An Africa4us traveller’s experience – Opuwo to Etosha National Park and Windhoek.
Leaving Opuwo at the crack of dawn was well worth the adventure that lay ahead with an early arrival at Etosha National Park planned. As usual, the Africa4us kept everything running smoothly and on schedule, and just entering the gates of Etosha was exciting itself!
The first leg in Etosha would be heading for Olifantsrus Camp Site for our second night of camping, but it would be a very slow drive, making it our first game drive in Etosha. Between our driver, who seemed to have eyes that could spot an ant at a thousand feet, our very special guide and the rest of us, it was not long before we caught site of our first elephant in the distance, a few dik diks, Eland, Giraffes and Springbok, all of which had us acting like excited kids.
Our two lady crew knew where to look for all the places the different animals would choose for shelter from the heat of the day, but getting to the first watering hole was truly an unforgettable experience! This was the first time we had been able to get this close to the animals, and the variety of species sharing the waterhole was incredible. Zebras, Wildebeest, Springbok, Kudu’s, Oryx, Dik Diks, Giraffes and even a few Ostriches, all cavorting in and around the waterhole, but the cherry on top was the sight of a large herd of Elephants a bit of a distance away.
Everyone in that truck were begging those elephants to come to watering hole, holding our breath collectively, until finally the matriarch finally made the first move, in our direction! Naturally we had to keep dead quiet, using only the softest of whispers to communicate, but it was hard not to dance and shout for joy.
We sat there for a long time watching the two babies of the herd cavorting around the waterhole under the very watchful eyes of the matriarch and the rest of the herd. We finally had to tear ourselves away in order to make our camp site at Olifantsrus, but it was done with great difficulty.
Even after a long drive in the morning and the hours we spent on our game drive, the crew had our tents up in no time, with tables and chairs set out under the awning that pulls out from the top of the truck. Once everything was set up, our unflagging team set out on yet another late afternoon game drive that brought more of the same thrills as our first one had, and this time we hit pay dirt with a pride of lions that were busy feasting on their latest kill.
Fully satiated for the day, or so we thought, we headed back to camp, where supper was prepared in no time, as usual, but there was more in store for us! Olifantsrus has a small watering hole that has a viewing tower reached by a ramp that provides a reddish light for night game viewing, and with bellies full we headed for the tower after sunset.
What we got was more than any of us had ever expected! To stand 5 metres away from an elephant at a waterhole, undisturbed in its natural surroundings is an experience that must be had at least once in your lifetime, so whatever you do, make an African experience a priority on your bucket list.
Our 12th day and second one in Etosha took us on yet another adventure-filled game drive to our next rest stop at Okaukeujo Rooms, and this second day was just as exciting as our previous day, with too many special moments and sights to be able to convey in words, with a crew who opened our eyes to so much information about the habits of the wildlife we came across that we were overwhelmed by the treasures that unfolded around us.
Our final night in Etosha was spent in the same comfort that we had experienced throughout our trip, and although there was once again much laughter and fun around the fire at dinner, it was a bittersweet evening for us, knowing that the next leg of our journey would take us to Windhoek and finally to the airport to go our separate ways.
It was a long journey to Windhoek from Etosha, leaving us just enough time to freshen up at our hotel and head out to our final evening together. Joe’s Beerhouse is one of the best known and well loved restaurants in Windhoek, and this is where we had our final feast, reminiscing over the highlights of our trip, the gallons of water we had consumed and the funny moments shared along the way.
We checked out of our Windhoek hotel early to get to the airport, and by the time we had all our baggage off our beloved Lepelle, with goodbyes said, many of us watched our two ‘lady’ crew pull away with a real sadness in our hearts.
This is an adventure none of us will ever forget, and from the stories our Africa4us team told us about their adventures further into the heart of Africa, many will be coming back to explore this beautiful continent again.
This was an overland tour done in style and luxury, and time after time when we crossed paths with other tour companies, we knew we had made the best choice of all to take the trip with the passionate team from Africa4us!