After a good buffet lunch followed by a rest and a visit to the snake park on the Makuti premises, it was time for the afternoon game drive. Now it was warm and more enjoyable. In Anna's jeep there were the four of us and the brothers Bob and Kevin. We had a great time, and asked a lot of questions.
The guides communicate their sightings to all the other drivers by walkie-talkie, and so, all of a sudden Anna changed direction and drove full speed to find Number 1. We didn't know yet what was Number 1, we soon found out it means lions. And there they were, three lionesses very near the road, one was the mother and she had a sore paw and was limping, the other two her daughters. They completely ignored our presence. They were licking and grooming themselves before sinking away and disappearing into the grass. This experience is nothing like seeing a lion in a zoo. Here all the power of their muscles, the liquid movement of their stride and just the whole body language of these magnificent predators came to the fore.
Next came a call for Nr 5, that meant Rhino! When we got to the place, the rhino was not very far but hidden in the bush, you could only see his back. It was a black rhino, they forage the leaves of bushes but they don't graze as the white rhino does. Also they have a pointy mouth compared to the wide mouth which gives the white rhino its name (“wide”). We couldn't really see all that, Bob got very anxious to actually see for himself the pointy mouth! Anyway, so the other jeeps left the scene, but Anna said "let's wait a bit, I think he is going to cross the road to get to the puddle on the other side". Well she was right and we witnessed a fabulous spectacle! He splashed into the puddle, rolled over, jumped around, galloped a few paces, rolled in the mud again and then he walked over to a rock which was just the right height to fit under his belly, and scratched himself rocking to and fro. Wow, and all this about 15 m from the car. We have visited Kruger twice as well as other reserves in South Africa, but we never got to see a full rhino, they were always hidden in the bush. So we really appreciated this display of rhino behaviour.
Because of the time spent watching the rhino we only saw the last bit of an elephant family that had also delighted the spectators, but that was a good trade-off.
Of course those "big" game steal the show, but all the other animals are just as delightful. There was a very cute jackal, some warthogs, one with impressive massive defenses. They are not pretty, but they have a great attitude and with their tails straight up I find them really funny. There where the lovely zebras, the elegant antilopes and the the not so elegant wildebeests (gnus) plus all the birds and ducks.
The supper was as pleasant as yesterday's, followed with quality time at the bar. We are starting to be a bit sad as this is the last day of Etosha, tomorrow we are on the return journey and that's never quite the same.
|Safari ride in the morning, 141km|
|Google Earth view of our safari rides|
|Rather cold at 6:20 AM|
|Our guide Anna|
|At 6:40 AM we're at the gate|
|Elephant shaking a palm tree by pulling it...|
|... and pushing it!|
|Cheetah, almost invisible|
|Here's the cheetah|
|Kori bustard family|
|The zebra has right of way|
|Word went around for Number 1|
|Not bothered by all the spectators|
|Back to the lodge for lunch|
|Safari ride in the afternoon, 72km|
|Trio of giraffes|
|Lourie bird (Go-away bird)|
|Quite a family|
|Look at the crowd for No. 5... A black Rhino.|
|These horns are worth $500k in the black market|
|He decides to cross the road|
|Hey! a mud puddle|
|I love it!|
|Rub a dum dum|
|5 PM. Heading back to the lodge,|
|Mother and baby Rhino|
|Just before leaving the park. One last giraffe|
|Snake park at the Lodge|