EXPLORING NAMIBIA'S ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK WITH RSG RADIO PRESENTER, DERRICH GARDNER
Travel to Namibia with renowned RSG radio personality, Derrich Gardner, as he explores the rugged natural beauty of the Etosha National Park.
The Insider SA joins RSG radio presenter, Derrich Gardner in Namibia where he visits Mokuti Etosha Lodge – a luxury accommodation on the border of the Etosha National Park. It’s here where guests have an opportunity to explore the rugged landscape and wildlife of the area from a comfortable home base. In Derrich’s words, “This is Africa at its best.”
Etienne Fourie, General Manager of Mokuti Etosha Lodge, shares more about the luxury lodge, saying, “It’s an 140-room lodge on the eastern side of Etosha National Park, just outside Namutoni. The whole setup of Mokuti is all about relaxing.”
Relaxing is exactly what Derrich intends to enjoy on his Namibian getaway, along with game drives, spa treatments, and enjoying the local cuisine.
Mokuti is the perfect launchpad to explore the vast, natural beauty of the Etosha National Park. A team of skilled local guides like Iskia, who was born in the region, make the trip an educational and authentic experience.
Iskia explains, “Etosha means ‘Great White Place’. After the heavy rain there’s a lot of water, and when that evaporates, it leaves a white clay behind.” The vastness of the landscape truly is great as Iskia described with the park ranging to 22,000km2.
Eager to experience it for himself, Derrich heads out with Iskia for a game drive along the 4,000km2 pan. “It’s quite amazing!” remarks Derrich, “You have no idea the size until you come here and see the vastness.” He adds, “I’ve also seen what they call the ‘Etosha Pan Mirage’ where it looks like it’s full of water, but of course, there’s not a drop. Your eyes lie to you, the skyline lies to you, and that’s what makes it so amazing. Then, when you stare out into nothing, all of a sudden you’ll find animals all over!”
Besides hosting RSG’s popular Saturday morning breakfast show, Derrich shares a passion for being behind the camera as well. Travelling to Namibia gave Derrich the perfect opportunity to practice a hobby that has now become a passion.
Derrich shares that his affinity for photography began whilst travelling overseas when he felt the need to capture memories that would last a lifetime. “Once that little gogga bites you, there’s no turning back.”
“I love capturing animals in the bush because it’s completely unpredictable. You never know what’s going to happen in the next five minutes. It teaches you patience because sometimes you have to stalk the animals or you have to sit there for hours”.
After a long drive through the park taking in the natural beauty, Derrich heads back to Mokuti to enjoy a pamper treatment at the lodge’s in-house spa. “That’s life!”, exclaims Derrich, “Just in the bush to relax with a nice cocktail.”
As the sun sets over the national park, the festivities begin back at the lodge where the chefs prepare a locally-inspired feast.
In the Boma, Chef Brian Prinz explains, “This is where we have our truly African experience. We have an infusion of four different cultures: Oshivambo, Herero, Dambura, and Bushman and incorporate that into our food. The food and culture come together as one.”
The combination of food, culture, and the raw natural beauty of Mokuti Etosha Lodge showcase the best of Namibian hospitality. Follow Derrich’s adventures through Namibia again next week when he explores the historical coastal town of Swakopmund.