Justins World

Gin and elephants

We went camping, or was it glamping? In Damaraland we stayed at a tented camp and inside the tents we had had all the essentials like toilet, bathroom and bed. Furnishings were not luxurious but fit for purpose. However, the luxury came in the staff and how friendly they were as well as a few G&T sundowner drinks by the fire. Around the campfire we met a group of six ladies, who have lived in Africa in the past, but wouldn’t look or sound out of place at a high tea. Wendy, an 83 yr old came over for a chat and we got her entire life story. She also believes in wine for her lunch with some ice cubes to ensure she has some water. Everyone should aim to be like Wendy at 83 years old!

giraffe in desert

In the morning we had our first real safari drive. We’d seen a vast array of animals driving around Namibia but this was the first safari and we were looking for the desert adapted elephants of Damaraland. Giraffes were spotted fairly early on during the drive which delighted me. We drove to a high up vantage point as our guide Herman looked for elephants, a few hours into our drive and we found the herd. The vehicle was stopped as we watched over 20 elephants wander down the dry riverbed and past our vehicle.

Herman repositioned the vehicle further down the river bed to catch more glimpses of the elephants. The herd was spread over many hundreds of metres as they made their way along the riverbed. They are much smaller than normal African elephants due to their adaptation to live in much harsher conditions. They would occasionnally flap their ears to say stay back but mostly seemed unfazed by the small convoy of vehicles that had converged on this location. Thankfully the experience also wasn’t ruined for us either with so many vehicles.

playing elephants

The afternoon was more of a cultural experience, but it was hot, maybe the first truly hot day we have experienced, climbing to around 38C. I felt a little dehydrated, but drank water and stayed in the shade as we visited a few sites including some amazing rock carvings of animals dating back 2000-6000 years ago. Luckily, there were cool towels and sundowners awaiting back at camp. In fact i had a second sundowner for dinner just mto remember the place. Next stop is Etosha national park and 4 nights exploring the park and hopefully spotting as much wildlife as possible!

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