Etosha National Park is unique in Africa. The park’s main characteristic is a salt pan so large it can be seen from space. Yet there is abundant wildlife that congregates around the waterholes, giving you almost guaranteed game sightings. At the same time Etosha National Park is one of the most accessible game reserves in Namibia and Southern Africa.
The park is malaria free, accessible in a regular sedan car and the rest camps provide a range of accommodation as well as restaurants, viewing decks, shops and petrol stations. Luxurious camps in Etosha’s remote areas have now added top end accommodation to the park’s offerings.
Landscape and Vegetation
Namibia is a very diverse country with an array of habitats and vegetation. It is also one of the few countries where animals still roam freely mostly unrestricted by human influence. The country has a great mix of desert, semi- desert and savannahs. As you travel further north in Namibia towards Etosha National Park, you will find a place that offers visitors a complete contrast of wide open grasslands, a massive pan that covers 4731km² and large camel thorn trees mixed with Mopani trees. This diverse vegetation accounts for the abundance of wildlife that thrives in the park.
The various accommodation options in Etosha National Park are well equipped with restaurants, shops, curios, swimming pools and petrol stations. The three main camps (Okaukuejo, Halali and Namutoni) offer various types of accommodation from camping to chalets overlooking floodlit waterholes. Situated deeper in the park are the more exclusive camps (Dolomite and Onkoshi) that provide a safari experience for discerning travelers.
About the Park
During winter the Etosha Pan is bone dry. This endless white expanse is an unlikely venue for a wildlife sanctuary. The park is a wasteland of white dust which comes from the clay in the pan. Bushes along the road turn white as vehicles throw up dust and visitors who leave the park usually have a dusty aura around them! This is also the time when most of the visitors come to the park as the climate is mild and the wildlife concentrates itself at the waterholes. Yet the surrounding areas overflow with springbok and zebra.
The abundance of game in Etosha National Park is somewhat unexpected, showcasing some of the most common and rarest wildlife species. The areas with thicker vegetation are home to elephant (some of the largest in Africa due to the vitamins and nutrients found in the ground).
Many keen photographers visit the park looking to enhance their skills and photo- library. In winter, the waterholes offer a unique opportunity to sit and wait for your subjects to come to you. The waterholes that surround the camps ensure that you are never left without something to photograph.
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