Etosha Game Park

Namibia, Africa
Location Map   Namibia has one of the great African game parks.  This was the highlight of our trip to Namibia in July/August 2001.
1: Location Map
Gateway to Etosha   We expected dozens of others to be queued up at 6.30 in the morning.  We actually only saw around 20 other cars during our 11 hours in the park!
2: Gateway to Etosha
Etosha Map   From Namutoni to Okaukuejo for lunch and back for the 5.30pm closing deadline.  We stopped at random waterholes along the way hoping to see everything - and we did!
3: Etosha Map
Namutoni   An old German site, Namutoni now serves as one of 3 tourist camps in Etosha.  We were staying just outside - the park entry fees were only $A36 for the 4 of us!
4: Namutoni
Namutoni Camp   Our hire car and camp buildings.
5: Namutoni Camp
The Road In   Etosha was flat, dry and dusty - being a salt pan meant much of the landscape was white.  We had good views from the car so spotting animals was easy with eight eyes working hard.
6: The Road In
First Waterhole   Etosha has dozens of waterholes and at this time of year many were dry.  We picked the waterholes randomly, hoping to see lots of wildlife.
7: First Waterhole
Lions Dining   A pride of lions finishing a week-long feast on an elephant that died of natural causes.  You can just make out a tusk and some of the remaining skin and bones.
8: Lions Dining
Stalking 1   One of the lions decided it was still hungry, spotted a lone wildebeest on  the other side of the waterhole and began to stalk it.
9: Stalking 1
Unexpected Visitor   As we focused on the lion, an elephant sauntered out of the bush.  Heading for the waterhole, it was oblivious to the drama before exiting stage left.
10: Unexpected Visitor
Stalking 2   Some zebras grazed closer and closer to the lion before seeing it and taking flight.  In the end the lion was too full to give chase and the wildebeest lived another day.
11: Stalking 2
Scavengers   Hyenas were circling around waiting for scraps from the elephant carcass.
12: Scavengers
Wildebeest   A magnificantly strong looking animal but not the prettiest.  It was covered in salt from the pan.
13: Wildebeest
Zebra Crossing   A herd of zebras ran across the road in front of us and then along side us.  It was wonderful to be visitors in their world.
14: Zebra Crossing
Giraffe   Through the tall scrub we saw a long neck with a small head atop.  It was quite unexpected since we were looking at ground level for shorter animals.
15: Giraffe
Springbok   This loner casually stood in front of the car for well over 5 minutes before ambling away.  One of the more delicate and beautifully marked of all the animals we saw that day.
16: Springbok
Bustard   This is a Kori Bustard - as best we could identify from our guide book.   There were birds everywhere but it was difficult to get good photos from the car.
17: Bustard
Loo Stop!   One of the 2 occasions we got out of our car in 11 hours - the loo was in a  fenced compound.  An inquisitive giraffe watched us from outside and we felt a little self-conscious!
18: Loo Stop!
Zebras   A herd of zebras on the edge of the salt pan - all animals we saw looked very healthy.  Lots of grass everywhere and still enough working waterholes to keep everyone happy.
19: Zebras
Etosha Pan   Like white ocean as far as the eye could see - this shot is looking back to 'land' from 'offshore'.  It's daunting driving into/onto the unknown - we just hoped it really was the dry season!
20: Etosha Pan
Ostrich   Male ostriches are black... and very large. Another reason to stay in the car because  suddenly it was just there! Seemed a bit like Jurassic Park.
21: Ostrich
Giraffe Crossing   We turned a corner and 5 or 6 giraffes were just dawdling across the road.  You don't want to travel too fast in Etosha!
22: Giraffe Crossing
Springbok   And yet another beautiful springbok was spotted.
23: Springbok
Zebra   Another large herd of zebras was grazing along side the road, unconcerned about us.   It meant we were able to get some more great photos.
24: Zebra
Young Zebra   There were lots of youngsters among the group.
25: Young Zebra
Hartebeest   Our only sighting of red hartebeest - it was a rush for the guide book to identify them!
26: Hartebeest
Oryx   Also known as the Gemsbok, this is my favourite of all the animals we saw in Etosha.  With beautiful markings and symmetry, it is powerful yet graceful.
27: Oryx
Wildebeest   Not quite so beautiful or graceful as the oryx, the wildebeest still grabbed our attention.
28: Wildebeest
Lone tree   At last... a large tree near a waterhole with the salt pan behind.  Zebras and springbok mingle together.
