Dan

A Web Development Professional with experience in entrepreneurship, web applications and digital marketing.

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.

Usually the animals sleep and hide from the sun's heat during the day, so it is important to wake up extra early to see them at the watering holes.  Otherwise you have to wait until late afternoon.

Usually the animals sleep and hide from the sun’s heat during the day, so it is important to wake up extra early to see them at the watering holes. Otherwise you have to wait until late afternoon.

A map of Etosha shows the giant salt pan 'Etosha Pan' in the middle of the park as well as a few animals some may see.

A map of Etosha shows the giant salt pan ‘Etosha Pan’ in the middle of the park as well as a few animals some may see.

The dirt roads of Etosha mostly looked like this.  Open sky, open plains, and open roads.

The dirt roads of Etosha mostly looked like this. Open sky, open plains, and open roads.

Zebra's bodies are much shorter and stubbier than first imagined.

Zebra’s bodies are much shorter and stubbier than first imagined.

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.

He wanted nothing to do with us and I wasn't about to test his patience, car or not.

He wanted nothing to do with us and I wasn’t about to test his patience, car or not.

The giraffes were a bit less intimidating.  This guy chilled here and ate for a while.

The giraffes were a bit less intimidating. This guy chilled here and ate for a while.

Plethora of game throughout the park.  There are a lot of tourist hunting offerings throughout the country.  Springbok, Oryx, Kudu, Dikdik, and large Antelope.

Plethora of game throughout the park. There are a lot of tourist hunting offerings throughout the country. Springbok, Oryx, Kudu, Dikdik, and large Antelope.

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.

Angry daddy.

Angry daddy.

Lots of ostriches.  We also had some ostrich biltong the next week - tough as shoe leather.

Lots of ostriches. We also had some ostrich biltong the next week – tough as shoe leather.

The reflection in the water was pretty awesome.  Shoutout to my Samsung Galaxy s6's camera abilities.

The reflection in the water was pretty awesome. Shoutout to my Samsung Galaxy s6’s camera abilities.

These two wildebeests veered off from their large pack to graze closer to the road.

These two wildebeests veered off from their large pack to graze closer to the road.

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.

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5 comments on “Africa Chapter II: Etosha National Park”

  • Weens says:

    Um shout out to the amazing photographer you mean? But yes, that elephant posed great danger. Perhaps more than an American expat coming at me with a cattle prod. It might be tied

  • Jeb says:

    Hi weens!

  • Kelly Cook says:

    Good job not being eaten by those cheetahs, they could’ve jumped through your window lightning fast. Like literally becoming bolts of lightning, entering your car, and eating you. But that was pretty sweet how close you got.

  • Joy Donohue says:

    From the cute “mountain-climbing” turtle to elephant to ostriches and even wildebeests — very Lion King-esque so happy for you that you and Christine can experience these unique and amazing wonders of the world. What a trip… great job on blog too.