Park your vehicle by one of the many water holes, sit back and wait, your eyes can feast on the different species visiting the waterhole to quench their thirst. One of the greatest game reserves in Namibia, the Etosha National park with its vast white-green salt flat of the Etosha Pan is a breath-taking sight in itself.
The most unique feature of viewing game in this park is that one just has to drive down to one of the waterholes and wait. The game frequents the waterholes to quench their thirst in huge numbers.
The park is home to 114 species of mammals. The large mammals in Etosha National Park include lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, giraffe, wildebeest, cheetah, hyena, mountain and plains zebra, springbok, kudu, gemsbok and eland. Among the smaller species you will find jackal, bat-eared fox, warthog, honey badger and ground squirrel. The rare and endangered species include the black-faced impala.
Dolomite Hills - The dolomite hills is also called Ondundozonananandana meaning "place where young boy herding cattle went to never return", is located on the southern border of the park near the Andersson entrance gate.
Bird watching - Bird watching is a simple yet enriching experience and Etosha makes it more special with the huge numbers and variety. Etosha is home to more than 340 species of birds, 46 of which are raptors. Common birds to spot include Crimson-breasted shrikes, Violet-eared waxbills, Northern black korhaans, Pale chanting goshawks, Rednecked falcons, Whiteheaded vultures and Blue cranes. The rare species include Egyptian vulture Caspian plover, White-bellied korhaan, Black-winged pratincole, Cape vulture and Crowned crane.
Enjoy a spa day - If all the bird watching, game viewing and trekking has tired you out, relax at a spa and rejuvenate yourself with a massage.
Game Drives - Enjoy the game drives and spot the endemic black-faced impala, cheetah, hyena, silver-backed jackal, lion, leopard, gemsbok, kudu, giraffe and a bunch of elephants.
The name Etosha means The Great White Place according to early literature. The pan is also referred to as "Chums " which stands for the noise made by a person's feet while walking on the clay of the pan.
The Etosha Pan was discovered by European explorers Charles Andersson and Francis Galton in 1851, travelling with the Ovambo traders. This led to the opening of the trade routes to the east and west of the Pan. The following 30 years was characterized by impermanent settlement and movement, confrontation between Europeans and the natives (Heillom and Ovambo).
An entrepreneur William Worthington Jordan, in 1885 bought land spanning 170 Kilometers from Ovambo chief Kambonde. The price for the land was £300 sterling, paid for by 25 firearms, one salted horse and a cask of brandy. Dorstland Trekkers first traveled through the park between 1876 and 1879 on their way to Angola. The trekkers returned in 1885 and settled on 2,500-hectare farms given to them by Jordan, free of charge. The trekkers named the area Upingtonia after the Prime Minister of the Cape Colony. The settlement had to be abandoned in 1886 after clashes with the Haillom and defeat by Chief Nehale Mpingana.
There was a drastic reduction in the wildlife population due to the hunting by the Europeans. 1896 is marked by the arrival of the German troops in Namutoni region and built a fort in 1899. This original fort was raided and razed to the ground by Ovambos in 1904, but was rebuilt the following year. This new fort is at present a national monument and is a distinctive feature of the park.
The then German governor proclaimed Etosha a national game reserve in 1907 and it was infact the largest game reserve in the world. Due to political issues and contested boundary reconfigurations has since then come down drastically to the current size of 20,270km2. The Haillom were forcibly removed from the park in the 1954, ending their hunter-gatherer lifestyle to become landless farm laborers. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, a vast majority of the wildlife in the park was wiped out either by severe drought or after being caught in the crossfire of the border war that engulfed Namibia, South Africa and Angola at the time.