We enter the western gate of Etosha National Park at 8:00 this morning. Murray, our truck and I are safari-ing the west side of the park today, driving from waterhole to waterhole. Just after we enter the park, we see a herd of zebras. A great start!
The waterholes are man made and supplied with water from underground. They are spaced about every 10 kms along the gravel road. We read that the animals would be more active in the morning and evening, when it is cooler, but we see activity all day long at the waterholes. One waterhole at a rest stop has a blind to watch from and there are seven elephants there when we arrive. We watch them drink and spray water on themselves and listen to the noises they make when they suck water up their trunk and then blow it over their bodies.
There are thousands of termite mounds dotting the landscape. Many of them have a tree sticking up through them. Our question is, did the tree come first or the mound? Looking across the fields, all the mounds remind us of the fields of temples on Bagan, Myanmar.
We spy many, what we call, dust devils. Mini tornados. They appear out of nowhere, swirl and blow dust and dead leaves around in circles, move across the scrub land and then, poof, disappear.
Did I mention it was 41 C outside today? We are only allowed to get out of the truck at designated rest stops, which are surrounded by fences. When we stop at waterholes, I do roll down my window to take photos, so we feel the heat, but mostly we are in the air conditioned truck!
We stop to watch two ostriches do their mating ritual. The female opens her wings and flaps and then the male responds, and then they run around abit playing hard to get. Fascinating.
We see many different animals and birds today. Eland, red hartebeest, kudu, lion, zebra and elephant. Goshawk, kori bustard, hornbills and ostriches. Luckily, not many tourists, which is a surprise.
Tomorrow we are up early again to drive the eastern half of the park where the landscape changes to the Estosha Pan, a great salt flat. Our goal is to find some white rhino. Wish us luck!