Etosha National Park is in northern Namibia near the border with Angola and is centered around a 5,000 square km salt flat called Etosha Pan. Along the southern edge of the pan, there is a necklace of water holes connected by dusty roads. Some are natural and some are supported by solar-powered pumps. Driving on the pan is not permitted. This is the dry season and some of the water holes we drive to are completely dry. The others are concentrating the animals. We are staying at the government lodge which is inside the park boundary. This government facility has basic cabins and a restaurant within an enclosure built next to a fairly large waterhole that is lit up at night. One evening, Liam caught elephants making out by snaking their trunks around and a rhinoceros quietly shuffling around the floodlit waterhole.
One afternoon we take a guided drive in an open safari vehicle. We notice two lions with a zebra that they have killed a few days earlier. The lions are lying beside their zebra in the distance, some 250 m from the road where we wait. As we watched, one lion got up and left the other lion to guard their kill from the hovering pack of 5-6 blackbacked jackals. The lion then walked some 3 km to get a drink. We watched intently from the road. Our driver/guide drove ahead and we waited just where this very thirsty lion crossed our road on its way to the waterhole. We noted that the big difference between Namibia and East Africa is that here everybody stays on the roads. Some years ago n Tanzania, the vehicles drove everywhere and would have surrounded our two lions and driven the jackals away.