Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Namibian Safari – Heading North

The next day we packed all our stuff up early, and waited to be picked up for the first part of our 14 day Namibian Safari. At this point we were not sure whether we would be heading North or South first, but we soon found that we would be going north with 11 fellow travellers.

At first the Safari truck that would be our mobile home for the next week seemed cramped and uncomfortable, but our excitement helped us forget these things while we got to know our fellow travellers. The composition of our group was 2 French, 2 Aussies, 2 Americans, 2 Germans, a Swiss, a Brit and a Scotsman. Overall they are a good bunch of people, you know there will always be someone that is not quite in synch with everyone else, (*cough* The French).

Fiona had booked the Namibian portion of our travels and I had deliberately not looked at the itinerary, therefore everything that was coming up was a complete surprise, especially as I had absolutely no idea what to expect. We headed north out of Windhoek, past a few towns with names that were frankly unpronounceable, (eg. Okahandja), on the way to the first campsite of the journey at a place called Obokojima. The setting was spectacular, high on a ridge with views over a vast area of semi arid valley, covered in low bush with patches of the deep red African soil showing through. The toilet and showers at this site were open-sided which gave you an awesome uninterrupted view out across the valley when you used them. This would be even more fun when using the facilities after dark, but luckily there was going to be a quarter moon, which was plenty bright enough to see by. Our guides (Elias & Erastus) showed us how to erect the tents, made us lunch, and prepared us for our first game drive.

The campsite is on a piece of land that also houses an organisation called ‘AfriCat’, and we were going off to some of their saved animals. Firstly we had a very up close and personal meeting with Leopard called Wally as he was fed large pieces of Donkey meat, (apparently the cheapest meat in Namibia..!). It was stunning to be sitting no more than 10 feet from this amazing creature, while it prowled around the feeding enclosure and devoured it’s food. I have never been much into wildlife viewing, but this was something else. After 20 minutes with ‘Wally’ we then drove over to another enclosure to see 3 Cheetahs basking in the late afternoon sun. We were literally parked a couple of feet away from them as they lay in the grass, and even then they were difficult to see.

We got back to camp at sunset and sat and drank a few beers while the guide made our dinner, which was very tasty and plentiful. If today was a taste of what was to come then we in for a great trip.

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