Even when you have a slow day of game viewing at Namibia's Etosha National Park, you’re in the pound seats back at Okaukuejo camp. In our experience it’s a great place in the dry season to see elephants on an Etosha safari.
As the sun set, two herds of elephants arrived until some nearly 50 of them encircled the large waterhole. There were quite a few calves of various sizes and they’re always entertaining, especially when they haven’t yet learnt to control those flopping-flapping things that are their trunks.
By now the floodlights were on and three giraffes had joined the throng. One of the elephants, its thirst quenched, stepped into the middle of the water and rolled over onto its side till every part of its dust-grey skin was wet.
It was playtime.
Then a black rhino came slowly across the barren rocky expanse around the waterhole, stopping occasionally as if listening or smelling for clues of danger. We’ve seen quite an audible battle between a bull elephant and a rhino here in the past, neither wanting to give way. But this time the breeding herd simply walked around the rhino, the remaining ones gathering to drink on one side while the rhino drank peacefully on the other.
But tonight was peaceful, just the rumble of elephant tummies, the trickle of water, and a few soft exhalations. By now even the whistling sandgrouse had left in one last flurry.
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