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Day 21

Wednesday 24 August 2005
Mushara/Etosha Aoba/Mokuti Lodge, Tsumeb - Onduri Hotel, Outjo

Today was all about the Etosha National Park, another of Africa's finest, and which allowed participants to drive out to the Etosha Pan salt lake, which was excellent.

The Park itself was extremely dry, yet very busy with big game, which begs the question: How on earth do these animals survive in the extreme heat with a depleted water supply and on such a barren landscape? No animal we saw seemed to be suffering in any way, as all looked healthy and well nourished despite the conditions.

Every waterhole we found was all but dried up and surrounded by very large thriving herds of zebras. Elephants, too, were in abundance, dusting themselves and their calves down with the lime that encrusts the park ground.

Unfortunately, we were unable to find the Park's most famous residents, its cheetahs. With the Park closing at dusk, everyone had to leave before they came to the watering holes, which is sad, since this was the last real chance of seeing game on the route, as tomorrow we head for the Atlantic once more, and the Skeleton coast.

After leaving the park we headed out on good tarmac to Outjo, the sleepy and characterful commercial centre of an agricultural area to stay in typical local accommodation, which was reminiscent of the 1970s.