Advantages magnificent wildlife (volume and variety), easy vehicle access
Disadvantages limited facilities
Etosha National Park is one of the greatest game reserves in the world and offers a feast of opportunities for wildlife spotting. To anyone with an interest in wildlife, this is the real gem of Namibia. Etosha can offer excellent game viewing without the masses of tourists that are found in most parts of East Africa. The park itself is 8,600 square miles and has roads that are suitable for any type of motor vehicle. It is best in the dry season when huge herds of animals seek to quench their thirst at the waterholes.At the heart of the park is the Etosha Pan - a giant depression which was perhaps once a lake but which now fills with water only occasionally when the rains are exceptionally heavy. The silvery white sands of Etosha are often referred to as the 'Land of Dry Water' with the salt pan covering almost a quarter of the park. There are only three camps actually inside the park (namely Okaukuejo, Halali and Namutoni). The floodlit water hole at Okaukuejo (highly recommended) is one of the few places you can get close to a wild Black Rhino. It's also excellent for viewing elephants and you can frequently see tense stand-offs between these magnificent beasts. Many animals appear regularly to drink during the evening. The "camps" all have decent bungalows and hotel style rooms with permanent electricity as well as the basic camping facilities. There are also many more upmarket lodges outside the park such as Makuti Lodge.
As well as elephant and rhino, the park has lion, giraffe, zebra, springbok, oryx, jackal and a host of other creatures. A typical daytime drive through Etosha will definitely include many highlights. On our first outing we saw elephants lolling in the water holes and then roling around in the dust, vultures sitting patiently watching a zebra carcass that was being devoured by jackals, and much more.The smaller animals of Etosha include the ground squirrel, bat-eared fox, yellow-tailed mongoose and rock or tree dassies.
Take plenty of film on your trip because it is not always easy to find in the shops. Even the small shop in Okaukejo only had a few films in fairly obscure formats. Namibia is the sort of place where you will take far more photographs than you originally intend.At the waterhole, switch off your engine and stay in your vehicle. To get a good photograph, you will probably need to stretch out the window (perhaps sitting on the window edge) – just don't put your foot on the horn while executing this manoeuvre! We did - and weren't popular.
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