Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Jumbo Day In Etosha

I spent two days in Etosha with buddy Stretch - we traveled in his new second-hand Mini-bus Camper which has a cool hatch in the roof, great for Game viewing and photos:


Hand-crafted curios for sale just inside the Namutoni entrance gate.

I was disturbed to also see carved wooden Porcupines covered with real quills - saddened because I know that the animals the quills came from were probably caught in snares and died a torturous death.



We saw many groups of Elephant on day One - the first being these two bulls ambling along the road.

Strangely, on the Second day, a chilly wind was blowing and we didn't see one Jumbo.



Something I've heard about but never seen - people getting out of their cars and walking around at waterholes - despite being given a list of 'Dos and Don'ts' upon entering the Pans and signs at almost every waterhole saying 'Stay In Your Car'.

In one day we came upon four separate groups walking around at waterholes and Stretch, being bolder than me, minced no words when ordering them back into their cars.

For my part, on these occasions, I was disappointed at not getting pics of a Lion Feast ... :)



We encountered two separate pairs of Lion mating.


A Bus-load of Tourists jostle to get a view of the Big Cats doing the Deed.


An Elephant drinking at a waterhole - he surprised us by sticking his trunk through a hole in the ground to get to the water under the ledge ... considering the water level, this shows how long his trunk is.


A Kori Bustard takes off - these heavy birds don't fly very far, just enough to get out of danger.


Black and White.


Young Black-faced Impala drink at a waterhole.


Close-up of an Elephant drinking.

Etosha's Elephants are the largest in Africa but they have the smallest tusks.

Notice how small and worn his tusk is - due to a mineral deficiency in their diet.



A Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk surveys the world from the top of a thorn tree.


A small herd of Elephant approach a waterhole near sunset - the camp gates close precisely at sunset and sadly, it's impossible to linger at a waterhole as the sun goes down.

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30 comments:

  1. A really wonderful post Graham. I have to agree with Stretch and would have given them a mouthful myself. As you say, a pity you did not withness a feast. :)

    To me the elphants reminded me of ghost-like creatures with all that light coloured dust they have on them.

    I would not worry too much about the porcupine quills if I were you as they shed them all the time and shed them in defense too so very likely they were picked up somewhere and the animals were not killed for the quills.

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    1. Thanks Joan - I didn't know that Porcupines shed their quills as a matter of course ... I must admit though, that I still wouldn't feel comfortable buying such a curio ...

      Yeah, some people seem to think that Etosha is a 'petting zoo', unaware that they're dealing with wild animals.

      I have some pics of Spotted Hyaena for my next post and I'd like to link to your recent informative post on the subject.

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  2. shucks!!! what a show it could've been :))

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    1. Hehe Monica - I assume you're talking about a Lion Feast - perhaps we were Romans in another life? ... :)

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  3. I guess dumb people can be found everywhere. The elephant shots are all magnificent. Thank you so much for taking us to this marvelous place.

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    1. Thanks Inger - I think that I could spend weeks in the Etosha Pans and not be bored ...

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  4. People don't change the world around. I recall Rangers with bullhorns telling people in Yellowstone to get back in their cars and not approach the buffalo or the bear.

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    1. Thanks Joanne - unfortunately one rarely sees a Ranger patrolling in Etosha, there seems to be no control ...

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  5. Some people are born stupid and deserve to be part of a Lion Feast. Their departure would improve the human gene pool. Great photos!

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    1. Thanks Phillip - unfortunately, if an incident occurs, it's the animal which gets blamed and shot.

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  6. Lovely photos indeed. As you say stupid people all over for sure, it's as if they really don't comprehend the danger of wild animals....but yes the animals are the ones to suffer in the end. Have a great Spring week

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    1. Thanks LG - I'm SO glad Spring is here - today is the first day in weeks that I feel warm ... :)

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    1. Thanks Fran - all my previous pics were just practice shots which I'd taken on medium resolution ... as luck would have it, I recently found a 2 Gb memory card lying in the sand on a river bank and now I can take pics on high resolution without having to worry about running out of space ... :)

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  8. Not only Etosha but all wildlife parks. I have seen people getting out of their cars when there are lions a few metres away!! Do they think they are pets??

    You are right, if one of these animals hurt a human, they are the ones blamed and sometimes shot all because of people's stupidity!! What a shame!!

    Sure, no problem with the link Graham.Anytime you want to do something like that it is okay with me. I also like to spread info when I can.

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  9. Great shots, my favorite might be the dark and light colored elephants. They look like they had an argument. Thanks for not including the mating lions. They should enjoy some privacy. I recently found an article about speculation of dinosaurs mating techniques. Really - does it matter?

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    1. Thanks Bill, I like that shot too - hehe perhaps it's because of their mating techniques that Dinosaurs are extinct?

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  10. You are so funny to catch the picture of the tourists scrambling :) I wonder if the driver is the same one in the other elephant story.

    The pictures are truly wonderful. Thank you for sharing them with us Graham. And I am thankful to Stretch too :)

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    1. Thanks Fazlisa ... No, that's not Ms Noisypants ... Stretch would have alerted me if it was her :)

      Yeah, I couldn't resist the tourist pic.

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  11. Wonderful animal photos, Graham. I find it annoying and frightening when tourists, get out of their cars in wild game reserves. I saw this in Nakuru park where tourists would drive right up to the water buffalo and get out of their cars despite all kinds of signage telling them not to do such things. I imagine that many tourists cannot read (translate) the signs but surely they must have some idea of the dangers of wild animals, or one would think they do.

    How great that you found a 2GB card and that it worked. I often wonder who if anyone found a 4 GB card I lost in Kenya near a lake and I miss the photos I had on there! My own clumsiness I'm afraid.

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    1. Thanks Penny - whew! the 4GB card was an expensive loss, not to mention your pics ... I found the 2gig card by chance in the middle of nowhere, partly covered in sand ... I was surprised that it still worked ...

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  12. Sorry we have had no electricity on and off while the carpenters. electrician and plumber do the work around here for us (a post at some stage!).
    Love the photos and how lucky can the elephant be to have small tusks, hopefully the ivory poachers are not interested! I have often picked up porcupine quills when out in the bush so maybe they are not from ones that have been killed, hopefully.
    As for the idiots out of their car at the water hole I would have also given them a mouthful, with a few impolite words probably attached as well!!
    Great set of photos Graham. have a good week Diane

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    1. Thanks Diane - it will be great to see some pics of your renovations sometime - I hope you're feeling better by now.

      Yes, you're right. Etosha Elephants aren't such a good proposition for ivory poachers ...

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  13. Absolutely stunning photos of animals Graham!!! Lenka x

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    1. Thanks for your visit and comment Lenka :)

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  14. Hi Graham.
    Many good shots here.
    Overall I like the Kori Bustard: I saw them flying,but I wasn't ever able to take a picture.
    I am always surprised when people walks outside the cars...
    I remember on Youtube there is a very old clip of a man attacked and killed by Lions in Etosha:
    he was outside the car to film some Lions.

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    1. Thanks Andrea - I found the video you mentioned on youtube and I've changed my mind ... I DON'T want to see a lion kill ...

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  15. Hi Graham, I've taken in my blog into private. I am just going for a blog break. Will certainly miss visiting your blog. Hope to be back sometime soon :)

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  16. Thanks Fazlisa - we all need a break sometimes, enjoy yours - I will miss your visits :)

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