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  • Day182

    Etosha National Park Day One- Olifantrus

    March 15, 2020 in Namibia ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    And so, our final adventure of the tour. We've been excited about Etosha for a while, but reports have been varied about exactly how much wildlife it's possible to see during the wet season. One of the staff members at the car rental company told us that his safari guide friend didn't see so much as a warthog, so we might just be staring at bushes and trees the entire time. I guess we'll find out.

    Our first plan is to head west, to where the rhinos are supposed to congregate. There, there is a campsite where you can watch out over the waterhole, in case any animals come to drink. On the drive over (it is a vast park, so takes us most of the day), we are lucky enough to see hyenas (who we play a sort of peek-a-boo with), an elephant, and a giraffe drinking from a waterhole- legs dramatically splayed out. This is in addition to the huge amounts of springbok and zebra who stand around in large herds, often blocking the roads. We even spot a warthog. I suppose we should be in the safari guide business.

    We get to the campsite in the late afternoon. It is situated, somewhat morbidly, at an old Elephant culling station. Here, over 500 elephants were killed to control the population. A large metal frame still stands over the campsite, where the elephants would be hauled up after being killed, and all the meat would be extracted. The meat was then sold in small cans, reminiscent of spam or corned beef (complete with a cartoon elephant on the front).

    At the waterhole, we see a large bull elephant spraying itself with mud to cool itself down in the intense sun. Later, after tea, we return to the waterhole, hoping to spot rhinos. No luck for us on that front, though. The waterhole is deserted, and the only wildlife we encounter are bats that swoop through the seating area, flying directly in front of our faces. We call it a night.

    The next morning, heading back to the waterhole, one of the staff points out some rhino tracks. "There were rhinos here this morning". "Are they still here??" I desperately plead. "You missed them." I frantically check the horizon for any traces of rhino- perhaps they're still in the area? He shakes his head "You missed them".
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