From Hwange to the Skeleton Coast (Aug 2012)
From the 20th of August to the 8th of September 2012, my best friend Marie and I went on a road trip from Hwange to the Skeleton Coast and all over Northern Namibia. We drove nearly 5 400km!!
It was an amazing trip, 3 weeks full of breath taking landscapes, amazing birds and stunning wildlife!
(Clic on the picture to see a larger resolution)
Par ShumbAfrica le 10 September 2012 à 11:57
The last stop of our trip was in Etosha NP for 2 nights. It was pleasant to see a bit higher concentration of wildlife there. We stayed at the Okakuejo & Halali campsites, both managed by NWR. Okakuejo has been renovated recently, but Halali would do well with the same treatment... The main problem of these camps is dust and the lack of shade. Floodlit waterholes are nicelty arranged.
We arrived a bit late the first day so we didn't see much, "just" a few springboks, gemsboks, zebras and black faced impalas... Coming from Hwange, the whole plcae seems a bit empty, just because you don't see herds of elephants everywhere! Seeing so many gemsboks was really nice thouhg. We spent the next day driving around, in the bush and along the pan. Most of the animals were concentrated around the artificial waterholes, as the pan was entirely dry at this time of the year.
Evening sat the floddlit waterholes in camp was just amazing! We were lucky enough to see 5 black rhinos in less than 48h, all with their 2 horns!
We also saw quite a few lions, including on sitghing of 2 young males sharing a waterhole with 8 spotted hyaenas! I wish I could see this in Hwange!
Gemsboks and Springboks
Plain zebras resting
A couple of Violet-eared waxbills (male in front, female in the background)
Halali floodlit waterhole
Black rhinos, mother and calf
Black rhino bull
Black faced impala
Flock or Red-billed queleas
Red-billed queleas and spotted hyaena (!)
Northern black korhaan
Pale chanting goshawk
Par ShumbAfrica le 10 September 2012 à 11:55
From Palmwag, we hit the road North loking for the Himbas people. But at this time of the year, they are all in town, in Opuwo as it is too dry to remain in the bush. We saw them there and they just look amazing!! No picture though as they always ask for money and it would have been rude to do so without their consent. We also saw quite anumber of Erero people.
Not a lot of wildlife along the road, but we saw these beautiful trees in bloom. If anyone knows them, I'm interested!!
Ok, it's actually called a Bottle tree (Pachypodium lealii) which is endemic to Naminbia and southerne Angola. It produces a watery latex, rich in toxic alkaloids, used by local populations as arrow poison for hunting. In contact with the eyes this latex can produce blindness (from Wikipedia).
Par ShumbAfrica le 10 September 2012 à 11:54
Coming out from the Damaraland rocky desert, we got to Twyfelfontein. We first passed by the Burnt Mountain and then by the Organ Pipes at the bottom of a river bed. We spent the night at the Aba Huab campsite and went to see the 2 000 to 6 000 years old rock engravings. We walked both loops (up hill for the Dancing Kudu trail and then along the foot of the hill for the Lion Man trail).
Our guide was very nice but a bit useless regarding information he gave us... Other guide seemed to have been more helpful.
Note that it is now impossible to visit the engravings n your own, you have to have a guide and pay entry fees for your car, even though it stays in the parking lot!!
Twyfeltfontein rock engravings
School board for spoors
Par ShumbAfrica le 10 September 2012 à 11:44
After Messum crater, we headed East then North up to the Ugab river again. We followed it for a while then crossed over in the desert towards Doros crater and river. We didn't go to the crater and before we hit the river, we found a wonderful place to set up camp, in a vast rocky plain, above granite boulders, and with the Brandberg mountain in the back ground. We just couldn't resist!!!
I took a walk and saw Mountain zebras in the distance late afternoon. The sunset was stunning, but the most beautiful part was the full moon rise!!!
Brandberg in the bakground
Damara moon rise
The night ended up being quite windy, chilly and wet!!
But we were rewarded by a group of Springboks grazing close to our camp early morning!!
Par ShumbAfrica le 10 September 2012 à 11:43
When we woke up in our cave this morning, the sky was completely overcast and it was quite chilly... We had planed to drive around the Brandberg mountain, but the weather discouraged us, so we chose to go through the desert instead. We had some real 4X4 experience in front of us, driving up steep and rocky hills, down river beds etc. It was great though.
After Doros, another day of desert was ahead of us to reach Twyfelfontein. And we had the stunning surprise to bump into 4 cheetahs on the way!! It was a mother with 2 grown up sub-adults and another adult (we didn't manage to see if it was a female or a male). They scatered in front of us, then reunited a hundredsmeters from the road and resumed their late morning nap, disapearing in the bushes. It was definitely one of the highlight of this wonderful trip!
View on and from the Doros camp (Room with a view) in the morning
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