Wildlife photographic tours in Etosha National Park (Etosha), Namibia are always a unique and different experience. The vastness of Etosha Pan with its productive waterholes, diverse woodlands and abundant wildlife, all lend to making it one of the world's great parks. During August 2016 I was joined by two friends, Dirk and Anja Düval from Germany on a seven day tour of Etosha where we had some beautiful sightings.
Two African Elephant bulls share a moment at Okaukuejo Waterhole
We started our tour in the Okaukuejo area where we spent two nights, followed by Halali and the Namatoni Camps. These are the main camps within Etosha and are the best ones to visit due to their situation in relation to the Pan, open plains and waterholes. Etosha is excellent in the dry season (Southern Hemisphere's winter) as the vegetation is less dense making game spotting easier and the waterholes are teaming with wildlife.
A large male lion patrols "Gemsbokvlakte"
The main objective of this tour was to photograph big cats, but we made the most of all the opportunties which came our way. In-fact things where a bit slow on the cheetah and lion front, with 7 lion sightings and one cheetah sighting during the tour. We agreed that the highlights where the large herbivores such as African Elephant and Black Rhino. This is not always the case and every trip is different. We had some amazing elephant encounters at close proximity, where curious which bulls inspected our vehicle from only metres away.
Plains Zebra (Burchell's) fight
Black Rhino (Hooked-lipped Rhino) sightings are rare nowadays due to the on-going poaching crisis across their remaining range. We where fortunate to enjoy some intimate sightings of these critically endangered animals. On one particular evening we photographed rhino without a flash, using high ISO settings which was exciting and gave us the opportunity to push our DSLR camera's limits.
An African Elephant bull approaches a waterhole
Lilac-breasted Rollers are always fun to photograph
During the slower periods of the day we'd take advantage of perched raptors to keep our interest levels up and the cameras working. We had some excellent sightings of various vultures, eagles, kestrels and falcons. Photographing a Red-necked Falcon at a nesting sight was special. These little arid-zone raptors can be difficult to find and special to see.
Red-necked Falcon - master of the arid savanna skies
A highlight on a visit to Etosha, is sitting at either Okaukuejo or Halali waterhole during the evening with a glass of wine or cold beer, camera in hand and watching the wildlife come down to drink. The proximity at which the elephant and other animals walk past the protective stone barriers, which one stands behind offers observation experiences like few other places. One never knows what to expect, and each evening we spend many hours watching "bush tv".
Photographing Black Rhino at night - an awesome experience
six to nine nights is a good amount of time to experience this great park and we usually reccomend two to three nights across three different camps. If you are interested in visiting Etosha National Park please contact us for more information.
A typical Etosha dry season (April - October) waterhole scene