Travels in Southern Africa: Day 1

Day 1: Drive from Swakopmund to Erindi Private Game Reserve. 

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Pictures courtesy of my boyfriend, Daniel Morten Tollefsen. Thank you for letting me steal your wonderful work for my blog!

The roads in Namibia are of relative high quality compared to the rest of Southern Africa, and therefore driving went quite fast. The scenery along the highway was very beautiful and we saw many warthogs (commonly known as pumbas). Suddenly Ahn Dao spotted three giraffes in the distance -Giraffes are my favorite African animal so try to imagine the chaos in the car! The entire drive to Erindi took 4 hours and 15 minutes.IMG_2054

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After our arrival to the luxurious Old Hunter’s Lodge in Erindi we ate fantastic lunch by the water hole. We saw an abundance of crocodiles, hippos, impala, warthogs, storks, a zebra, and two elephants. Exciting!

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At 3:30 we left for a game drive. Jeremia, our driver and guide, was incredibly knowledgable and taught us many interesting facts about the various animals. For example, he showed us a tree lacking bark and explained that zebras eat the bark to kill parasites in their stomach. He also showed us the tracks a rhino had made by dragging is itchy chins on the ground. We drove around the reserve on sand and dirt tracks, often driving into the side of the make-shift road and over thorny bushes to find the interesting animals. DSCF7541

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IMG_2183The mound you see around the trunk of this tree is in fact a giant termite mound. It takes up to 50 years to complete the base of the mound, and in that time the tree grows up and out of it. These are visible all across southern Africa, and you soon get used to seeing these while driving around.

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We all agree that the highlight was seeing a female cheetah just few meters from the car.

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Animals we spotted: Giraffes, monkeys, wild boars, deers, elephants, hippos, a zebra, giant storks, crocodiles, springbok, jamesbok, waterbok, stinbok, red hartebeest, aardvark, african wild cat, oryx, impala, wildebeest, buffalo, blu gnu, rabbits, an owl, many guinea fowl, cheetah, ostrich, and the rare black rhino.

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We enjoyed sundown by a waterhole with three giraffes. Once the sun set however, we all suffered the cold. During the day temperatures stay at 20-28 degrees Celsius, but during the night all warmth disappears and temperatures drop t0 10 degrees. I definitely underestimated the African climate and realized soon that I had packed too lightly. Now I’m constantly wearing Daniel’s sweaters and a tacky fleece hat I bought in Etosha. We fell asleep in fluffy and comfortable beds at 10:30.

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