Namibia Part 4 - Etosha and Caprivi Strip

We are looking forward to Etosha National Park, which is highly praised for its wildlife. We take the entrance through the north gate and drive a good three hours over dusty tracks with many springbok, wildebeest, zebra, elephant and giraffe. The big cats are still hiding, at least for us. In the afternoon we drive to our campground in Namatoni. At the entrance we experience an extraordinary surprise. Jörg and Dirk from Stuttgart come to meet us. We spent a few beautiful days with them on Easter Island in 2014. We are completely speechless in view of this incredible coincidence. We spend the evening together in the restaurant and have a lot to tell each other.

Stays in national parks are always stressful, after all, you want to see and experience something.  Already before seven o'clock the alarm clock rings and when shortly after sunrise the gate opens it goes off to the Game Drive. The animals gather in large numbers at the various water holes and on the way we see at quite a distance three cheetahs resting under a tree. After a long lunch break we go again around four o'clock to a waterhole nearby where there are always many animals at sunset. And indeed all hell is going on there. Elephants, giraffes, zebras and springboks fight over the hierarchy at the waterhole. Very entertaining entertainment for a good two hours.

Tonight we invited Jörg and Dirk to the 5 star kitchen of Momo. Karin has once again outdone herself and serves Quiche Loraine and salad for the main course and banana cake for dessert. In addition, there is Aperol Spritz and then two good bottles of red wine from the wine cellar of Jörg and Dirk. A very nice evening that we end only shortly before midnight, when the tongues are already a little slower.

In the morning we say goodbye to Jörg and Dirk with an extended photo shoot. Now we hope that it will not take another 9 years until we run into each other again.

We leave Namutoni and drive to Halali Campground. On the way we are disappointed. Except for large herds of wildebeest, zebras, giraffes and two lonely vultures we don't see much. In the early afternoon we arrive at the camp and have enough for today. In the camp is a waterhole and there we see 4 rhinos with baby in the evening.

Um sieben geht es wieder los zum Game Drive. Das Highlight waren vier Löwen die sich im hohen Gras gelangweilt haben. Sonst gab es wenig zu sehen und so waren wir am frühen Nachmittag wieder am Platz. Am Wasserloch kam ein Rhino heute schon vor Sonnenuntergang. Sicher aus Rücksicht auf die vielen wartenden Touristen, damit die Bilder etwas besser werden.

We part from Susa & Pit for the time being and head east. At a viewpoint we can once again marvel at the endless expanse of the Etosha salt pan. We see elephants and giraffes and a rhino again. But a little later we experience the highlight par excellence. At a waterhole the lions had killed a zebra at night and had already eaten quite a lot of it. Only one lioness we still met tried to drag away a good quarter of the carcass. We assume she had her cubs nearby and wanted to do something good for them. A good hour we could observe from close range how she tried to drag the 40 kilo heavy part over hill and dale. Again and again she had to pause from the effort until she regained her strength. A jackal then also came by and tried to grab a piece. This spectacle and other animal experiences have been captured in an Etosha video that you can find in the video section.

We leave the park and drive to Tamboti Campground just behind the park exit. A very nice facility with a restaurant at the waterhole. We relax at the pool and the dust and dirt of the last days is soon gone. Today is the 24th of May and exactly 10 years ago we left the ship in Montevideo in 2013 and started our world trip. In any case, reason enough to celebrate the whole thing in the evening with a delicious meal and a good bottle of wine.

After two relaxed days we continue to Tsumeb. In a service workshop we have the chassis lubricated and MOMO gets a wash. Then we go for a few days to the Copper Spring Campground with a 50m swimming pool and good infrastructure and WiFi. The laundry must be washed again and the vehicle urgently needs a basic cleaning inside.

Well rested, we continue after three days to a winery near Otavi. The campground is picturesquely situated with a view of the vines. In the evening we do an extensive wine tasting and in addition we have a very nicely arranged snack platter. We stay another night and in the afternoon Susa & Pit come by with whom we have a nightcap of the delicious wine of the winery in the evening.

On the way north we make a small detour to the Hoba meteorite. It fell from the sky here 80,000 years ago and that must have made quite a noise. There are now 60 tons of massive iron in the middle of the area and to have a look at it a very high entrance fee for foreigners is due. The tour with a guide lasts a quarter of an hour and that's it.

In Roy's rest camp we stop for the night and meet Martina & Ralph who are on their way with a Unimog. Then it goes to Rundu to the Kawango River. One lodge follows the other and we are spoiled for choice. We decide to stay at Hakusembe, a lodge of the Gondwana Group. There we spend two relaxing days at the river and the pool. Our place is huge and we have our own swimming pontoon from which we can enjoy the sunset in the evening with a cool drink, mixed by the gin and tonic specialists Martina & Ralf.

Now we continue along the Kavango River in the Caprivi Strip. At Ndurokoro Lodge we have a place directly at the water. The firewood is free and so we make a big campfire every evening and try out what can be done in our new enamel coated fire pot. The vegetable stew with beef fillet is sensational in any case and even a pizza succeeds without problems.

After a few days we continue a few kilometers to Mobola Lodge. On an island, which can be reached via a suspension bridge, the German owners have built a sundowner bar of the finest. There is no way around it in the evening at sunset. With a freshly tapped draft beer you can watch the hippos there and let the day end comfortably.

So the days pass with a lot of idleness and a constant change between deck chair, hammock and swimming pool and as a highlight there is every day at the same time a spectacular sunset

Our next stop is Nundu Lodge not far from Popa Falls. The falls themselves are not very spectacular and actually nothing more than a few rapids. For sundowner we take a boat trip accompanied by many hippos and crocodiles. Finally we will go to the falls where snacks and drinks will be served on a sandbank at sunset.

Besides the many lodges, which actually all look more or less the same to us by now, we have to highlight the simple but very lovingly designed community campground Kapako. Here the overnight money goes directly to the people in the nearby village. You also stand directly on the river, but the feeling is like free standing including a gigantic starry sky and all without extraneous light.

At our last stop in Namibia we make another beautiful sundowner boat trip at the edge of the Chobe National Park. For about two hours we drive through the river delta and see many crocodiles, giraffes, a monkey herd, a lonely elephant bull and a large herd of buffalo. Interestingly, a completely different experience than the boat trip the day before, because the Chobe National Park and the river delta are already something very special.

We cross the border to Botswana and when we arrive in Kasane our circle closes, because here we were already once in September 2022 when we came from the Victoria Falls. Because we liked it so much back then, we do a boat tour again.

The next morning at 5:30 is wake up for a game drive in the Chobe NP. At 10 degrees it goes first in the open jeep 20min to the entrance. At the latest now we are well chilled and awake and with us a good 10 other jeeps all waiting for entry. In the first two hours we see many giraffes, kudus, elephants and a hippo that has hidden in the bushes from us. We are already on our way to the exit when our driver gets the message of three lions that are supposed to be lying on the river bank. With full throttle we go there and indeed, there they lie peacefully in the grass. But not for long, because suddenly movement comes into the three. An Impala runs unsuspectingly in the proximity past. Like lightning they race off, encircle the animal and breakfast is already secured. It's the first time we've seen a kill live and up close, and we're impressed by how fast and coordinated the whole thing is. The day is saved in any case and around 10 we are back at the campground.

Now we are going to Livingstone in Zambia. There we want to have another look at the Victoria Falls from the other side and after that we will head north. As always, you will find out what we experience in our next travel report. Until then, enjoy reading and looking at the pictures.

Our route for this part of the journey

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