Okakuejo: Sightseeing haven

This piece by Namibian Sun journalist, Limba Mupetami, highlights the wonders of the Okaukuejo in the Etosha National Park.

08 October 2021 | Art and Entertainment

LIMBA MUPETAMI







WINDHOEK

I’m an avid traveller. When I can afford it, I like to see different places in Namibia.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Okaukuejo in Etosha National Park courtesy of Namibia Wildlife Resorts, MTC and Multichoice Namibia.

Winter has just ended, so it was quite warm. The journey to the resort is quite long by bus, but as should be the case, travel takes you to faraway places at times.

Situated about 650 km from Windhoek, Okakuejo is the administrative centre of Etosha.

I was very excited to be on the trip because the last time I travelled to Etosha was close to two years ago, and, staying at Halali at the time, a tourist told me the best place to see animals was at Okakuejo. Since then, travelling there has been on my bucket list.

We arrived late in the afternoon on a Friday, and as I was getting used to the heat, just a few metres from where we were standing, collecting our bags, we saw two elephants outside the gate, walking past.

I didn’t know where they were headed – we only found out the next day that they were off to the waterhole - but I was really mesmerised. I had never seen elephants that close.

The next day, we woke up early and headed for a game drive. Eager as I was, I woke up pretty early and readied for the photos I was going to take.

Well, I managed to see two lions, a hyena and quite a number of kudus. I still wanted to see an elephant up close.

On the way back from the game drive, I promised myself that I would when I walked to the waterhole later in the afternoon to stalk the gentle giants.

While I didn’t manage to see any up close, I saw giraffes, grazing away happily by the waterhole, as well as wildebeest, a couple of zebras and rhinos.

I wasn’t disappointed that I didn’t see any elephants again before returning. But I can surely comment that Okaukuejo was an incomparable animal-sighting experience.

The waterhole allows for seamless day and night viewing. You can sit there and life and its sometimes-difficult situations seem to disappear, even if just for a little while.

I would recommend travellers to stop at Okaukuejo. The staff are friendly, and while the food isn’t for those who enjoy the luxury of fine dining, nor is the accommodation down by the chalets I lived in (there are luxury waterhole chalets to choose from, though), it’s an incredible stop to see the animals, be in the bush and to reflect.

Other facilities at the resort include a restaurant, bar, shop, kiosk and camping facilities, as well as a swimming pool. The pools are worth mentioning as it is a perfect way to cool off from the day’s heat. As for the elephants – I hear there are plenty at Onkoshi, and I think that will be the next place I travel to.

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