Etosha…All Day In The Greatest Menagerie

Beginning in 1981 Harper Collins published a series called A Day In The Life Of… and assigned a hoard photographers to go to Spain or California or Israel and photograph a single day’s activities there.  Oct. 28, 2009 was kind of like that for us only we were put down in Etosha National Park in Namibia in the southwest corner of Africa. Not at all a bad place to be put down…

Expanse of rocks - Etosha Waterhole

Etosha: October 28, 2009

Etosha can be a bit bleak but it is chock full of animals and our Africa In Focus travelers were raring to go for a game drive at 630am for full day in the park.  The photos in this post were all taken on a single day there: an early morning game drive, an afternoon game drive and evening at the rhino watching fence of our own Okaukuejo Camp water hole.  The results of the day were my favorite lion shot and my favorite elephant shot in the entire six weeks.

Etosha - Best Lion Shot

What a fine looking fellow this is!

Below: I can’t help it but looking at this elephant shot always  makes me smile.

Head and shoulders above the rest - Elephant in Mopani Forest

Something about his head towering above all the trees, walking slowly toward our truck.  He reminds me of a flying saucer or a little boy playing peekaboo.  It also shows another side of Etosha – the mopani forest, filled with trees and probably danger if you’re an impala or a zebra not knowing what lurks behind the next tree.

Giraffe Body Language - Ummmm, not really sure about this lion...

Another shot that brings a smile is this giraffe clearly leaning away from the  lion.  The lion is not acting in a threatening way, clearly not interested but you just can’t entirely trust those lions.

Finally One Hyena Gets a Bone Away From Lioness - Etosha

Speaking of lions: the above shot shows a female lion with her prey – maybe a gnu or zebra, kind of hard to tell.  She’s in the back of the picture and several hyenas would like to drive her off.  For her part the lioness is remarkably (to me) unconcerned.  After we watched the mini-drama for several minutes, another half-dozen hyenas trooped in from the south.  You might think this would have caused the lioness to  leave or become agitated but no.  Just  calmly went on munching her dinner.  Finally, the bravest of the  hyenas got up the courage to get close enough to snag a single bone which is what you see here.  We left with the status about as quo as when we got there.

Dik Dik - Etosha - World's Cutest Animal?

One of the two candidates for the “world’s cutest animal” – this is some serious cuteness in a dik dik.  We startled it driving down the road and it hardly knew what to do: run, hide, squat down?

Etosha Sunset

This post has a new feature just put into WordPress in the last couple weeks namely a slide show.  Being new, I  have next to no confidence that it will work on everyone’s browser or operating system or type of computer.  Do let me know if it’s not working for you.  It takes a minute to load and get started.  It starts and runs itself at its own god-given pace although there are some hidden controls that you can see if you mouse over the bottom of the picture.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The gallery is still here, same pix as the slide show but in a feature that’s been around a bit longer.  You can click on these images and see larger pix if you like.

9 Responses to “Etosha…All Day In The Greatest Menagerie”

  1. 1 Ray
    April 20, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Hey Terry,

    Yup another great set of photos……..been on vacation and wanted to get back this pc before commenting. I have to agree that the Dik Dik is probably the world’s cutest animal..those eyes are to die for…………lol


  2. 2 Bob Staal
    April 17, 2010 at 2:57 am

    Great stuff! You need to hire out to National Geographic for big bucks! Bob

    • April 17, 2010 at 4:14 am

      Thanks! You are very kind and comments like yours keep me interested in putting up more posts: Chobe, Botswana upcoming. If you have any interest in going, I’d do it. Really it’s not terribly strenuous with a LOT of sitting, riding in the truck.

      I wonder what it would be like to be a Nat Geo photographer. They’re more into video now and interestingly enough we saw a Geographic special on Etosha just recently and they had the same animals that we saw, almost exactly. So, Etosha’s the place to see the things that are on the 3 posts from Etosha. What’s kind of a shame and something I didn’t mention but you’ve got to be back inside the human enclosure at Okaukuejo before 6pm. So there’s a whole lot of night time stuff that’s going on you’ll never see – except at that illuminated water hole where the rhinos come regularly.

  3. 4 Tysen
    April 15, 2010 at 5:37 am

    Hi Terry,
    Great shots and great color! What a trip!

    Thanks for sharing these pictures with us,

    • April 15, 2010 at 1:19 pm

      Hi Tysen!
      Nice to see you here in OBT-land. One of the best things about the blog is contact with new people and old friends. I count you as one of the latter, of course. Hope you continue to enjoy the new pictures coming up. We’re only 1.5 weeks into a 7 week trip.

      PS. I’ll have to think about the smells and sounds. We did have some very nice entertainment in two of our campsites – I own but did not take along a small tape recorder. Smells – maybe I’m not smell oriented. Etosha, eg. is very dry and not much happening. I know the rain forest of South and Central America have a distinctive, musty odor. This trip tho…I’ll think about it.

  4. April 14, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    Dear Terry and Chiyemi

    I love your photos, what a wonderful place on earth. I send you my best regards from Ecuador and wish you all the best on you amazing trip.

    • April 14, 2010 at 11:50 pm

      Hi Juan!
      Great to hear from you again – hope all is well with you and the family. Hard to believe it’s been a year since we were in Cuenca and miss you all very much. Send us an email and tell us how Cuenca is if you’re not too busy. My best also to your Mom and Dad.

  5. 8 Rob
    April 14, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Great shots – brings back a lot of memories – keep up the good work

    • April 14, 2010 at 11:53 pm

      Wonderful to see that you’ve dropped in and commented. Hope you and Chris are well and that your next trip is getting started. Not sure yet where we’ll go next but it will be with camera in hand. Let us know what you’re all up to, pls.

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Dead Vlei - Namib-Naukluft National Park

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