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Etosha National Park


One of Namibia’s main tourist draw card has been the internationally known Etosha National Park.

Until the 1960’s Etosha was the largest game reserve in the world, but following the implementation of the recommendations of the Oodendaal Commission, it’s surface area was reduced by a vast 77%.
Nevertheless, at it’s present size of 22 270 square km, it is still one of the largest Parks in Africa.

Etosha Landscape

Etosha owes its unique landscape to the Etosha Pan, a vast shallow depression of approximately 5 000 square km. A series of waterholes along the Southern edge of the pan guarantee the rewarding and often spectacular game viewing. In good rain years the pan fills with water draining southwards from Angola via the delta like system of shallow rivers and oshanas, drying out in the winter to become an austere expanse of white cracked mud, shimmering with mirages and upward spiraling dust devils.


Etosha, meaning "Great White Place", is dominated by a massive mineral pan. The pan is part of the Kalahari Basin, the floor of which was formed around 1000 million years ago. The Etosha Pan covers around 25% of the National Park. The pan was originally a lake fed by the Kunene River. However the course of the river changed thousands of years ago and the lake dried up. The pan now is 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.


This temporary water in the Etosha Pan attracts thousands of wading birds including impressive flocks of flamingos. The perennial springs along the edges of the Etosha Pan draw large concentrations of wildlife and birds.
During the rainy season it is a good option for viewing Fischer’s Pan, a birders’ delight on several counts, especially for greater and lesser flamingos and even pelicans.

Etosha Wildlife

Of the mammal species found in the park, several are rare and endangered, such as black rhino and black-faced impala. Etosha’s elephants are reputed to be the largest in Africa, the tallest ones measuring up to 4m at the shoulder. Their tusks, on the other hand, are relatively small. For the greater part of the year the Etosha Pan is a bleak expanse of white cracked mud which shimmers with mirages on most days. Seeing vast herds of game against this eerie backdrop makes the Etosha game-viewing experience unique.

View Gallery of Etosha National Park
view full gallery »Black Backed JackalCharging LionCheetah in EtoshaDrinking ZebraElephant in the PanEtosha PanEtosha SceneryEtosha SceneryEtosha WildlifeGiraffe drinkingGiraffe SunsetHalali WaterholeRhino in EtoshaTypical Waterhole settingWildlifeWildlife in Etosha

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Activities in Etosha National Park

Night Game observation at Waterholes in the Park Night Game observation at Waterholes in the Park
Sunset Drives Sunset Drives
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