Namibia’s Etosha national park is located in the northwest of the country and is the largest safari park in Namibia. Self-drive safaris, unique locations and amazing scenery make this park and absolute must for adventure seekers and photographers.
An impala in the bushes, seen from the road.
This post will show you what kinds of things you can expect from a visit to Etosha, and later this week we will share our exclusive ‘how to’ guide giving you pointers on how to make the most of your time at this astonishing place.
The park was established in 1907 and since then it has become home to several different large mammals, reptiles and birds. The park itself is named after a large salt pan that takes up almost 23% of the area of the land designated as a national park. The pan lends a quiet and isolated atmosphere to parts of the park.
The sun-drenched saltpan.
Elephants, rhinos, and several big cats had all previously been driven from this area, but since the establishment of the site as an official national park in the 1970’s these species have been recuperated and can all be found in within the park’s borders.
There are giraffes and zebras galore, as well as numerous types of antelope, so there is always something amazing to see when driving through the park’s dirt roads.
Encountering a family of giraffes like this is not uncommon at Etosha.
After turning the car off and observing the giraffes for sometime we eventually
caught this one having a delicious mouthful of leaves and thorns.
Three giraffes in the distance, seen from the road.
Etosha has several watering holes and you can locate them on the park's map. These watering holes are a hotbed of animal activity and if you are lucky, and patient, they can be an excellent way to watch a lot of different wildlife. You may even get to see how the various animals interact with their surroundings and each other.
Elephants are frequent visitors to the watering holes in Etosha.
A young elephant splashing about.
Somme gutsy Kudus tried to muscle in on the Elephants' spot,
but the giant mammals were not prepared to share and chased the antelope away.
Up close and personal!
An adolescent elephant eye-balling us from afar.
At the last watering hole we stopped at on our way home
we were lucky enough to catch this spotted hyena.
If you want to you can stay at one of the rest camps in the park itself. These camps have the advantage of being within the park's boundaries, and thus afford you the chance to easily get in your car and drive around the park.
At the Halali Rest Camp you will not only get all the benefits of staying in the park, but you will also be able to walk to its dedicated watering hole where you can sit in a special amphitheatre and look out over it as the sun sets.
The Halai watering hole + rhino.
Many different animals are attracted to these watering holes and just as dusk was settling in we were lucky enough to witness the arrival of some rhino. And as dark fell on the watering hole more and more surprises were revealed.
A rhino basking in the last rays of sun...
Dusk at Halali watering hole
...the last rays of the sun.
Our rhino friend returned shortly after sunset for an early evening drink.
A lioness and rhino sharing the watering hole.
Etosha is a beautiful place, and everyone has a different experience whenever they go, the above photos are by no means and exhaustive tour of the park. Should you go you will find that being able to drive yourself around the park allows you to explore at your own pace and leisure.
The watering hole at Halali makes staying at the camp a definite must, and it is highly recommend it for anyone thinking of spending a few nights in Etosha.
Most people have not seen even one of the hundreds of animals you can find at Etosha, and anyone coming to Namibia must make an effort to get to this famous park.
A tree overlooking Halali's watering hole.