Himba Tribe and Cheetah Park

Saturday 20th Dec.

This had been one of the days I had been most looking forward too.

Everyone had the opportunity to lie on in their tents until 7:30am if they wanted, but I was up and at the watering hole a good bit before that. Just as I sat at down on one of the wooden seats, a wildebeest strolled over the ridge, followed closey by 20 zebra. The sun had came up and the light was a brilliant golden colour and I managed to get some great shots, some of my favourites so far. The mobile phone photo below, really doesn’t do it justice.

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Packed up and back on the truck, we then drove for 2 hours but before visiting the tribe we stopped off at a small town called Outjo (I think that’s the right spelling), to get supplies for the next days lunch and dinner.

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Once the groceries and all were loadesd up in the truck we were on the move again. Our first stop was to visit a Himba tribe which sounded good, but when we got there it was far beyond what we thought, a great experience. We were told about the beliefs, marriages, lifestyle, etc. We were even shown how the people wash…..with no water, they smoke themselflves clean under a blacket with smouldering charcoal. Very bizarre.

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A few of the group bought some things from the locals and on our way out, the kids were grabbing our hands, so we ended up playfully swinging them around, which they loved.

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When we arrived back at the truck, L-Dawg had an ice-cold watermelon chopped up and waiting for us, which was great. The truck driver then drove us all a short distance to the cheetah park where we had the opportunity to walk and interact with 3 cheetahs. I had been looking forward to this right from the time I booked the tour, cheetahs are my favourite animal.
The truck stopped, we climbed out, the guy opened the gates and said “lets hope you all make it back out” haha, the cheetahs were bigger than I thought, I was expecting young cubs but we were asked to come round to the back of the guys house with the cheetahs. The cats just walked around, let us get photos and videos with them. Such a great day. The guy went and got a bucket with 3 large pieces of meat on the bone in it and gave each of them one. They lay down on the grass, so I went and lay down right in the middle of them.

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The cheetahs were a bit wary of everyone and the guy said to stay at least 2 metres from them while they were eating, but I stayed were I was (a little closer), I felt safe enough in between them and he never asked me to move. We were then asked to follow him around the front to his truck, we all jumped on the back and we went to feed 7 wild cheetahs which were being rehabilitated to be released back in to the wild. The truck was like a small van with a flatbed area on the back which had just 2 low bars that can up to our bums, so it wouldn’t take much for a cat to leap on the the truck with us. The large bin full of meat was also loaded onto the back with us. He stopped at 2 places inside the first enclosure and threw meat in the air and the cheetahs lept up and grabbed them. Haven’t checked my camera, but hopefully I’ve a few good shots.

We were camping in the grounds of the cheetah park tonight, but not with any free roaming cheetahs. There were only 2 small patches of green grass, so i grabbed my tent quick and set it down on a soft spot under a tree.

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We sorted dinner, had a quick game of trivia questions then everyone went to bed. I sat outside the tent a bit longer after everyone had went to bed and read another 2 chapters in my book.

One of the best days so far.

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