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Blogs from: Namibia

AV Trip Blog – Waterberg Plateau, Namibia

 

Waterberg Plateau, Namibia

High Above Namibia with the Legendary Squat on Waterberg Plateau

Our last stop in Botswana was the Waterberg Plateau. The Waterberg Plateau is located in Eastern Namibia (map) and stands about 200m tall. It’s impressive red stone is not only beautiful, but contains quite a bit of history. In addition to several thousand year old rock carvings in the area, dinosaur tracks from ~200 million years ago have been found.

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AV Trip Blog – Etosha National Park – Namibia, Africa

 

Etosha National Park – Namibia, Africa

Lion and Cubs with Oryx Kill

After spending two weeks focused on the many wonders of Southern Africa, both of us were fired up to finally enter the open African wilderness and start observing some of the most incredible animals on the planet, outside of a enclosed zoo, for the first time in our lives. An experience that had always been a dream for us, and certainly for many, finally was becoming a reality. This is what travel is all about.

While Etosha National Park is not often mentioned in discussions of the best parks in Africa, it will forever have a special place in our hearts. It is home to the first lion, giraffe, elephant, rhino, zebra and many other beautiful animals that we saw in the wild.

During our two days in the park, we went out on several game drives looking for as many animals as we could possibly find. Below is a collection of our favorite views from our time spent in Etosha. Hopefully it gives you a sense of the diversity of animals and beauty that you can see in such a short amount of time.

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AV Trip Blog – El Dorado Cheetah Farm – Namibia, Africa

 

El Dorado Farm – Namibia, Africa

El Dorado Farm – Uh oh, the cheetah is getting angry!

As we left behind the children of Mondesa and the Namibian city of Swakopmund, we headed north with great anticipation of making our first major animal sightings in Etosha National Park. Cape Town, the Fish River Canyon and the Namibian Dunes had all blown us away, but both of us were ready to start counting down the big five in the African wilderness.

We broke up the long drive to Etosha with a short stop at a local farm, located seemingly in the middle of nowhere. This was not an ordinary farm that we were used to passing by on long road trips through the states. The normal fields of cattle had been replaced with fields of cats. Cheetahs, leopards and caracal – how fitting for Africa. The owners of the farm we were visiting had rescued these cats from their imminent death by other local farmers for feasting on their precious livestock.

While the whole experience of seeing these incredible cats felt somewhere between being in a zoo back in Chicago and exploring the great Serengeti plains, it offered a fun opportunity to see these cats up close and to capture a few great photos. We hope you get a feel for it through the pictures below.

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Salty Safari Landscape – Etosha National Park, Namibia

 

AV Trip Photo – Salty Safari Landscape – Etosha National Park, Namibia

We were surprised when our truck drove us straight into a massive salt pan during a game drive in Etosha National Park. The salty landscape was incredible, but not something that we expected to find nearby the bush where we were observing Lions, Giraffes, Elephants and other typical African safari animals. It turns out this salt pan is over 75 miles in length!

We took this photo out the front of the 4×4 truck we were driving around the national park in.

Salty Safari Landscape - Etosha National Park, Namibia
 

Above The Bush – Etosha National Park, Namibia

 

AV Trip Photo – Above The Bush – Etosha National Park, Namibia

Giraffes were everywhere in Etosha National Park. During the two days we spent in the park, several times we got to see a tower of Giraffes up close. Here is a picture of one of them we caught peeking into the windows of our 4×4 truck.

Above The Bush - Etosha National Park, Namibia
 

Fading African Sun – Etosha National Park, Namibia

 

AV Trip Photo – Fading African Sun – Etosha National Park, Namibia

We mentioned last week how much we’ve enjoyed watching the sun rise and set everyday that we have been camping in Africa. Here is another cool photo that we grabbed while watching the sunset at the Okaukuejo watering hole in Etosha National Park.

Fading African Sun - Etosha National Park, Namibia
 

Conquering Waterberg Plateau – Waterberg Plateau NP, Namibia

 

AV Trip Photo – Conquering Waterberg Plateau – Waterberg Plateau NP, Namibia

The Waterberg Plateau was certainly an unexpected surprise during our time in Namibia. At first what Brad and I thought to be nearly a wasted day on the trip turned out to be an awesome day of sun bathing in an awesome pool along with an exception hike to the top of the Waterberg Plateau.

The Waterberg Plateau National Park is located in Central Namibia and stands about 200 meters tall. Although the hike was not that far up, the steepness factor was up there. Throw in some wild boar and a few baboons and you have a pretty exciting hike!

Conquering Waterberg Plateau - Waterberg Plateau NP, Namibia
 

Lion and Cub Eating Oryx Kill – Etosha National Park, Namibia

 

AV Trip Photo – Lion and Cub Eating Oryx Kill – Etosha National Park, Namibia

Sometimes you just get incredibly lucky. On our first morning driving through Etosha National Park we came across this incredible scene taking place right next to the road. A pack of lions, including two cubs, were devouring a poor Oryx that they took down for a nice morning snack. This scene is definitely one of the highlights of the trip so far. We can’t wait to see what we find our way as we make our way through Botswana and up to the Serengeti.

Lion and Cub Eating Oryx Kill - Etosha National Park, Namibia
 

Growling Cheetah – El Dorado Farm, Namibia

 

AV Trip Photo – Growling Cheetah – El Dorado Farm, Namibia

On our way into Etosha National Park we stopped at El Dorado Farm to get an up close look at a few Cheetahs. These weren’t exactly wild Cheetahs, but it felt a whole lot different than viewing animals in a zoo back in Chicago. There was only a small, poorly constructed fence that sat between us and the long claws of the Cheetahs. Oh, and of course being in Africa made it all feel a whole lot more real!

Growling Cheetah - El Dorado Farm, Namibia
 

AV Trip Video – Mondesa Township Kids – Swakopmund, Namibia

 
In 1960 the South African apartheid government removed all of the blacks from their homes in the town of Swakopmund. The families were pushed out of the city center and placed into newly formed “townships” – which needless to say, didn’t quite offer the same standard of living that they had earned before. Apartheid ended in Swakopmund in 1994, however the city is still highly segregated and the majority of the population still lives in the townships.

On our visit to Swakopmund, which is now part of Namibia, we were able to take a walk around the townships. While the poverty and tough living conditions were impossible to ignore, we found ourselves excited about the energy and happiness in the children’s eyes as they interacted with us. We captured what we saw and put it together into a short video so you could explore for yourself.

 
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