Monday, morning, 25th February. Here is a map of Etosha National Park. “>http://a href=”https://www.etoshanationalpark.org”><img src=”https://www.etoshanationalpark.org/media/Etosha-Map2.jpg” alt=”Etosha National Park Map” title=”Etosha National Park Map”/></a>
It’s huge. Etosha Pan itself is 75 miles/120 kilometres long. This is a dried up lake, the salt from which affects the land to its south. We had entered the NP by Anderson Gate, in the middle of the Park, and Halali Camp is a little over a third of the way along the Pan to the northwest of the Gate. The map shows the many waterholes.
After a very early breakfast, we went out for a ‘game’ drive. It was not quite as light as my camera made out to begin with.
When we got back to Halali Camp, it was still relatively early, and we had a couple of hours off. The Camp had no free wifi, but our vehicles did, and I spent some time in one of them (as it was being driven to get fuel and then parked somewhere in the camp) catching up with vital home political news. (For those interested in such things, I learned that THAT vote, due already for the nth time on 27th February, was being put off again for two weeks.)
Before lunch, the group walked five minutes to the waterhole a few had visited the previous evening. En route we saw in the camp grounds, among other things, …
Once at the waterhole, where we were comfortably seated, we saw plenty of life.
Sunday 24th February, afternoon. This trip was timed to be the end of the ‘green season’, i.e. after the rains. Everything should have been lush, in fact making ground-living creatures more difficult to see, thus the particular interest of birders in this trip. But as were told right at the outset, the region had now suffered from seven years of drought, and areas that should have been marshy, and even flooded, were not. This was not only having an adverse effect on wildlife, but farmers were losing cattle, and entering into penury. For us however, shrinking waterholes were ideal for observing wildlife, not just birds. So after leaving our lunch spot…
… we visited a couple of waterholes, though many of the following pictures were taken from the roadside on the way to our first lodge within Etosha National Park.
After a long and tiring couple of days, we were very pleased to reached the Halali Restcamp, dine, and go to bed. Except that a few of them didn’t immediately, but walked to the nearby waterhole and saw lots of elephants. And apparently missed a leopard drinking there an hour later.