Sunday, December 8, 2013

Namibia Part 1: Arrival & N/a'an ku se Wildlife Sanctuary

On November 10 we arrived in Windhoek, Namibia (country #22) without...do you want to guess? Paul's luggage! We couldn't believe it either but indeed the airline (this time South African Airways who is another Star Alliance partner) lost his bag. The process was similar - file a report and call the next morning to check the status. The next morning on November 11, the tour manager of the place we were staying at (Chameleon Guest House and where we booked our tour) was nice enough to try to reach the airline while we visited N/a'an ku se, a wildlife sanctuary that was also recently visited by the Jolie-Pitt's. We had the chance to get pretty close to lions, wild dogs, leopards, baboon, caracals, and a 3-legged cheetah.

We were welcomed in our room by a friendly spider

It's nice to know that you can't park your car outside the guest house

Namibia is beautiful...on our way to Na'au kuse

Where are Angelina and Brad?

These lions are 25% bigger than the average lion...scary

This is Wendy - she is the bigger female weighing in at around 200kg

This is Nancy - she's smaller at about 190kg

Get a room!

Crazy being so close to these beasts

Look at those teeth!

Lickin' her lips

Yeah, I was a little afraid

I loved taking photos of Clarence

He got mad at us and roared a few times...and yeah, I jumped

See, he wasn't happy with us

Hello

Look how big their paws are!

Meow

He reminds me of Snagglepuss except he's not pink

After upsetting these guys, we moved on to check out the wild dogs.

Aw, cute puppy

These wild dogs are extremely endangered

Their preferred prey is buffalo and oh, they also pee in their drinking water

I don't know, this one kind of looks like Mickey Mouse to me

The leopards were fun to take photos of. We met three of them - Umbili (male), Shakira (female, her hips don't lie), and Cleo (she had the most personality).

This is Umbili

This is Shakira - she was saying, "Whenever, wherever"

Waka Waka

This is Cleo

She was quite the character

Beautiful kitty

Then she would make faces like this

But I still enjoyed taking photos of her

Miss Cleo's special talent is to tell you your future

Only 99 cents a minute on a toll free number!

Shakira is looking relaxed 

We fed the cats some meat

I'm hungry too

After feeding the cats, we drove towards the baboons.

He just wanted to hold our hand

He would be cute except he's scary

Baboons have K9s bigger than a lion's

This baboon was different than the others - he was watching us while chewing rocks

Close up of his hands

Hello Mr. Baboon

Hanging around - the baboons are separated by age so that there would not be fighting between the alpha males

The females are in heat and for some reason like to chew on wood

This piece of wood

While in heat, the buttocks of the female will get quite swollen, indicating to the males that she is ready to mate - attractive, huh?

This guy again - the one who chews on rocks

Oh, he's spitting something out

This goat almost attacked me

We then walked over to the caracals, a type of lynx. And guess what, we were allowed to get inside the same caged area. A little concerning but we were told they are friendly and will allow you to pet them but they have to tell you it's OK by standing next to your leg and kind of rub up against it like a house cat. I'm allergic to cats so they must have known so I was the only one who didn't get to pet them. Glad Paul got to though.

I thought the leopard's name was Cleo but this is Cleo...but I didn't
want to rewrite my Miss Cleo jokes.

Look at their funny ears

Cleo, Medusa, and Yoda (the only male)

Marking her territory

Paul's too cool to try and pet Cleo

She got close to me but didn't give me the signal it was ok to pet her

They can jump up as high as 4 meters

Meow

Paul says she was soft

Our last animal visit for the day was a 3-legged cheetah named Babba.

You can't really tell she only had 3 legs here

Beautiful creature

She's a little suspicious of us

She got her leg caught in a trap so they had to amputate

We fed her too - there she is running off with the meat

mmmmmmmmm

I tried to tell her that she had something on her cheek but she ignored me

And on our ride back to the front office, we saw a few more animals. It was a really great experience and if you're in Windhoek, should take the time to go on this tour.

Young kudu

Just when you thought there would be no more warthogs! This one looks quite athletic.

Pretty

This oryx was trying to hide from us but I don't think he knew his horns were sticking out

Paul looks forward to eating you

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