One of Africa’s great reserves is the incredible Etosha National Park in northern Namibia. This vast, arid wilderness of 22,750 square kilometers is centered around the seemingly endless Etosha Pan, a saline depression that irregularly fills with rain water and at these times, attracts millions of flamingoes and other waterbirds (as is the current situation).
Several natural and artificial waterholes scattered through the park quench the thirst of an incredibly varied and large population of grazers and predators. Earlier this month, PJ Fryer and I were guiding a Rockjumper birding and wildlife tour and popped into Nebrownii waterhole, not far from Okaukeujo Camp in western Etosha. On arrival, one of the great white Elephant bulls for which Etosha is famous, was slaking his thirst.
These relaxed behemoths are colored white by the pale dust of the pan and their short, broken tusks are typical of this environment that provides little minerals for healthy ivory growth, combined with a very hard soil that damages any excavating tusks.
Suddenly to our right we noticed a Lioness approaching the waterhole and a hundred yards behind her, a stunning, full maned Lion in his prime.
These six magnificent felines half surrounded the huge old bull who paid them scant attention and once his thirst was quenched, he ambled off, the real king of the beasts!
In the distance, we spotted another white Elephant moving in and his seemingly slow, but in reality, rapid pace soon had him at the waterhole.
Before long, the rhino had used up his energy and adrenalin without achieving much in chasing the cats away, so he walked off a hundred yards to sulk and wait for the scene to clear.
By this time, the sun had started to slip towards the horizon and we reluctantly had to head back to camp, but what an afternoon of action, Etosha at its very best! To find out more about Rockjumper’s tours to Etosha and elsewhere in Namibia, please visit the following link: