Namibia, April 2016  -  p 4 of 4

 

 

Another waterhole hotspot in Etosha is Gemsbokvlatke, south of the camp (vlatke means "plains" or "flats" in Afrikaans).  Among the birds hanging around there was Abdim's Stork, shown here.

 

 

Abdim's Stork.jpg (388725 bytes)

rhino.jpg (445984 bytes) A Black Rhino, our only one of the trip, came to drink here. 
9 Apr 2016

Back at Gemsbokvlatke the next morning, we find the local pride of seven lions who've come to drink.  Like frisky housecats, there's always some horseplay going on among them. 

 Two-lions-playing.jpg (690546 bytes)

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Lion-&-zebras.jpg (741476 bytes)

 

Considering how lions treat zebras, you'd expect the sight of a lion to send the entire herd high-tailing it over the horizon.  

But we've seen this before - the prey animal will keep a wary eye on the predator, but will continue to graze nearby.

A grazing animal that prefers woodlands to plains is Black-faced Impala.  The males, like most animals with horns, spend a lot of time pushing each other around with their heads. Black-faced-Gazelles.jpg (488563 bytes)

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Egyptian-Goose.jpg (299087 bytes)

 

I photographed this Egyptian Goose just because it had some nice color in the late afternoon light.
How could anything harm a springbok, the epitome of Cuteness?  For starters, lions, cheetahs, leopards, not to mention hyenas and even jackals in the case of the youngsters.   

springbok-male.jpg (310412 bytes)

 

INamib-desert.jpg (246106 bytes) 12 Apr 2016 - into the desert

Two days ago we drove from Etosha back to Windhoek, staying at an elegant guesthouse called The Elegant Guesthouse - at the corner of von Eckenbrecher and Ziegler Streets (the first colonists here were German).

Then yesterday we carried on south into the Namib Desert, the last 120 km on progressively worse gravel roads to Wolwedans Dune Camp.

There's an airstrip here, which partly explains why, in this remote desert, we can enjoy candle-lit dinners complete with wine and gourmet cuisine.

Our chalet, from which this photo was taken, has canvas walls that can be unzipped and rolled up.  Save for the roof, you are sleeping outdoors, with cool night breezes to help you sleep.

There is game here - at least gemsbok, the true desert antelope of southern Africa.  If need be, gemsbok can get all their water solely from the grasses on which they graze.  They do not perspire until their bodies begin to overheat, at which point the do so profusely. 

But I wanted to come here for what one sees at night:   the Southern Hemisphere sky.  Through 15x70mm binoculars I've viewed the Large Magellanic Cloud, Small Magellanic Cloud, Omega Centauri, the Eta Carina Nebula.  And best of all, the MIlky Way - here bright clouds of stars that stretch from horizon to horizon..

Gemsbok-two.jpg (658151 bytes)

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