Monday, August 15, 2016

Out and about from Onkoshi

Onkoshi charges pretty pretty high prices and their location is hard to beat but if they want to charge these prices, the food could really do with some upgrading at N$2500pppn I would expect more than what I would normally receive at a garden variety B&B at 1/7th of the price.  Location does count for a lot but it isn't everything.

Heading out in the morning the first stop was Namutoni to fill up with fuel, pump up the tyres and have a look at the 'fort' which turned out to our surprise to have been a real fort.  In fact, it had actually seen some fighting and was burnt by the locals at one stage and then rebuilt by the Germans in 1907.  Now it is a tourist shopping mall.

After the fort we tried to find a waterhole that was on the map but ended up at Chudib which is a waterhole that we visited yesterday.  Ariving there we found two jackals who appeared to be dead lying just next to the water, it took us about 5 minutes to realise that they were very much alive ... just enjoying the cool earth right next to the waters edge. 
The antelope in general and the kudu in particular were very wary of their intentions and would stampede at the slightest movement of the jackals.  Even the eland and the giraffe were very cautious and the giraffe eventually left without having had a drink.  It was quite comical, these two tiny carnivores keeping probably 100 kudu, impala, springbok, eland and giraffe at bay.  The antelope would sneak closer and closer until one of the jackals would lift it's head or roll over at which point there would be panic in the assembled antelope ranks.  The antelope would retreat and then slowly sidle back up to the water only for the same thing to happen.

Once we had left the jackals we drove past the Namutomi camp and there were several elephant size holes in the fence, clearly this type of fence was no match for an elephant and they had wandered into and out of the camp at several locations.  Very irritating if your job is to fix the fence.

We took a bit of a loop road back to camp and aside from driving out a little bit onto the pan before Caron got too antsy and I headed back for terra firma, we came across some roadworks.  They seem to just keep on adding layer over layer that eventually builds the entire road into a very compacted mound.

Today was vulture day and we saw the lappet face and white backed vultures.  It was the first time that we have seen vultures which was abnormal but when we finally found them there were dozens of them at the waterhole.  Lots of bones lying around so I guess, assuming that something hadn't conveniently died next to the waterhole, that they are being fed.

We were back at about 14:00 and I spent the afternoon reading Moeletsi Mbeki's "Architects of Poverty" which is a bit depressing but interesting nonetheless. Essentially the black governments of sub-saharan africa aren't ruling in the interests of the people of the country (which I agree with) but in the interests of external (read white) parties (which I don't agree with) who give kickbacks to the government which is effectively reduced to a proxy. I can just imaging Mugabe fuming that he and his government is being regarded as merely a front for white business interests. He does raise some really good points about the lack of a bourgeois in almost all sub-saharan africa countries courtesy of the colonial powers and how important the bourgeois is in order to keep governments honest.  It's only an afternoons reading so well worth the time spent.

We had dinner at the lodge before retiring for some champagne as we looked out over the starlit pan.  It could definitely be worse.

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