29: Lone tree
Waterhole   One of the few waterholes we came across with openly visible water.  Not quite our flavour so we stuck to bottled.
30: Waterhole
Jackal   A black-backed jackal - looks friendly enough but I wouldn't attempt to pat one.
31: Jackal
Okaukuejo Camp   Time for a well-earned lunch break after 6½ hours in the car except for our loo break.  This old fort also serves as a tourist camp: the Namibian flag is flying.
32: Okaukuejo Camp
Etosha Vista   The view from the Okaukuejo tower back towards Namutoni.  Gives a good idea of the landscape in all directions for many miles around.
33: Etosha Vista
Luxury!   In contrast to Namutoni this resort is much more up-market.  We didn't swim but enjoyed the surrounds for ¾ hr before heading back to Namutoni.
34: Luxury!
Impalas   At our first waterhole after lunch we met these black-faced impalas -  these would do well in any beauty contest...
35: Impalas
Warthog   ...and this would win in the ugly stakes.  It was great to see one but it was a bit of a shock after the beauty of the impalas.
36: Warthog
Black Rhino 1   And out of no where, while we were watching the warthog, came this delight.  We were rather excited to see one of the 'Big Five' of Africa.
37: Black Rhino 1
Black Rhino 2   It was not in a hurry so we had plenty of time to enjoy while other animals wandered by.  There was plenty of water but little obvious vegetation on the rocky ground.
38: Black Rhino 2
Kudu   A large male Kudu with its unique markings and very large spiral horns.   Females are much smaller and they have only small horns.
39: Kudu
A Mystery!!   How many legs can you count??  And who owns them?
40: A Mystery!!
Elephants!   You got it!! A herd of elephants - large and small (look closely).  It was mid-afternoon and we had almost given up hope of seeing these African icons.
41: Elephants!
Elephant Straws   Elephants sharing a waterhole like humans sharing a milkshake with straws!
42: Elephant Straws
Play Time   Trunks serve many purposes - fortunately they are not quite long enough to tie into knots.
43: Play Time
Animal Mix   Male (large) and female (small)  kudus  and oryx mixing it with jumbo.   All were getting on famously.
44: Animal Mix
Mother & Child   It was a pretty warm day so why not use mum as an umbrella?
45: Mother & Child
Time To Go   And so the herd started to drift away - slowly so bubs could keep up  and we could enjoy the spectacle for as long as possible.
46: Time To Go
Mongoose 1   They are quite small so we were lucky to spot this Yellow Mongoose  as we drove slowly away from the elephants.
47: Mongoose 1
Mongoose 2   We stopped... it stopped... and we all stared.  Yet another great photo opportunity!
48: Mongoose 2
Something BIG!!   With a long way still to go we put on a burst of speed.  We hit the breaks when our chief poo spotter said 'its very fresh - STOP!!'
49: Something BIG!!
A Jumbo Jumbo!   Around the corner jumbo was zig-zagging it's way along the road.  We had a delightful but worrisome 5 minutes until it zagged off into the scrub.
50: A Jumbo Jumbo!
Black Rhinos   After dashing for the exit we had 10 minutes to spare for one last waterhole.   What a way to finish the day - 'Hey mum, what are those strange animals?'
51: Black Rhinos
Oryx & Rhinos   'Forget them kid - they'll go away soon.'  Dusk is a great time to view animals - a plus for those staying inside the park.
52: Oryx & Rhinos
Three Giraffes   We nearly missed these three because they were toward  the sun.  What a photographer's gift!
53: Three Giraffes
Get Ready...   Looking pretty awkward, this giraffe decided to have a drink.  It's not quite as easy for it to have a drink as it is for an elephant!
54: Get Ready...
...Go!   Finally bent to the water, we are provided with a memorable scene.  No high speed cameras needed for these shots -  and I also had time for a video.
55: ...Go!
Three Birds   The final dash for the exit saw me begging (endlessly) for 'one last photo' of the bird life.
56: Three Birds
Silhouette 1   It was a great time to photograph birds as the sky turned a superb golden yellow.  No idea what species this is...
57: Silhouette 1
Silhouette 2   ...nor this one - but this photo is one of my all time favourites.
58: Silhouette 2
The Road Out   Three cars together and we only saw 20 all day!  The giraffe was surely glad to be getting Etosha to itself again.
59: The Road Out
Day's End   The end of a perfect day - we saw everything we hoped for... and more!  A day we will remember forever - you really must go there!!
60: Day's End