Again an early morning departure to drive south towards Etosha Park, where you enter in the early afternoon and where you can still do some game drive before checking in at Namutoni. Today’s Etosha National Park was proclaimed as Namibia’s first conservation area in 1907 by the then German government
and is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. Consisting of saline desert, savannah and woodlands, its definitive feature is the Etosha Pan, a vast shallow depression. For the greater part of the year the pan is a bleak expanse of white, cracked mud which, on most days shimmers with mirages. Seeing vast herds of game against this eerie backdrop, referred to in the local vernacular as the ‘great white place of dry water’, makes the Etosha game-viewing a unique experience.
Of the 114 mammal species found in the park, several are rare and endangered, such as black rhino, cheetah and black-faced impala. Etosha’s current population of more than 700 black rhino represents one of the few growing populations of black rhino in the world. About 340 bird species occur in Etosha, about one third being migratory. For the greater part of the year (the dry season) Etosha’s animals and birds are dependent on about 30 springs and waterholes. These provide excellent game viewing and photographic opportunities. During the rainy season, especially the bird life at the main pan and Fischer’s Pan is worth viewing.