After leaving camp in Etosha we drove out of the park through the recently opened road through the western part of the Park previously restricted to all traffic. Waterholes were strung along the 15th parallel, put in by a pastoralist many years ago so that the animals would leave his farm, situated at the eastern boundary, alone! The single road though to the gate passed through country quite different from the heavily travelled eastern section. We sighted the Harttman Mountain Zebra for the first time, a shorter stockier zebra with only black and white stripes and no ghost or pale shadow stripe.
At the Park gate we encountered yet another meat inspection point. These have been a constant pain, with no constancy to the demands of the inspectors. Sometimes chicken is considered a risk and will be confiscated, sometimes not; sometimes eggs or milk is considered a risk, sometimes not. Sometimes one person has milk confiscated but the car behind is allowed to keep their milk! Annoying? Very. When it seemed that we were to lose quite a few of our supplies - and we needed them as there were no shops for the next several days - we set up camp in the carpark, got out our gas bottles and pans and cooked all the raw food that the inspectors wanted to take. With the cooked food all wrapped in plastic wrap, foil and bags, the inspectors had to let us through with our food supplies intact. They were likely disappointed that they missed out on supplementing their own larder -well, till the next car came through anyway.
Once outside the gate - at last - a new system was implemented.one of us would be the trip leader for half the day. This came as a bit of a surprise to us all and we were the first cab off the rank. No main roads to get somewhere either - we were off road after only a few kilometres. Fortunately we had a GPS with Tracks4Africa maps on it and we had even the most meagre excuse for a track on it. We did spend quite some time taking the wrong track, correcting our instructions on the radio to the group and careering cross country to get back on the correct track! We drove through tiny local villages, past cattle yards and through country far from any civilisation. Sections of serious bulldust were great fun for the drivers. Yours truly got out of the car to take photos of the cars driving through - I was covered with fine dust, almost unrecognisable under the fine coating!
Eventually we entered the Kworarib Gorge. Here were no roads at all, only tracks where people had driven before. The gorge was stunning, high walls all around the dry riverbed. Sometimes there was stream with a little water where cattle grazed, but it was no trouble to cross. Eventually we reached a campsite called Waterfall Camp, hard to believe in this wilderness, on the banks of a stream with water cascading over rocks. There were no facilities except a toilet behind a screen of sticks and brush. Unbelievably there was a flushing loo behind it!
So, another bush camp under a stunning sky, far from civilisation.