Namutoni: Day 7 at Etosha National Park

Day seven of Gordon Donovan’s journey back to Namibia’s Etosha National Park. Not having much success at the Halai Camp, I headed west to find predators in the open plains back at Okaukuejo.

Before heading to Namutoni, I was determined not to leave to Africa and capture a photograph of a lion. I was on a mission to find the king of jungle. I ate breakfast with some folks that I met the night before and headed out just the gates opened. I was heading back to Okaukeujo where a safari guide suggested I head to.

He said the open plains on the roads around Gemsboksvalke had several prides hanging around. As I headed towards the main road back to Okaukeujo, I decided to stop at Rietfontein to see what was going on. There were three hyenas thought it was wise to surround a rhino. The rhino took one swipe at one of the hyenas with his horn, chasing the hyenas away.

On my way to the open plains I approached the Ondongab waterhole marker on the main road when I spotted a lioness near the edge the road. She just sat there with blood on her face.

As I photographed her, I tried not disturbing her. I saw a male and two cubs eating what looked like the remains of a zebra or Oryx. Another lioness sat in the grass waiting her turn to eat. I was able to photograph for about 10 minutes before other vehicles crammed around me chasing the lioness off the road. I had the best angle and watched the male and cubs suck the fresh off the bones of the kill.

I shared the space with others and then one person pulled in and decided he wasn’t moving. He would let others get an opportunity to take photos in small clearing. This meathead thought it was cool and hangs out the car window less then 10 feet from the lions. The best solution is to report this dangerous person to the park rangers.

As I got near Halai I saw a pair of lions near Gemsboksvalke in the grass. After leaving Okaukeujo Ranger Station I headed towards Namutoni. That was a long ass drive on the gravel roads of the main road. I was tempted to stop at Nuamses but just stopped at Kalkheuwel. I checked in and rested for a few hours and then hit the road. Zebras and giraffes were plentiful at Kalkheuwel and Klein Namutoni. As I arrived at Klein Namutoni, the skies grew dark instantly and then I experienced my first wet season rain.

For 15 minutes the rain came in several directions with high winds that shook the truck. Loud thunder and lightning was incredible, not even phasing the zebras that just stood still as the rain fell. Then it was over, temperatures downed and searched the horizons for rainbows. No rainbows for me today. I visited several places like Tsumcor and ran into 13 elephants drinking from the waterhole. This was the best day shooting so far. I visited all the camps and found the Halai camp was the one I should have skipped in wet season. Halai was awesome in dry season, but not as crowded with people and animals.

lion cub walks in the grass jackal A lioness naps along the side of the road
elephant emerges from the trees Two lions lounge in the grass near Gemsbokvlakte Storm clouds move on through and bring relief on another hot day
A lioness awakes from a nap springbok poses pied crow displays his displeasure
rhino surrounded by hyena zebra turns and poses for the camera Elephants drinks at the Tsumcor Waterhole
A lioness looks at people in vehicles who cannot shut up Elephants enjoy a refreshing drink warthog
A zebra gives us the eye 130123_wm_etosha_namutoni_C41G9310 A zebra prepares for a heavy rain storm at the Klein Namutoni Waterhole
Animals eat at the Klein Namutoni Waterhole giraffe looks around An elephant finds comfort in the shade
A lion turns to look at noisy Germans while dining on an oryx An oryx kneels down to pray or drink from the water at Gemsbokvlakte A lion grips with his big paw to chew up the meat off the bone
An impala checks out the vehicle and human photographing him A cub takes a break from breakfast A baby elephant takes a break from drinking
A lioness rests along the side of the main road A giraffe keeps an eye out
Travels in Etosha on Jan. 22, 2013.

Waterholes and routes taken visited on day seven in Etosha National Park.

Photos taken Jan. 23, 2013 using a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV Digital SLR with a EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Standard Zoom Lens, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens, a Sigma Telephoto 500mm f/4.5 EX DG APO HSM Autofocus Lens for Canon EOS with/without a 1.4x DG EX APO Teleconverter.

Photos taken today: 958
Total photos taken: 4741

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