We eventually arrived at this new camp mid afternoon in
the sweltering heat of the day, it was noticeable how
much hotter this area was than nearer to the coast.
Fortunately it was a very dry heat that lacked the
humidity that would have made it quite unbearable.
We were welcomed to the camp and shown to our ”Tent”
overlooking a vast plain that stretched out as far as
the eye could see. The “Tent” (this description does not
do it justice) was furnished and finished in a style
that had plenty of “Wow” factor when you first entered
the living space. It was of a wooden pole construction
with strong canvas for walls all topped with a thatched
roof of the open African style.
We stayed four nights at the Dolomite Camp and for our
particular purpose it was the right length of stay. The food
was good and the staff were friendly, helpful and welcoming,
nothing was too much trouble, this lodge was starting life
on the right foot. It was a remarkable place to stay and I
would welcome the opportunity to return one day.
It was on the third night of our stay we were suddenly
awoken by the loudest lion roar I have ever heard, it
repeated it’s call four or five times just as loud and
as just as intimidating. It was so loud it sounded as if
the lion was sitting right outside the tent but
fortunately that was not the case, it was calling from
the open plain downhill about 50 metres from the tent.
The lion call at night for me is the sound of Africa but
on this occasion it was a bit too close for comfort. It
was sometime later that I heard it call again but this
time further away, it called several more times
throughout the night reassuringly each time further
On the fourth morning it was time to move on and we
departed for Okaukuejo after a leisurely breakfast. The
day before we had returned to Kamanjab for fuel, to
ensure we had sufficient fuel to make it to the next
fuel stop at Okaukuejo 170km away. On the way to the
eastern part of Etosha we passed nine waterholes none of
which proved productive and some had obviously not been
functioning for some time.
The Ozonjuitji m’Bari waterhole, the first we came
across in the eastern end of Etosha had a reasonable
amount of game mainly Zebra and Springbok. Here it was
evident the change in reaction the creatures had to
humans and their transport. This time they did not move
away as we approached, in fact some did not move off the
road but just glared at us with indignant looks.
It was quite clear that although game were wary, most game in
this eastern side of Etosha were a lot more habituated with
vehicles and accepted them as part of their environment.
We eventually arrived at Okaukuejo and booked into our
chalet which was close to the waterhole. This NWR rest
camp had a completely different feel to that of Dolomite
Camp, it was bustling and busy and certainly did not
have the intimacy of Dolomite. The restaurant was packed
every night, the buffet was like a ‘Bun Fight’ and the
food was not up to the quality of the Dolomite Camp. It
was as we had expected, the solitude and exclusivity of
the western end had disappeared the moment we crossed
the invisible line between east and west Etosha. The
room although small was clean and tidy, this time with
some aircon a welcome addition in the heat. The chalet
was only 20 metres away from the waterhole, a waterhole
that must be the most prolific on this side of Etosha.
The viewing area was close to the water and proved to be
the most popular guest entertainment every night.