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Friday, 2 October 2009

Halali to Onguma Tented Camp

Got up early again to go out for dawn. Made it this time but didn’t see anything of any note.

Checked out and drove to the East of the park heading for Ongama Tented Camp. Nothing much to see on the drive as we started to think our game spotting luck had run out on the first day. We took a scenic route via the salt pan.

In the distance, is that an Elephant! .. Fuck yes. Foot down, bumping through puddles (it rained again last night) following the road around the pan, taking us in the wrong direction, shit, more panic, more foot. There’s the water hole, oh shit that’s a big fucking Elephant. The road around the water hole was all the way around. The Elephant - a big bull was in the middle with 2-3 cars parked on the other side. We crept in, turned the engine off. Mr Elephant spotted us and decided to investigate. Hmm he's coming over here, no its OK he's going to cross the road. No he's coming right here! He stopped maybe 3-4 Meters in front of our car, there’s no way for us to go past and no way for us to reverse quickly if he's pissed. He just checks us out, seemed like hours, and stands there almost at the end of the bonnet. Panic starts to set in, what do we do!! .. Can’t take pictures the screens too dirty and he's TOO close for the lens on the camera. He stands, and stands, waves his ears and then ambles of to the right. My heart was doing cart wheels. SHIT we didn’t take a picture. We start to follow parallel with him in the scrub and then we go forward and wait. He walks out onto the road, this time we're facing the right way so hopefully got some great shots.

We leave him alone and head off. 20 mins later, look another!! .. This one, even bigger, was also crossing the road but he decided to scare the crap out of the car nearest him. We help right back after the previous close encounter. My pants couldn’t handle it. The guy did exactly the same. I think it must be a game they've worked out. See if they can get the cars to back off. Check this YOUTUBE clip .. Got some more great shots. Hopefully.

Arrived at Onguma. It’s the third camp of the top three Namibian places to stay along with Walverdans and Mowani and I think by far the best tent. Will it top Walverdans ? Will wait and see. I think Ben and his family might help keep that one top. The tented camp faced a water hole and is on the reserve which is completely open to all the animals. Lion, Rhino, Leopard etc so after and before sun rise everyone has to be escorted by staff.

Mike and Margaret from Walverdans are also staying here and unfortunately so are the Older German ladies and their guide - the knob. They have now been renamed to Bride of Frankenstein (she has the worst plastic surgery), Chucky and Herr Porno (He looks like a failed 70's porn star).

Dinner service was very good but given the choice of Kudo fillet or King Lip I went with fish - wrong. The fish wasn’t cooked, it had thrown me so declined a replacement. The fish came back with a vengeance this morning.