Etosha Pan

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Etosha Pan

Overview
Activities and Highlights
Seasons
Region Map

Description

"World renowned and known to be Namibia’s greatest and most scenic wildlife sanctuary, the Etosha National Park is an arid wonderland that far exceeds the expectations of its visitors. It is here where dust demons dance across a vast flat depression, as it gleams a blinding silvery-white and covers newly a quarter of Etosha National Park’s surface.

Believed to be an inland lake some 12 million years ago, all that remain now is the cracked clay pans of a shimmer and glisten muddy layer which distorts the African sun’s fiery rays, casting a myriad of mirages and deceiving the eyes of the onlooker. Though deprived of water for most of the year, the Etosha Pans become a shallow green-blue algae pool after the refreshing showers arrive during the rainy season, attracting a prolific number of flamingos, pelicans and other waders.

Game is prolific in Etosha National Park, boasting more than 114 species of animals, including Africa’s much sought after; the Big Five. The splendour of Etosha does not revolve around the number of wildlife that roam these plans, but around the ease at which animals are seen throughout the day and night.

With more than 40 waterholes scattered along 800km; spotting prowling lions, nocturnal leopards, trotting elephants, herds of zebra and many endemic antelope boils down to patience. Let’s not forget that Etosha National Park is a magnificent sanctuary to all bird lovers too. The park attracts well over 340 varieties of bird, many of which are only found within the park and its surrounding areas.

There is no doubt that Etosha National Park is the ideal area to discover, whenever a Namibian safari is on the mind of the exploring traveller."

Access Details

If traveling by road,Etosha National Park may be accessed via any one of its four gates; namely Otjovasandu Gate, Anderson Gate, Namutoni Gate, and Von Lindequist Gate. Air charters from Windhoek offer easy access to private concessions in the area.

Suggested Stay Details

Etosha National Park is a land of majestic beauty, prolific in wildlife and embodies nature?s splendor. To fully appreciate and explore the park, we suggest 2 to 4 nights when staying at a private safari lodge, or a 4 to 5 night stay shared between

Type of Experience

"Etosha is Namibia's desert safari destination, searing mirages hover over the glimmering salt pans, in the distance dust rises as herd of elephant slowly towards one of the few water holes. Most wildlife activity takes place around water holes, where elephant, rhino, lion, hyena, giraffe, mix with desert dwelling antelope like gemsbok, black faced springbok and the dik dik. Mix of dust, mirages and spectacular sunsets makes for some of the most dramatic wildlife photography, particularly silhouettes.

Spend hours in a hide at a waterhole observing the movements of wildlife and birds such as sand grouse, quilelea, spectacular raptors such as eagles and vultures, at the water holes. In private land bordering Etosha, guests enjoy walking safaris to spot the shy black rhino, less crowded game viewing opportunities from comfort of luxury safari vehicles. Excitement of seeing lion walk through camp just metres from your tent is very possible in the private camps. Night sounds including the chilling sound of the silver backed jackal, the roar of distant lion, or sitting outside gazing at the starry skies of the Milky Way.

PHOTOGRAPHY: As the soft rays of the African sun floods the vast open plains of Etosha National Park during sunrise, be sure to have your camera charged and plenty of memory. From glistening saline pans that play host to the tomfoolery of mirages, and the pink flock of flamingo which carpets the pan whenever water is present, to the silhouette of prancing giraffes; you are sure to capture a plethora of remarkable and inspiring images. With the arrival of the setting sun, fading tones of sepia landscapes emerge and casts shades and shadows across the vast expanse.

Infrastructure

Etosha National Park is largely accessible and allows ease of access to all guests. A very good connection of roads runs into the park, providing guests the option of self drive. Safari lodges are ideally positioned, some of which overlook watering holes, to provide the best chance of spotting game whenever they congregate around these water sources. The lodges range in comfort; from exclusivity, elegance and luxury to the quant essentials that remain true to quality and exceptional service.

Geography

Dominated by the vast presence of the inhospitable saline mud covered Etosha Pans, the growth of Mopane , shrubs and woodlands surrounds the area. The Haunted Forest is a collection of unusual African moringa tree that dot the secluded area.

History

Etosha National Park was proclaimed in 1907 by Friedrick Von Lindequest, a German governor, during the era when Namibia was known as South West Africa and under the rule of the German colony. At the time, it formed the largest protected game reserve in the world but in 1947, the area was reduced, resulting in the exclusion of Kaokoland.

Activities & Highlights

"WILDLIFE: Etosha National Park is truly a land of remarkable beauty. Rare sighting of Africa’s smallest antelope, the Damara dik-dik, as well as Africa’s largest antelope, the stately eland, may be sported within the confines of the park. Keep an eye open for the blackface impala which is native to Etosha.

Large herds of zebra, wildebeest and springbok may be seen too. Large game gathers around the many waterholes, including white and black rhino, jackals, lions and even the elusive leopard. With the arrival of night, you may hear the sounds of Africa’s wildest echoing in the distance, from silver backed jackal, to the barking laugh of the hyena.

BIRDS: Etosha National Park graces guests with the elegance of many feathered friends. The park attracts more than 340 bird species, including 35 species belonging to birds of prey. With the presence of endemic bird species such as the black-faced and bare-cheeked babblers, violet woodhoopoe, Ruppell’s parrot, Bradfield’s swift and the white-tailed shrike, there is certainly no doubt that Etosha is a sanctuary and essential to many birds.

Spend some time in a hide and you will be sure to see many sand grouse, quelea, eagles and vultures too.



Season Travel Details

Etosha National Park has a dry arid climate. The rainy season peaks in January to March, during which the area experiences its hottest and wettest time of year. As the rain approaches, the birds flock in generally between November and March. Game-viewing is best done during the dry season, which lasts from May to September and peaks in July onwards.

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