Namibia, April 2016  -  p 1 of 4


2 Apr 2016

Africa does sunsets - just about better than anywhere else.

Here you can drive around admiring the wildlife; then, end the day with the light show, a glass of cold Windhoek lager in hand.  If you miss it, not to worry - it will probably be just as spectacular tomorrow night.










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Burchell's-Starling.jpg (317622 bytes)

Charlotte & I spent 3 days museum-hopping in cold, rainy Paris.  Then we caught the overnight flight to Johannesburg, South Africa, and from there flew on to Windhoek, Nambia.  Awaiting us at the airport was a Toyota 4WD Hilux, our wheels for 12 days around the country on a self-drive tour.

We drove 200 km north to Okonjima Bush Camp.  Just outside Chalet #2 was a concrete-lined water hole.  Black-backed Jackals and warthogs came to drink, along with most of the birds around, including the Burchell's Starling shown here.

3 Apr 2016

Okonjima's camps and the surrounding 22,000 ha private reserve are run by the AfriCat Foundation, a conservation group dedicated to saving the carnivores of Namibia.
   Our guides Daniel and Joseph took us on a drive through the reserve in a Land Rover.  We easily found "the boys," two young cheetahs who wore radio-collars.
   The day before, in fact, we had bravely walked right up to the boys as they napped under an acacia tree.



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On the afternoon drive Daniel drove the Land Rover down a dry riverbed until we found the old leopard Mafana.  He went into the bush, but when Daniel steered the Land Rover in after him, he came back out into the riverbed and rested in the shade.
    Mafana is  grumpy because he's been ousted from his territory by a younger leopard.  However, from the looks of his tummy, the old boy is not yet starving.
As we set out this morning, a Grey Go-away Bird hopped up to pose, just as the first rays of the sun caught its crest..  It gets its name from the call it makes:  "Go 'way, go 'way!" 

Cape Turtle Doves by the thousands also have something to say:  "Work harder, work harder!".  

Grey-Lourie-2.jpg (307879 bytes)
Electra-closeup.jpg (676274 bytes) Accord to our tracking antenna, there are more leopards about.  Daniel guides the Land Rover to a spot near a small gully in which we can see, through the grass, hints of leopard.
    As the day begins to warm, out comes the mother leopard, Electra, who rests under a nearby tree.   According to Daniel, she and her cub Nandi have been dining on young warthog.
Soon she is joined by Nandi.  Being a dutiful mom, she begins to clean her in the time-honored way among cats.. Electra-and-Nandi-closeup.jpg (568614 bytes)
Electra-and-Nandi-together.jpg (844920 bytes) The two leopards pay us little heed as we back the Land Rover away.  With shade and a full tummy, chances are they'll soon be asleep.

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