My Namibian Foolishness
being a photographer demands many a character vertues as prerequisit depending on the type of phgotography, Foolishness seemingly can also pay in Photohgraphy
Self drive safari in Namibia
back in 2015 when I declared to friends that me and Heike have planned a self drive safari in Namibia critisism of me neglecting personal security of myself and above all Heike, was almost a universal opinion amongst them. They all tried to talk me out of it and persuade me to go with guided safari, that it was a safer and more responsible option.
But neither Heike nor I were about to change our minds, The thought being stuck with a whole group of mainly yanks in a bus through the african planes, the hustle and bustle, the end less outcries of ” OHHHh….. M Y……… G o d” at the sight of anything theyer not used to in technicolour and soround sound in the bus would be like torture for us. No thank you we want to experience africa our way, that was our answer to all their insistance.
looking back on it now little did I know back then that the self drive safari wasnt the real danger, my foolishness in search of wildlife photos will be the worst. but alas my foolishness were rewarded with breath taking photos.
Just a short run down that in june we arrived in Windhoek, were pickep by our tour planner, he gave us the itinerary of which campsite where and when, he took us to out 4wd Toyota Hilux with all we needw in the back and a rooftent on the roof of the car and we set off inro the African bush for 3 weeks of bliss. Me alone with my wife and the endless dirt tracks of the African bush.
The Etosha planes.
Late in our journey we had a 5 day stay in differnt campsites in trhe gargantuan Etosha salt planes nature reserve. we were in Namibia in the drought season, that was planned, so that we could lie in wait at saught after waterholes and see the wildlife when they come to drink.
The Etosha campsites close their gates at dusk to keep campers safe from preditors, at day you are let out for safaries and before dusk you must be at your campsite.
The foolishness began on the second night in the Etosha planes. We got a harebrain Idea to stay by one the last waterholes we had visited overnight in the rooftent to experience a night in bush for real.
To be honest with hind sight I would not do it again in a hurry, the recklessness of not only putting myself in real danger but Heike my beloved wife, if anything happened to her mylife would be destroyed and ruined. She is the most amazing woman to my eyes and the kindest person I have ever come across in my entire some half a century long life.
the problem is that in such situations she trusts my judgements a little more than I do myself, our little Toyota Hilux and the roof tent offered us no safety what so ever against a whole host of dangers.
Back in the last campsite before Etosha at White Lady Nature Reseve we heard that a young Elephant Bull in mast had dismanteled an Identical car like ours and the passengers were lucky they could climb on top of huge boulder formations to save themselves from the rath of the bull Elephant, and that was inside a campsite
Out in the bush we were at the mercy of Elephants, Giraffs, Rhinos, apes and of course we were in reach of evrey form of big cat you could think of, but against my fears i had already passed the point of no return, the Dusk was already on us. I parked the car near a tree but not under it, and rather hastely step out, opened the roof tent, took out all the friuts, nuts, biltong and drinks out of the car. We locked the car, climbed into the tent and even pulled the ladder up into the tent and left zip holes to look outside through. so to speak downstairs in the cars fridge we did wild Salamis and stuff to eat, but I thought we were safer if we have no meat out in the open air.
I Was very nervous, even to the point of regret that we decide to stay the night there, I was so worried about Heike, and of course me. I only had a hunting knife with me, what good is that against a lion or a 6 tonn Elephant. As darkness slowly took over the horizon I nervously looked outside from my little tent peep hole and slowly the fear and the anxiety faded, out there was dark, limited visiblity animal showing up at the water hole in intervals in the darkness and would disapear. wonderful show of mother nature, thank god I had the right photo equipment for the conditions, I knew that in the darkness I wouldnt be able to produce great shots, but shots that will bring me back in the position that i was every single time I looked at them and I was right.
one other thing I was right about, it was the foolish dicision to stay there in the bush overnight, the next morning the mother nature presented me to take the following photos in this gallery.
i guess he who dares wins, as they say.