Social Work Study Tour to Namibia

The University of Minnesota School of Social Work is studying in Namibia during May 2010.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Etosha National Park

Etosha National Park is one of the largest national parks in all of Africa. It is rarely crowded with people, though it is filled with animals. We were lucky to spend a day and a half in this magical park. Etosha is about an hour and a half from Oshakati. We came in the northern entrance to Etosha, and almost couldn’t get into the park at all. The gate staff had lost the keys to the big gate, but our driver, Elvis, found a way to squeeze our bus through with literally less than in inch to spare on either side!

Rachel, Rebekah & Eric at the entrance to Etosha - with warnings NOT to leave your vehicle!

Relief at squeezing through the entrance to Etosha

Once inside Etosha, we saw animals almost constantly. Etosha is a self-drive park, so we were able to drive the bus up to whatever waterholes we wanted and stay for as long as we wanted. We spent the day gradually making our way across the park. At first we stopped the bus for just a few Springbok, but after a few hours we were driving by herds of zebra without batting an eye. Some of the animals we spotted at Etosha include springbok, zebra, ostriches, kudu, oryx, black faced impala, damara dik dik, spring hare, spotted eagle owls, bat eared fox, warthogs, giraffes, black backed jackals, elephants, and black rhino. It is thrilling to see these animals in the wild.



Springbok and Elephant

Giraffe and zebras

Naomi & Sara

Social weaver birds' nest

Etosha Waterhole

Our biggest find was a leopard, which most people never are able to see. We saw theleopard on the side of the road, and we followed him in the bus for about 100 meters, before he then crossed the road right in front of where our bus was parked!

We stayed in the Okaukuejo Park inside of Etosha, which is an upscale resort. The highlight of Etosha (aside from the buffet) is the floodlit natural waterhole which animals stop by. Many of us spent hours sitting by the waterhole waiting for or watching animals. At the waterhole, we saw elephants, rhino, springbok, oryx, and hundreds and hundreds of zebra. At night, many of us also heard a lion roaring, and the next day we saw the vultures circling what must have been her prey.

Some folks went on a night drive with an Etosha guide

Professor Lightfoot lecturing at the waterhole

In the morning, after a few more visits to waterholes, we left for our long drive to Swakopmund. We took somewhat of a scenic route, and were treated to some of the spectacular views of the Namibian countryside.

We also stopped by a cool roadside gem market.

1 comment:

  1. Happy Birthday Lindsey. Looks like your entire group is having a fantastic time. Stunning pictures!