The Etosha Pan and the area that later became known as Etosha National Park was first discovered by Europeans in 1851 when explorers Charles Andersson and Fracis Galton came to the wild region. Etosha National Park is unique in Africa and is the gateway to Northern Namibia and Ovamboland.
It is one of the most accessible game reserves in Namibia and Southern Africa. It is Namibia’s prime wildlife location offering excellent game viewing. There is abundant wildlife that congregates around the numerous waterholes, which are floodlit at night, offering almost guaranteed game sightings.
Etosha means the ‘great white area‘ which refers to the dried salt pan in the middle of the park. The Etosha pan is the park’s most distinctive feature, it is even visible from space! It is believed to have been formed over 100 million years ago and is 130 km’s long and up to 50 km’s wide in certain places, meaning the pan covers almost a quarter of the park!
The park is malaria free and accessible by all vehicles, the rest camps at the park provide a variety of accommodation, restaurants, viewing points and decks, shops, petrol stations, luxurious camps in remote areas. The best places to see wildlife is at the waterholes scattered throughout the park, especially during the dry winters as most species rely on these permanent water sources. The larger waterholes see treks of zebra and springbok with a mix of Oryx and elephants. If you lucky you can spot rhino, elephant and lion drinking from the same waterhole!
Etosha is home to four of the Big 5, one of the best reasons to visit the park is to for the black rhino, the waterholes are some of the best places to see this precious animal. Elephants and lions are common but the elusive leopard hides in the densely vegetated areas. Other rare and endangered species include the black-faced impala and the fleet footed cheetah. Other large mammals include lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, giraffe, hyena, sprinkbok, zebra, kudu, gemsbok and eland. The smaller species include jackal, bat-eared fox, warthog, honey badger, squirrels and more. The park is also home to 114 species of mammals.
The summers are ideal for birding in Etosha which is home to 340 bird species, about a third of which are migratory. One of the best birding spots is Fisher’s Pan, where you can see flamingos and storks wading through the shallow water. The bird life is made up of a mix from flamingos to the colourful lilac-breasted roller and eagles soaring high above. The vultures that visit the park include the lapped-faced, white-backed and hooded vultures.
Why visit Etosha National Park? Etosha offers amazing biodiversity, great wildlife and birdlife viewing, easy road or air access, black rhinos, amazing Wild Sanctuary and floodlit waterholes.
With so much on offer at the Etosha National Park it is easy to see why it is a popular destination to visit! Please contact us if you would like more information or sample packages showing how this destination can be incorporated into a package.