Day 19 - evening
Day 12 - Northern Experience Tour
35 Celsius, hot evening, dark sky, half-moon
They came in pairs, in groups or even by themselves as if self-preservation dictated them to do so! In this extreme heat, water wasn't a treat, it was a necessity and these wild African animals knew exactly where to find it being right here at this waterhole a mere several meters away from where I stood! Yay!
The milieu’s ambiance was intense. No sound could be heard except the occasional whispering of people gathered around the circular fence listening to the trumpet sound of the elephants or the roar of the wild animals as they approached our camp! It was awesome, it was thrilling, it was electrifying! It was also spooky!
Nightfall rapidly plunged us into darkness but not before a beautiful sunset came into view making the horizon appear on fire. Shortly afterwards, big spotlights were switched on projecting gigantic beams of light in the direction of the waterhole.
This meant only one thing….that I was going to be able to see in semi-darkness thanks to those lights the scenes taking place in front of me as wild animals would come and go respecting everyone’s needs of drinking that fundamental liquid called water!
In total amazement, I watched groups of elephants bathe in shallow water while zebras stood a few meters away unsure as to whether they should proceed or simply wait for their turn. Once finished, these two groups were soon replaced by giraffes spreading their legs apart while lowering their long necks towards the water to drink! And it was quite a sight!
You’ll be happy to know that this evening, I was excited to "cross out" the rhinoceros included in the “Africa’s Big Five” list of animals! If you’re reading my blogs and not just looking at my pictures (Eric, Justin & Patrick), this means that so far I’ve seen two out of five! Three more to go! But which ones…..for me to know and for you to find out…or read my blogs! Hehehe!
I can tell you one thing; there was never a dull moment as I watched the African wildlife marched towards that waterhole. While rhinoceros fought between themselves, small springboks stayed behind. Wildebeests known as the ugliest animal on earth (according to Alex and I can attest to that) were seen followed by oryxes, kudus and many other smaller ones!
Unfortunately and much to my regret, no king of the jungle came this evening even though his roar was heard loudly and distinctively echoing in the dark not too far away. Better luck next time!
There must have been more than a hundred people of various nationalities and ages at the waterhole watching the scenes unfold in front of us. Many were taking photos while others looking through their binoculars.
At that moment, I deeply regretted not having brought with me my dear tripod. Without it, life became a lot more difficult taking still pictures with long shutter exposures while holding my camera. So many lost opportunities!
It was close to 8:00pm when we ate our dinner sitting around picnic tables close to the open fire BBQ. As usual, it was prepared by none other than our guides Alex and NTando.
Hardly any stars shone in the pitch-black sky however, while the half-moon gave us a little bit of brightness, it succeeded in giving the place a mysterious and chilling touch.
After all, we were in the middle of Etosha’s National Park! We were the ones, us the humans entirely all fenced in with the huge front gate locked for the night. There was no way out, no escape! I felt like a trapped animal in a big cage surrounded by roaming African wildlife hunting for kills in the darkness of the night. And you know what, I loved every moment of it!Monique :-)Statistics for the day
- Kamanjab (Himba tribe) to Etosha National Park: 5 hours
- Total km: 270 km