I will Never forget this Amazing trip!!! I just cant believe how blessed I am to have have had this experience in my life! And I cant believe how much I miss it!! I felt such a connection to the land, the animals, and to the people! What a magical place!
The journey to Ongava began with us leaving CapeTown to catch a flight from Johannesburg to Windhoek, Namibia. From there we took a small charter flight for almost 2 hours to Ongava (and on the way home Al got to help fly the plane!!). It was so beautiful to stare out the window for that entire ride seeing all the wide open spaces of Namibia. The Savannah lands seem to go on forever! Once we arrived we were met by staff from Ongava Lodge, operated by Wilderness Safaris and driven to what would be our home for the next 4 nights. OMG!!! It was so breath taking!! We arrived and stood out on the open dining area (and where we spent A Lot of time eating awesome food, talking with amazing staff, and watching animals at the watering hole!) There were so many different animals drinking at the water hole. Zebra, wildabeast, and a whole lot of different looking deer type animals that we eventually learned all their names!! They showed us to our 3 individual chalets and ours was the one closest to the watering hole. When we went inside, I actually squealed it was just so Perfect!! you could lay in bed and watch the animals, or get a closer look on your private deck. Or brush your teeth and watch them at the water hole!! AMAZING!!!!! After oientation with the assistant manager, Jason (who was so super sweet) we cleaned up and got ready for our first safari, through the private reserve at Ongava- known for its research and work with the white and black rhinos!
This is when we first met Willam!! Our guide for the next 4 days- and honestly now an important part of our family!!! I cant beleive how special someone can come to you in just 4 days- but this sweet man did just that. He taught us all sooooo much! He showed us so many amazing sites, each day better than the last. He got just as excited as we did with seeing the animals- especially the rarer ones to see like the African Wildcat, Mating lions, and cheetahs!! and he too would take pics and loved looking at what we captured!! He told us about himself- previously a teacher and then a solider who fought in the Congo and Angola- i just cant imagine. On his time off he educates the youth on the different animals and how important to the cycle of life they are and leading a soccer program to give the kids something to do besides get into trouble. We learned that not everyone knows who Santa Claus and The Easter Bunny are and how COOL is that!!! Though i think i will have to send him a chocolate Santa this year!!! We are certainly sending him the pics, video, and a couple of gifts. We traveled all around the 125 acre preserve and then around Etosha National Park each day! We took a trek through the Savannah and learned about the different animals tracks we encounters and how to tell a black rhino from a white rhino (really called the wide rhino!!)
Here is the list of animals we saw
Porcupine – huge!!!
Rock hyrax (dassie)they are really cute and run all around the lodge area
Black eyed jackal
African wild cat- very rare to see. One of the managers at the lodge hasn’t seen one since 2001!!
Elephants- we got to watch a large male walking to a water hole and then saw two large hearts each over 15- awesome!!!
Giraffe ( my favorites!!!)-
and many many birds!
hope you enjoy the pic.. and check out the video Al did too!!!
and a special thanks to Lisa at Premier Travel for all her help planning this AMAZING trip!!!
and make sure to check out the video as well that Al put together….