Day 14: The Waterhole

The afternoon of Day 14 began and ended at “The Waterhole”. After arriving at Okaukuejo we headed straight into the restaurant for lunch. No surprises here … an all-you-can-eat buffet. The beef stew and impala steaks were delicious and were chased down with even better ice cream, fruit salad and Windhoek lager (not all in one bowl).

While we were all gorging ourselves on an unnecessarily large quantity of food and drink, Todd was out organising the check-in and picking up all our keys. What a champion. It makes sense now why his email is “toddtheguide”; because he is THE guide. Everything he organised went like clockwork. If he says we’re packing the vehicle at 6:15am, he’s there before 6am, fuelled up, tarp down for the luggage, and finished cleaning all the vehicle windows (and there are a lot!).

Keys in hand, we dumped our luggage in the room (another cool little cabin/chalet; all the accommodation has been good) and walked 20m down a path to the waterhole right behind the cabins. Most convenient!

To say there was wildlife at the waterhole would be quite an understatement. In the hour we had before the afternoon game drive there were:

Elephant (and zebra (and springbok if your eyes are good))…

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Some very skittish zebra (Clive gave me a heads up to keep the camera trained on them because they often get nervous and just bolt out of the water; sure enough, a couple of minutes later, they bolted)…

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Another shaft-tailed whydah (which I managed to get much closer to after noticing that was returning again and again to the same tree)…

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More springbok, and many, many more elephant!!

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Afternoon game drive:

We left Clive transfixed by the elephant herd at the waterhole to head back out into the national park for our third last game drive of the trip.

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It was getting harder and harder to find new things to see each time we went out. The highlights of the afternoon were:

Ground squirrels…
(This is definitely a female because the males all seem to have severe cases of elephantitus; I knew squirrels liked nuts but these guys are ridiculous. To get an idea of what the males look like just draw a line down the middle of that rock between her legs … there’s your male!)

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Jackals in good afternoon light…

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Another pale chanting goshawk…

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A lone bull elephant…

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Watching the full moon rise over the Etosha plains…

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And then some zebra coming to the party by timing their walk in front of the sunset to perfection…

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Waterhole at night:
Some memorable moments down at the waterhole on dusk…

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After dinner two of the Big 5 came together at the waterhole (apparently we missed some lions coming in to drink while we ate; you snooze – or stop to eat – you lose)…

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