Day 2 at Etosha National Park started off super early – like while it was still dark outside early. We had breakfast buffet complete with an omelette station at the Halali Camp restaurant. What a treat! And then we were off on our safari by sunrise. Africa really does have some absolutely gorgeous red sunrises and sunsets.
Before I go further, I need to digress for a moment to say that I am a huge Saturday Night Live fan, and one of my favorite characters is Brian Fellow played by Tracy Morgan, one of my favorite comedians/actors. In preparation for my safari, I had to plan accordingly and found the perfect outfit for my safari – a Brian Fellow shirt and a safari hat just like the hat that he wears!
Even though only one person on the safari tour vaguely got the reference, everyone thought it was super cute and funny, and everyone wanted to wear my safari hat or take a picture with it. I had a lot of fun with it. If you plan to take a safari and/or you’re a Brian Fellow fan, you can get your own Brian Fellow shirt here:
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Just after sunrise, we happened upon some giraffe. We had only seen a few at the end of our safari last night, so it was nice to see more this morning.
They are so beautiful in their natural habitat. Especially in the early morning.
It must have been a wild night last night because we really did drive for miles and miles without seeing any animals this morning!! Even the guides said that was unusual. We ran into a few zebra, though. Imagine that.
|National Bird of Botswana. Not a bird fan but thought this one was beautiful.|
|Remember I said in the previous post that Wildebeest hang out with Zebra? You can see one lying down in the middle of this dazzle of Zebra.|
On the way to see the Etosha Salt Pan (which I was very excited about!), we stopped to cautiously get out of our vehicle at a “rest area” (why is there a rest area in the middle of this wild national park??) for quick geology lesson on Etosha. There are a couple of theories behind the salt pan; I haven’t had a chance to read about them on my own, but I took a couple of photos of the info boards to post for you.
The salt pan was more massive than I ever could have imagined!! It was like a dried up vast white ocean. We spent a little while here posing for fun pictures and trying to do cool camera tricks. The guides had some good ideas since they come here so often. A lot of us really couldn’t come up with much else even though we’d been trying to come up with stuff all morning for this once in a lifetime Kodak moment! I wanted to get a group picture here, but everyone was doing their own thing that it was hard to get everyone back together and when we were all back together, there was no one around that could have taken it.
|Gina, don’t say I never gave you a hand with anything!|
|I love Namibia THIS MUCH…and more!!!|
|Looking for Tom Hardy. If you don’t know, Mad Max Fury Road (one of the best films ever made) was partly filmed in Namibia. Thank you, George Miller!|
After the salt pan, we made our way back to Halali camp for lunch. But on the way, we were desperately looking for elephants because that was the one thing we hadn’t seen that we all wanted to see.
|This is what gridlock looks like in Etosha. And it was at a standstill!! No one was moving! Must have been rush hour.|
When we got back to Halali, we went to the watering hole for a daylight viewing of activity while the guides prepared our lunch. It was quite active at this time. There was a large Kudu there drinking water and scaring all the other smaller Imapala away. He was beautiful, though. Very majestic.
|You can see the Kudu in the center of the water hole bank looking up while all of the Impala are drinking.|
|Look how beautiful the Kudu is.|
|His size in comparison to the Impala.|
Eventually, he left, and the Impala put on a show of their own with two of the male asserting a display of their dominance over one of the female. It was a another Animal Planet porn that was not appropriate for children. We all were quite amused by it and how the female had two female “assistants” who protected her when the stronger male would approach her to try and mate. He tried maybe seven or eight times. The assistants were allowing the two to mate and protecting her from the other male who was trying to stop it from happening. It was quite a show. But then we had to go to lunch, so we’re not sure if he was ever successful in his conquest. Just know that there’s a lot of Animal Planet sex going on down in Africa. lol. I was just sad that I didn’t actually see an animal attacking its prey – going in for a kill – or something like that. Was hoping that would have been something I would have caught.
After lunch, we were on our quest for the elusive elephant! Of course we still passed zebra, but we were so “zebrad” out. haha.
We all just wanted elephants! Honestly, I think I might have cried if we didn’t see one. And then what happened? We came upon this little watering hole in this opened out area, and lo and behold, there was a large elephant in the distance!!! YESSSS!!!! We parked and watched him for quite a while. He was really far away and must have been massive and old because he looks huge in my pictures. He never turned around for us, so all I have are elephant ass pictures. I hope you enjoy them.
You may have noticed in the info board photo about the elephant that there was some info that you couldn’t quite read that seemed interesting. Well, it is. Etosha elephants are actually safe from poachers because their tusks are no good. The Etosha salt pan causes the soil to be high in salt content. Therefore, the elephants’ diets are high in salt which causes their tusks to be brittle and not grow as long.
After the elephant, I think we were all done with safari-ing. LOL. We were all just really tired from driving all day and it was close to the end of the day, so we were making our way to the exit gate of Etosha National Park. There we had to park the van and wait for the guards to check us out again. We were quickly cleared to go, and a little ways down the road, we pulled over to take pictures of the African sunset, although this looks eerily like the sunrise from this morning. I swear, they are different!
From there, we stopped at our next sleeping lodge for the night, which I will do a post about next because it was FABULOUS!!!