Week 8: Birthday Animals

This week was all about the animals it seemed.

Cheetahs, Hyenas & Leopards! Oh my!

We started off the week a few kilometers from Etosha at a campsite that had some predators for viewing. We’re actually not quite sure why or how they came to be there so we’re not sure how happy we should be about the whole thing, but in the least it was really interesting seeing some of the animals up close. Like cheetahs – not as delicate as they looked from afar, they actually look like they could rip your face off if they wanted, but then they meow like kittens when waiting for food. Or brown hyenas – pretty much look like something horror movies are based on, but up close, the young ones are just like puppies. And leopards – terrifying with an angry purr and hiss that you can feel deep in your gut.

Put him in a little red riding hood and he's the monster from The Village. Straight up.
Put him in a little red riding hood and he’s the monster from The Village. Straight up.

Giraffes at Etosha

Then it was on to our second day at Etosha National Park, but what we were looking forward to was the view at the waterhole by our campsite – a waterhole floodlit at night where you can watch animals come to drink 24 hours a day. Didn’t quite get the shot I wanted, but it was still amazing to watch the giraffe (my current favourite) and rhino so close and at night.

Lions at Erindi

Then we opted to splurge for a couple of nights at Erindi Private Game Reserve and invited Brian along. The three of us spent the next couple of days lounging by the pool, getting sunburned, photographing animals at the much more realistic waterhole, and waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of lions grumbling. Once you know what it is, a lion’s hum is the most unmistakable sound that cuts through right into your brain, but it is remarkable to listen to.

Hippo at Erindi waterhole, Namibia - Anywhere Bound
Not a lion, but another giant at the reserve. They’re huge! And they look fake in real life. True story. Behind him on the right is another adorable warthog that stopped still when he realized there was a hippo close by.

Birthday George Bush Sr. Style

By the end of the week, we left Brian in the north and headed back to – wait for it – Walvis Bay, probably the least exciting place we’d visited up to this point. Originally, we were supposed to be in Zambia by now, where I was planning to possibly bungee Victoria Falls for my birthday, a bucket list item for a long time, but as we’re still in Namibia waiting to hear about Moreno’s passport, we figured we’d wait somewhere we knew and somewhere closer to the capital.

In my bomber jacket ready for takeoff.
In my bomber jacket ready for takeoff.

Walvis Bay fit the bill, though I wasn’t sure if it would exactly deliver on the enormity I was trying really hard not to place on my birthday. But Moreno came up with an idea he wasn’t even so sure about: Walvis Bay may not be the adrenaline capital of anywhere, but Swakopmund, a mere 30km away, is the adrenaline capital of Namibia, and maybe signing up for a skydive would ail my adrenaline fix.

So in George Bush Sr. style, we celebrated my big 3-0 by jumping out of an airplane. So good!

Coming Up

We’re here for a couple more days and then we’ll hopefully be on our way to Windhoek and then northwards Zambia bound with Moreno’s new passport.

Fingers crossed.

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