Day Three: Driving from Etosha Village to Mokuti Lodge through
the Etosha National Park
We stumbled upon a lone young male lion in Etosha soon after entering. He was walking just 10 meters from the car, moaning and making interesting noises. Other than having to drive back to the village after an hour to retrieve our forgotten money, the trip went smoothly. One would imagine that spending a day in the car would be tiresome, but it was very exciting most of the way through Etosha. We saw hoards of giraffes, zebras, and impala. We saw giraffes right by the side of the road.
Daniel loved the “Ostriches Ostriches!! Should have gone with my gut. I knew it, I knew it” and Nadine went ecstatic everytime we saw zebras. I myself, still love the awkward and tall giraffes (possibly due to the fact that I identify with them). The highlight of the day was finding a family of six elephants by the road. A mother and her child were cleaning themselves with dirt and eating thorny bushes 5 meters from us. Cameras clicked and smiles were wide. I decided to break the rules and leaned out of my car window to shoot some footage of a baby elephant on the other side of the land cruiser. As I leaned over the roof the baby and I made eye contact. At one point they got so close to us that I worried the mother would become aggressive. The family then decided to cross the road, and as they were crossing behind the car another family came and ran in front of the car. We were encircled by massive elephants! We were all feeling pretty nervous when the mother started shaking her head at us. Luckily it was nothing and they remained peaceful. What an incredible experience.
By this time the sun was starting to move downwards. It was important to get through the park before sundown to avoid heavy fines. We made good speed along the pan and kept an eye on the diverse wild life. The Etosha Pan is a large salt plain that stretches as far as the eye can see. At first glance many are tricked into thinking it is an ocean. I had to continually remind myself “No Nora, you are not looking at a coast. This is a salt plain. Not an ocean.” We drove out towards the tip of the pan and walked on the ocean of salt.
On our way out of the park we saw a white rhino and a damara dik-dik. The latter is a tiny deer-like animal with large ears and tiny horns. It looked like a creature out of a fantasy movie! Arrived at Mokuti Lodge at 5:30 and enjoyed a delicious buffet dinner soon after. Finished the night sitting around the fireplace- first inside, and then later we sat around a bonfire outside, enjoying margheritas and beers.