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The unexpected surprise – 90 minutes with cheetah determined to entertain us

In the Etosha landscape one is very lucky if you spot a cheetah. We had been out to Two Palms twice a day on the rumours that a mother and two cubs were sighted there.

 IMG_0035 Yesterday we finally saw a male much closer to Namutoni, on the road to Halali. We would not have seen him if it was not for the driver of a game drive vehicle from outside the Etosha Park. He stopped next to us at Chudop and told us that a few kilometres back he had seen a cheetah under a tree near the road. We dashed over there and found a few other vehicles on the scene but just could not see the cheetah. We moved our position, and even asked a Frenchman if he had seen the animal. “I cannot see it,” came the reply.

 

 

 

Suddenly, barely 50 metres from us, the cheetah sat up against a small tree, surveying the landscape and probably planning his hunt. Then he laid down again and we knew why we could not see him before. He blended in so much with the vegetation which is somewhat overgrown after this year’s good rains.

IMG_0053Janey did spot the ears and we speculated what would happen next. Some zebras came walking part barely 10 meters away and our smart money was on an imminent attack on one of the youngsters. Nothing of the sort – the cheetah did not stir.

 

 

 

 

 

Sometime later he did surprise us by getting up, stretching and calmly starting to stroll away. This created a frenzy amongst the drivers of about eight vehicles who tried to keep up so their customers could get some of the best shots. The cheetah continued walking, our cameras were snapping and we were getting some great video material.

IMG_0087Finally, the tourist vehicles decided they had enough and dashed off in search of other animals which their customers wanted to see. In their case it was a matter of there being only so many hours in the day and they had to do it all. All very commercial!

 

 

 

 

 

We stayed and continued up the road with the cheetah walking opposite us for some two kilometres, often stopping for a moment to look around. We joked that he was simply showing off and understood that it was his duty, on this particular day, to entertain us.

IMG_0114Eventually, he spotted a Springbok in the distance and veered off the road towards the Etosha Pan. He did not simply disappear, but settled on high ground, sitting up straight and looking out on what was his hunting ground.

It was a special day! On the way back to camp we met that driver again. We thanked him, and this chance meeting prompted us to take a drive to Andoni water hole near the northern gate of the park for another unforgettable experience today, this time with a male lion who also enthralled us for more than two hours. This time there was no one else in sight and we had the water hole, the lion and hordes of animals waiting to drink all to ourselves.

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There is but one place to be if you want to be close to the animals of Etosha

Fredo and Janey are so pleased to be back in Namutoni. The Bush Chalet is so comfortable and nice with an outside shower in an enclosed area over-looking the surrounding bush. This is where we belong. We spent 5 days here in 2013 and the Chalet is exactly as luxurious as we remember it. We
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We are packing to transfer to Namutoni for another happy seven nights

Namutoni has always been a particular favourite in terms of game viewing. It lies on the eastern side of the giant Etosha Pan and there are a number of very sustainable water holes within a short distance of the camp with its imposing old Fort. There is perhaps also a more diverse animal population than
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The Springbok enthrals Fredo and Janey in Etosha.

The middle to the west of Etosha is known for its large herds of Springboks. With the plains having plenty of food after the good rains, one finds them everywhere. They gather in small herds, but they are mostly dotted everywhere on and off the roads, of then seemingly lots in their own thoughts as
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Etosha rewards you when you least expect it

Fredo and Janey are now on their third comprehensive Etosha experience. Fourteen days in 2013, 21 days in 2015 and now 14 days in 2018 – this place grows in you. This is not the place you come to for a few days here and there, rushing from one water hole to the next, often
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Namibia is green and grassed and Etohsa is alive with animals

Fredo and Janey arrived in Okaukeujo still talking of our last visit. It was dry and dusty and the animals gathered at a few water holes where they could still drink. In this area of the park we found lions everywhere and there was a mixture of other animals. This time round it is clear
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Sharon Fruit goes on safari to Namibia

This time of the year it is Sharon Fruit season in South Africa. Fredo writes the Sharon Fruit facebook page and that is how we ended up in Etosha tasting Sharon Fruit with people who actually came there to watch wild animals. It started with Hein Small giving us a generous donation of Sharon Fruit
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Fredo Touring is in Windhoek – and chilling out for the night overlooking a green and leafy Namibian capital

After three days on the road, including Stilbaai four days, some 2 000 km later, we have arrived in Windhoek and will move to Etosha tomorrow morning. We had an eventful few days. From having our vehicle broken into in Cape Town and having to scramble to get ready for the road, we finally got away.
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Fredo Touring is off again – to the open plains of Etosha in Namibia

For the past six months Fredo’s head has been thousands of documents and files as he was researching the history of table grapes in South Africa. It has indeed been a time of pressure and concentration. Good news is that the book is making progress, but in all fairness to all not as fast as
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Contrast of Kabeljou run and fire at Stilbaai on Workers’ Day!

May Day! May Day! May Day!     Kabeljou coming out of our ears on the one side and a bush fire burning down houses up river on the banks of the Goukou River. As Koos Pretorius returned with his fine catch of Kabeljou from the sea – we are reading the anxious calls for help
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