Okaukuejo and Namutoni Restcamps in Etosha National Park, Namibia


Etosha National Park covers over 12,500 square miles and is an immense, saline desert. Some describe it as the best game reserve on the African continent and is a definite highlight of any trip to Namibia. The terrain ranges from dense bush to large open plains. In the center is a vast saltpan, Etosha Pan, formed some 12 million years ago from an island lake. It is now a dried-up depression in the ground surrounded by grass and thorn savannah.

Almost every animal is represented in this huge nature reserve. Lions, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, wildebeest and springbok (the most numerous species in Etosha – at least 20,000). There are three restcamps, Okaukaejo, Halali and Namutoni. The group would spend one night at Okaukuejo, near the main entrance (Andersson Gate) to the park before heading to Namutoni for two nights.

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welcome to Etosha National Park, Namibia

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different routes through Etosha National Park, Namibia

Right outside the Andersson Gate was a buying opportunity for some of the group, brightly carved birds artistically hanging from wires. Up to now, shopping opportunities had been few and far between which was surprising.

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carved birds for sale inside Etosha National Park, Namibia

Signed in to the park and driving in on the restricted roads were some of the 20,000 Springbok crossing a small stream….

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surreal Springbok crossing a stream in Etosha National Park, Namibia

…and a little further on, a freshly killed zebra…(actually, the guide spotted the zebra – they have eyes like a hawk)…very close to the road…

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lion’s kill in Etosha National Park, Namibia
 

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zebra with its “terminator” hiding in the grass, guarding kill, Namibia

…and the male lion waiting in the grass, guarding his kill…

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male lion in Etosha keeping eye on its kill, Namibia

This was a very unusual sighting. Male lions are notoriously lazy and usually depend on the female to bring down prey. During the three days in Etosha, we never saw any females or cubs, only two males. Our other game sightings were only Springbok, Giraffes and Zebras – no Rhinos or Wildebeest.

Namutoni Resort was located at the eastern entrance (Von Lindequist Gate) of Etosha, centered around an old German fort built before the turn of the century and converted into tourist accommodations in the late ’50′s. Namutoni also had a floodlit waterhole next to the fort for game viewing at night but there were no spectacular game sightings.

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Etosha giraffe, Namibia

However, it would be difficult not to love those personable giraffes, heads sticking up out of the trees and bushes…

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long-lashed giraffe in Etosha National Park, Namibia

…long lashes, gorgeous markings and knobby knees…I love watching them…

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