On day two of our safari in Etosha National Park, we got to see an even larger variety of wildlife than we did the previous day. Maybe it was due to driving through a different area, or perhaps the time of day had something to do with it. Either way, it made the game drive feel worthwhile on both days; not just a repeat of the same animals we saw the day before. Case in point, we spotted different species of antelope, like this black-faced impala:
Although, I will admit that aside from the dik-dik, one of the smallest antelopes in the world, my favourite antelope is the springbok. Not only do I love their tri-colour markings, but they also have a drink named after them! The springbok is a lovely shooter-style drink made of half creme de menthe and half Amarula. We had several of these in Namibia….but I digress. Back to the safari!
Birds! There were some spectacularly-coloured birds, one of which almost had iridescent rainbow-colours that shifted and shimmered in the strong African sunlight. It was so beautiful. And unfortunately, impossible to photograph because it never sat still long enough, and the few mid-flight shots I attempted resulted in blurred images. Alas, we had to settle for photographing slower, more flightless birds. Behold, the Helmeted guineafowl:
While the helmeted guineafowl can fly, they seem to prefer walking or running, going as far as 10km a day on foot.
Speaking of birds, some of them have a wonderfully symbiotic relationship with other wildlife. Take these egrets, for example, sitting on the back of a wildebeest. Egrets eat the insects that fly around wildebeests or buffaloes. They also pick away at any parasites, and can act as an early warning system if there are predators nearby.
For some reason the day before, we were bereft of seeing any elephants. But this day we saw at least a half dozen, including these two beauties, mama and baby:
If you’re ever fortunate enough to visit both Africa and Asia and wonder what the differences are between their elephants, there are a few visual cues. African elephants have much larger ears (almost like butterfly wings in shape), more wrinkled skin, and the shape of the head is less pronounced and has no dent. Asian elephants have small ears, a pronounced forehead bulge with a dent, and their bodies are generally smaller overall.
But no safari would be complete without seeing a lion. They tend to blend in more during the dry season than during the rainy season. But we were thoroughly satisfied to catch a glimpse of this one:
After a few hours out on safari, it was time to celebrate our viewing successes with a drink. For our sundowner, Mark and I brought dry cider from a company in South Africa called Bernini. (This is totally un-sponsored mention. I just really like to show off the local drink options when we travel around the world!) It had just the right balance of sweetness and acidity. It was also a great way to end our two-day safari in Etosha!