Day 279, Tuesday 09 October 2012 – Okaukuejo, Etosha, Namibia
We had moved the worst offending snorers to one side of the camp site last night so with a little less noise and the help of half a pill I had a great seep, complemented by a wee lie as we were not on the road until 9:00. The campsite was typical of most of the campsites so far – dusty and dry, but there were some quite cool trees to photograph, I love the shapes of the dead, dying and otherwise leafless trees I have seen.
The road to Etosha National park, was not too bad, relatively smooth going considering some of the roads we have been on lately and the countryside here is positively lush, well less dry, dusty and arid then the previous days.
We stopped for coffee and a brief and largely unsuccessful internet session in Outjo and then hit the road again and stopped for a roadside lunch at mid day.
We were all dozing in the truck as we approached the park and I just happened to open my eyes as we passed our first giraffe just outside the gates. I will soon be bored with giraffes but it was very exciting at the time. OK, not really bored – no one can get bored with giraffes, but we don’t stop for them anymore !
The camp ground is a couple of hours drive inside the park, so for the first time on the trip we popped open the roof hatches and went game driving. It must look a wee bit odd.
This end of the park has seen some severe fire damage and is quite badly burnt.
This did not seem to stop some of the wildlife and we saw a good collection of zebra, springbok and a couple of giraffes and a black back jackal. Some of which were photographable with the long lens.
Once at the campsite and set up for the night we set off for the nearby waterhole for the late afternoon drinking session – not us this time, but the local wildlife. I got there just in time for a small group of zebra, a couple of springbok and the some giraffe followed by three elephants that hogged the waterhole for quite a long time, loved it !
As the sun set this small group of zebra wandered off, kicking up a small dust cloud as they went, such a magnificent sight.
Ibron baked me a beautiful piece of hake for dinner and it had been flavoured to perfection. After dinner I went back down to the watering hole to see if I could spot the black rhinoceros which is apparently due at the waterhole at 8:00 pm every night, and he was there on schedule, but very hard to photograph in the dark – lit only by some strong lights.
A great day, our first game drive, first time seeing some of the animals here and tomorrow promises to be awesome!
Photographing wildlife is hard ! I was using the 2x extender on my 70-200 mm lens and pretty much every shot is at the maximum focal length of 400mm. Hand holding a heavy Canon 5d mk1 with this lens steadily is not easy and shooting at slowish speeds due to the low light made for lots of not quite sharp images. The rhino was shot using a tripod though. I may try and set the tripod up in the truck when we go to another park.