Namibia: The essence of Africa

THE signs warned us not to get out of our car. However the grassy plains around us looked quiet, and I was tired from avoiding the dirt roads’ pot holes in our hired 4WD while looking out for game. It was my wife’s turn to drive, and we thought that we could take a calculated chance. What could possibly happen to us if we jumped out and quickly changed places?

The two lions my sons spotted hidden in the grass not 3 m from where we had pulled over probably would not have eaten us. They looked too well fed. But it was a sharp lesson: in Etosha National Park, the animals are everywhere. 

We had arrived just the day before, driving the five hours north from Namibia’s capital, Windhoek, along sealed roads. 

Before nightfall we had already seen most of the wildlife we had ever expected to see – elephants crossing the road in large herds, a rhino grazing and mixed groups of zebra, giraffes and antelopes.