New Years Day & Etosha National Park (1-2/01/2

Trip Start Dec 26, 2012
Trip End Feb 16, 2013

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Flag of Namibia  , Otjozondjupa,
Tuesday, January 1, 2013

After breakfast I said goodbye (Goodbye - Eddie Vedder, ukelele songs) to Dirk an Sigi, we both go our own way again, can not follow (Follow me - Muse) them anymore. Dirk and Sigi will enjoy the good weather for 3 days before flying back home. I continue my way (My way - Limp Bizkit) to Etosha National Park where I'm gonna drive (Drive - REM) around for 2 days to spot wild animals. After those 2 days I will start the trip southwards to end up in 2 weeks in Capetown!

After a ride of 240 km I got to my next destination. Relaxing for a bit with a coffee before I was going into Etosha National Park. So around 13.30 I was at the entrance gate. What I did not know is that you can't bring raw meat in the park and taking back I did had a problem with the 1 kg steak for the next days. But the people were gentle, I could leave it in the frige with them and get it back when I come out the park later at the day.
So I could enter and start searching for wild animals. Of course I did see Kudu, Springbok and Impala immediately. But then, not even after being 30 km in the park there they were, laying down in the shade of a lonely tree...4 female lions! Wow!!! After 15 min watching the lions I decided to continue my way and come back later on the way out. In this open area they were not gonna leave their small place of shade.
I continued my way to look for some more animals...I did find zebra, ostrich, giraffe, ground squirrel, pale chanting goshawk, kori bustard, more kudu and impala :-), but nothing real spectacular (no big five). So after like 50-55 km I did pass again at the lions. They changed position just as the sun did! Now I kept on watching them for almost half an hour, impressive animals they are. 1 of the 4 decided to go for a little walk but came back to the shade after 50 meters.
Leaving the lions a second time I drove on and decided to make an extra loop before getting to the exit (Exit - U2). I was gonna spend another 45 km. On the last loop of the day I foxes, banded mongoose, more zebra, impala, kudu, ... At the end of my gameride it became dark...thunderstorms were coming. But I was lucky, rain didn't come to me and I didn't go to the rain.
Around 19.30 sun was going down and it was an awesome sunset!!! I did not have rain finally but a nice warm evening on the terrace.

It has been a nice first of January! Tomorrow morning I'm gonna wake up (Wake me up when september ends - Green Day) early to enter Etosha at 6.30 and look for some more wild animals the whole day.

So it happened, I went for breakfast @ 6.00 so I could enter the park @ 6.30! Because I got my map of the park since yesterday I don't need to pass by the real offices anymore and start immediately my safari. I was not even 2 km in the park and saw a group of 8 giraffes...what a start. And it became even better, unbelievable but after being in the park for 30 km...2 female lions were crossing my path, slowly they were moving on. During watching them another car made me attent on a male lion laying on the other side of the road. Driving as close as possible to him...he was still 30 m away. Oops and then there was the second male lion...he was keeping an eye on the two females from a distance (The distance - Cake). Awesome!!!

I continued and after 120 km I wanted to fill up my tank. The 4x4 was thursty and had like 82l of diesel. I could go on...and then finally after seeing that much elephant shit I saw one elephant. I did know their had to be more but couldn't find the group. I spended almost 5 hours in the park almost time to start the way back out. On the road to make the turn, I could see it rained a LOT yesterday...time for using 4x4!
On the return point I went to the Etosha lookout over Etosha pan! What an amazing view!
I did not spot any special on the way to the office to pay-off my day out in the park. Arrived at the office I went in to pay...the lady was the same as yesterday and here first question was if I saw a lot the day before. What a memory (the memory remains - Metallica), I was wearing complete other clothes and she recognized me, and no I was not wearing two days in a row a funny t-shirt ;-). The lady told me that people spotted like 50 elephants around the place I saw that 1 elephant. So my thought was correct, there were more. Luckely, otherwise the one that I saw had to be empty because of all the poop.
On the way out, the last 17 km I saw probably the same group of giraffes (they moved like 15 km today) and a second elephant. I did like 290 km in almost 10 hours. Yesterday I saw more in 4 hours than today in 10 hours.

Conclusion: it doesn't matter how much time you spend in the park, you just need to be lucky (Lucky one - Admiral Freebee)!

Relaxing time now at the swimming pool!

Tomorrow I'll start the trip into the direction of the coast (south-west). Depending on how fast the trip goes, I will go for my second training.

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Dries Kestens on

Dat ziet er daar niet slecht uit. Wel veel regen precies :-). Geniet er nog van makker en ik zou toch maar oppassen als je lion tracks ziet vanop uw fietske. Die beesten zijn nogal rap, goed in form of niet.

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