Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Namibia's National Parks and Game Reserves

Daan Viljoen Game Park

The smallest park in Namibia, Daan Vilijoen lies just 18km west of Namibia's capital city, Windhoek, making it popular with day and weekend visitors.
Animals to be spotted include including kudu, red hartebeest, springbok, klipspringer, steenbok, eland and oryx antelopes, baboons, blue wildebeests and giraffes and over 200 bird species including helmeted guineafowl, red billed francolin, yellow billed hornbill, rock runner. The park has no large predators so walking around the park is permitted and there is a network of walking tracks to explore.
A rest camp is located on the banks of Augeigas dam which offer accommdation in several bungalows, a camp site and picnic area for a day visitors. It also has a restaurant and swimming pool

Etosha National Park

It covers an area of approximately 23 000 square kilometres and is one of Namibia's most famous parks as well as being one of the largest preserves on the African continent. The park encompasses a vast salt pan which covers an areas of approximately 5,000 square kilometers
Giraffes - Etosha National ParkIt is home to elephant, both Burchell's and Hartmann's zebras , giraffe, lion, leopard, black rhinoceros , red hartebeests, blue wildebeests, cheetah, hyena, eland, kudu, springbok, gemsbok, black-faced impala and many other types of antelope as well as over 340 species of birds, including large flocks of flamingoes and white pelicans which come to breed in years of good rainfall. Also spotted are ostrich, kori bustard, which can weigh over 30 pounds, and Yellow-billed hornbills 
The salt pan is off limits but there is a road network running along its edge
There are three camps in the park all lying south of the pan
Okaukuejo Camp, Halali Camp, Namutoni Camp

Fish River Canyon National Park

Located in the Southern part of Namibia, Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world. With a depth of up to 550 metres in parts, the enormous gorge winds along a distance of approx. 160 kilometres through the fissured Koubis Massif all the way down to Ai-Ais. The canyon starts near Seeheim, is 161 kilometres long and ends at Ai-Ais. 
The Fish River Hiking trail is one of the most famous hikes in Southern Africa. The hike covers a distance of just over 80km in the base of the canyon and takes over 5 days with absolutely no facilities whatsoever. To undertake the hike you should be in reasonable fitnees and obtain a hiking permit. In the summer (Nov to mid March) temperatures can reach some 50° Centigrade, resulting in the canyon being closed to the public for hiking during that time 
Ais-Ais hot springs can be found within the Fish River Canyon conservation area. These sulphurous springs originate deep underground and are rich in minerals, which have been reported to be beneficial for those with rheumatic or nervous disorders. Ais-Ais hot springs are a public facility, attached to a resort that includes an indoor spa with Jacuzzi. The resort is closed from November to mid March

Namib Naukluft National Park

The park is a combination of the Namib Desert Park and the Naukluft Mountain Zebra Park as well as sections of the Diamond Area. There are four sections in the park: Sossusvlei and Sessriem, Naukluft, Namib section and Sandwich Harbour. 
Rain is rare - the raining season is between Feb and April. The months of November to March are the hottest when day time temperatures seldom drop below 35°c. During the months of June/July and August night time temperatures can drop to below 5°c 
At almost 50,000 km² it is the largest conservation area in Namibia and 4th largest in the world . The area is home to some of the rarest plant and animal species in the world. The animals of this harsh landscape include the oryx, springbok. Welwitschia Mirabilis, large lichen fields and Hartmann's Mountain Zebra.  
The park's main attractions are Sossusvlei; the world's largest sand dune. Sandwich Harbour; a paradise for ornithologists and nature lovers visiting Namibia. The Naukluft region is a favourite for hiking and four wheel drive trails.

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