Matt & Nat's wheelie big adventure!

Self-drive safari

Bicycles aren’t allowed in Etosha National Park, but private vehicles are, so we left the bikes in an Avis office and upgraded to a hire car for a few days. Damn, cars go fast!¬†Within ten minutes we’d picked up our first hitch-hiker – a lady who is a cook at a safari lodge.

It happens to be the best time of year to visit Etosha – the dry season – and so we’ve seen loads of animals at the waterholes already, including elephants, rare black rhino’s and hyenas.

The new wheels - I wish we could keep it...

The new wheels – I wish we could keep it…

We were up before 5am this morning (thanks to the bloody German campers around us).

We were up before 5am this morning (thanks to the bloody German campers around us).

Most animals ignore us, but the giraffes definitely notice us.

Most animals ignore us, but the giraffes definitely notice us.

It's a gnu!

It’s a gnu!

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We've seen about 50 giraffes. They looks like they're weightless when they're running.

We’ve seen about 50 giraffes. They looks like they’re weightless when they’re running.

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We came round a corner & met this chap walking towards us on the road. We tried to hold our nerve, but just as we put the car into reverse, he wandered off.

We came round a corner & met this chap walking towards us on the road. We tried to hold our nerve, but just as we put the car into reverse, he wandered off.

He was clearly as excited to see us as we were him.

He was clearly as excited to see us as we were him.

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Awesome zebra print

Awesome zebra print

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10 Comments

  1. nick's Gravatar nick
    29 August 2014    

    Intriguing that cycles aren’t allowed but it’s ok to hitch hike! All good fodder for the food chain I suppose. And my you certainly seemed to have ‘pulled': that elephant was clearly on the lookout for a friendly encounter of the pachyderm persuasion. Wild life writ large.

    • Nat's Gravatar Nat
      30 August 2014    

      The hitcher was just outside the park gates…

      • nick's Gravatar nick
        30 August 2014    

        So there are no high end predators OUTSIDE the park gates . So that’s alright then. Sounds like a dicey place to not be in a heavily armoured vehicle to me. Give me Exmoor any day!
        Nick

        • Nat's Gravatar Nat
          31 August 2014    

          That’s right – Matt keeps promising me there is nothing scary out there!

  2. Kirsten's Gravatar Kirsten
    30 August 2014    

    Hi Nat and Matt,

    Just catching up on your adventures – sounds like there have been some tough times with terrain and bike breakages but glad to hear that things are going smoothly again. Loving all your photos – especially ones of the giraffes and zebra’s. Brett says he is impressed with your 140km record. Nat are you managing to find much veggie food?
    All good here – I have made the move to SF – now in job hunting mode :-(
    Take care,
    K and B xx

    • Nat's Gravatar Nat
      30 August 2014    

      Brett probably does 140km before breakfast!
      There is some veggie food – I’m in a cafe right now waiting for yet another cheese/tomato toasted sandwich. Mostly we cook our our own food. I’m missing leafy green veg. And tasty cheese.
      Good luck with the job hunting & enjoy San Fran. X

  3. Nicola Thwaite's Gravatar Nicola Thwaite
    30 August 2014    

    Oooooooohhh!! These pics have definitely made me jealous of your trip for the second time (the first time was the orangutans). So incredible to see these amazing creatures close up. I can see a few of these shots being framed when you get home. Thanks for the gnu pic, I always wondered what they looked like! Xx

    • Nat's Gravatar Nat
      30 August 2014    

      It’s funny that all the highlights of the trip are when we’re not cycling. Love my animal encounters.
      Have a great time in Portugal. X

  4. alice's Gravatar alice
    12 September 2014    

    Absolutely amazing wildlife experience you’re having. V v jealous x

    • Nat's Gravatar Nat
      12 September 2014    

      I know, we’re very lucky. Come meet us somewhere!

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