We rented a 4×4 pick up truck with a pop up tent on top, packed up our stuff for a month and drove ourselves through Botswana and Namibia, camping in the parks along the way. No guides, no other passengers, just the two of us, an old school map of the area and the animals out in the wild.
Etosha was one of our last parks we drove through and were surprised at how active the animals were for the few days we camped there.
Upon entering the park we saw 3 – 4 cars pulled off on the side of the road which is always a good sign when you are driving through. Hiding in the bush was a leopard! This was so much closer than our first leopard sighting along the Chobe river and boy were we excited!
Drive slow and keep your eyes peeled, the animals are everywhere!
There is an incredible salt pan in the park. It’s flat as far as your eyes can see, and the sky is overwhelmingly breathtaking. We didn’t get out of the car for most of the month we drove through the parks because of the animals, but here in the middle of the salt flat we got out and enjoyed the view.
Back in the park, you have to drive slowly because you never know when the road will be blocked due to crossing animals. We always would wait as they finished crossing the road and then drive by slowly, so as to not spook any of them, in fear they would jump in front of the car.
Waterholes were always the best place to view animals, especially during the dry season. Some mornings we would just park the car in front of the waterhole for a few hours, reading our books and watching the animals come and go.
We were most excited during our few lion sightings over the month. These particular lions had just come back from a kill and were cleaning up in the waterhole nearby – very National Geographic style 🙂
At the end the day we would drive back to the campground, make a fire and start preparing dinner. Meat, potatoes, pasta and veggies took their turn on our plates accompanied by a glass of wine or beer as we watched the sun set.
Etosha is famous for their night viewing at waterholes. There are waterholes right next to the campsites with flood lights, and it’s hard to believe, but within walking distance from where you are sleeping there are elephants, rhinos, giraffes, springbok all coming to the waterhole to drink. Bats and birds are flying through the air picking off insects and you can sit and enjoy a glass of wine while watching from a safe distance.
Every day was an adventure, every moment we were wondering what sights and sounds we would hear next. For the entire month our 5 senses were on overdrive and it was to this day still one of the most incredible 30 days of any trip we’ve ever taken.
What travel adventure do you look back on and think it was one of the most incredible yet?