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Thursday 24th January 2019 – The Cheetah Conservation Fund

On the way back to Windhoek we stopped at the Cheetah Conservation Fund centre at Otjiwarongo. The CCF is an international non-profit organization headquartered in Namibia, with operations in the United States, Canada, Australia, Italy and the United Kingdom, and partner organizations in several other nations.

Our visit started at the very informative museum; we then went out into the field to see some of the “rescue” cheetahs before having lunch at the centre. During lunch we had two talks; one from an intern about the work of the centre and then another from the Founder and Executive Director, the very impressive Dr Laurie Marker, who told us about the world-wide scope of the CCF.

After lunch we went to see some more of the “rescue” cheetahs being fed and told more about the work of the centre from a Canadian intern and from the head of the department, who hailed from just outside our home city of Bristol.

A fascinating visit was made even better by seeing flocks of vultures overhead as the meat was put out for the cheetahs.

The CCF’s website is well worth a look at.

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Click below for gallery of photos:

 

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Thursday 24th January 2019 (morning) – Etosha

We were due to set off early for the trip back to Windhoek but fortunately we had a short period of delay as a flat battery was sorted on the coach (our driver Immanual was trying to keep our drinks cool) and we had a further hour at the waterhole. The highlight was the action of a jackal attempting to steal a baby Springbok. Some photos are not for the squeamish.

(Labelling to follow)

dsc05930African Red-eyed Bulbul

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Click below for gallery of photos:

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday 23rd January 2019 (afternoon) – Etosha National Park

The game drive in the afternoon started at 3 p.m. and was really hard work in the heat of the day. (What did the bushman tell us about not moving around between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. ?)

The highlight of the mammals were the Black Rhinos – one of whom wallowed in the mud right under our noses) but I particularly enjoyed some of the bird life we saw: notably, the Northern Black Korhaan and the raptors which I am yet to identify.

dscf4637South African Ground squirrel

dscf4645The remains of a giraffe which, we were told. was slow to get up less than a week ago

dscf4647Scrub Hare 

dscf4651Hartmann’s Zebra

dscf4664Kori Bustard

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dscf4673Black Rhino

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dscf4716Northern Black Korhaan

dscf4724Crowned Plover

dscf4730Northern Black Korhaan

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dscf4746Black-faced Impala

dscf4752White-headed Vulture ?

dscf4786? Eagle 

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dscf4818The cool group ?

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Click below for photos from this afternoon

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Wednesday 23rd January 2019 (morning) – Etosha National Park

We were up very early this morning to set off at 5 a.m. on the first of two game drives in the Etosha National Park. The park was proclaimed a game reserve in 1907 and covers an area of 22,270 square kiometres.

The park was named after the Etosha Pan, which is located within the park. In Oshivambo, “Etosha” means “Great White Place”. A unique feature of Etosha is this vast salt pan, which temporarily becomes a shallow lagoon after a good rainy season. It had rained the night before our arrival but not enough to flood the pan. It must be a magnificent sight to see.

For the first part of our game drive we travelled in the dark and our guide pointed out animals by using a red light.

The highlight of this morning’s drive were the two pride of lions.

The mammals and birds in my photographs represent only a small amount of what we saw. Truly an amazing experience.

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dscf2879Aardwolf

dscf2971Lionness

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dscf4020Lion

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dscf4111Southern Red-billed Hornbill

dscf4168Not sure – need to look at my bird book!

dscf4190Kori Bustard – the largest flying bird in Africa

dscf4205Springbok

dscf4226Blue Wildebeest

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Zebra

dscf4253Lion cub

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Click below for gallery of photos from this morning:

 

 

 

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Tuesday 22nd January 2019 (evening) – Etosha National Park

The first evening at the Okaukuejo Lodge we had our first real taste of the National Park when we visited the water hole next to the lodge. We were lucky to see an elephant arrive almost straightaway. At the time we didn’t realise how lucky we were as this was the only time we saw an elephant in the park. There was an interesting stand off with a rhino and the elephant and it was fascinating to see the elephant take evasive action.

I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

dsc05786Shaft-tailed Whydah

dscf2385Southern Red-billed Hornbill

dscf2413Southern White-tailed Shrike

dscf2447Purple Heron

dscf2511Blacksmith Lapwing 

dscf2508Common Greenshank (on right)

dscf2577Crowned Lapwing (amongst the Blacksmith Lapwings)

dscf2575Zebra

dscf2595Black Rhino

dscf2609Black-backed Jackel

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dscf2624Gemsbok (Southern Oryx)

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dscf2688Springbokdscf2703African Elephant

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Click below for a gallery of photos: