Etosha Lodges and Etosha Campsites
Our trip started at Onguma Campsite. This is located outside of the park, a short distance from Von Lindequist Gate on the east of Etosha National Park – home to the fortress camp of Namutoni. This was the ideal springboard for round-the-pan adventures. We watched as, in the distance, gusts of wind blew up huge, prehistoric sand clouds – like dust blown from a long-forgotten bookshelf. In a thicket, two black rhino grazed with a crackle of branch and a huff of breath. We watched their medieval armour disappear into a fort of thorns and thicket. Hours later, returning back to this spot, a lone male lion sunned himself in the afternoon light, watching a herd of kudu under cover of nothing more than tufty grass and tawny skin.
To traverse the great main pan from one side of Etosha to the other is to move through one astonishing landscape to another. From uninterrupted plains to the relative intimacy of mopani scrub, each area holds its own allure – as imagination kicks in and eyes scan for hidden life behind leaves and grasses. A lion, wooed by some silent call of the pan, walks into the distance with a lioness following less assuredly behind. We watch until they are but specks of lions, unhidden by bush or undulation.
It is exceptional to see the world’s most fantastic beasts out in the open, so connected to the distance. It is another to see them up close, their eyes fixed on your presence. A stone’s throw from Okaukuejo (our next stop inside the park), two lions lie in the shade centimetres from the road. A murder of crows fighting for a closer look held their attention, golden eyes to the skies, fighting noon laziness for curiosity. →