It was our last morning in Etosha today. We were heading from Halali through the park heading West to Okaukuejo and then out through the Anderson gate. We were on the road by about 8am. We agreed to stop at the various waterholes on the way out (it is about 70kms to Okaukeujo from Halali) and at the first one we pulled in and what do we find but a pride of 6 lion lying at the waterhole. They looked fairly full like they had just eaten and the animals were coming to the waterhole to drink with a small degree of concern only. While watching the lions doing nothing we also managed to spot a few birds including another lifer (Ovambo Sparrowhawk) so that really did round it off. The next batch of waterholes didn’t yield much new but did have a lot of the standard zebra, springbok, wildebeest as per usual.
We then went to a further waterhole and what do we find there but another pride of lion lying on the ridge. They also went doing anything but sunning themselves and sleeping but once again we added a few more birds to the list while we watching the lions doing nothing. Then back onto the main road again and on the left we see an animal walking along which looked like a zebra. But lo and behold when we look through the binocs it turned out to be a lion masquerading as a zebra. And after further scanning we saw the beautiful male (aren’t all males beautiful?) walking about 100 meters behind the lioness. We reversed about 200 meters and since I was driving and not Michael, I got bored of that technique and turned the Beast around and followed the lions as they walked parallel to the road. We followed them until the lioness lay down under a tree and then we reckoned nothing more was going to happen quickly. So after having not seen any lions in Etosha we made 3 prides and 11 lions in total in about 2 hours. It put the cherry on the top of a great Etosha experience again. The Kgalagadi is left in the dust of Etosha.
We then had a 400 kms drive down to just outside Windhoek for tonight’s stay at River Crossing Lodge (www.rivercrossing.com.na/). It is a lodge set on hills just outside Windhoek. They say it is only 5 minutes away from Windhoek but actually it is 5 minutes from the turn and then you have to negotiate the severely rutted dirt road up the hill to get to the lodge. It is very picturesque and the sunset over the hills was once again photographed extensively by Helen who is now becoming a sunset photographer (almost exclusively). And the good thing is that they have Wifi in the lounge area so I can much more easily post the blog and upload some photos as well. Helen pointed out that she is a little suspicious of a place that gives you complimentary Doom in your bedroom though! It is one of those places we they are trying really hard but the small things let them down. Like it takes about 5 minutes for the hot water to arrive in the shower. They clearly pipe it all the way from Windhoek. And there is about a 2 inch gap on the top and bottom of the toilet door. And you either shower plastered against the wall or you flood the bathroom. And the wine list shows about 90% of the red wines as ‘Out’ and when you order one of the two remaining ones at dinner they tell you it is out too but the other ones actually aren’t ‘out’ anymore, they just have updated the wine list. But they are very pleasant and friendly and helpful and honest (even when they mess up). I am just hoping the aircon works in the room because it is getting pretty cold now.
And in case you’re wondering, bird list stands at 104 in total with 6 lifers so far.
Until tomorrow (I hope because we are again entering a no-cellphone, no wifi area for the next 2 nights so don’t panic if you don’t hear from us) ..
P, S (because he sat in front most of the day with me while everyone else was sleeping), M (because I am still remembering his reversing skills), H, C