Namibia – you ANIMAL!

I know you’ve been waiting for this for a while now, since landscapes are nice and all but probably not what you first think of when hearing „Namibia“!

So animals is what this post will be about.

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When you first head into the most famous of Namibian national parks – Etosha – you’re allowed in through the gates after signing in. And if you’re really lucky, the first pride of lions camps just a few hundred meters down the road.

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Tired, after what was presumably a full night of hunting, they were still out and about but moving slowly toward shelter from the harsh sun and daytime temperatures.

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One of the most common animals crossed our path just before we arrived at the Okaukuejo camp: the springbok. Unbelievably, by the end of your stay in the park you become almost blasé about seeing springbok and the like.

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Okaukuejo is a huge camp with all amenities and its prime point of interest is the floodlit watering hole just outside the bounds.

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Water is the area’s most valuable resource, so all the animals congregate on the watering holes at some point to drink and wade in. So all the tourists have to do is sit and wait for animals to come to them!

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The interaction between elephants, giraffes, zebras, gnus and the like are quite something!

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The watering hole is surrounded on two sides by a small stone wall and some wire fencing set at an angle to deter animals from turning tables on the tourists and visiting them. None of these should stop an elephant, a lion or even hyenae, but apparently there’s an unwritten code of conduct that allows dozens of humans to stand and sit around, mere 50-100m from the watering hole and not draw the attention of irate or hungry animals.

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We even got lucky and saw a large herd of elephants come toward the watering hole.

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At night, the floodlights are turned on and you can spot nocturnal animals coming in. Photographing at night, even with floodlights, is quite tricky, so this one Rhino will have to do.

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The watering hole alone is worth a visit, even if you shy away from large groups of tourists! True, the food and service are nothing special, but the waterhole huts (pricey, but so worth it!) and just spending hours after hours sitting on benches, watching the watering hole and the animals moving in and out and interacting… great stuff.

Waking up in the middle of the night from a lion’s roar just a few hundred meters away at the watering hole was the most adrenalin-pumping moment of our stay.