Yes you guessed it up at 5am for our first game drive. Our guide is Ooli. He is huge man, with a friendly disposition and happy face. We set off and immediately pass a Black Rhino; he’s okay but a bit twitchy. We then see two lions in the ‘hospital’ section ready to go back into the wild.
Across the bush we encounter many species of game, and also come across a nest of Ostrich eggs. Ooli is in constant radio contact with a man called Timothy who is out spotting for us. He is by the lions and calls us in. There are two large males, brothers, plus 2 lionesses. Apparently they had eaten a large kill two days ago so where quite docile. Ooli explains they are really nocturnal and will hunt at night. Mind you this does not stop one of the lionesses jumping up when a stray Kudu is spotted some 200 metres away. Her gaze is fixed and she does not move. The other 3 take no notice. We watch and film them for a good 30 minutes then push on to a great open plain. Here we do a couple of driving shots and have coffee. The sun is gaining height and it's starting to warm up. An inquisitive Warthog keeps running near us, as do some Blue Wildebeest. We pack up and head back to the lodge and a hearty breakfast.
After breakfast we head off into a small village set up to show people how the native Bushmen would live, hunt and look after themselves, very similar to our first game reserve. We film them and I buy some knick knacks for my girls, we say our goodbyes and leave.
By now it's really getting hot and we decide, due to the lovely backdrop to film another cookery slot. I was going to prepare Oryx Carpaccio with some firm local cheese grated over.
The locals/staff are slightly bemused but are really helpful and more than happy to get involved, all with the hippo’s in the back of the shot.
We retire for an hour and sleep, and then back to the lodge for a spot of tea before our afternoon game drive again with Ooli. I have some nice tea and lemon meringue, it's pretty good.
We meet up with Ooli and head off this time to find the Elephants. Immediately as we leave the security of the compound we come across the pack of wild dogs, some 30 of them ripping apart a Warthog. Their squeaking of excitement and feeding frenzy was a little scary. Janice does not look. We head off into the bush. The sun is getting low in the sky and everything takes on a lovely warm glow. Matt calls this the golden hour; I can see why. We see more Wildebeest, Ostrich and various antelope. We drive to the fenced perimeter and watch two Giraffe feeding on acacia blossom high up in the trees.
Ooli gets a call from Timothy; they were with 3 large bull elephants. We make our way back the way we had come and take a left turn. In front was another game vehicle and there they were in all their magnificence. Three 6 tonne elephants, ripping trees apart like matchsticks. One approaches the other vehicle, stands his ground...shakes his head and walks off. We however and approached by one of the elephants called Stompe. He’s a bit aggressive and I’m sure he thinks about turning over our Land Rover. Ooli claps a couple of times and he walks away. For a second, I’m thinking ‘Oh no’.
We leave them to it and set off back to the lodge, but on the way come across the rest of the family on the way to the watering hole.
We get slightly too close for mum’s liking and she charges, trumpets us and we move away quickly. The sun is going down pretty quickly now so we decide to go back to the lodge and have a drink there. On the way we pass the now calmer and very full-bellied wild dogs. They view the truck with suspicion. Ooli reminds me that they know the truck, however if we got out, they would rip you to pieces in seconds. To this extent when we get to the gate and electric fence he pushes it open with the truck, rather than getting out. Can’t blame him.
In my room I can see Wildebeest coming to the watering hole as I pack my bag. After a quick shower I go to the lodge for my last dinner. Zebra and Rhino are back to drink so are the Croc’s.
After another cracking dinner of roasted Oryx sirloin I go to bed feeling really happy that we have made two cracking films.
Up early and breakfasted we set off to Windhoek in the two cars. Everyone seems a bit quiet; I always think there is a lull after seeing so many lovely sights. The gravel stops some 25k into our journey and we hit tarmac again. It's about 3-4 hours so a long trip. We pass a family of baboons on the roadside and I fall asleep again.
At the airport we check in this time much more easily and with no hassle. The flight to Jo’Burg is fine, nice food and staff.
Jo’Burg we arrive and re check in again. I bump into an old friend Louise quite weirdly who now works for Virgin Atlantic. We hug and kiss.
Flights great overnight with only 1 hour time difference. Dinner was very good, including a perfectly acceptable chicken curry with nice rice. Next thing we are having breakfast, with no hot drinks?? Someone had to forgotten to fill up with fresh water in Jo’burg, Oh well it will have to be a Costa at the airport.
I really loved Namibia, it's food, wildlife, and people.