Game viewing in Etosha National Park
We woke up early in Etosha National Park in Namibia because a day of animals was waiting for us. This was much appreciated because so far on our African roadtrip, we have changed locations everyday. Because the watering hole was so magnificent the evening before, that is where we had coffee. There was a sense of peace that came over us while taking a deep breath, drinking coffee, and holding hands while watching animals on the savannah drink water while the sun rose.
Though we did not drive anywhere else this day, we did a lot of driving around Etosha. We saw many animals and my heart was full.
Date night in Etosha National Park
This day happened to be a Saturday so despite flying me across the world and giving me this experience, Maxwell still wanted to take me on a date. He surprised me with a 3 hour night game drive.
Though we were excited to go on this game drive, no one else in the campsite was. We were the only guests on an enormous 4×4. Our guide was great and we saw some fantastic animals. I did not think that it would be a scary experience because we were in the safety of our vehicle, but we got a little spooked. The vehicle was open on all sides and once we were in the thick bush, we realized that anything could technically jump right in.
The guide panned a light into trees and overland to catch the reflection of animal’s eyes. We saw many hyenas, antelopes, a fresh python track in the mud, and a family of rhinos! It was an awesome date night in the middle of nowhere 🙂
Action at the watering hole
We got back to the campsite around 11:00pm and went to the watering hole. To our delight, a rhino emerged from the foliage and put on quite a show for us! I was laying on the rocks right near the fence and he ended upcoming within 3 feet of me. If I wanted to, I could have jumped on to his back due to my position of higher up. This giant creature was not in a zoo, he was wild. It was an awesome experience that made us hold our breath for the entire 5 minutes the rhino was near.
A close honey badger encounter
As we are strolling back to our campsite from the watering hole, we are high on adrenaline from the rhino. Maxwell and I were holding hands and talking about our life changing encounter when a small animal starts to walk towards us on the path. I thought it was a rabbit/hare and initially thought it was cute in the dark.
This rabbit/hare turned to the side and I saw black and white markings come through clearly. It did not take long to realize that this was actually a honey badger. Honey badgers had been made famous recently in 2013 by some silly YouTube videos. But seriously, in our guide book it said to stay far away from these animals because they have been known to kill lions.
Panic set it and we try to figure out a plan to get to our campsite with this honey badger blocking the way. It stares at us for awhile, which felt like hours. It eventually walks into the bushes that line either side of the path. Maxwell and I pick up rocks and decide to throw the rocks into the bushes to scare him while running. As I throw my rocks and start yelling while running. I continue to run the half mile back to the campsite faster than I have ever run before. After a moment, I turn around to see that Maxwell is not behind me. I wait 3 minutes as Maxwell rolls up walking. He is cool, calm, and collected while I am distraught.
When he asks why I am so upset, I am flabbergasted that he has not figured out why yet. The honey badger was one thing, but it was in our campsite which supposedly was fenced in. If this honey badger made it into the camp… most likely other, larger, more aggressive animals could as well.
As we settled in for the night, Maxwell is fast asleep while I am picture hyenas from the game drive attacking me in the night. Needless to say- not a great night’s sleep.
(Oh and Maxwell is a marathon runner. Don’t think that I left this poor slow moving boyfriend behind while I ran to save myself. He can handle his business)