Etosha National Park Safari
Hazy horizons and white-dusted elephants
A herd of white-dust elephants suddenly appear, hazy, on the horizon. They are meandering along the edges of the dry, cracked surface of Etosha Pan to one of the waterholes on the rim to quench their thirst. A group of anxious gazelle linger at the water, while two jackals gaze warily at each other from each end.
This is Etosha National Park, the largest wildlife reserve in Namibia and well known for its vast pan, which takes up much of the interior. Dry and mud-cracked through most of the year, it does absorb and retain a little water during the rainy season. This is when birds frolic there in their multitudes. Most of the animals visit the Etosha pan to enjoy the salt licks on the edges.
Predators find their place in Etosha and make for fantastic game viewing. Long-limbed cheetah stalk the grasslands, lions laze around in the shade of acacia trees and lone spotted hyena lollop through the woodlands. But find yourself in the right place at the right time, and you’ll witness the frenzied action of a kill at a waterhole.
These are raw, unfiltered wildlife encounters. This is an Etosha National Park safari.
Best Time to Visit Etosha National Park:
The best time to visit Etosha National Park for game-viewing is undoubtedly the dry season. This is between May and August when animals congregate at the various waterholes on the edge of the pan. The rainy season, between November and February, is when the park comes to life. While some of the animals disappear into the further reaches of the park with more readily accessible water sources, this is the best time for bird-viewing. Flamingoes, pelicans, storks and herons all descend on the salty pan, now dotted with pools of water.
A night drive in Etosha National Park is one of the best ways to encounter nocturnal wildlife like aardvark.
Etosha is famous for its birds, with more than 340 species, 46 of which are raptors.
Etosha Pan dominates the heart of the park, attracting a variety of wildlife who come to nibble on the salty edges.
Scenic Treasures of Namibia
Top Experiences in Etosha National Park Safari
There’s nothing quite like witnessing an Etosha elephant: like large, white, moving boulders, they rumble out of the miraged horizon to congregate in large herds at the waterholes on the edge of the pan.
The vast white expanse that is Etosha Pan dominates the heart of the park. It is Africa’s largest salt pan and remains dry most of the year, yet it attracts a variety of wildlife who come to nibble on the mineral-rich salts.
Set out on a guided night drive into the heart of Etosha National Park; your vehicle is armed with a high powered flashlight which may just glimpse shining eyes in the dark…
Etosha is famous for its birds, with more than 340 species, 46 of which are raptors. Highlights for keen twitchers include the white-bellied korhaan, black-winged pratincole, Cape vulture and crowned crane.
Fort Namutoni was built in 1896 as a German police post but now serves as one of the entrance gates into Etosha. It was declared a National Monument in 1947 and is a popular viewpoint for visitors.