Okonjima Game Reserve: Day 1

The final days of Gordon Donovan’s journey back to Namibia. Leaving Etosha I headed towards the Okonjima Game Reserve, home of the Africat Foundation. Hopefully I would be able hold and feed a baby cheetah.

It was tough leaving Etosha and head south towards Windhoek. It meant the beginning of the end for this trip to Namibia. I had one more stop to make at the Okonjima Game Reserve. My previous trip, fellow guests raved about their experience there. I took the paved road out of Etosha this time to save time, and did I.

I hit B1 and was at the entrance of Okonjima in a few hours. Now on a gravel road again I have to take it easy. I was lucky so far on this trip. No flat tires so far on this trip. I was greeted at a gate by security and told I would be greeted by security just past the second gate and taken to the villa.

Villa? I am bush chalet type of guy, was there a mistake. I was greeted by a man who looked like an accountant than security with a 357 magnum strapped on his hip. Because of construction at the main camp I was given and upgrade. So I was shown around this amazing place and asked what I wanted for lunch. A suggestion was made of a light lunch of chicken salad. This was perhaps the best chicken salad I ever had in my life.

Later that afternoon I was taken on a drive with two other guests to track cheetahs. My idea of tracking cheetahs involves a gun and getting into the soil to look for tracks. Not my show and a radio transmitter are used on the vehicle. Well this technology is not the best, a few hours past and all we saw were giraffes and zebras. We drove on top of a hilltop and let the guide try to find the cheetahs. Then when we drove down the hilltop we parked and walked a short distance.

Next to a pond under a tree were two cheetahs sleeping comfortably in the shade. We were allowed fifteen feet from the sleepy cats that did not move on this hot day. Managed to walk around the tree with one guide who was armed only with a stick, no guns here. So I took my shots and off we went. Back in the vehicle we drove to open area to have a sunset beverage before returning to the villa.

We were instructed to wash up for dinner. The meal began with a starter of salad, followed with the main course of kudu and cheesecake for dessert. Really delicious, I was going to skip dinner because it was already 9:00 PM. I did not sleep well that night from eating so late; I should have just had the cheesecake.

A cheetah enjoys a nap under a tree Giraffe puckers up Zebras look curious at passerby's with a camera
giraffe turns and looks at the tourists A cheetah naps under a tree A zebra trots away from the vehicle
A baby zebra stares at the vehicle The sun begins to set at the Okonjima Game Reserve Two impalas wonder why a vehicle would stop and look at them
Several zebras debate whether they should charge the vehicle A view of the Okonjima Game Reserve Zebra demands a royalty
profile shot of a giraffe Oryx looked puzzled at the humans Two cheetahs nap under a tree at the Okonjima Game Reserve
Zebra's mingle A cheetah naps under a tree at the Okonjima Game Reserve Giraffe takes a break from eating
Jonah's office in Okonjina A giraffe dines on a tree The sun sets at the Okonjima Game Reserve

Photos taken Jan. 25, 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: 540
Total photos taken: 7343

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