Etosha National ParkA visit to the Etosha National Park is one of the highlights of travelling Namibia. Etosha, which was declared a game reserve by the German colonial administration back in 1907, covers an area of more than 22.000 sqkms. In its centre lies a vast saltpan surrounded by grasslands and thorn savannah, Mopane bushland in the west and dry forest in the north-east. About two million years ago, this area was an enormous lake, fed by the Kunene river. However, the lake slowly dried up when the river changed its course.
The pan is just about always dry. However, in the southern parts there are numerous water-holes scattered throughout this area and supporting the life for countless game. Almost all African game species are represented in Etosha, including the "Big Five": elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard. Based on an animal count done by aircraft in 2005, there are about 250 lions in the park, 300 rhinos, 3000 giraffes, 12000 zebras, 4000 wildebeests, 5500 Oryx antelopes and more than 2500 elephants. The dainty springbok are especially numerous; at least 20000 of them roam the reserve. Often they can be seen in enormous herds of several hundred animals.
The Etosha National Park has a good infrastructure. Well-maintained gravel roads (untarred) lead to the waterholes, where game viewing is at its best. In the three restcamps Okaukuejo, Halali and Namutoni, hotel rooms, chalets and camping sites are available as well as restaurants, stores and swimming pools.
The main entrance to the park is called the "Andersson Gate" at Okaukuejo in the south, where the park administration is also situated. The "Von Lindequist Gate" lies in the east near Namutoni. A third gate, the "Nehale lya Mpingana Gate" (King Nehale Gate) was opened in 2003 in the north-east. More information on the park and accommodation on the pages TRAVEL INFO and RESTCAMPS.