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Pilot/guide at Dolomite Lodge

Slovenia
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for Costa Rica
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Pilot/guide at Dolomite Lodge

Staying at Dolomite Lodge for 3nights 2days will be our first contact with Etosha and its wildlife. Is it possible to get a pilot/guide for half day or full day exploring of that part of Etosha? Any suggestions, recommendations, etc warmly welcomed!

Isle of Man, United...
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1. Re: Pilot/guide at Dolomite Lodge

Well first of all you won't get lost. The tracks are clear and well marked. You will have a map to show the routes. After all you found the camp in the first place so it cannot be that hard!

I can understand a slight reluctance/concern about meeting large Mammals for the first time so you might like to have someone along with you for comfort. I would think the lodge would 'lend' you somebody for the first morning if you asked and offered to pay a contribution. Or you could ask to join one of their own Game drives. But from what I hear the divers are no great shakes and simply act as drivers and tour the waterholes.

If you go it alone just remember to give the animals some space and don't press too close. If it comes to you peacefully then it means it is relaxed about your presence. Always have your safety uppermost.

Manchester, United...
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2. Re: Pilot/guide at Dolomite Lodge

Sensible advice from mfuwe. Remember to enjoy it. There will be very few situations where you will feel uncomfortable. My guess is that most of those will involve elephants. Just give them loads of space and plot a route out in the rare time that you don't feel comfortable. Trust your instincts. Those deep seated thoughts are very reliable.

Edited: 19 November 2013, 22:54
Isle of Man, United...
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3. Re: Pilot/guide at Dolomite Lodge

We have been dodging Ellies for 4 million years so the instinct is in there. Listen to it. However I must add that I have yet to meet a dishonest Elephant and those in Etosha are fairly used to cars provided you mind your manners.

Edited: 19 November 2013, 23:17
Nashville, Tennessee
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4. Re: Pilot/guide at Dolomite Lodge

I was worried my first trip about encounters with elephants and rhinos. However, the water holes create a large amount of space. Easy to maneuver. Don't get trapped in. Be slow and deliberate about your approach. You will be surprised how easy it is to see the animals. If an elephant gets too close, even if it is calm, its ok to pull away. You don't have to see how close you get.

When driving around the park, if you see and elephant crossing the road, slow down or stop. They are often crossing in lines. Wait for all of them to cross. Never approach quickly or speed up to get close and see what is going on. Often times, a matriarch will cross early and then wait for the rest of the herd. Give them their space.

It is very simple. You will do great. You can go on one of the game drives the first time you are at Dolomite (we did) and it gave me a feel for distances to the animals and safety. I felt comfortable immediately and easily navigated the rest of the trip. The next trip, I felt at ease and did not worry. We even had herds often walking within feet of the car. Calm and relaxed. Slowly approaching.

We did have a big bull charge us, but it was easy to see coming and stemmed off of another vehicle trying to agitate the guy to induce a charge. Just idiotic. Can easily be avoided.

As mfuwe said, the ellies there are very used to cars.

Slovenia
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for Costa Rica
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5. Re: Pilot/guide at Dolomite Lodge

Thanks everybody for great info and words of confidence. My animal tracking experiences are from rain forests of Costa Rica where animals, mainly birds, are hard to find if not knowing where to look. Having a private guide for a day helped us immensely when we later hiked on our own. Based on your comments, Namibia wildlife is much easier to spot. I hope so. As you all still probably remembers, the first time is always the most nervous one!

Speaking of waterholes around Dolomite, are there some which might have better chances of photographing wildlife then others?

I have learned by reading the posts on this forum, that best way is to chose a spot, and wait there for some time. Based on your experiences, how long should I wait if no animals are around on arrival? 30 min, 60 min?

Edited: 20 November 2013, 08:50
Manchester, United...
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6. Re: Pilot/guide at Dolomite Lodge

Klippan always seems to have something but, I understand the waterholes to the west of it are closed. Dolomite itself regularly has elephants and you can watch them arrive from the camp. Carrying on clockwise from Dolomite are some great waterholes, always with game in the mornings. The nearer you get to central Etosha are many closed waterholes. We didn't go to the waterholes going anticlockwise from Dolomite.

Edited: 20 November 2013, 10:05
Adelaide, Australia
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7. Re: Pilot/guide at Dolomite Lodge

We found game viewing on our first trip to etosha last year very accessible. We didn't go to dolomite though - but we are going there in feb which I am looking forward to. Take heed of the other advice, plenty of space give (especially large) animals room to move and yourselves room to move out if you need. Take your time sit and enjoy, there's always something to see.

8. Re: Pilot/guide at Dolomite Lodge

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