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Etosha National Park Holidays

  • Dramatic encounter at Etosha NP
  • Amazing scenes in Etosha NP
  • Stunning scenes at Etosha NP
  • Thirsty Lion Cubs, Etosha NP
 

Etosha is one of Africa’s great national parks and the game viewing here is on a par with South Africa’s Kruger, Zimbabwe’s Hwange, Kenya’s Masai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti. A visit to Etosha is deservedly one of the highlights of any visit to Namibia. Some 114 mammal species, 110 reptile species and more than 340 different bird species have been identified, and three well-appointed rest camps cater for the hundreds of daily visitors. Each rest camp has a floodlit watering hole, which offers overnight visitors the chance to see good numbers of game in an unusual environment. A large proportion of the park is either closed to the public or inaccessible by road, which has enabled conservationists to carry out important studies of wildlife.

The central feature of the park is the Etosha Pan, a huge depression that becomes a lake during summers of exceptional rainfall, although even then the water is rarely more than a few centimetres deep. Most of the time it is a blinding expanse of flat, white, cracked and dried mud that shimmers with mirages and is dotted with spiralling dust devils. Seeing animals pace across this surreal landscape is one of the sights that make Etosha so special. Indeed, the name Etosha is usually translated as ‘great white place’ or ‘place of emptiness’.

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There are no roads across the pan, but along the southern fringe a network of gravel roads offers some exceptional views of this natural feature which can be seen clearly from space. A unique aspect of Etosha is the fine white dust during the dry seasons – your vehicle will certainly be covered with it but in some cases so are the animals, so to follow a white elephant as it ambles down a gravel road is a delightful experience.

Another good reason for visiting Etosha is to see the endangered black rhinoceros; the resident population of about 700 is thought to be one of the largest in Africa. While it is difficult to see these animals in thick bush, they frequently visit the floodlit waterholes. The most commonly occurring species are the animals that prefer open savannah country. You can expect to see large herds of blue wildebeest, gemsbok, Burchell’s zebra, eland, giraffe, springbok and elephant, as well as hyena, warthog and the ubiquitous ground squirrel. All of the large cats are found in Etosha and the park is home to three uncommon antelope species: the black-faced impala, Damara dik-dik and the roan antelope.

 

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