On the ninth day we went for a second time to Etosha national park, after a breakfast just as exquisite as the dinner at our accommodation we left to continue our way through the park. Re-entering through the Anderson gate at sunrise hoping to spot as much animals as we could at the crack of dawn. Right away after we passed through Okaukuejo camp we got lucky by seeing a hyena on the sight of the road. Now looking back on our trip through Etosha that hyena made the most impression on me. Of course, I mean, I was already stunned at the sight of elephants and giraffes, massive animals that they are. But such animals can be spotted at the zoo, in children’s books, postcards. Not saying that any of those things come close to seeing them in the wild. But a hyena, I had never seen I hyena before, sure like on the Lion King depicted as awful creatures, or maybe they popped by on an image somewhere. But in real life, I was so impressed by that single hyena I saw standing on the sight of the road, half bear- half dog like. After we spotted the hyena, we continued our way from water hole to waterhole, honestly not spotting much more then zebra’s. Until at a certain point a congestion of cars appeared, and being a wild park, if there are a lot of cars there is something special to spot. And yes there was, a rhino was hiding in the bushes just on the side of the road, 2 out of the big 5, check. After the rhino we went to our last waterhole, we made our way back to Okaukuejo camp for some lunch. The lunch was not that great, besides Okaukuejo being overcrowded the food was also real bad. We paid about double the price we would pay at any other buffet in Namibia, and there was only choice out blank white rice, potatoes and salad. I mean, again I have nothing to complain Namibian buffets had been great so far, but it was just a bit of a disappointment. After lunch we went to the small museum at the camp, and after that we went back to our accommodation. Where again we chilled at the pool, and of course I had to go for a hike again. I hiked past the viewing point I had been the day before and walked up to a small hideout. The hideout was great besides a small family of warthogs, there were hundreds upon hundreds of small birds. They were flying around in big flocks stopping at different trees, the only sound you could hear was all our their tiny wings flapping in the air, it was truly wonderful. We stayed in the hideout for a while watching all the birds, when we walked back I started getting dark so we went to the bar for a bit and after that we had delicious dinner again.
Day 10 was going to be our third day in the park, once more we drove through the Anderson gate. Making our way to our next destination Halili Camp. Yet again we drove from waterhole to waterhole, spotting plenty of animals, slowly the once majestic giraffes and elephants grew to be like cows in the field. I was still fine with driving around and seeing all the different animals, but my fellow travellers were a bit sick of siting in the car all day. Since you can’t exit the car because of dangerous animals. You could only exit at rest stops, which I still find a bit strange, because why wouldn’t there be dangerous animals at rest stops. But anyway the mood was a bit down that day. We were almost at our last stop, when we saw number 3 out of 5. At a waterhole we didn’t wanted to stop at first, we spotted some female lions. Of course the whole places was crowded with cars, but we still had a front row seat at a female lion drinking from the waterhole. I must say it was pretty cool and fortunately it brought the vacation spirit back in our car. After that waterhole we went to our accommodation in Halili Camp. Again it was a bit overcrowded, but what did I expect when it was high-season and one of the major accommodations in the park. They however had a beautiful waterhole where is spent my afternoon reading, since hiking wasn’t an option. In the evening we had dinner at the camp, which wasn’t that great, but at least better than in Okaukuejo. After dinner we went the waterhole at the camp, like all the camp guests. Because it was dark just after sundown it was the best place to spot animals. The main act were three rhinos, walking around the whole evening quarreling with each other. Besides that also some hyena’s came to the waterhole (yay). And later that evening a whole herd of elephants appeared, small ones, big ones, pretty majestic.
Day 11 was our last day in the park, we mostly just drove pretty quick through it. Still spotting some lions, also a male one this time. And once more we spotted a big herd of elephants, this time in day light so that was very fortunate. We arrived rather early at our next accommodation which I found to be quite a shame, since around the place, there wasn’t much to do. It was still a great place, with a lovely dinner.
Since we kind off had wasted the day before, this day we decides to do some classical sightseeing again. So we visited the Hoba-meteorite, it was a fun visit, but at the end of the day it was just a massive rock that didn’t feel like much special. After our visit to the meteorite we went to the city of Otjiwarongo, where we first had some lunch and some drinks, and afterwards we visited the famous crocodile farm it the city. I had never been on a crocodile farm before, so it was a nice experience. It was especially great to get some information about the Nile crocodile, their history and such. It was a fun visit but wouldn’t necessarily recommend. Afterwards we went to our accommodation, gorgeous lodges in the middle of nowhere, with a great restaurant.
On the thirteenth I was literally stoked because we had planned to visit the Cheetah Conservation Fund. The Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is a non-profit organization that basically, well the name already says it, helps with the conservation of cheetahs in Namibia. Since Namibia has the highest population of the cheetahs in Africa, and they are endangered by farm life and bigger cats . At the fund we booked a tour to drive around on the plot, visiting the cheetahs that couldn’t be released in to the wild anymore, and we also visited a new project they have been working on with dogs. It made up for a pretty fun morning activity, and I loved seeing cheetahs up close like that, and of course the money you spend goes to a good cause so that was also pretty nice. In the afternoon we drove to the Waterberg Plateau park. In the park itself we had some lunch, and after that we went for a hike up to the plateau. It was marked as an “easy hike” but it literally felt more like rock climbing. Nonetheless it was an amazing hike, albeit a rough one. Right at the start of it we saw a dikdiks in the grass, the cutest and perhaps silliest animal ever. A dikdiks is the smallest antelope if I remember correctly but to me it looked more like a big rabbit than an antelope. Along the hike we also saw some babboons in the distance but we didn’t spot any wildlife besides that. The hike itself was truly gorgeous, and the view at the end of it was also totally worth it. The hike back was even worse than going up we accidentally went on a steeper path down, then the original hiking route. But still, I love me some hiking, so totally worth it. Afterwards we exited the park, and we went back to our accommodation. After dinner we played some cards and then we made our way to bed.
On the 14th day, sadly enough we had to make our way back to Windhoek, since we were going to leave the day after. We left our beautiful accommodation, and we went for a last morning activity. Since the CCF was such a success the day before, we decided that we also wanted to visit Africat which is another non-profit conservation organization, they not only help with the conservation of cheetahs, but also support lions, leopards an wild dogs in Namibia. Again we went on a small tour, to different cheetahs enclosures. And they showed us their healthcare facilities and they gave us a small tour through a museum. After the tour we ate some lunch at Africat, and we got back on the road again to go to Windhoek. We arrived at the end of the afternoon in Windhoek, we packed all our stuff and with we went for a last meal. We wanted to go back to Joe’s beer hut from the first evening but unfortunately it was fully booked, so we ended up at an Italian restaurant.
Our last day was basically just waking up, eating our last Namibian breakfast, and making our way to the airport. I had quite a hard time saying goodbye to this beautiful country, I had truly I blast travelling around in it, and I hope to visit it once more in the future.
-Until next time-