Ozonjutji M’bari watering hole

Wake up at sunrise again

Real groggy after all the olifashioneds with that owl. First thing’s first though, back to the hide. It’s too cool. There’s another black-backed jackal at the watering hole this morning.

In the distance is a herd of Springbok. One comes over to get some water.

I could sit here all day. I feel like when I leave an albino rhino will show up or something. There is a family of helmeted guinea fowl below us. Cute

This hide by the watering hole is honestly my favorite thing in the world right now.

Olifantsrus is not only a badass campsite, it also acts as a historic reference to a massive elephant culling in Etosha back in ’83. 500 elephants were culled because the population had ballooned and they were threatening the biodiversity of the park. They harvested all of the meat and gave it away. 

I imagine this whole area was just a blood swamp

Well.. that’s mortifying. Time to lighten things up with a morning Mokador and coffee

We use the facilities to cook up breakfast sandwiches. “Throw an egg on anything and it’s breakfast”, “If you put an egg on Jamie is it breakfast?”, “Yup. Peter! breakfast is ready!”

I think we’re ready to mosey. We drive the lot until we find an empty campsite and jack the faucet to fill up our water tank. Unlike in Sesriem, our attachment fits this time. If you hold it right

…but when the tank gets full the hose blows out of the truck in Peter’s hands, “Oh shit! Turn it off! Turn it off!” Jamie cranks the nozzle the wrong way and the water instead increases in force, blasting off the side of the truck and spraying up in our faces. “Dude, dude! Open window!” Peter jerks the hose away from the window which results in getting himself and Jamie totally soaked before Drisdelle can finally crank the faucet off. This all happens in a matter of seconds and everyone is whipping their hands and wiping faces. “It’s definitely full now!”

We pile in the truck and use the map we got from the front desk to navigate to a nearby watering hole. It’s instantly awesome with hundreds of zebra, springbok, wildebeest, and helmeted guinea fowl.

A few of the younger Zebra are chasing each other around and making lots of yip yip yip sounds. I thought they’d sound more like horses but they make this high pitched yippy sound, or E-yu-yu-yu. They chase each other around while the rest chill on the sidelines. They’re beautiful to watch burning around in the dust.

Still lots of day and space left in the park. On to the next watering hole to see what we can find. This whole Self Drive Safari thing is the bomb. Go at your own pace. Spot animals and just pull over and observe. Couldn’t be better.

The next watering hole is dried up and there’s nothing around. Keep trucking. The next one has a keep out sign. Ok fine. “Someone say this out loud”, “Ozonjutji M’bari?”, “That’s next”, “Great name, here’s hoping”

On the way we spot two Kudu fighting in the distance, locking their giant horns together and ramming heads.

The next watering hole ends up being the mecca

Ozonjutji M’bari 

We pull in and there is a small body of water beside a round dirt area to watch from. It is loaded with animals. Packed. It looks like a scene from the Lion King. Giraffe, wildebeest, oryx, ostrich, springbok, zebra, warthog, more helmeted guineafowl, hawks flitting about and some other bird species. It’s surreal. All in one place, the place with water. 

I love watching giraffes have to get into the tallest downward dog ever in order to get a drink. They look so awkward doing this with their spindly legs and long neck.

Oryx fight! YES!

The sounds are great. Bird chirps and oryx grunts, zebra yu-yus, smackings and poppings and splashing. I don’t even know where to look, there’s so much shit going on. You can witness the whole hierarchy of the animal kingdom here. Funny how they interact within their own species and with others. I could watch this all day.

“Giraffe Symmetry!”, “What are you going on about?”, “Giraffe symmetry, man! Look at it”

There’s a group of four elephants coming in. It looks like they’re scoping out another group on the far side. This is interesting. They keep staring at each other. I wonder if they’re communicating somehow over that distance. We watch the silent showdown for a solid half hour.

Oh here comes Big Mama! She’s making a move for the water leading ahead of the pack.

The animals give her a wide berth.

This is nuts. Where else do you see this many animals at once?

Uh-oh the other tribe is coming in too. Big Mama is agitated for sure. Territory wars are going down. Oh wow, they’re really gonna fight!

Here’s a vid of the elephant scuffle (I get nailed in the forehead by a giant flying beetle at the end)

“You just stay over there!”

The giraffes get scared off for a sec. Legs working, necks bobbing, they move surprisingly fast.

It’s cool, it’s cool. Let’s all just get along

Just kidding. Another quick tussle for dominance!

Time for a elephant splash bath

Oh these guys know what’s up. Sunroof sniper pics.

Entertainment doesn’t get much easier than this. Just go to a watering hole and let nature happen. We should have made popcorn at camp. Is all of Southern Africa gonna be like this? Because this is crazy. What happens at Chobe River? Between our elephant bonanza last night and this epic menagerie, Etosha is just killing it.

Ok, we’ve been here for hours. What else you got, Etosha? We flip around and head back to the main drag.

Check out this young punk rocker. What a badass

Leave a Reply