We got up at a reasonable time and it was time to head to Etosha Nature Reserve the second largest reserve in Africa only to Serengeti in Tanzania. We first stopped in a town called Outijo to get some supplies for the day and take care of business. It was a pretty developed town for Namibia. Becca asked me to go with her to the bank in case she got lost and it turned in to an adventure. First we walked all the way to the bank that she thought she could use. It didn’t work, then we tried another bank and then afterwards we went back to the bus to get her other card. I had an interest in her getting money as I had lent her 600 rand or about 76 USD back in Swakopmund so she could do the combo quadbike sandboard that I did. Luckily 45 minutes later, and two cards, three banks later it worked and I got my money, but it was in Namibian dollars. I wanted rand, and luckily the Bank of Windhoek changed the money in to rand without a fee and without hassle at one to one. After I went to the supermarket, picked up some bread and chicken roll, went to the bottle shop for another 6 pack of Savanna, and some recharge for my phone. Hank also paid me my 300 rand I won in poker so I used the proceeds for all my necessities of the day and so on.
The ride wasn’t that bad and when we got to Etosha we hopped out at the entrance and I picked up a typical touristy “Etosha Game park, Namibia shirt,” or whatever it said, got a small present for mom and a postcard to send to a friend when I had a chance. I realized that if I went cheap and didn’t buy things, I would regret it later on and I thought the shirt was cool. We got back on the bus and were off 17 kilometers to where we would stop for lunch and where we could see our first wild animals of the trip. Within five minutes we saw a pack of Zebras along the road, Springbok’s. After lunch we saw many more animals like Giraffe’s, elephants, jackals, red hearted beast, blue wildebeast, elephants, antelope’s etc…We even saw a Giraffe at the watering hole and was able to watch it sit in its awkward manner to drink water and get back up and do it again. The position of a Giraffe drinking is it’s most vulnerable and how they get killed by lions.
Within two hours we had seen over 15 different animals and birds and we still had a whole day tomorrow to see animals, but this was just the main course, dessert was yet to be served. After lunch this drive was 75 kilometers to the campsite where we would be spending two nights. This was great since we wouldn’t have to take down our tents and move, so we had a chance to have a good night and relax. But there would be no relaxing as tonight was Jin’s birthday. This meant party time. At our stop in the town earlier we bought jin two cakes, party favor’s and other party things which made it fun. Anyway when we got to the campsite, Rob and I put up the tent and then headed after I did a few things, someone came running back saying that there were elephants at the watering hole near the campsite. Oh that reminds me where we had lunch there was a watering hole and at this watering hole we saw like 70 zebras in the watering hole, that was really cool. So back to later that night. I grabbed my camera and my extra lense and ran to the watering hole. It was about 500 meters so I walked some of it. When I got there I saw about 17 elephants in the watering hole at night with a little baby rhino in the distance hiding out. Eventually the baby rhino came out to scope out the situation but was kept at a safe distance from the herd of elephants. At one point I thought the Rhino and the elephants would have it out, but it really didn’t happen. 180 pictures later in the dark trying all settings and positions to try and get a few great photos, a family of Rhinos came to the watering hole. The whole things was amazing. The whole day from start to finish is definitely one of the highlights of my life, but I have a feeling that over my final two weeks of my trip this summer of 2008, with two more Nature parks and other places left to see that I will be saying that again. Thats ok, that is what life and traveling is all about. OK party time, I am being very anti social!
When I returned to the group I became DJ Josh mixing music between my palm pilot and my cell phone. I used the little speaker mom gave me and attached it to the palm. Everyone is amazed at all the electronics I have with me. It is a shame that I left the power adapter of my Iriver MP3 player at home otherwise my selection would have been quite extensive. People for the most part seemed to enjoy my choice of songs and it was better than talking in silence. Heck this was Jin’s birthday afterall and we needed some music. I spent the rest of the night drinking the special birthday punch made for Jin’s birthday and chatted with my friends of this trip. Tomorrow we would be waking up early for sunrise game drive through Etosha National Park, but luckily the tents would remain standing for one more night.