Through the Night to Sesriem

(29 June)
This morning our wake up call was at 5 am, 5.30 a light breakfast of coffee and cereal, then we headed off. It was pitch black dark. Stars were twinkling in the sky, and there was only a sliver of a moon.
I’m glad we’re not doing the driving through the darkness ourselves, going south on washboard roads. Even though our main reason for booking a tour is not to get stuck with our rental car in the sand. Plus the driver/guide can tell us all about it. It’s a small group, apart from us mother and daughter from Russia.
We passed a herd of oryx, the driver stopped and directed the headlights towards them. This herd contained both male and female, we were told it was a nursery. We saw three baby ones, less than 3 weeks old. Normally male and female live separated.
A springbok ran across the road, and there was a cape fox on the road side.
We passed through an area owned by the government, it has the same status as Namub-Naukluft. Here some animals have been re-introduced from Etosha, part of the reason is to spare Etosha. Mainly antelopes, wildebeests, hartebeests, mountain zebras, and giraffes. I’m kind of wondering in what kind of vehicle a giraffe is transported? With its neck sticking out? They have even re-introduces some rhinos. The other day a female rhino and it’s baby was found on the property of our lodge. The rangers were called, and the rhinos are now walked back into the sanctuary. Since there are no fences they can wander freely. The rangers, however, need to be able to check up on them occasionally due to poachers.
A bit before seven, as we turned off to go the last 12 km to the entrance of park, in Sesriem, a shade of dawn was starting to show in the sky.
I asked the driver what language he spoke, he said Afrikaans, and Damara language. That is a click language, they only have four clicks.
Even this early it isn’t so cold here. Our driver is from Windhoek. He told us there they have no heating in their houses. They sleep with two or three blankets, and a hat over the ears. They go to bed early at night because of the cold. Some people use hot water bottles, but no heaters or fire places.
We’re the tenth car through the gate at Sesriem. Entered at 7.30 for the 64 km drive to Sossusvlei, another hour roughly. The first bit is tar, the last 5 km or so just sand (4×4 only).