The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Namibia is the vast desert landscape. Now while this is true for the most part, the one place that would really prove that Namibia has more to offer than the Namib Desert is Etosha National Park, the perfect place to experience a true African safari holiday.

beauty on display

Situated in the northern part of Namibia, Etosha National Park was the largest reserve in the world until 1960 when political pressure reduced the 100,000 square kilometer reserve to its current size, an area that covers more than 22,000 square kilometres. But even after the tremendous reduction, it remains a very popular African National Park.

In addition to the amazing scenery and beautiful nature on display in Etosha, the park also has excellent infrastructure that makes a day trip that much more exciting. Its three rest camps, Halali, Namutoni and Okaukuejo, are connected by well-maintained gravel roads and have restaurants, shops, swimming pools, as well as chalets, campsites and hotels available.


Etosha means “Great White Place”. Its name derives from the huge endorheic salt pan that covers about 25% of the park and extends over an area of ​​about 120 square kilometers, its only source of water being the Ekuma River.

Thousands of years ago, the Etosha Pan was a lake fed by the Kunene River, but the course of the river changed and consequently the lake dried up, leaving a large depression of salt and dusty clay. The Etosha pan is an image of scorched earth and appears completely devoid of life except for the water on its outskirts.

The white and greenish surface characteristic of this unique area serves as a breeding ground for flamingos during the rainy season, when the Etosha pan becomes a shallow lake with a depth of approximately 10 cm. The rare sight of thousands of flamingos covering the pan like a pink blanket attracts many tourists and photographers every year.

The wildlife

Game viewing in Etosha Park is really fantastic. With so many watering holes on the outskirts of Etosha Pan, there’s a good chance you’ll see more than just flamingos. Etosha Pond provides abundant water for the park’s wildlife, which includes elephants, giraffes, rhinos, lions, and many species of deer, to name just a few. For the more blessed visitors, there might also be a chance to catch a glimpse of shy cheetahs and leopards.

more than play

Although the saying “rules are meant to be broken” sounds very provocative, a note of caution would be that Etosha National Park absolutely prohibits visitors from leaving their vehicle once outside the fenced campsites. Although this is the norm in any national park, the price paid for ignoring this rule is likely to be very high.

There are two very good reasons for this. The first reason is for their own protection, because animals are scared by people but not by their vehicles. A frightened animal is an unpredictable animal and therefore a dangerous animal.

The second reason is the protection of endangered species in Africa. The government is trying to prevent poaching. The park is only a hundred kilometers from the Namibian borders, and the South African Defense Forces conduct training in the park in hopes of deterring or capturing poachers. Therefore, anyone not in their vehicles could be mistaken for a poacher and shot on the spot. Now, although this may seem drastic and even hard to believe, it has had a considerable effect, reducing poaching incidents in this area, reason enough to continue with this practice. Not only to save our wildlife, but also to prevent visitors from breaking the rule for their own protection.

Now, although you may be wondering why you would want to go on an African safari where there is a chance that your life is in danger, rest assured, the actual chances of this happening are very small. The park has taken extreme measures to prevent any harm to any visitor, and since poaching occurs mostly at night, there is no need to be alarmed.

An African safari holiday

The only thing you need to worry about is spotting the exciting game and animal interactions that take place on safari, and whether you have enough sunscreen!

In the back of a 4×4 Land Rover, you will drive through the beauty of Etosha Park. From bushy parkland to the scorching Etosha Pan, Etosha National Park is all that and more for the ideal African safari.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *