March 2010: A self-drive safari to Namibia in search of lions, cheetahs and the usual savannah suspects. Namibia is a glorious country: vast open spaces with very low population density, great roads and excellent tourist facilities - and yet its reserves never feel crowded in the way that the Mara or Serengeti do. It's such a safe, easy country to travel in that to go on a guided safari would be unusual - most tourists here hire a car and drive themselves, and it's much cheaper to do this than in any other African country I've visited.

Etosha, a game reserve to the north of the country, may not quite compete with the best that Kenya and Tanzania have to offer in terms of density of large mammals but it is spectacular nonetheless and the salt pan at its heart lends it an eerie, shimmering, otherworldly atmosphere that I haven't encountered in other reserves.
Lioness, dusk, Etosha.
The lion pride awakes.
Black-backed jackals playfighting - dusk, Etosha.
Cheetah on the prowl.
I think this is a lilac-breasted roller, or at least that's what my Collins guide suggests. 
A rather magnificent-looking Masai giraffe at dusk, Etosha.
Blue cranes.
My bird knowledge is poor, but I'm going to take a punt on Eastern Pale Chanting Goshawk.
Ground squirrel, back at camp.
Monitor lizard.
A black-backed jackal guards a kill - possibly scavenged.
Banded mongooses scanning the savannah.
Springbok, with giraffe in the background.
Young zebra bucking, dusk.
Female Nyala.
Spotted hyena.
Ground squirrel.
Oryx, Etosha pan, Dusk.
The view from the edge of the pan.
Sleeping jackal, dawn.
Male ostrich.
Photographing the pan, Etosha. 
The view from the Waterberg Plateau.
As we climbed the Waterberg Plateau we grew suspicious that we were being watched. On the descent we realised that we were completely surrounded by rock hyraxes. Bizarrely, the closest relative to these creatures in terms of DNA is the elephant.
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