Etosha National Park is located in the Kunene region of Namibia. The name, “Etosha,” translates locally to “Great White Place.” The name of the park is derived from the Etosha pan which accounts for 23-25% of the national park area.
The pan extends 1,840 square miles (4,760 sq km) with the entire Etosha National Park accounting for 8,600 square miles (22,270 sq km). Originally a lake, the pan rarely has water unless the rains are heavy. When these rains occur, it attracts a significant number of wading birds with flamingos being one of the favorites.
The Etosha region is comprised of saline desert, savanna woodlands, savanna and grasslands. The pans are mostly void of pants apart from some of the grasses. Moving away from the pans, Mopane trees account for approximately 80% of the forests in the national park.
The Etosha National Park is home to numerous species of mammals, reptiles as well as an abundance of birds. A safari through the pans and woodlands is what brings most travelers to the area.
- Africa’s tallest elephants
- Both black and white rhinoceroses
- Night game viewing / lighted watering holes
Etosha National Park is home to the tallest elephants in Africa, however deficiencies in nutrients have them displaying shorter tusks. Black and white rhinoceroses are spectacular sightings as well as leopard and lion. The buffalo is extinct from the area making it the only one of the Big 5 absent from the park.
Wildlife is the highlight of Etosha with over 110 mammal species found within the park along with an abundance and wide variety of birds to be seen by travelers. Cheetah, caracal, hyena, fox, and jackal are some of the other common predators that accompany the lions and leopards.
Some of the wildlife favorites that can be found within the national park include kudu, giraffe, wild dog, zebra, impala, gemsbok, hartebeest and eland.
Etosha National Park, https://www.etoshanationalpark.org/, retrieved July 2019
Namibian, Etosha, http://www.namibian.org/travel/namibia/etosha.htm, retrieved July 2019