It has been close to 40 days since I left Namibia and finally I could muster enough coherence to pen a few lines for Etosha National Park, Namibia, in all my limited literary capacity. We met for the first time 04 years 3 months and 15 days back on the very first day of my maiden African trip. It was supposed to be the first and last time we met. It was supposed to be the last time I visit Namibia.
It was also supposed to be a fleeting glimpse of your ethereal beauty. But won’t life be very boring if everything happened as “it was supposed to be”? Hence providence sprung a pleasant surprise and fate brought me back to my dreamland a year later on a 2-year assignment which would ultimately extend to 27 months. After all, it’s for nothing that Paul Coelho said “When you really want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it”.
Hence “our” love at first sight translated into a romantic sojourn lasting over 04 years, 08 trips, and 22 nights. 22 days of pure bliss it was and 22 nights of nature’s lullabies. But that’s another story, the present one is about my very last visit and how she bade me goodbye. Also how I knew it was not a one-sided romance.
In a world ravaged by a pandemic, travel is uncertain at best.
So my return from Namibia was not only doubtful but fraught with extreme disquietude. Cancellation of flights, suspension of routes, requirement of negative test report were just a few of the precarious predicaments casting a spell of fickleness on my return plans. Further, the fact that my stay had already been extended once before also weighed in.
However, beyond all these uncertainties, Etosha gave me a farewell like no other and also signaled the end of my Namibian sojourn 20 days before I actually left. Just like my very first evening in the park 4 yrs back, I was gifted with the rarest of Etosha’s gifts on my very last evening, a sighting of a beautiful leopard at Goas.
All regulars at the park would vouch that leopard sightings are the most special and rare at the park. This was only the second time I was seeing one in 04 years. Incidentally, my Etosha leopard sightings have happened only on my very first and last day at the park over a gap of 4 years.