Africa Chapter II: Etosha National Park
Namibia is sanctuary to thousands of protected wildlife species within Africa. When tourists go to Namibia, 99% of the time it is to visit Etosha National Park. Lucky for Christine and I, we lived about an hour away from this beautiful self-driven safari. While most people rent tour groups and stay overnight in lodges, we decided to bring our tiny Volkswagen off-roading and see the animals on our own terms. There are major watering holes that certain animals congregate at during particular hours, but the park is HUGE and nothing is ever guaranteed to see, since the animals all roam freely. Anyways, we had a lucky day and saw some of the rarest sites you can find.
The rarest site of the day was the cheetahs. Making our way down the never ending dirt road, I spotted one walking towards a large puddle at the side of the road. We slowly pulled up the car as close as a few others meandered to the puddle for a drink as well. We kept slowly and quietly approaching until the initial cheetah looked up and began hissing. You can see him continue to keep an eye on us in the picture and video.
Far more frightening than the cheetahs, was the elephant we encountered. A male bull, with a child and wife. There was a large bus with tourists parked in front of us, which really really made the bull mad. He continuously charged the side of the road, would break branches and stomp, then run back to his family. If the bus was not in front of us, he would have had no problem flipping our tiny car.
And last but not least, seeing the Kori Bustard – the largest flying bird native to Africa – was a good way to end a successful day of not being murdered by African wildlife.