Park 3: Richtersveld

After Augrabies Falls we went to Springbok and did parkrun.

Then we went to our third park, the Richtersveld. This park is on the border of South Africa and Namibia. It was really remote and we had to do lots of gravel roads to get there. Once we were there,we drove over a mountain pass to see the hand of god. The hand of god looks like a palm print in the side of a rock. It was very impressive.

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Then we drove over some bumpy roads to get to our camp by the orange river. The river was really pretty. We were parked on sand, but there were lots of rocks to play on. We spent a day just relaxing.

Mummy did some sewing. Daddy went fishing, and he caught lots of yellowfish. They were really slimey.

Vivi and I did lots of playing. We all went swimming in the river, it got really deep. It was safe because there were no hippos or crocodiles. Then Vivi and I had a go swimming in the current. I had to go deeper than Vivi, otherwise I would get stuck on the rocks. It was lots of fun.

That night Daddy found a firefly and showed us. It was glowing greeny yellow! Then it flew off.

The next day when we went to leave a jackal stole our cutlery bag. But luckily we found it by the river. We saw a few ostriches and small antelope. There were also some really friendly birds! We also saw lots of quiver trees. We really liked the Richtersveld.

 

Park 1: Kgalagadi

After our friends left, we decided to go to South Africa. We had a really long boring day driving close to the border. We also crossed the Tropic of Capricorn again. But the border was really quick and easy.

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We have a wild card that gets us into lots of national parks in South Africa for free, so we decided to do three parks in three days!

On the way to the first park we stopped at a meerkat sanctuary. They had about 5 meerkats, they were really cute, but we learnt that they are really mean to each other. One was missing a leg and they attack other babies. Lots of meerkats get run over because they panic and freeze when they see a car.

The first park was the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. It is in both South Africa and Botswana. But we just stayed in the South African bit.

We camped just outside the park at a lodge. It had a good swimming pool. It also had some tame animals, like an emu and some wildebeest. One night there was a mongoose that came right up to our table! Daddy fed it some lamb, but it didn’t want any chicken sausage!

The next day we spent in the park. It was AMAZING! We saw lots of antelope like oryx, springbok and eland. We saw lots of dead eland too! There were also lots of giraffes, and we even saw some drinking! They had to spread their legs really wide to get their head down to the water hole. We also saw lots of lions. There were 2 big male lions with black manes and 6 female lions. We saw a cheetah and we also saw a wild cat, asleep in a tree. But the best thing we saw was a honey badger. It was patrolling along the road, and we saw it climb a fallen tree and knock bark off. Then we lost sight of it. We also saw a couple of tortoises.

It was a really good day, my favourite was the honey badger.

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Namibia with the Searles

We have had the most exciting week, because our friends from England came to visit us! The Searles are: Andy, Cecile, Alex and Lorien. They hired a car with 2 roof top tents! We met them in Urban Camp.

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They came with lots of presents – it was like Christmas! Cecile gave me a book with Greek Myths in it. It is really good. My favourite story is about Persephone. We also got books from Pauline, and lots of stuff from Jenny so thank you to them too.  And Daddy got lots of car parts.

The first night we went to Joe’s Beer House. There are lots of antelope horns on the walls and things to look at. I had a chicken schnitzel. Andy had a kebab with lots of different meats on it, like Kudu/Zebra/Oryx/Springbok!

The next day we drove to a small game reserve called Omatozu, but we didn’t see any game at all. We went swimming though the pool was very cold.

The next day we drove to the cheetah conservation fund. First we watched a short video about cheetahs. Then we did a tour to see them. It was hot so the cheetahs were lying under the trees. They were really close. When we got to the last enclosure one of the cheetahs got up and came closer. It looked like it was checking Vivi and Lolly out to eat! We also saw the dogs that they give to farmers to protect their goats, so that the farmers don’t kill cheetahs. I think cheetahs are beautiful.

After the cheetah place we stayed at a vineyard. We learnt how to play Dobble, and did lots of crafty stuff that Cecile had brought with her. We had a camp fire and played charades. It was a lot of fun. Alex was the best at acting.

