Day 10 and 11: From Camp Halali to Fort Namutoni

Day 10 and 11: From Camp Halali to Fort Namutoni

On day 10 we started from the camp, early morning I checked on the waterhole, but there was just a few gnus there. We left in the morning at about 10 or so. That was very relaxed but maybe not the best idea as the likeliness of seeing animals is much higher when you leave earlier. Nonetheless we drove to the first waterhole and where greeted with an astonishing amount of animals. Ostriches, Zebras, Giraffes, Elephants, Gnus and Springboks were all chilling there, together with a bunch of safari cars that were watching them.

While standing there it got pretty warm inside of our car. Also we still had empty phone batteries and stuff so we left the air conditioning on and where actively charging several devices. After about half an hour standing there we decided to move on, but when Johanna tried to start the car it would not let her do so. So even though it is super forbidden I had to step out of the car and ask some of the other cars for help. In some way we where quite lucky as there was a lot of other people around... this could have happened anywhere else too, with nobody around

getting help

The second car I asked for starter cables was one of the parks game drivers. He first looked at me, about to tell me why I am crazy enough to get out of the car, but then quickly understood my problem. Together with another guy they quickly had everything hooked up and we could start our car again. After this we decided to unplug all the chargers, disconnect the fridge in the back and also turn the air conditioning off for the next couple of hours. Also we did not dare to turn off the motor so fast again 😅

After this little adventure we enjoyed the rest of the day in the car, it was quite hot as we where out during the middle of the day but it was OK. Our biggest objective was to eventually find a lion but at first we did not have so much luck. Nonetheless we saw an amazing amount of animals.

Then after some time we saw a car stopping before us and looking into the distance. Curious as always we stopped as well and try to spot something, it took us quite some time to figure it out but then we saw him, a male lion, relaxing in the distance.

It was quite far away, but we could watch him stand up and lie down again once. That was a great success for the day and we were quite happy we stopped by the other car.

Arriving at Halali we found ourselves a good spot for our car and then jumped into the pool there as well.

After dinner we visited Halai's Waterhole. This one was a lot smaller than the one in the first camp, and also a bit more hidden. We got there when it was almost dark, but again we could see Rhinos. This time we even saw the much more rare "white" rhino (which has a much broader mouth). A "black" rhino was also at the place, and there was again some kind of tension between them. One of the guys at the waterhole mentioned that interactions between the two kinds of rhinos are quite rare as well. While watching the spectacle several hyenas also entered the area. I had quite some trouble taking pictures of them as they moved very fast and at this waterhole there was even less light than the day before.

While sitting there we met 2 German girls that told us they had seen lions the day before. They also mentioned logbooks in the reception where people would write down special sightings near the camps. So we decided to get up early next day, checkout the waterhole and then head out to some of the waterholes mentioned in the logbook of camp Halali.

We got up at around 6 and went straight to the waterhole... but to our disappointment there where almost no animals at all. Several birds, a zebra but that was about it. We sat there for a while, but then decided to move on

We changed our plan a bit and decided to cut breakfast short so we could get out into the park faster, then we started driving out. It took some searching but after some time we found rhinos and elephants hiding in the bushes. We also saw quite a few kudos.

The plan lead us to Fort Namutoni, an old German fort with a waterhole, where we planned to stay for the next night. On the way there we again saw a game driver car standing next to the road. After asking them what they are looking at they told us that a leopard is hiding in the grass. We could not see them, but waited at the place, just like a bunch of other cars.

We waited for almost an hour, then drove to the other side of the grass area when one of the park guides got a call and started to drive back to our first spot. We followed along and right when we arrived the leopard jumped up and made a round in the grass, before starting to race across the street right in front of our parked car. In a moment of clear thought I pressed the shutter and got some great pictures.

The leopard then approached a group of springboks, but only to scare them away and then rushed off into the distance. The game driver went back to the fort and so did we. That gave us some minutes to check in at the campsite, but I quickly realized that the driver is just stopping for a toilet break. I called Lukas and the others and we decided to quickly follow him.

Driving out for 2-3 minutes we saw a lot of cars standing near a big tree, and on there was yet another leopard, casually looking into the distance. I could get some great shots of him, even one on which he showed his face.

After those exciting sights we decided to eat something and prepare our dinner, to later head out again for another safari trip.

During the second round we saw some vultures and also some hyenas, some feeding, some bathing.

And that c0ncluded our day, taking us from Halali to Fort Namutoni and showing us the biggest selection of wild animals we all have ever seen in one day. The waterhole at the fort stayed empty in the night, so we decided to head out earlier one more time the next day to try and see some more animals... 🦁

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