Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 1961 – 1962: Etosha National Park

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Feb - 26 - 2016

I though it would cost hundreds if not thousand of dollars to go on a safari. Then I realized that the entrance fee for Etosha National Park (one of the most famous) is 5$ a day! Too good to pass, even though I had to rent a car with a couple of other guys from my hostel in Windhoek – lots of lions around so no bicycles allowed…

The entrance gate to Etosha is located 160 km from Otjiwarongo, the place I was staying – practically around the corner in Namibian terms!

At the gate we met Victor who turned out to be a worker in the park. Victor was looking for a ride, and voila, we now even had a personal guide ๐Ÿ™‚ We had only made it a couple of kilometers into the park (which is half the size of Denmark!) when we spotted the first Zebra.

And there behind the trees was a baby giraffe.

I thought this had the potential to become a good day!

We left Victor in the next camp and ventured into some small dirt roads. We had only rented a tiny car, and since it had recently rained we had to navigate through some puddles. We made it through – just!

On my map we could see the different water holes which naturally attracts the animals on a hot day like today.

I had read that Etosha receives 200.000 visitors a year! Yet, we very much felt alone driving on the remote dirt roads in my small car. Always with the camera ready…

It is hard to find shade when you are taller than the trees…

Before Victor left he had explained that the elephants would be hard to spot because most of them had wandered off into a remote area of the park. We were therefore pretty excited to spot an elephant somewhere in the bushes. Looking at the map, I thought the elephant might be headed for a nearby water hole. We drove over there, and sure enough the big guy showed up for a dip.

I felt like I was starting to get the hang of this Safari stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

The only thing I thought was a bit pricey in Etosha was the camp site – 30$ is the most I have ever paid to pitch my tent, but OK, it was probably a good thing to behind a fence tonight!

The campsite came complete with a view over a water hole – and that’s when the rhinos showed up for a drink, a quick dip, and a 10 minute fight… that seemed to be their idea of a perfect evening.

I would say that I’m more of a people person than an animal person, and before today I wouldn’t have though that safaris would be for me. However, being in Africa this experience would be a shame to miss. I would have preferred to see some of these animals by bike (and I will be riding through other National Parks later), but to get a good close up view of as many animals as I have seen today, you probably need to be in a car.

I left the rhinos and springboks and went back to my tent for a nice sleep.

The next morning we were up early, and the water hole was empty. It was time to head back towards Otjiwarongo to return the car.

Categories: Namibia
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2 Responses so far.

  1. Thierry says:

    That is so awesome ! I’m always so happy to see a new post of yours pop up in the feed.
    But now I’m also curious how much the car rent was ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Hi Thierry.

    Great to know you enjoy the updates! The car rental was 37$ a day – I just took it for a single day….

    Thomas