Monday, May 22, 2006

Wild times in Etosha

Four days into our honeymoon, we reached the eastern extremity of Etosha National Park, in the north of Namibia. Entering the park, we found ourselves driving in an area of very thick bush; nevertheless, we began to see game almost immediately - first, a large kudu, followed by a small herd of zebra. Other creatures followed quickly - later, there were giraffes, and possibly the oddest looking (and moving) creature, the wildebeeste.

Wildebeeste on the move

Driving ourselves, game viewing was a matter of picking turns at random from a network of gravel roads (of varying quality) that snake through the varying landscapes within Etosha. While all the land is fairly flat, the amount of groundwater available varies quite a bit, and with it the types of vegetation. In drier areas, low trees and bushes give way to grasses; in even drier or saltier ground, the grass gives way to bare earth and stone. In the more open areas, it is easy to find large herds of herbivores, and we saw many birds of the raptor (eagle) family. For people who'ld like to see zebras, Etosha is a kind of paradise - we saw herds numbering in the hundreds.

Romantically-minded Zebra

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