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Etosha in September 2013

Paris, France
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44 posts
73 reviews
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Etosha in September 2013

I have just been to Etosha for 7 days. Will write a report later. But just wanted to let every one know that there has been a recent bush fire close to Halali camp and the animals are very few at Halali waterhole. In two nights between 7 and 11 pm we saw nothing compared to Okakuejo which has lions and rhinos fighting. There are lot more animals on the Namutoni side currently. Almost all the waterholes have hundreds of elephants. Kalkheuvel has a pride of lions and have been sighted for nearly a week. Two males, 6 females and 6 cubs. A delight to see. However, a honey badger ran past our dinner table at the a bush chalet 45 at Halali around 8pm. And there are plenty of animals at Rietfontein and Olifantsbad.

Swakopmund, Namibia
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1. Re: Etosha in September 2013

Yes, a fire does destroy grazing and obviously then there are no animals. However, a bush/veld fire is a good thing, if controlled. The traditional slash and burn policy by local and traditional people throughout Africa has a good side to it ... if controlled. There are many places where farmers have not burnt and shrubs lice blackthorn have taken over which then means less space for grasses to grow.

In Namibia, many farmers are "de-bushing" to get rid and minimise shrubs. They do this by cutting away shrubs, use chemicals to kill shrubs and, where possible, to burn. It does sound harsh and silly to burn but it is actually the best way.

Advantages of burning:

1) Nutrients are returned to the soil very quickly

2) Shrubs are burnt away giving space for grasses to grow quicker and easier creating savannah landscape

3) Grasses recover very quickly, especially after the first rains

4) Taller and establish trees are not affected so can still provide shade to the wildlife

5) Fires are good if done a month or less before the rains are expected so that the grasses grow quickly and provides food for grazing animals

Disadvantages:

1) Uncontrolled fires can cause havoc to wildlife and property

2) Animals are killed

3) Fires are not good if done long before the rains are expected as then any remaining grazing food is destroyed

Just a very short comment about bush fires ...

Danie Steyn - Namibia Tours & Safaris

Cape Town
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14 posts
7 reviews
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2. Re: Etosha in September 2013

Hi,

I have also recently returned from Etosha 7 days. I also stayed at Halali but found that the fire was not as bad as people made it out. We saw lots of wildlife at Goas waterhole. I guess it is part of nature and allows for more plants to grow next year.

We also saw the lion family at Kalkheuvel, it was fanatic.

Look forward to the trip report.

Isle of Man, United...
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39,563 posts
420 reviews
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3. Re: Etosha in September 2013

I make that two trip reports to look forward to. Looking forward to both and may some photographs as well?

the best thing for clearing scrub is a few Black Rhino. This bush has only invaded since they were shot out.

Paris, France
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44 posts
73 reviews
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4. Re: Etosha in September 2013

Sorry for the delay with the trip report, currently travelling to Luderitz side and promise to do my Etosha report and some pictures when we are back in 10 days.

Isle of Man, United...
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39,563 posts
420 reviews
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5. Re: Etosha in September 2013

No rush Gitane. It will wait til you get home. Look forward to it.

6. Re: Etosha in September 2013

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