04-Jul-2004 -- Following our successful visit to 19S 16E on Saturday July 03, 2004, we arranged with Warden Shayne Kötting to visit 19S 15E the following day - Sunday July 04, 2004. It meant a visit to the western region of the Etosha National Park, an area normally reserved for registered tour operators only.
Just before entering this area we came upon a group of four lions, a male, a female and two cubs. We then visited the water point "Ozonjuitji m'Bari". According to the booklet "Origin and Meaning of Place Names in the Etosha National Park", this should be spelt "Ozonyutji m'Bari", and is the Herero name for this most easterly and last drilled of a series of 19th latitude bore-holes, meaning "Two Honey Bees". With no money left to erect a windmill, the then Warden of Etosha, 'Bernie' de la Bat approached two ardent conservationists, H. A. Böttger and L. W. Bermann, for help. They willingly donated funds and then named the drinking place by putting together their surname initials B&B, thereby evolving the description of "Two Bs" (bees). It was here that we saw an Eland, the biggest African bovid and a rare sight. When trotting, a clicking sound, like castanets is heard. This is produced in the foreleg tendons or joints and advertises the presence of a moving bull.
We then proceeded in a westerly direction for approximately 50 km until we encountered longitude 15E. We left our vehicles on the side of the road and our entire group boarded Shayne's pick-up truck (called a "bakkie" in Namibia), from whence we proceeded in a southerly direction in the bush (very bumpy), until we reached the Confluence at about 11 am.
After taking the necessary photographs, we returned along the same route, stopping at another water point where we spotted a lone elephant bull. For interest, Etosha's elephants are of the largest in Africa, the tallest measuring up to 4 m at the shoulder. Adult bulls have a mass of between 5,500 and 6,000 kg, while the cows have about 2/3 of the mass of the bulls in the same area. Their tusks, on the other hand, are smaller than those of elephants elsewhere in Africa. This is probably due to breakages resulting from mineral deficiencies in their diet and genetic defects. The fact that Etosha's elephants have smallish tusks is a distinct advantage, insofar as they are less likely to fall prey to ivory poachers. Where a supply of clean, sweet water is normally an essential habitat requirement for elephants, in Etosha they have adapted to the water with its high salt content, the salinity of which sometimes exceeds that of seawater. (From "Notes on Nature" by Amy Schoeman)
Our grateful thanks to following individuals:
Mr Ben Beytel, Director of Parks & Wildlife Management, Ministry of Environment and Tourism
Mr Shayne Kötting, Game Warden, Okaukuejo, Etosha National Park