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Posts Tagged 'etosha national park'

Cape Town to Vic Falls Overlanding Africa Travel Diary Part 5

Friday, April 8th, 2011
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The Overland truck treks up through Etosha and into Botswana, wildlife is more plentiful and truck life is becoming second nature on Tamzyn's 21 day Cape Town to Vic Falls overland trip.

Day 13: Etosha

It’s a quick drive to the Namutoni gate of the Etosha National Park and within minutes we are surrounded by hoards of game. Centered around the shimmering silver pan, the Etosha National Park covers over 22 000 sq kilometers and is home to the Big 5, as well as a number of rare and endangered species (including the Black Rhino).

Zebra Crossing Etosha Game Park

We are all bouncing around the truck madly pointing out the fascinating game as we drive past journeys of Giraffe, herds of Zebra, plenty of Wildebeest as well as tons of the McDonald’s of the African plains (Impala). We are even lucky enough to chance a sighting of the elusive Leopard, which walks straight out of the bush past our Overlanding Truck and off down the road. Awesome! 

Leopard Etosha Pan Game Park

A herd of Buffalo visits the floodlit watering hole at our campsite. We watch them quietly drink from the pool before it starts to rain and we dart past the jackals scampering around and into the cover of our tents.

Day 14: Rundu

Swim for Your Lives We wake up with a swimming start, our tent having been transformed into a watering hole in last night’s downpour. Still we weren’t as bad off as some of the other overlanders who spent the night on the truck after being rained out of their tents!

Overland camping not always luxury

Off to Rundu

After a seven hour drive, some of us choosing to pass the time with a little help from Uncle Bells, we arrive at Rundu on Namibia’s shared Angolan border and not far from where we will cross the border into Botswana. As we are driving, the landscape changes dramatically around us, from grassy golds to lush greens whilst Nguni cattle line the streets and people dressed in dark coloured prints appear along the roadside. We knew we were getting close to the Botswana border! We set up camp on the banks of the Kavango River and although there are supposed to be some monster crocs and hippo’s around we don’t manage to spot any.

Rundu crocodiles

Instead we enjoy our drinks whilst looking out from the deck overhanging the river and listen to the chorus of reed frogs and the engine of the sunset cruise boat as it chugs by.

Day 15: Maun

Hippo Hollers

We heard a hippo on the banks near our campsite last night whilst we were lying in our tents. Woo-hoo, I wouldn’t trade that sound for the world! Botswana Baby, Yeah! A quick trip and we cross the border into Botswana. The roads are long and flat reaching out into the horizon. We drive past herds of livestock running across the road every 100 metres. Tons of goats, sheep and cattle and they aren’t afraid of our overlanding truck. The surrounding bush is thick, lush and green with ominous rain clouds gathering like grey candy-floss across the sky. Maun We arrive at the Sitatunga Campsite, the base for our Okavango Delta Mokoro trip, and unpack before heading off into the town of Maun to browse the local markets for the afternoon.

Sitatunga Campsite outside the Okavango Delta

Maun is the fifth largest town in Botswana, although standing in the middle of the main street you can see from one end of the town to the other. I found some killer hot and spicy chilies at the vendor market, as well as some cool looking safari hats! We spend the rest of the night dreaming about what the Okavango Delta had in store for us on this dream vacation. TIA (This is Africa) and I am enjoying the hell out of it. Can’t wait for the Delta!

Stay tuned for the next entry from Tamzyn's Overland Diary.
For information about Overlanding in Africa or to find out more about this trip, contact the team at OverlandingAfrica.com.

Subscribe by email Now you can get our latest posts delivered to your inbox as they go live!

Tags: africa-budget-travel, africa-overland-trips, botswana, etosha-national-park, maun, namibia, namutoni, okavango-delta, okavango-mokoro-trip


Cape Town to Vic Falls Overlanding Africa Travel Diary Part 4

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011
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Approaching the half way mark in her 21 day Cape Town to Vic Falls overland trip, Tamzyn's affection for the Namib Desert, the creatures that inhabit it, and her overland truck, grows.

Day 10: Spitzkoppe

We spent our final morning in Swakopmund walking through enchanting streets, visiting the market squares, soaking up the German-styled architecture and crashing seashore views of the paved palm tree promenade. I gulped down a piping hot cup of local coffee from one of the many quaint coffee shops whilst looking out at the fog-covered pier and saying goodbye to Swakopmund.

