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Savannahsoap

Savannahsoap

We’ve been traveling for about half a week now with a group of seventeen. We’re traveling in three cars. Today is the day on which we will finally visit Etosha National Park. The day before we left from Maun in Botswana and we’ve driven via the border all the way to Etosha. For those among us that look at maps sometimes: that is quite a distance. We left at 6 in the morning and about 2.30 in the night we arrived. We quickly put up our tents and at 5.30 we were already waiting at the gates of Etosha. But now it’s finally happening: a visit to the famous Etosha!

The morning got us all kinds of new and nice species like Black rhino and Kori Bustard. Also new were two predators, Black-backed jackal and Spotted hyena. The hyena was pretty laid back and the jackal sniffed around it attentively. Look at the size of the hyena!

In the afternoon we went for a stop in Halali, a small place in the park and we went swimming. Around two o’clock we went on the road again, freshened up and in high spirits. It would turn out to be a very nice afternoon. It started at a waterhole where a Black rhino showed itself very nicely.

When we drove a bit further we saw suddenly big birds coming from the sky: vultures! When those birds fly closely together like that it can only mean one thing: a kill! It doesn’t take long or we see a true savannah scene. A dead zebra is lying on the ground and two jackals are pulling at it. Next to it, perfectly lined up, are White-backed vultures and that line is growing. Also a big vulture is part of it, that’s a Lappet-faced vulture.

While we are looking at it, with a low standing sun behind it that sets everything in a nice glow, we are asking ourselves who put down the zebra over there. For the jackals that goes a bit above their capabilities. We don’t have to wait long, suddenly a group of Springboks is rushing towards us.

Then we see what scared them: a lioness!

The lioness of course comes to claim her kill. We’re witnessing one of those savannahsoaps, the kind of mini stories that happen every day everywhere in Africa and we until now only saw in documentaries. One of the jackals doesn’t want to back down, but against a lioness it has no chance. So relaxed she starts chewing her prey.

The story is not over yet though. A hundred meters further we had already seen two Secretary birds and they went to sit in a bush near the road. Because the lioness isn’t doing much more now, we drive over there. When we are near the bush, the Secretary birds fly out of it and that gives me a very nice picture.

They are truly huge birds! So we have a great little hour on the Namibian savannah. The lioness was a little far away, but luckily we would have one closer in the Pilanesberg park.

The Lion of Etosha is my very first Lion, so that means a new species for my worldcatlist. That has now the impressive total of two species!

 

Curious about the other cats we saw in Africa? Click here!

Want to see more birds of Africa? Have a look at birds of the savannah, birds of the African garden, the swamp and hornbills.

You can also read about mammals. Hippo’s in the Okavango, Elephants and the Ungulates of Africa.

Africa has some beautiful landscapes, check out the posts about Okavango, Spitzkoppe and Sossusvlei.

 

LennartVerheuvel

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