Etosha National Park consists largely of a vast salt pan, that is where the “white” comes from in the local description “the great white place”. It is a sizeable area covering some 2.2 million hectares, and provides a home to many thousands of birds and animals of many species. There is minimal human interference within the park, and even though there are game rangers and wardens present, the area is still considered to be in a pristine condition.
Etosha definitely is the holy grail of Namibian wildlife parks. Namibia is a country which has designated more than 13% of its very large area to national park status. Etosha is the most popular of these parks with both local people and tourists from overseas. The flagship of rest camps to be found within the park is Okakuejo, offering varying levels of accommodation which includes luxury bungalows, self catering chalets and campsites. The availability of fuel, a shop and a restaurant make this a very convenient place to stop over. By far the most popular attraction here is the waterhole very close to the fence, which, as darkness falls is lit by floodlights enabling very close up game viewing throughout the night.
Halali is the smaller of the other two rest camps found within the park, and is also more rustic than the third camp, which is called Namutoni, where there is an old fortress remaining which was completed by the German colonials around 1905.
The game within Etosha is spread over a large area, this is a consequence of the large number of waterholes, and due to the very good road network, most are easily accessible by visitors. A specialist vehicle is not generally required, during dry conditions, most waterholes can be reached in a normal sedan vehicle. As a safety measure, all of the gates into the rest camps are locked at sunset, and reopened at sunrise, so it is of great importance to ensure that you are very close to your chosen stopover before the sun goes down.
Most of the large predators can be found here, including Lion, Leopard and Cheetah. Smaller predators can be readily observed at the waterholes during the night. Etosha is known for its huge herds of plains animals, which includes Blue Wildebeest, Plains Zebra, Springbuck, Giraffe, Red Hartebeest, Oryx and Eland.
Elephant, Black Rhino, and White Rhino are among the big game that can be seen here regularly, a visit to Etosha should be on the list of everybody visiting Namibia. It is absolutely a “must do”, and is a truly wonderful experience.