Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Etosha Bound - Northern Namibia...

I loved Namibia. So far, we've traveled amongst the monstrous red dunes of the Namib Desert, been perplexed by the surreal trees of Dead vlei, watched the birds of Walvis Bay, and surveyed the seal covered coast of Cape Cross. Next on the itinerary, we drove to the crown jewel of Namibia, Etosha National Park, perhaps the best wildlife preserve in all of Africa.

Here is an excerpt from my journal (November 27, 2006):

We bid farewell to Swakopmund today to embark on the next phase of the journey of bleakness.

Back to the blast furnace called the interior of Namibia. Gone were the cool sea breezes of the Atlantic.

6 hours later, first driving through bleakness then climbing the winding roads of the Erongo mountains we arrived Okaukuejo Camp, located in the extreme western end of the Etosha pan, the first of three such clusters of chalets and camping spaces in the Etosha.

To our chagrine, as we approached the Park gates, we could see dark ominous clouds forming overhead. Before we knew it, the heavens above opened up and pounded us with rain.

To our dismay, the girl at the Park gates informed us that it had been raining for the better part of a week prior to our arrival.

In biological terms, rain in parks like Etosha (dry savannah biome) means animal dispersal. Normally, in dry season, wildlife cluster around the numerous natural and manmade waterholes scattered around the savannah.

As we checked into our campsite, suffice to say, we were anxious whether we would see many animals during our safaris because of the rain.

However, despite the weather, it was good to be back.

[Ed. note: I visited Etosha Park ten years ago.]

View Larger Map
Map marks the location of Okaukuejo Rest Camp, Etosha National Park. Directly to the north (and east) the massive dry lake bed called Etosha Pan.

No comments: