BAM Safari

Wild Life at Halali

halali

Continuing on from a mobile camping trip to Botswana, I did a second trip to ENP in October 2006, just short of a year after my first visit. With me were Ishanga, and my friends Ranjith Deegala, Chanaka Perera and his wife. Our group arrived at the Namutoni Camp located inside the park close to the east gate on the 16th October. The drive from Maun in Botswana to the east gate of ENP in Namibia was around 1,100 km. I drove our rented van almost half of the distance while Ishanga steered the rest. The road surface was good and hence we kept an average speed of 100 kmph from Maun to ENP. We spent one night at Mohembo on the Botswana/Namibia border during the journey.

The following morning by 6 am we were on our way to Halali. It was around 06.30 hours when we came across an adult lioness on the road. Judging by her bloated belly, she appeared to be after a heavy meal and as we watched she drank water from a small ditch on the road side. It was later that we realized that there was a male Lion on the other side of the road, keeping an eye on the female. Later the Lioness came close to the male. We expected them to mate and waited for almost an hour in anticipation. But as there was no sign of any impending intimacy between the two cats, we left them and drove towards Halali camp, our destination for the next three nights. This was the same camp that I had stayed in, on my previous visit an year ago. During the afternoon drive, we touched the water holes surrounding the camp and just before dark, we came across a small pride of lions with a cub of six months, but since the camp gate closes at 6 pm, we had to rush back.

During our three nights stay at Halali, we had frequent sighting of Lions. On one occasion, we caught sight of four adult male Lions striding purposefully across the savannahs of Etosha, as if they were in search of a pride to take over. Other game that caught our attention was Cheetah, Elephant and the rare Black Rhino as well as White Rhino. Black-faced Impala, Red Hartebeest, Blue Wildebeest and Greater Kudu were also commonly seen at ENP. Our last night at the park, was at Okaukuejo camp close to the south gate.

On the 22nd October, we departed Windhoek to Johannesburg. While I stayed back in Johannesburg, others returned to Sri Lanka after a very successful 15 day safari to Botswana and Namibia. Chula Jinadasa, a business associate who became a close friend and his wife Yamuna from Sri Lanka, Dr Mahilal Dahanayaka, a batch mate from University and his wife Ramani who are domiciled in the USA, and Lilani met up with me in Johannesburg for a three day safari to Kruger National Park in South Africa.

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