Another early morning and off to Etosha again. We leave our lodge to spend the next 2 nights inside the park. Today we’re exploring the Halali area on our way to the other side where our accommodation at Namutoni awaits us.
It’s a slow drive through the gate this morning as they are taking full name/address etc details of every person entering. Not far inside the gate we spot our first animals – some elephants to the side.
We strike out at most waterholes this morning and have much more luck spotting animals on the road. We drive through Homob, Sdo Salvadora, Charitraub and Rietfonten where we see some giraffe on the side of the road.
There’s a vehicle stopped up ahead so we come up behind and there she is – a lioness having a snooze in the grass. She’s totally unfazed by it all…looking up now and then and going back to sleep.
As we head for Halili John spots some movement to the right – it’s a Rhino. We do a quick U-turn and position ourselves in the Rhinos path but where we think he’d go just behind us. In the sun he looks like a lump of concrete with legs. Slowly he approaches and another car stops behind us. He stops for awhile so we turn off our engine to encourage him closure. He starts moving again and as he starts to get closer I switch cameras and say to John “So you ready with the car incase he charges?”. He’s quite close now but towards the back of us so it’s quite awkward to take photos from my window. He stops. One step forwards. Stops. Then a charge towards the car. Both vehicles start and take off in a hurry. The car behind us is now beside us with the lady in the passenger seat and her kid talking to us out the window with their eyes bugging out of their heads. So achievement unlocked – we got charged by a Rhino. Well….technically it was the other car that was blocking its way and it was really aiming for them but hey…it was definitely enough to get the heart started.
We wait for him to clear the road and turn around and continue on. Not far past there are a herd of zebra crossing the road. Can’t help ourselves but to get a photo of “Zebra Crossing”.
We continue on and hit the junction to the pan lookout – in all the excitement of the Rhino and the Zebra crossing we missed the turnoff to the camp. We pop to the lookout where you drive way out onto the pan. It is so flat and dead – once you’re there all you can see is flat, dead sand and sky in every direction as far as you can see.
Then we head to Halili for lunch via Nuanses and Hello.
I drive for the afternoon and head off to Goas and Noniams. There’s a herd of elephants here. I pull up for John to take a few pics and then they start to move…towards us. I’m thinking I should shift forward a bit as they’re headed straight for the car. Then in front of us part of the herd has picked up the pace and is ahead of us. I’m about to get boxed in…time to chuck a U’y. The guy in front has a similar idea so we turn around and go back around the ring road and watch the car chaos from a distance. People waiting too long to get out of the way and there’s a tangle of cars and elephants. We’re sitting sweet waiting for a car to get rolled or something but luckily there’s not grumpy elephants today and they get chased into the bush by the cars.
There’s another car stopped ahead so we come up behind it. There’s a pile of impala to the left…pfft…why stop for that! Then I look to my right and there’s a giant elephant moving at speed towards my door! Into reverse and a quick little trip back down the road to let it past.
We drive past Springbokfontien and Batia with no animals so we head to Nantoni.
Outside camp there are a few cars pulled over and on the left we spot him – another Rhino. So we pull over and turn the car slightly so John can shoot out the window easily at him. He keeps on … across the road and past the cars – a Rhino on a mission.
We make it to camp, check in and book a table for dinner and go for a bit of an explore. Outside or cabin there’s a pile of Mongoose who look a little too friendly.
We wander up to the fort tower where you can see for miles in every direction. As it approaches sunset you can see the stream of cars coming into camp before the gates close.
The waterhole is fairly quiet and we watch the sun set which seems disappointing compared to previous nights.