Etosha National Park is Namibia's biggest and most famous National Park established in 1907. The Park is one of the largest reserves in the world, occupying a 22 000 km2 surrounding the Etosha salt pan after which the park is named. The name Etosha means ‘Great White Place of Dry Water’ in the local Ovambo language.
The Park consists mainly of saline desert, savannah and woodlands. The dominant feature of Etosha National Park is the Etosha Pan which measures 130 kilometres in length and up to 50km in width at places. The vast plains of this dried lake are a shimmering spectacle providing excellent photographic opportunities.This Salt pan is dry for most of the year but during the rainy season it is temporarily flooded. When this happens the pan is home to thousands of Pelicans and Flamingos and the Pan is one of the most important breeding grounds for this Flamingo population.
Etosha Park hosts a variety of plant and bird life and is home to diverse wild animals, including some rare and endangered species, as well as unusual desert species. There are 144 mammal species in the park, including elephant, giraffe, blue wildebeest, Eland, damara dik-dik, lion, cheetah, leopard, wildcat, hyena, and jackal. Etosha is known as a top game reserve for sighting endangered black-rhino as well as cheetah. Other rare and endangered species found in Etosha include the black-faced impala, tssesebe and gemsbok. The park is also home to 340 different bird species including Namibia's National Bird, the crimson-breasted shrike.
The park's landscape goes through a major change between the rainy season and the dry season. When it rains the park is green and lush which is in stark contrast to the dry season when the park is dry and barren. The game viewing is best in the dry season (May - September) when the bush is clear and the game tends to congregate around the watering holes. This period is the winter period in Etosha Park and the temperatures are mild.
Etosha is a place of stark contrasts and the sheer number of game in the Park make it one of the best parks in Africa for game viewing. No visit to Namibia is complete without a visit to this magnificent park.
Use the Google map to explore Etosha National Park. Feel free to Print the Street Map when you're ready.