Sunday, April 12, 2015

Etosha National Park

Marabou Stork

Kori Bustard. The largest flying bird native to Africa.

Lilac-breasted Roller

Joel's report:

Last week the MV Explorer stopped in Walvis Bay, Namibia for five days. To reduce the amount of time you have to read my atrocious writing I will leave day one up to my Father and only write about our most excellent safari on days 2-5. 

Day 2: To fully give you an idea of what happens you will need some background information. Onboard the MV Explorer in the morning that you would like laundry done you sort it and put it in bags in the hall for the cabin steward to collect. Typically the laundry is returned the next day and all is right with the world. We needed laundry done for our safari so we put it out so that it would come back the day we left, but it didn’t. This posed many issued considering that my dearest brother, will only wear three different outfits. Eventually we had to get our not yet washed laundry back so that will would have clothes. I don’t really know why I told you about this whole saga other that the fact that you might find it slightly amusing and I’m writing this as a homeschool assignment and I want to take up more time. So anyway the rest of the day we drove and drove and drove to Moukuti Lodge roughly a kilometer outside Etosha National Park. All this driving included a 2 and a half hour detour around a truck that had jackknifed and was blocking the road. We got to the lodge at ten o’clock pm.

Day 3: We entered the park with our guide Hazel and our driver Rasta (from the Czech Republic) and 10 students. Within five minutes we saw giraffes which was very exciting. I had assumed that it would be difficult to see animals but we were constantly seeing Zebras, Wildebeests, Springbok, Kudus, Dik Diks, and many others animals including a lot of fancy birds. I’m counting on my Dad to use his record of all the animals that we saw to fill you in all of the birds and the interesting facts that Hazel told him. Hazel did a quick survey to see which animal we would like to see the most and the majority vote were lions. We then drove to a water hole where lions had been spotted. We didn’t see lions but we did see 4 Elephants. They were massive and had huge ears. It was so cool! We also saw three Hyenas walking and it was at that moment that I realized that the Lion king could be real! On our way out of the park was the greatest animal siting of the day. We were looking at more giraffes because giraffes are phenomenal animals when Hazel got a call from the guide of the other bus telling us to hurry down the road. Rasta put the pedal to the metal and soon we saw a black rhino. Black rhinos are being poached for their horns and are greatly endangered. I felt very privileged to have been able to view this majestic beast.

Day 4: We left at a bright and early 7 AM. We had hoped that animals would be more active in the morning but the only new animals we saw were some legit warthogs. Unfortunately Etosha National Park does not have any Meerkats which almost ruined the whole Lion King vibe. We returned to the lodge and ate lunch and then decided to go on the optional afternoon safari. Hazel had decided that because we had seen neither lions, cheetahs or leopards that this would be a cat hunt. The concentration of lion sightings in the park had been around the waterhole where we had seen elephants and another waterhole about 5 miles away by my Mom’s estimate. The students on our bus even set up a system of watching to maximize our chances of a siting. We waited at one water hole with no success whatsoever, so we started to the next waterhole. So there we are driving down the road looking for lions and then we see a bunch of cars slowly crawling. As we approached the group of cars before any of us could see an animal Hazel tells us “it’s a lion,” and it was! It was a lone teenage male who was on his own probably on his way to the waterhole we were going to. We watched him stalk through the brush for another fifteen minutes and by then we knew he was going to the waterhole so we drove there to wait. Sure enough soon we see our lion come out of the bush marking his territory and sniffing the air as he goes. The lion walks up to the water hole, takes a drink, growls, and sits down. Hazel thought he was waiting for his pride but tragically the park closed at sunset which was pretty soon. Rasta sped down the road and we made it out of the park with five minutes to spare. The lion was one of the coolest things I have ever seen and I’m so glad I had an opportunity to see one in the wild. 

Day 5: We drove back to the ship. 


Black-faced Impala

Gemsbok (Oryx Gazella)


Etosha Pan

The small Damara Dik Dik which is endemic to only Namibia.

Spotted hyena

A rare black rhinoceros.

 Grey go-away bird.


 Blue Wildebeest

more photos added later:


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