No crazy dreams this night, so the day got off to a good start. There were only four of us at breakfast, us and a couple from South Africa. We were told we'd also be the only four people at dinner. Because of this, we had our own car for the day. We hoped for better luck at Etosha - not that we'd had bad luck the day before, but it'd been cold and we hadn't seen anything spectacular. Since this was our last full day on holiday, we hoped we'd go out with a bang (not a literal bang).

Once in Etosha, we saw several cars pulled off to the left side of the road, roughly the same spot we'd seen the vultures the day before. Leon looked with the binoculars, and could see it was a giraffe carcass with some lions around it. But the issue was that there were shrubs and trees everywhere, and there was no good vantage point. So we creeped forward in the car, looking over our left shoulder, until we finally found a clear vantage point. We were a good distance past everyone else, so the other cars were probably wondering what we were looking at. If we had moved either 5 feet forward or 5 feet backwards we would have seen nothing, but where we were we had an unobstructed view. The lions must be pretty good at their craft, because taking down a giraffe is no easy feat.

We went through Okakuejo again, but this time a bit faster. Since we were scheduled to be gone on an "all-day" excursion today, we headed further into the park and went a more northeast route than the day before, where we went more eastern. On the road Leon spotted a black rhino far off in the distance, and so we stopped and watched it for a long while, hoping for it to come closer. It did come closer, but not very close at all, which given their temperament is probably a good thing. We had heard some stories of black rhinos impaling safari trucks. After leaving that black rhino, we saw another one (Justin actually spotted it), but it was in deep brush and was basically unrecognizable. If it weren't the size of a vehicle, it wouldn't have been noticeable at all.

We came around one bend in the road, and there must have been two dozen vehicles pulled over. A mother cheetah had taken down a springbok, and she and her four cubs were eating. We watched them for awhile, until they got up and walked off. Cheetah often eat in a hurry and get out of dodge, because compared to other predators they are quite small, and they are (justifiably) concerned about hyenas or lions injuring them when they come in to scavenge.

After leaving the cheetahs, we headed further out to the northeast, and came across 2 white rhinos not far from the road. We stopped to watch them for 15-20 minutes, as they got closer and closer to the road. Eventually a couple other cars and trucks stopped behind us, but one kept their engine on. There was a big sign at the entrance telling people to turn off their engine, as the animals hear the engine and feel the vibrations. Perhaps because of the running engines, the rhinos started moving faster, and actually crossed the road right in front of us. We could see around the bend in the road, and two cars (who couldn't see the rhinos) were speeding towards the corner. We were worried that they were going to come around the corner and T-bone the rhinos. Thankfully they saw the rhinos with enough time to slam on the brakes and get a good view. We can only imagine what was going through their minds.

Further down the road we stopped at the Salvadora watering hole, right near the big salt pan. Leon spotted four lions extremely far away, but to us (and our cameras) they just looked like blobs. As we made our way further northeast, we came upon some natural watering holes, notably Reitfontein. It was easy to tell that it was natural, because there was some green grass around it, the only green grass for probably 100 miles. We stopped at another natural watering hole, Halari, for lunch. The Halari area was similar to Okakuejo, with some restaurants and tourist stops. We had lunch overlooking the watering hole, but instead of eating our sandwiches, we just snacked on the biltong that they had packed. We finally saw some elephants, but not white ones - 3 moms with 3 babies. On the way out of Halari, when driving through an area that recently burned, we saw a steenbok, which seemed smaller than the Dik-dik we had seen in the Serengeti.

On the way back towards camp from Halari, we stopped again at Reitfontein, and we got another show. There were three big herds of elephants that showed up shortly after we arrived. In addition to the elephants, there was an African Fish Eagle (which seemed really out of place), several warthogs, dozens of zebra, a couple giraffe, and lots of assorted antelope. We wondered how busy Reitfontein would be if not for all the man-made water holes around the park. We saw fewer animals on the way back, but we did see some white elephants at Newbroni (sadly we were about 5 minutes too late to see them up-close), and then a pack of juvenile male elephants as we got near the exit. Just before the exit, we saw the lions again with the giraffe carcass.


Back at the camp, we got back shortly before sunset. There was a great sunset, with a group of giraffes coming to the water hole to drink. It was interesting to see them drinking, but even more interesting to see them nap - we'd never seen a giraffe lie down before. Dinner was a candlelit affair, with just us and the one other table. Unlike the night before, there were no rhinos at the water hole. We chatted for quite awhile with Emsie over glasses of Shiraz. She embarrassed one of the staff, Adolf, who was the guy who had scared off the lions the last time they were in camp, which had been a week or two earlier. She told us that he had yelled at them, and then had to fire his gun in the air when they hadn't run off at the loud noises. Adolf walked us back to our tent, with no lions this time.