Monday, October 18, 2010

NAMIBIA -Beauty and the Beasts- part 1

Todays post will be the first one in a series of posts on a wonderful trip we recently did to Namibia, formerly known before independence in 1990, as South-West Africa. It is one of the youngest countries in Africa and is the least populated country in the world with only 2.5 inhabitants per square km! No wonder, one can drive for hours without seeing anybody.

Sunset at Okonjima home of the Africat foundation
The first half of the photo adventure was mainly orientated on wildlife photography while the second half was concentrating more on landscape photography. Today will be talking wildlife!

Our two week trip started off in the Windhoek where we picked up a Nissan 4x4 equipped with a roof-top tent. The plan was to do about 50% camping and 50% overnights in lodges. Just 3 hours North of the capital we stopped for the night at the Okonjima lodge, home of the Africat foundation. 
Cheetah on a termite mount at Okonjima, Africat foundation
More on Okonjima and its beautiful Cheetahs on my Pic(k) of the week 40: Cheetah on the lookout blogpost earlier this week. 

The next morning we continued North-East towards the Waterberg National Park, an elevated plateau a few hundred meters above the Eastern Namibian plains of the Kalahari. 
Buffalo on the run at Waterberg
It is the only place in Namibia where one can find Buffalo, beside Rhino, Leopard, Elephant and Lion, one of the the Big 5 animals. And yes before you ask, we did see all of them and a lot more! We bumped into dozen of them drinking at one of the waterholes. One needs to be very careful approaching Buffalo since they are known to attack cars/people if they are pushed into a corner! Waterberg was one of the only places in Namibia where we had a guide showing us around. Unlike Etosha, individual cars are not allowed on the plateau.
After an excellent night sleep in our roof-top tent, we headed towards Etosha National Park, one of the world finest game reserves and a highlight of our trip... Etosha, meaning "great white place", is dominated by a salt pan 130 km by 50 km and outlines a total of 850 km all the way around. 
Elephant at Etosha-Namutoni
The white saline dust covering a lot of the park, acts as an excellent light reflector.

Pair of giraffes at Estosha Klein-Namutoni
Since it was coming to the end of the dry season and water was scarce, animals were mostly seen at or close to one of the many waterholes.

Zebra at Etosha Pan

We spend a total of three nights in Etosha, one in every of the three main camps, Namutoni, Halali and Okaukuejo.

Our second and third day in this wildlife paradise will be covered in part 2.
As of today, I've uploaded about 40% of the images. More will be added towards the end of this week. To view the Namibia images click here.

Click that shutter,

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