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Zebra

But there's even more Zebras, like this one with a very nice profile.


Zebra Crossing

And finally - we had a beautiful Zebra Crossing right in the middle of the road! :-)


Ovambo Sparrowhawk (Accipiter ovampensis)

And while you are driving the National Park, please take your time to admire all of the park's beauty. I guess many people would have simply passed this Ovambo Sparrowhawk sitting on its tree, watching us and its surroundings with eagle's eyes (well, with sparrowhawk's eyes). If you went for accommodation at Halali (strongly recommended), you have all the time to fully experience the park.

Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis)

Okay, and Georg was right - there were more giraffes to come! On our way to the Kalkheuwel water hole, Petra spotted this beautiful giraffe, and we stopped to make a few photos, not knowing that it should get even better soon!


Drinking Giraffes

And there, at the Kalkheuwel waterhole, there was a herd of giraffes. Some of them were drinking, some of them were watching us, some of them were even fighting. Needless to say, we were speechless.


Drinking Giraffe

Her mama always told her: "Shake your head once you have finished drinking. You don't wanna run around with your wet face, or do you?" ;-)


Giraffe at Etosha National Park

On our way back from the waterhole we met one more giraffe - it walked right in front of the Etosha Pan, and the glimmering mirage was reflecting the trees in the distance. Mind you - it's not water, that's just an illusion created by the heat.


A Young Springbok Hides in the Dry Grass of Etosha National Park

This young Springbok hides in a dry part of the "grassveld" (that's how the Namibians call such fields). It blends pretty well with its surroundings.

Blackfaced Impala (Aepyceros melampus)

And then we checked in at the Halali camp, our accommodation for the night. Now, if you are planning a trip to Etosha, we strongly recommend to stay at least one night directly at the park. Here's why: You will be able to see animals after sunset, directly at the Moringa waterhole. This is simply unmissable. The accommodation may be a bit dated (the resort company is aware of this and is working on it right now), but the nature experience is incredible. And so we went to the waterhole about half an hour before sunset. This Blackfaced Impala was peacefully drinking from the mirror-like waterhole.


Birds at Halali waterhole

And then, all of a sudden, the silence was disturbed (in a positive way) by hundreds of small birds. They gathered next to the waterhole, and every minute more birds appeared and settled down on the trees. While this photo is not sharp, I still think it gives you an impression of how fast and how many birds there were.


Red-billed Quelea (Quelea quelea)

Here, we can see the birds sitting in one of the nearby trees. It must have been hundreds, if not thousands, of them gathered at the waterhole. They were sitting there quite silent, but every now and then they started to fly in big flocks around and across the waterhole. Apparently, they wanted to drink some water, but were not brave enough to try it alone. So, I did a little research on these birds and found some interesting facts... (next photo, please)


Red-billed Quelea at the Halali waterhole, Etosha National Park

The Red-billed Quelea can be found in bush, grassland, cultivation and savannah. Their flocks can contain hundreds of thousands and sometimes even millions of individuals - devastating cereal crops. That's why farmers think that it is the greatest avian agricultural pest in the region. They can roost in such massive numbers that they actually break tree branches. Seeing them in massive numbers is a remarkable experience: the birds form into dense, highly synchronised flocks which look like clouds of smoke, and then, as the flock approaches you, the wing-beats sound is like a high wind...

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