Mars Landing in Namibia

Spitzkoppe Mountain Ranges

After a winding, scenic five-hour drive through the Namib Desert, our Overland truck arrived at the Spitzkoppe community campsite to explore the towering granite peaks and crazy rock formations of Africa’s Matterhorn. We set up our campsite and then hiked off on a guided expedition through the mind-blowing beauty of Spizkoppe’s striking 700 million year-old peaks; the lunar ridges rising up out of the barren flat desert landscape giving me a sense of alien perspective.

Hike up the Kopje at Spitzkoppe

James, our local tour guide, showed us the fascinating San rock paintings and told us about the rich history of the Bushman, how to use the plants to survive off the land and taught us a few choice Damara phrases and games. We climbed the kopje behind our campsite and watched the changing light and sunset colours dance across the sky.

Dancing with the Stars

Sunset at Spitzkoppe Campsite

We then returned to camp for another punch night, carried on the back of songs while we watched the energetic dancing of a local entertainment group performing around our roaring fire.

Bush Camping

After dinner we climbed the kopje again to spend our night under the clear canopy of stars, drinking in the fresh African air. This is why I came Overlanding! We settled in for the night, blessed with expansive views across the bush and out toward the towering peaks in the distance. The absolute stillness of the night tricked us into believing we’d found solitude, that is until the rumble of a snore rattled the still bushveld air and brought us back to the present. (Handy Tip: If you are planning to sleep outside in your sleeping bag, strip down to your undies. It actually keeps you warmer. Huh, who knew?)

Day 11: Otjitotongwe Cheetah Park

There is something so magical about waking up on the mountainside to a sunrise. We heard a noise in the middle of the night which sounded like a growl and Johan swore he saw an ominous shape, turns out it was probably a donkey!!

Cheetahs, Cheetahs and more Cheetahs

Arriving at the Otjitotongwe Cheetah Park we got our pictures taken with the three (sort of) tame cheetahs before driving into their main camp of ‘wild’ cheetahs for frenzied feeding time.

Otjitotongwe Cheetah Park

It was chaos as donkey meat went flying and we watched the cheetahs battle each other for the biggest pieces. We got some amazing photographs though! My heart melted for the cheetah that is blind in one eye, but still fierce and giving it horns. The park has seventeen wild cheetah, three tameish cheetahs and a fearless fox terrier (Voksie) who commands the lot. Otjitotongwe Cheetah Park was started when Tollie, a cattle farmer with a pesky cheetah problem caught a pregnant cheetah. The litter brought in tourists and they decided to convert the farm into a cheetah conservation project.

Cheetahs Fighting Otjitotongwe Cheetah Park Namibia

Licking Warthog B**ls

We beat it back to the campsite bar for a cold Namibian beer and some well deserved games of pool. The losers had to lick the stuffed pair of warthog balls hanging on the wall, though this wasn’t nearly as demanding a forfeit offered by the stuffed bull-elephant’s fifth leg.

Day 12: Australia Day

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie

Australia Day in Namibia

We celebrated Aussie Day today with an Aussie style breakfast of vegemite on toast!!! We all got into the spirit covering ourselves in flags, bandana’s and tattoos of the Aussie flag before bundling back onto the truck and bounding down the rocky Namibian roads. We arrived, hot and dusty, at the Etosha Safari Lodge just outside of the Etosha National Park and all dove straight in to the cool pool where we spent the rest of our afternoon chilled with cold beers, glorious sun and good books. That night we made Dampa (Stokbrood - 'Stick Bread') round the braai. Recipe:

  • Flour
  • Water
  • Salt

You wrap it round a stick, cook it in the open fire and then enjoy with cheese, syrup or honey. YUM! We all almost took off running when we mistook someone snoring for a roaring Lion, and then we decided to film it for laughs tomorrow. Life on safari, is there anything better? Stay tuned for the next excerpt from Tamzyn's Overland Diary.

[Read part 5 here]

For information about overlanding in Africa or to find out more about this trip, contact the team at OverlandingAfrica.com

Subscribe by email Now you can get our latest posts delivered to your inbox as they go live!

Tags: africa-adventure-travel, africa-budget-travel, africa-overland-trips, etosha-national-park, namib-desert, namibia, spitzkoppe