We planned a shorter day out yesterday. We found that six hours sitting in the vehicle was too long, and unless you go to one of the fenced washrooms, you do not get out of your vehicle. We ended up doing the loop around Fisher's Pan, 57 kms (35 miles) in four and a half hours.
You have to plan well because outhouses are few and far between. So don't drink too much before heading out! And remember to have snacks and water in the cab of your vehicle and not in the box or the trunk.
You don't have to drive far outside the camp gate to see wildlife. In fact giraffes are really common as soon as you exit the gate. Sometimes you can even see them through the fence from the campground itself!
We bought a small book at the camp store N$37.50 ($4.05) that shows a lot of the animals and birds. That way we can try and identify them for you. Still, we have found a couple that we weren't sure about. So when we label a picture, be sure and tell us if we're wrong!
This is a kori bustard. They are fairly big, about 24" tall, with a thick neck.
We had only left the campground around 8:15am and shortly after we had pulled onto the first part of the loop. We try and keep our eyes peeled out only one side of the vehicle each. And we drive slowly, rarely making it out of second gear. Sometimes, you stop and backup because you "think" you saw something. And it turns out to be a broken log or a tree branch, or a pile of giraffe poop!
And so only twenty minutes into our day, I stopped and backed up. Asked Ruth for the binoculars, and sure enough...another cheetah! It was lying down, so really hard to see. I'm not even sure how I did see it.
What does Kevin see? Oh, by the way...he loves his Tilley hat!
Can you spot the cheetah? He is lying on the ground to the left of the largest tree on the right. Can't see it?
There it is! Of course it is a little easier to spot when it lefts it's head to look around.
If you're going to stop for any longer than a minute, it is worthwhile to open your windows and shut the engine off. We sat fr about a half an hour watching this cheetah. As we sat, three other tourist vehicles drove by at separate times. Each one slowed, had a quick look, and continued driving! I mean, you come here to Etosha for this exact reason...to see a cheetah. And then they drove right by one! We don't understand people.
So of course the lesson here is...if you see a vehicle stopped by the side of the road, there is probably a reason! Sit and watch with them for a while. Shut your air conditioning and your engine off and enjoy the sounds of nature.
Eventually, our subject sat up.
And wandered behind the tree and lay down again.
As I said yesterday, many people come to Etosha and never see a cheetah. So we are very lucky! Having said that, we haven't seen a lion yet, nor a rhino. And we didn't see any elephants yesterday, so it's easy to understand that if you only have a couple of days in the park you may not see everything you had hoped to. That's one of the reasons we planned six nights here!
This is a steenbok. What big ears they have!
Finally got a shot of a blue wildebeest. Lion food!
Cutting things a little short this morning because we have a long drive to the opposite side of the park. See you at Okaukuejo campground!