10.07.2017 28 °C
8 July 2017
We had a discussion last night about whether to leave early today or to sleep in … and early won. So I was up at 5.00am, had breakfast at 5.30am and we were on the road at 6.00am. We left early for the one hour drive to the gates of Etosha National Park. There was a line up to get in but we passed the line and went straight through for William to check in to the park.
We spent about five hours driving around the park searching for animals. Seeing wild animals in their natural setting is amazing. We’ve seen some great things on this tour but this is what we all came for – this is Africa! Springbok, oryx and even zebras have become everyday animals while travelling along and today we saw plenty more but it was incredible to see hundreds of zebra at a waterhole. We saw kudu, impala, giraffes, wildebeest, ostriches, bustards and vultures. The great excitement of this drive was sighting a leopard. The leopard is usually the hardest of the Big 5 (elephant, rhino, lion, cape buffalo and leopard) to find but we find it first.
We are staying inside the park at Hallali Lodge and arrived there around 1.30pm. We had a quick lunch at the truck and checked in to our rooms.
There was another game drive in the truck at 2.30pm and a few people decided that they’d had enough of bouncing around in the truck. My body is sore from sitting in the truck day after day but there’s no way I was missing a game drive. And it was worth it. We spent another three hours out in the park and saw the most incredible sight as a group of nine giraffes made their way to a waterhole. We watched as they carefully approached the waterhole and as a young male challenged for leadership of the group - it was a short lived battle between the two as the older male chased off the challenger. Eventually they made their way to the water and drank.
We were back at the campsite by 5.30pm and quickly walked to the waterhole. The viewing area is made up of large rocks to sit on that are fenced inside the Hallali area. Just below the viewing area is a waterhole where the animals come to drink. There wasn’t much action at the waterhole so we went back for dinner. We were back at the waterhole after dinner. The water hole is lit by floodlights during the night and it’s fascinating to watch the animals come out of the darkness and cautiously approach the water. There was complete silence from the people watching as a couple of hyenas approached the water to drink. Then we were treated to rhinos coming to drink. In the silence of the night you can hear them drinking. Absolutely wonderful but I had to get back to bed to get ready for another early start.