safari experts, since 1991
See how we earn 5 starsTrustpilot - 5 stars
Africa Geographic Travel

I was looking for a unique African wildlife experience, and the Africa Geographic team suggested that Etosha in Namibia would be the perfect place to start! By Francisco Hernandez

After a very pleasant flight over Africa, with incredible views, I picked up my car in Windhoek and drove to Okaukuejo Camp in Etosha National Park, arriving shortly after sunset. As I drove through the main gates to explore the surroundings of Okaukuejo Camp, my first impressions were summarised in one word – amazing.

In Okaukuejo, as you approach the waterhole on foot, you start hearing sounds that are reminiscent of an African wildlife documentary and the feeling that envelops you is one of calm. The meditative state is interrupted only by the sound of water splashing, animal grunts and birdsong.

Only once you reach the banks of the waterhole does your mind start to take in the tremendous beauty of the surroundings. I could only stare in disbelief. At first, it was difficult to comprehend that what I was witnessing could be real. The animals were completely disinterested in us and went about their business as if we weren’t there.

For three days straight, I drew. The waterhole teemed with wildlife, from sprightly springbok to enormous elephants and oryx, kudu, giraffe and many more. I scarcely put down my pencil.

Giraffe head study by Francisco Hernandez

Sketching wildlife is notoriously difficult; animals are not in the habit of posing. But here, it was often the case that there were so many animals in one area that if the animal you were drawing moved, there were 10 others in the same position that you could focus on instead. Sometimes, it was necessary to practice a bit of patience, but ultimately, another animal almost always took up the same position a few moments later. Frequently, the animals often remained in the vicinity of the waterhole for a long enough time to be able to complete some sketches.

Springbok Drinking by Francisco Hernandez
Springbok drinking by Francisco Hernandez

Next to the waterhole, there was a big tree under which hundreds of springboks spent hours resting and ruminating in the shade. On the same tree, I even saw a steppe eagle, a black-chested snake eagle and a pied crow.

Okakuejo waterhole by Francisco Hernandez

There are many reasons why Okaukuejo is a special place to draw wildlife. Firstly, the wildlife comes almost continuously to the waterhole to drink, and there is a large open vista without any vegetation, which means that you can continually observe the movements of hundreds of animals easily. In addition, as there are so many pairs of watchful eyes keeping a lookout in the vicinity, the waterhole is not the best hunting ground for predators, which makes the animals feel safe and calm.

Giraffe and blacksmith plovers by Francisco Hernandez

There are many places to observe and draw comfortably while sitting on wooden benches under the shade of trees or from a high, sheltered observatory. A roof is an important component for those planning to draw for several hours. The campsite is close enough to the waterhole that one can easily walk there in a few minutes.

For most of the day, visitors prefer to leave the campsite and waterhole on game drives through the park, which means that one can be completely absorbed in art creation with few distractions. I have to say this was one of the best natural drawing studios I have ever had the pleasure to spend time at.

Guineafowl in Etosha
Guineafowl drinking in Etosha by Francisco Hernandez

Find out about Etosha National Park for your next African safari – find a ready-made safari or ask us to build one just for you.


To comment on this story: Login (or sign up) to our app here - it's a troll-free safe place 🙂.


  • Travel with us. Travel in Africa is about knowing when and where to go, and with whom. A few weeks too early / late and a few kilometres off course and you could miss the greatest show on Earth. And wouldn’t that be a pity? Browse our ready-made packages or answer a few questions to start planning your dream safari.
  • Subscribe to our FREE newsletter / download our FREE app to enjoy the following benefits.
  • Plan your safaris in remote parks protected by African Parks via our sister company - safari camps for responsible travellers

AG Logo

In the Guest Blogger profile, you'll see fresh and exciting content from a range of contributors who have submitted their content to us on a once-off or temporary basis, including press releases, campaigns and exciting adventure and travel tales!

Africa Geographic Travel
[wpforms id="152903"]
<div class="wpforms-container wpforms-container-full" id="wpforms-152903"><form id="wpforms-form-152903" class="wpforms-validate wpforms-form wpforms-ajax-form" data-formid="152903" method="post" enctype="multipart/form-data" action="/stories/why-etosha-is-the-perfect-place-to-sketch-wildlife/" data-token="0b432ee3f926000dc10b6bbfe5cbce4b"><noscript class="wpforms-error-noscript">Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.</noscript><div class="wpforms-field-container"><div id="wpforms-152903-field_1-container" class="wpforms-field wpforms-field-email" data-field-id="1"><label class="wpforms-field-label wpforms-label-hide" for="wpforms-152903-field_1">Email Address <span class="wpforms-required-label">*</span></label><input type="email" id="wpforms-152903-field_1" class="wpforms-field-medium wpforms-field-required" name="wpforms[fields][1]" placeholder="Email " required></div></div><div class="wpforms-submit-container"><input type="hidden" name="wpforms[id]" value="152903"><input type="hidden" name="wpforms[author]" value="3"><input type="hidden" name="wpforms[post_id]" value="71396"><button type="submit" name="wpforms[submit]" id="wpforms-submit-152903" class="wpforms-submit" data-alt-text="Sending..." data-submit-text="Subscribe" aria-live="assertive" value="wpforms-submit">Subscribe</button><img src="" class="wpforms-submit-spinner" style="display: none;" width="26" height="26" alt="Loading"></div></form></div> <!-- .wpforms-container -->