Etosha National Park, Namibia
Etosha is one of the largest game parks in Africa covering an area of 22,270 sq km. The central landmark here is the Etosha Pan. Covering nearly 5000 sq km, the pan is vast salt plain, remnant of a large inland lake. The pan is mostly dry but occasionally floods bringing thousands of flamingos and white pelicans. The surrounding limestone formations create a reservoir that supply the pan and various water holes with water to support the huge numbers of plant life and wildlife. Most of the vegetation grows around the surrounding pan in the limestone ground. Sweet grass and umbrella-thorn acacias provide the greatest source for browsers and grazers. The park boasts 114 species of mammal including black-faced impala, black rhino, mountain zebra, and brown hyena.
Check out my Etosha National Park page for more information.
Etosha National Park
Of course Etosha is one of the must if you come to Namibia.
I went in October, it was very hot, but we saw many animals. How you see them? ... you see them as you go driving along the park, but specially at the waterholes where they go to drink during day and night.
What can you find there?
Black Rhino (I saw)
Elephant (I saw many)
Gemsbok (I saw many)
Giraffe (I saw many)
Zebras (I saw many)
Ostrich (I saw)
Springbok (I saw many)
Red Hartebeest (I saw many)
Wildbeest ( I saw many)
Lions ( I saw many .... two times, over 15 together and one alone)
Kudu ( I saw many)
I did went to Etosha with a very good guide Uanee. Thanks to him we saw all the animals we saw with detail.
If you go to Etosha you should go with a good guide that will make you see every bird and go to the waterholes at the best times
Oukakoueja Camp has (as the other two camps in Etosha Ntl Park: Halali and Namutoni) a waterhole that is lighted in the night. This one in Oukakoueja is the waterhole where you most likely see most animals.
Starting after dark, it seems to be a theatrical play: Here come the giraffae, very cautious and slowly they proceed to the waterhole. Why so cautious? Because there are lions around. You haven´t seen them yet? But you will. They keep the giraffae at a distance, at least until the rhinoceros arrive.... and they only stay until the elefants come...
Don´t forget: the gates of the Camps iin the park close at sunset. You have to be in before that happens
More Tips: Dress with long sleeves and use a repellent against the mosquitoes.
Take a flash light with you (especially, if you are not staying in the bungalows on the camp but on the campsite)
Etosha Game Park was declared a National Park in 1907. It covers an area of 22 270 square km, and while it isn’t as abundant with game as some of the more famous parks on the continent, it is home to 114 mammal species, 340 bird species, 110 reptile species, 16 amphibian species and one species of fish.
Etosha means "Great White Place", and the name suits the landscape, which is dominated by a massive mineral pan. This covers around 25% of the National Park, and was originally a lake fed by the Kunene River. However the lake dried up when the course of the river changed thousands of years ago. The pan is now a large dusty depression of salt and dusty clay which fills only if the rains are heavy and even then only holds water for a short time. But the springs and water-holes which remain along the edges of the pan attract large concentrations of wildlife and birds, and are the prime spots for viewing game.
The game viewing in Etosha National Park is excellent, the best time being from May to September - the cooler months in Namibia (we were there in July). Visitors can usually expect to see antelope, elephant, giraffe, rhino and lions, all of which we saw (though the lions only at night). Apparently some lucky visitors also see leopard and cheetah, but we didn’t here, although we did see the latter elsewhere in the country at Okonjima. There is a good network of roads linking the rest camps and various waterholes and other game viewing spots, all of which are navigable with a regular saloon car.
Etosha National Park in the northern part of Namibia is the best place in the country to see game animals, although it doesn’t compare to the game parks in some other African countries. You can stay in the park at one of several government-run rest camps (with fairly basic chalet style accommodation) or outside in more up-market lodges – we chose the former.
If you’re staying at a private lodge there’s likely to be the possibility of guided game drives but we drove ourselves. That’s got a few advantages – you’re in control of where you go and how long you stay. On the other hand if you go with a guide they’ll probably be in touch with other guides and know where to go for the best recent sightings.
Anyway, we did pretty well on our own. We saw lots of zebra, ostrich and giraffe, and were also really pleased to spot a rhino. My favourites are the elephants, and towards the end of the afternoon we found a large herd at a water-hole – definitely the highlight of our self-made game drive!
One of the best game viewing parks in Africa, Etosha is a MUST on any itinerary. Its name means 'aGreat White Place of Dry Water' referring to the huge dried salt pan that dominates the park.
Etosha is home to 114 species of mammal and 340 bird species.
Dusty roads lead through the park with a speed limit of 60km/h.
As elsewhere, the best time for wildlife viewing is dawn and dusk, but you are not allowed in the park after dark.
Etosha is a must when you visit Namibia. It offers an abundance of wildlife and understandably attracts lots of visitors. There are two ways of observing animals in Etosha: game drives and viewing them at waterholes while you are staying at a campsite. The floodlit waterholes ( there are three of them in Etosha) allow you to watch animals practically for twenty four hours a day.
I personally found the waterhole at the Okaukuejo camp the best place to observe animals. It was never empty, even at midday. Herds of antelopes, zebras and wildebeest visited it in daylight. So did the elephants that seem omnipresent in Etosha. After dusk the place became the stage for different animals. A couple of rhinos emerged from the darkness, followed by giraffes and then elephants again. The 'audience' sat in silence looking at the amazing spectacle.