The next day we went to Etosha. Alex had a walkie talkie and he would call us if they saw an animal. We saw lots of antelope, giraffes, elephants and rhino! That night we stayed at the watering hole and saw lots of jackals, a hyena and a porcupine.

The next day we went to Base Camp. We did a ballot and watched a movie: Muppets Treasure Island. Vivi got a thorn splinter in her foot.

The next day we went to a distillery and Cecile and Andy tried some gin. I just played in the playground with Vivi and Lolly. Then we went to my favourite shop with lots of carvings and scupltures. I thought Cecile should buy a toilet seat with a rhino on it!

Then we went to a new part of Namibia and saw some San Bushmen. We saw the man make rope by twisting it on his leg. He then made a fire with sticks. Last we saw some ladies making ostrich shell necklaces. Lolly bought a beautiful necklace.  We did a walk among some big boulders and went right up to the top! It was a good view. We were watched by some baboons. Then we had a wild camp, though it wasn’t completely wild as there was a toilet!

The next day we did another walk up a hill and saw some old rock paintings. There was a giraffe, an elephant and lots of people. They were the best we have seen in Africa.

Then we drove to Swakopmund. We went to the aquarium. It was small but my favourite was the stingray. We were also there when they were feeding the fish – they went crazy! Then we went to a snake park. They snakes were really sparkly! There was also a chameleon which had googly eyes and only 2 toes. The best was a big tortoise that was walking around. It snuck up on Genevieve and gave her a fright!

Then we drove to Walvis Bay, and had a dinner at the camp. We were right next to the playground and it was lots of fun. In the morning, Daddy, Cecile, Mummy and Vivi all did parkrun. The rest of us met them at the end and saw all the flamingos. Vivi did her fastest parkrun ever!

Then we did a big road to Harmonie Camp. We had to go up a big hill to get there. At the top was an outdoor toilet! At Harmonie Camp we went swimming and had a dancing competition. Though I am not sure who won!

After that we drove back to Urban Camp and did some more swimming. It was so much fun to see them, it was really sad when they had to go.

 

 

Lone Men

We went back to Kaokoland to see if we could find some more lone men. The last time we saw 2. We didn’t do Van Zyls Pass again, but we did another pass called Jouberts. The road was better and only had one bumpy bit. Then we passed the Red Drum, and through the Marienfluss to Camp Syncro. We were very disappointed as we didn’t see any men at all.

At Camp Syncro we met two ladies who work for the Giraffe Conservation Fund. One of the ladies came from New Zealand! They travel around taking photos of the giraffes and recording where they are. They showed us a folder of lots of giraffe photos. My favourite giraffe was one called Supergirl because she has a spot that looks like the superman logo! The giraffes here are paler in colour than the giraffes we saw up north and their horns are smaller. It was very interesting. They gave us a sticker for our car – did you know there is a world giraffe day on the 21st June?

When we left the camp we found our first stone man. He was sitting in the shade of a tree and had a stick. It was very hard to spot.

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Then we drove through the Marienfluss again. We took some more pictures of the fairy circles.

Then we drove over what Daddy called a cheeky little pass into Hartmann’s valley. We saw some Hartmann’s Zebra. They look different to other zebra because they have white tummies, instead of stripes and have a wobbly bit under their chin. They are very rare. We had to cross a little pass and it was a bit bumpy but the Taniwha was ok.

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We passed by Blue Drum and Orange Drum.  Then in a dry river bed I saw another stone man. This one was standing up and was hidden by a big rock!

Then we did a sandy loop. We saw lots of springbok and gemsbok. We lost the track and it was hard to find. The sand got really deep. Then, disaster, the engine coolant alarm came on. When Daddy looked he discovered the car was broken again. We pulled off the road and Daddy fixed it with some steel and a ratchet strap. It was late so we camped there. Genevieve and I made our own stone man!

The next day we started back to Windhoek so that we could get some more car parts. Then we saw three stone men! Two of them were sitting down looking over the road. Then Mummy saw one hanging off a rock. That was my favourite one!

Now we are in Windhoek, staying at our favourite camp: Urban Camp. We have been swimming and we watched New Zealand beat Ireland in the rugby. Last night we had a big BBQ with some of our friends. It was very tasty.

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