Between Okakueujo at the west end of Etosha to Namutoni at the east lies 120km of white, gravel road. I have never in my life driven on so much gravel nor travelled such a distance at 50km/hr (except once with a spare tire 80km outside Rochester, NY on a Sunday). It was along this road however, that I saw cheetah in the wild (very rare), and more springok than you could shake a bunny rabbit at (they are Namibia’s rabbits). Half way between Okaukuejo and Namutoni is Halali where I stopped for lunch. Going out however, I followed the sign pointing us in the direction of Namutoni but encountered a road closed sign with directions for a detour. I travelled along this road for a good half hour and with each passing minute I concluded that we had been led down a blind alley. The road itself seemed to be parallel to the one we were on before the detour and going back in the direction we came. I turned the car around, doubled back and got some info. Yes, the sign was wrong but they hadn’t gotten around to putting up a sign at the exit from Halali that the direction to Namutoni had changed. So sorry, have a nice day. Ok, then!
Along the way I encountered several stopped cars. Now when cars are stopped and no one is saying a word it is because something special is happening. In this case, it was a family of cheetahs resting in the shade. This was communicated to us in a loud whisper. While we obviously did not pose a threat to the mother, she nevertheless decided to move further away. I managed to photograph some of the action from the car window in between other cars moving forwards to get a better view. It was kind of amusing as everyone’s eye were on the cats and only peripherally on where they were going.
While the wrong was long and wearying, I did see many wonderful animals. Here is a gallery of pictures from that portion of the trip. The photo captioned DSC_3563 is a mirage. At first I thought it was a lake but with the searing heat I knew it could not be true. What I saw but knew not to be true collided in my mind. I realised fairly quickly that it was a mirage, but while I had seen what looked like water coming off a very hot highway, I had never seen a true mirage of such huge proportion before. Such is Africa.