Our early morning coffee at Waterberg Camp is everything we expected it to be.
The dawn light bounces off the surrounding sandstone cliffs to brilliant effect. Dainty dik dik come into sight sporadically as they tiptoe foraging among the low vegetation around camp. The resident pack of baboons keeps their distance, focussed on their morning group grooming session.
A Good Start
Life is good, and breakfast is even better. The Rasthaus Restaurant is ready to serve us at 7 am with an array of cereal, yoghurt, baked goods and warm dishes spread across the buffet station. We intend to spend the day exploring the trails around camp on foot and are sure to carbo-load accordingly.
Hiking amongst the Birdlife
After a good feed, we set off on one of the many trails leading from the rest camp. Our research has warned us not to expect overwhelming game sightings at the foot of the plateau. Thus we focus our attentions on trying to spot as many of the 200 resident bird species as we can and lapping up the thrill of walking in the wild.
A Ruppel’s parrot makes an appearance as we set out and our low expectations are soon dispelled. We get to spot hornbills of the Damara and Bradford’s variety, violet wood hoopoe, rosy faced lovebirds and pied babblers Damara dik dik scuttle noisily away at our approach and an Augur buzzard gazes down on us from the skies.
It’s a beautiful way to spend most of the morning followed by a dip in the cool depths of the pool back at camp, and some deep relaxation to counter the effects of Namibia’s notorious heat.
The nearby pool bar does much to prevent our pending dehydration and the day ends with a relaxed dinner of ostrich back in the Rasthaus. We don’t miss the chance to admire the blazing stars which come out to play that evening from our veranda before hitting the sack early in anticipation of a big day tomorrow.
Sunday arrives with a hurried start as we prepare for our game drive to the top of the Waterberg Plateau National Park. The guided drives and walks leave at 6 am and are the only way up to the top. Namibia does not take any chances with the population of black rhino which live here in perfect seclusion and nobody goes up there unsupervised.
Our guide is super-amenable to our many questions and we soon have him guide chattering away animatedly about the Reserve and all it contains. We found it interesting that the park has risen to fame as one of Namibia’s most successful conservation efforts and now supplies many other reserves with stocks of black and white rhino.
We are lucky to spot some of these temperamental beasts as they are most often seen on afternoon drives, and we stop for a while to spend some time in awe of their prehistoric looks and origins. Other sightings include roan and sable antelope as well as tsessebe, giraffe, kudu and warthogs.
Cape Vultures Above
We see members of Namibia’s only breeding colony of Cape vultures swirling overhead in search of breakfast and blue flashes of European rollers in the trees as we pass by.
In what seems like an instant, our Waterberg Plateau National Park experience and 4-hour drive is over and it’s back to reality for us as we pack for our return trip to Windhoek to plan for our next great Namibian adventure.