November 2nd – Day Thirty Nine

Before we could leave this morning we had to collect the washing taken the night before to the camp site laundry service. We were like inquisitive cats not wanting to intrude somewhere they are not meant to be, we’d take turns to loiter near the entrance to the washing area and peek inside to see if our washing had been taken off of the line yet. Eventually it was all collected and paid for and in the truck we were off with the days destination Etosha National Park.

All was going well, we were driving along a good road and some of us had started a game of travel scrabble when there was a load bang underneath the truck and Charles was pulling us over for investigation. Wouldn’t you know it we had blown another tire, this time the partner to the tire that blew those few days ago. The problem now was that we hadn’t picked up the replacement tire yet so we were without a spare. It was decided that Jacques would be dispatched back to the nearest town with one of the blown tires and we would have to buy a replacement, Charles confident the town had the required tire supplier. Luckily one of the first vehicles to come past had a trailer attached and they stopped, agreed to transport Jacques and the tyre and were soon off into the distance. There wasn’t much the rest of us could do except wait so we decamped to an adjacent field under the shade of a tree and played scrabble, had coffee and tea and talked while the replacement was purchased. It was about an hour before Jacques was back, driven by the owner of the store where the tire had been obtained. It was quickly fitted by Charles and Joe, all the wheel nuts tightened, the jack released and we were off once more.

We eventually arrived at the outskirts of the national park and we started to see wild animals as we drove along, the first being a couple of giraffe. Then we were at the gate and Jacques was off to pay our entry fees for the next three days. All done it was then a short journey to our nights accommodation at the Namutoni Rest Camp, one of three camps contained within the boundaries of the park. At the camp a few of us were able to upgrade and Keryn and I were sharing a bungalow with Kathy and Sharon. Everything into the room it was off to the camp waterhole to see what was around.

Our first wildlife at the Etosha National Park
Our first wildlife at the Etosha National Park

The three rest camps all have an adjacent waterhole that is floodlit at night so everyone can watch the wildlife that come in for a drink. At the Namutoni waterhole this afternoon we saw zebra, giraffe and a few wildebeest warily watching their audience and drinking while the sun went down. Soon after sundown we were all back at the truck for dinner and then after duties were completed most of the evening was spent at the waterhole to see what would come along. Unfortunately this turned out to be not much, we saw a jackal and a lot of lightning far off on the horizon but that was it. The odd bat flying past was a distraction from the cold wind but no amount of patience bought any more interesting wildlife to our view. Will stayed up later that everyone else and had the pleasure of spotting a rabbit in addition to another jackal but that was the sum total of the animals that visited before 11pm this night. Tired and a bit cold bed beckoned with the hope of a better days game drive on the morrow.

A zebra leaving the Namutoni waterhole
A zebra leaving the Namutoni waterhole

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