Game drives must be done at daylight but they are hardly ever disappointing. During one of them we spotted groups of lions in just a few km intervals amounting to about 25 of them altogether.
Etosha translates to the Great White Place, which is no surprise - it's pan is most easily seen from the plane, a wide expanse of shimmering white. Seen from the Etosha lookout the white explanse of snow-white sand seems impossibly interminable.
Etosha is one of the prime attractions of Namibia, and one of the best National Parks in Africa. The arid conditions in the dry season cause animals to gather at specific waterholes, making them easy to view compared with other parks in Africa. Also, the park is made for self-driving, which is another plus in itself. Another definitive plus is that this is one of the best places in the world (if not the best) to see rhinos.
Some of the animals in the park include: Black Rhino, White Rhino, Elephant, Windebeest, Oryx, Red Hartebeest, Black Faced Impala, Springbok, Zebra, Eland, Kudu, Giraffe, Dik-Dik, Warthog, Hyaena etc. Of course there are the big cats - lion, cheetah and leopard - though these might take a bit more work to find ... Etosha is also great for birdwatching. Look out for birds of prey, bustards, korhaans, hornbills, rollers, ostrich, helmeted guineafowl and secretarybirds.
For more info about Etosha, and loads of other animal pics, check out my Etosha pages
The waterholes attract much game, especially during the dry season. At one hole we were just about to leave, when a herd of elephants came silently from nowhere, including a tiny baby believed to be just a few days old. After taking their fill of water, they disappeared as quietly as they arrived. How can a large herd of elephant make no noise?
Etosha is one of the largest game reserves in Africa, and is certainly one of the most rewarding. There is a huge variety of wildlife to be seen, including lion, elephant, giraffe, black rhino, zebra, kudu, oryx (gemsbok), impala, springbok, cheetah, leopard ........... the list goes on.
There are also far far less tourists than in Eastern Africa, so people who have been on safari in Kenya tend to get a pleasant surprise.
The best time to see Etosha is between May and September, which is the winter season. Although it is extremely dry during this time, you will actually see more game, as all the animals congregate at the water holes.
Etosha is of course also very beautiful in summer and when it rains it is transformed into a lush paradise within days.
There are three restcamps within Etosha: Namutoni (an old German colonial fort), Halali and Okaukuejo. All three have bungalows, a campsite, a petrol station, a supermarket, a kiosk, restaurant, picnic spot and a swimming pool. My favourite is Okaukuejo, although to experience Etosha properly I recommend staying at least one or two days at each of the restcamps. Book as far in advance as you can, as they all fill up very quickly.
This is a must when visiting Namibia. The siza of park is 4/5 of my island Taiwan. You can see most of the Big Five here. But I saw a lot of giraffs and zebras.
If you go with a organised tour, I think you can standing on the seat of the bus looking out from the roof, which is a wonderful experience.
Etosha National Park, in northern Namibia, is THE place for game viewing in this lovely country.
The park's well-maintained roads and uncrowded waterholes afford the opportunity to see many of Africa's most-prized game sites.
There are a couple of places along the way for "rest stops", but for the most part, you'll have to stay in your car. Also, you are only permitted to visit the park in the daylight hours. So, show up at the gates early and plan to spend the whole day. Bring your cameras, sunscreen and binoculars!
Etosha National Park, in northern Namibia, is an excellent spot for an up-close look at the largest of all land mammals, the majestic elephant. There are numerous jumbos throughout the expanse of Etosha, and nothing's better than catching an entire herd heading into a waterhole. If you are so fortunate, you'll quickly learn who's really the "king" among the animals. No lion would cross an elephant at the waterhole.
Stay in your car and stay quiet, though. The elephant is perhaps the most dangerous animal in Africa when spooked into frenzy.
This is the waterhole to come to late in the afternoon, before sunset.
We arrived and the couple of cars that had been here were just leaving... with BIG smiles on the faces of the occpants. When we got to the waterhole we saw, to our utter disappointment, the behinds of the last couple of elephants walking away. However, with a handful of giraffe enjoying the cool of the dying day and the water, we were content to sit and watch them - elegant in all their gangliness! And we were richly rewarded for our wait. With no other vehicle about for miles we were treated to not one, not two but thee seperate (small) herds of elephant, including some very old big boys and some incredibly playful calfs and teenagers. As the older elephants drank from what seemed to be the communal elephant drinking area, the youngsters came right down to our car and started to spray water and mud everywhere. It was our last day in the park and it was the most wonderful end to our time there.
Etosha National Park, in northern Namibia, is an excellent spot for an up-close look at the king of the feline family, the lion. Spotting lions can be a little dicey, depending on the water supply, but the opportunity exists to get an up-close look at these ferocious cats. One great part of seeing a lion at an Etosha waterhole is that it should be a clearer view, free of the bush the often surrounds these creatures in grassier terrain. Often, the first hint you'll get that a lion might be around is the hesitance of all other animals, save the elephants (who aren't afraid of any animal), to approach the waterhole.
If you do see a lion, I hope I don't have to suggest that you stay in your car and stay quiet. It's a great moment in your life, but it's not worth being eaten to get a few meters closer. : )