SAFARIS & TOURS: SAFARI DIARY
SAFARI DIPPEL (27.11.09 – 08.12.09)
On this safari, the elephants visited us at lunchtime in our Puros Campsite and stayed there resting for more than 2 hours. We also found other elephants in the Hoarusib valley area. Then we saw the herds of the matriarch cows Clarissa and Lucy in the Hoanib valley. Both herds were hassled by the bull Japie, who was in musth. They kept running away from him. We took close-up photos of desert giraffe near Amspoort in the Hoanib. We then spend a day and a half in the beautiful Palmwag Concession and saw many herds of Hartmann’s zebra, springbok and Oryx.
SAFARI GRAMMEL (13.12.09 – 16.12.09)
Again we saw the elephant bull Japie harassing the two breeding herds in the Hoanib valley. Then we saw how Clarissa’s herd simply marched through the steel cable enclosure protecting the Mudorib water installation from elephants. They are always looking for fresher water, than in the waterhole nearby. We drove through the beautiful and lonesome landscape of the western Palmwag Concession. At the Orupembe spring (not the one in the Kaokoland) we saw an old elephant bull with the right ear hanging down. Dieter said it could be the Hoanib bull Floppy, not seen for many years.
SAFARI LAWS (26.12.09 – 06.01.10)
We stayed several nights at the Puros Bush Lodge on the banks of the Hoarusib dry river bed. The elephants visited us here too. We saw the herd of Lucy in the Hoarusib – normally she would be in the Hoanib this time of the year. Driving in the Hoarusib Canyon, we saw the much stressed elephant bull Japie looking for the ladies. This was the first time I have seen Japie in the Hoarusib area – he had followed them close to 100 kilometers from the Hoanib. In the Hoanib, we saw that the Mudorib installation was now completely destroyed by the elephant. On 01.01.10 we saw the bull Floppy nearly on the very same spot again at the Orupembe spring in the concession.
SAFARI BUSCHKRÖGER (16.01.10 – 21.01.10)
This safari started in the remote areas of the western Ugab, Huab and Springbok valleys and ended in the Hoanib valley. In the night, we heard the noise of flood waters gushing through the Dubis gorge – the Hoanib was in flood! This was a totally new experience for my repeat customers. We drove via the beautiful Giribis plain down the Obias valley towards the Hoanib. What a lucky day – we found Lucy’s herd of eleven heading back home to the Hoanib valley. They made a lunch time stop at my Obias wall campsite that so many of my customers know.
SAFARI SCHMID (08.03.10 – 15.03.10)
This time the Hoarusib was in flood. We only stayed one night and found a safe place to cross the floodwaters. We were rewarded with exciting days in the Hoanib. The second water installation, this one near the Dubis gorge, was also damaged by the elephant, but we connected the water pipes feeding the waterhole. To our joy, we saw that Lucy’s herd had a young calf, probably born at the end of January or early February. Here are my first pictures of the cutie. Clarissa’s herd was not in the Hoanib. Maybe she is in the plains south of Sesfontein – the elephants often go there after the rains, looking for green grass.
SAFARI ZÜGER (23.03.10 – 08.04.10)
We left the Marienfluss valley via quiet roads, and drove towards the Khumib valley. Just south of the Engo dry river bed, we saw lots of Oryx and springbok grazing fresh, green grass. A rather inexperienced sub-adult cheetah was watching them near where we stopped the car. We saw the baby elephant again in the Hoanib valley, giving my guests ample opportunity to take lovely photos. Clarissa was still not back in the Hoanib. We again repaired the water pipes of the Dubis installation. On the way to the Orupembe spring in the Palmwag concession, a black rhino stepped into our way, and watched us for a long while – quite unusual from that close.
SAFARI DIETRICH (13.04.10 – 29.04.10)
We had planned a trip along the Kunene River from Ruacana Falls to Epupa Falls, but the river flooded the roads and we had to use the road via Epembe. Seeing the amazing Epupa Falls with such a strong-flowing Kunene made it all worthwhile. The Hoarusib was still in flood, so we had to once again spend more time in the Hoanib valley. Dieter saw from the fresh tracks that Lucy had taken her herd into the Skeleton Coast Park that morning. Earlier than usual after the rains, but this is where she could get water, after the Mudorib waterhole ran dry. The next day, we saw the bull Japie following them into the park. Clarissa was still not back either. Bad luck for us. To make up for that, we saw a black rhino family of three at the Orupembe spring in the Palmwag Concession.
SAFARI DE CUYPER (01.05.10 – 09.05.10)
This lodge and camping safari once again took us to the Hoarusib valley – this time we stayed in the beautiful Okahirongo Elephant Lodge near Puros. The river had dried up enough to drive up the Hoarusib valley, and we saw elephant, fresh lion spoor, giraffe, Oryx and more. We visited several Himba villages in more remote valleys on the way to the Otjihaa pass. From the super Hobatere Lodge, we started the day trip through the as yet closed area of the western part of the Etosha National Park. We were lucky to see elephants on several occasions, also a rhino at a waterhole, plus a pride of lion right next to the road near Okaukuejo.