I have skipped writing about the country of Botswana. Actually, I shouldn’t say I skipped it because I have the entire blog written and the photos picked out. Unfortunately that particular post is on my laptop that won’t turn on anymore. I think the poor thing got fried in the desert. Anyway, it’s in an African computer shop now and I’m praying that they can fix it. If they can, Botswana will be posted within the week. So, for now I give you …
Windhoek is the capital of Namibia (not just the name of a popular African beer) and that is where we stayed our first day upon entering this new country. As far as cities go it was nice. It’s very evident that things are getting more luxurious the farther south we travel.The highlight of the day was going out to dinner at a funky establishment where we tried eating a wide variety of animals we had ogled over on safari the past 30 days. I tried the Bushman’s Special which consisted of kudu, oryx, crocodile, zebra, and springbok. Kudu tasted like steak, the zebra was a gamey tasting beef (no white or dark meat). My favourite was the juicy and succulent oryx and the chewy tough crocodile didn’t even make it down my throat.
The next day we started driving into the desert towards Waterberg National Park. Once there we were excited to go to the pool but to our dismay the baboons had taken it over! This might sound cute but those things are vicious and the males are enormous. Their teeth are longer than those of a lion. We watched them for awhile contemplating our plan to get into the pool area. We could see another group of tourists trapped on a portion of the deck. Surrounded by baboons they had sticks in hand ready to fight; it looked like a scene from Planet of the Apes. Eventually after having a baboon run directly at our biggest human male we took the hint and left.
Not all was lost though, we went on an amazing hike up the Waterberg Plateau later that afternoon. The colours in the rocks were incredible and the view from the top into the flat desert land was a scene I could have stared at for hours.
The following day we headed to Etosha National Park which is approximately 24,000 square kilometres. We game drove into the park and stayed there for 2 nights. We saw the usual elephants, giraffes, zebras, kudu, springbok, and jackals. We also finally saw the last animal we needed to see to complete our sighting of “The Big Five,” – the Black Rhino!!!
There are White Rhinos and Black Rhinos. The funny thing is that they are both grey. The White Rhino was actually called, “wide rhino” because it’s lip is wider and more hooked than the other rhino. There was a miscommunication and someone thought it was named White Rhino, so when they discovered the other rhino they named it the opposite; Black Rhino.
Some other highlights we saw on safari were a giant male lion crossing the road in front of us, a rare spotting of a leopard up close, a dead elephant, and two male lions that were eating and wrestling over a springbok they had killed.
We spent our time in the evening at the watering hole. Basically there is a big pond of water with some floodlights shining on it and a fence cutting off the national park from the campsite. You can wander down to the watering hole and sit on a bench or lean against the fence and watch rhinos, giraffes, elephants, and lions come and go to drink from the watering hole. Everyone watches in silence. It’s like a giant movie theatre but way better! …. a great way to spend an evening.
Our last stop through Northern Namibia was Twyfelfontein which translates to Doubtful Fountain. In this area we strolled among 5000 year old rock engravings created by the San Bushmen. Some of the rock carvings were used as maps to show water sources, others were like chalkboards to teach the children what certain animal footprints looked like, and other pictures such as the human-lion were used for traditional ceremonies.
Our last night before heading to the opulence of Southern Namibia involved a desert walk to look for scorpions. Scorpions glow in the dark so we brought a black light but that was our only source of seeing. We only found one baby scorpion and one crazy-fast, big, white spider. What was way more entertaining was following people around with a little piece of grass and brushing it over their feet or up their legs to watch them jump or swat non-existent scorpions off themselves.
The next day we packed up our dusty tents and headed to a life of luxury waiting for us in Swakopmund!