Dream Destination for Safari Lovers
If you choose Namibia as your next safari destination, then make sure that you include Etosha National park in your itinerary. Here’s why…
Etosha at a Glance
Numerous safari aficionados regard Etosha as one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in Africa. The national park is characterized by an enormous salt pan. Besides, the area, which as an open woodland and wild savannah, is home to diverse kinds of animals.
When Etosha was founded in 1907, Namibia was a German colony. At that time, with an area of 100,000 square kilometers, Etosha was the largest game reserve on the planet. However, at present, the park is a little less than a quarter of its actual area, but it still remains a hotspot among safari lovers.
You can reach Etosha National park by road from Windhoek. You can hire a car from Windhoek airport which has desks of all leading car hire companies. It may take about 5 hours to reach there. However, it is important that you fuel your car in advance as you can find fuelling stations only at the camps.
There is also an airport at Etosha, though there are no scheduled flights. However, if you have no issues on spending some extra money, you can charter a plane and fly in.
Do keep in mind that you need a car to get around the park.
Best Time to Visit
The places around Etosha become very hot during the summer months, which are from October to April. Even if you visit at this time, it is better you book an AC lodge to stay.
However, you can experience cooler climate from May to September. Therefore, these “winter months” are the most popular time for tourists to visit.
You can find many lodges and luxury hotels in Etosha National park. Some of them include:
- Mamselle Nature Camp
- Etosha safari camp
- Emanya Etosha
- Etosha Safari Lodge
- Buschberg Guestfarm
- Etosha village
- Etosha Aoba Lodge
- Villa Mushara
- Little Ongava and many more.
You can choose your accommodation as per your need for some luxurious pampering and budget.
Now comes the most exciting part:
Sights to see
Inspite of its dry appearance, Etosha is packed with a diverse mix of familiar creatures including zebra, leopard, giraffe, lion and elephants as well as rare antelopes like Damara dik dik, black-faced impala and roan antelope. It is where you can catch sight of the endangered cheetah and black rhino. If you need further incentive, you can also come across desert creatures like the handsome gemsbok and springbok. Also, you can spot about 340 species of birds at Etosha. To make the long story short, the park offers you a curious kaleidoscope of semi-desert birds, wetland and savanna. Besides, Etosha is characterized by many artificially created water points as well as natural springs all around the central pan.
“…in the early morning and late afternoons, the pans, through tricks of refracted light, glow and shimmer as they go through an astonishing range of colour changes, from orange through pink and purple to inky, deep blue.”
In the dry months from June to September, you can see about 150 mammal species congregating at the water points along the southern border of the pan.
There are three rest camps at Etosha, and each has waterholes within walking distance. At night, the water holes are lit with flood lights. There, you can observe animals coming down to drink, flirt and even fight at night.
Etosha is indeed a wild life photographer’s paradise. Also, every hotel in and around Etosha offers you a game drive. So make sure that you pack your binoculars. Remember, you can watch certain animals (such as lions and cheetahs) only from a distance.
However, for your vacation at Etosha, you need to remember certain things.
Things you can’t miss out
As you visit Etosha, make sure that you:
Carry a well informed map that informs about the hotspots where you can locate animals and also the information about waterholes.
Take your sunglasses.
Finally, take a sneak peek of Etosha in these videos:
Hopefully, your trip to Etosha National Park will be a picture perfect one!!!