Day 14: Across Etosha – Namutoni to Okaukuejo

A veritable smorgasbord of wildlife!

Left early this morning to drive to the western end of the Etosha pan where we’ll spend the next two nights at Okaukuejo. The bags were loaded into the vehicle by 6:15am, breakfast done and out the gate by 7am, then basically spent the entire morning on a waterhole-hopping game drive along the southern side of the Etosha pan.

The variety of wildlife seen along the way was astounding. Elephant, zebra, red hartebeest, ostrich, oryx, birds (Egyptian geese, starlings, rollers, hornbills, queleas, etc, etc), giraffe, lion, jackal, springbok, impala, and our first close-up look at a black rhino. Wait, why have I listed lion. Pretty sure we didn’t see a lion today. Everything else though is legit.

The black rhino sighting was a treat. These guys are rare; critically endangered. And this particular one looked like he’d been close to extinction himself. He was very battered and bruised. He had some horrible wounds on his neck and rump and walked very gingerly. [We found out the next day that he had recently been attacked by up to four lions, and survived, barely.] [While it’s certainly true that the black rhino is endangered – only around 5000 remain – what we saw the following night could have made you doubt it. It was a jaw-dropping scene, with a deafening silence only broken by awe-infused whispers and the sounds of the low-light abilities of camera gear being pushed to the limit.]

I’m struggling to choose a small enough selection of “best of” photos for this morning’s drive. I could almost just pick half a dozen random shots and they’d show plenty of wildlife.

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