Thursday, August 11, 2016

Olifantsrus to ... Olifantsrus.

A very quiet day which is just exactly what I need which means that it is exactly what Caron needs as well.

We woke up quite late i.e. after 06:00 and meandered off down to the waterhole.  The camp is very nicely designed so that one walks on a raised walkway over the elephant proof fence and all the way to the double storey viewing platform.  The bottom storey isn't so great because it has fixed windows which are quite dirty to to see anything through them is a bit of a mission and taking photographs just wouldn't work.  The top storey however is great so one looks down over the waterhole and can see quite far into the distance.

When we arrived we could see a lioness meandering around every futher away but we watched her anyway and she eventually came back to the waterhole and had another drink in the gentle morning sun. 
She seems to be lactating so there must be some cubs stashed somewhere close.

After the lion we drove out along the road towards Halali until we got to a picnic spot stopping at all the waterholes along the way.  A couple of them were dry so there were long stretches where there was absolutley no game at all.  The drive was rescued from oblivion by Caron spotting a Spotted Eagle Owl, pardon the pun, resting in a tree for the day about 10m back from the road.

Getting back to the campsite we spent the afternoon reading and vegetating under the awning ... thank goodness we have it because it turns a marginal campsite shade wise into somewhere that we can survive in quite happily.  There is an information kiosk about the history of Olifantsrus as well as about elephants in general which was well worth the time spent reading the information.  The camp originated as an elephant abattoir in the early 1980's when they culled about 500 elephants out of a population of 3000 due to overcrowding caused by the bush war just north of here.  South africans really haven't spread a lot of joy whereever we  have gone both then and now ... a bit like the Americans, we don't travel well.

In the evening we went back to the waterhole and saw the same lioness coming down to drink, they really are magnificent creatures and the game in general here is in very good condition.

A large group of South Africans pulled into the campsite next to ours late in the day and were quite loud and boisterous.  They had gone all the way up the Skeleton coast to the Kunene river mouth and were now on their way back down.  I thought that we were in for a long night of noise but as soon as we went to bed they pressed the mute button and we didn't hear anything further from them.

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