Image © Mushara Collection
My wife and I have visited Namibia three times and on each occasion our base for covering the eastern section of Etosha was Mushara Outpost which, being only 10 km from the Von Lindequist Gate, is ideally situated for self-drive trips into the park . The Outpost is one of three high-end properties owned by the Mushara Group, all of which are located close to one another beside the C38 road.
Above Image © Mushara Collection
There are just eight custom tent-like units at the Outpost, each with its own wooden deck and veranda. The accommodation is well spaced amongst the woodland at the rear of the main boma-style building which houses the reception and dining area. The tents have all been enlarged and upgraded since our first visit with an open air shower and individual room Wi-Fi supplementing a reception building hot spot, although the signal is intermittent.
With the local Warthog population on hand to keep the grass well cropped, there`s no need for a lawnmower!
During the summer months guests gather round a fire on the lawn for a `sundowner` before dinner. The food here and quality of service are first-class and the staff help to create a relaxed and happy atmosphere. The grass is kept neatly trimmed thanks to the efforts of the local warthog family who can often be seen lazing at the poolside after a hard day`s work! More information on Mushara Outpost and the other properties in the Mushara collection can be found on the official website: www.mushara-lodge.com.
Above Image © Mushara Collection
You can also occasionally do a bit of wildlife spotting in your chalet!
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Below: There is a viewing hide at Mushara which overlooks a small waterhole in a picturesque woodland setting. When we arrived, a pair of small antelope were drinking but took off immediately. Big game and predators are supposedly absent from the immediate area but even, so it`s worth spending some time here if you were having a relaxing day and not heading into the park.
During the latest holiday in Namibia I spent a leisurely morning at the Outpost and checked out the hide which was next to our chalet for the first time, spending around 90 minutes inside. The hide overlooks a picturesque woodland location with two small puddles about 50 meters away. A minimum 400mm zoom is needed for acceptable shots of the animals and birds but a 500-600mm would be advantageous here.
The hide is quite large with plenty of comfy canvas-backed chairs. Indeed, the hide, like all the accommodation units at the Outpost, is made from thick canvas over a wooden frame. The front is open to the elements and unlike those at Etosha, the animals here are skittish. If you sit quietly though you should be awarded with views of Kudu, Oryx and smaller antelope species including Damara Dik-dik. There are no predators in the Mushara grounds, at least none that the staff are letting on about!
A good variety of bird species inhabits the forest, the most vocal being the Grey Lourie, better known as the ‘Go-away Bird. Most entertaining though are the turkey-like Helmeted Guineafowl, fairly large flocks of which never seem far away.
There are plenty of tussles as aggressive males confront rivals, throwing up puffs of dust and other birds in the process.
Further information on Namibia and additional images taken there can be found on Clydeside Images.com. Utilise the blog`s search box or the `Overseas-Namibia` fly-out label on the right-hand side of the blog page. Please bear in mind that my Stock Photography Archive has even more shots taken in Namibia. If you wish to purchase any image(s) please email using the Contact Form and I will respond at the earliest opportunity.
After being issued with a permit at the Von Lindequist Gate visitors drive to Namutoni Restcamp where they pay the appropriate Park fees, based on how long they intend to stay. The white-walled 'Beau Geste' style fort which forms the centrepiece of the Namutoni facility was originally built as a German Police frontier post. A small museum opposite reception displays various weapons and artifacts from the German colonial occupation and has information panels outlining the history of the fort and its garrison.
Since our last visit the shops and bar located within the fort's walls have been relocated and it now operates exclusively as an upgraded accommodation block. A meat burger sit-down lunch at the Namutoni Rest Camp restaurant on our first holiday was surprisingly tasty.
The camp waterhole is named after King Nehale, the leader of 500 Ndonga warriors that successfully attacked the German garrison and destroyed the fort in 1904 during the Ovambo uprising. The stronghold was rebuilt and reinforced the following year, however, and British POWs were incarcerated here for a time during the Great War.
The big guy pictured below was nonchalantly feeding very close to the Namutoni Rest Camp on our first visit to Etosha.