The Waterberg Plateau

Having spent three days working in the Namibian capital Windhoek, on Thursday we set off for the next leg of our journey – we were off to Etosha for the weekend, with a small diversion to the Waterberg Plateau on route.

We didn’t really know what to expect, seeing as the Waterberg Plateau – despite being a national park – isn’t even marked on the map (yes, our newly -finally! – acquired map).

Two hours north of Windhoek, our road started winding off through increasingly hilly terrain, and soon we saw a red-rock mountain with a totally flat top rise above us. We could only assume this was what a plateau looks like.

Incredibly, we got to our campsite without getting lost – thwarting the best efforts of the Namibian road authorities to provide the most limited, misleading road signs ever to be conceived of.

We pitched our tent under a tree, while mongooses ran around us, birds squawked havoc above us, and a family of warthogs trotted around curiously.

Without supplies for dinner, we set off to find the main building – an old German police station which has been taken over by the wildlife authority and made into a hotel.

Our short dinner was livened up by the biggest selection of huge moths I have ever come across – flying into our food, our faces, our drinks, under the table – generally irritating everyone in the room (there were 3 whole tables in use!).

Showering was an equally adventurous event – as soon as the lights came on, the moths came out in force, and I couldn’t really tell you who got more of the shower water, me (wildly flapping moths off me), or the hundreds of moths that decided to join me.

The weather was cool overnight, although to our amazement it didn’t rain- luckily, as we’re increasingly suspicious our tent might not withstand the torrential rainy season downpours in this part of the world. Thanks to the pleasant weather, we woke up at 8am (so late!), packed up our tent, and set off to birdwatch.

The Waterberg park is known for its diverse birdlife, with over 200 species. We didn’t see 200, but we definitely heard them. Equal in interest to the birds, is the huge variety of beautiful butterflies. I set to work testing my new camera – let me tell you, sneaking up on butterflies and birds to snap a shot is not easy.

Following our birdwalk, the main event was next – climbing up the cliff to the Waterberg Plateau top. A 40 minute slog later, we pulled ourselves up the last boulders, and were on top of the world, literally.

The view from the top of the cliff was awe-inspiring, with flat open rolling green plains as far as the eye could see. Big eagles circled above us, and we sat watching the world – the climb worth every bit of effort.

When we had had our fill – if possible – we scuffled back down the cliff, back to our car, and we were off – destination – Etosha!

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