We entered Etosha National Park the next day on the western side and spent five nights at Okaukuejo where lions roared fiercely and close by every night. The first two nights we were in the midst of a crowd from Sasol as we enjoyed the hospitality of Gregor, Fanie and Oscar who camped right next to us with their families. Thank you guys, you gave us a good start! From there we moved to Halali for four nights - that was a dust pit with no shady trees but we were rewarded with several leopard sightings in the vicinity with leopard, cheetah and lion sightings on the same day. The last four nights we camped at Namutoni. This camp site felt five star under the trees on green grass.

To be in Etosha National Park during September requires a great amount of perseverance. If you can withstand the heat between 35 and 40 degrees daily, the wind, the dust, the veld fires if you are unlucky and the ever present trucks full of over landers, you will be rewarded with spectacular sightings and photo opportunities of game and predators at the waterholes. Everyone needs a drink, even the raptors, albeit only a few, and the tiny steenbok! The white elephants, white from the white Etosha sand, was a real treat for us.

In Botswana we spent a few days camping at Drotskys Cabins on the Okavango river, beautiful shady camp sites with clean ablutions. We rented an 18 feet boat with a driver guide every day. The boat we used in the mornings and afternoons to photograph from on the river. Although we saw the breeding carmine bee eaters and fish eagles, we were unlucky in photographing them. However, we were very fortunate to have had several breeding colonies of skimmers around and they provided us with ample opportunity and hours of delight as we anchored our boat close to one such island where they were breeding! The skimmer is an endangered species and you are not to disturb such an island in any way by getting too close or walking on it.

Three weeks later, and we were home. Definitely a trip to repeat!