Etosha National Park Namibia, Namibia safari Tour, Etosha Safari in Namibia
Etosha National Park Namibia. Find out attractions to see in Etosha National Park on a Namibia safari, activities during you Etosha Safari in Namibia, where to stay and why Etosha National Park is a unique Namibia safari park. Etosha National Park is positioned to the North West of Namibia and its establishment dates far back to its proclamation as a game reserve on 22nd March 1907 by Dr. Friedrich Von Lindequist the Governor of the German South West Africa under the 88 Ordinance. It was established as a Game Reserve No.2 and in the year 1958, it was declared Etosha Game Park after which it received the National Park status in the year 1967 by the Act of the Republic of South Africa Parliament that undertook the administration of South West Africa at the time.
Etosha National Park covers a geographical spread of 22,270 Sq.km2 and derives its name from the 4,760km2 Etosha Pan that lies entirely within the National Park boundaries covering 23% of the park area. Etosha National Park is among the finest parks of Africa featuring myriad of mammal species, reptiles and birds. The Etosha National Park is positioned in the region of Kunene sharing boundaries with Oshikoto, Oshana and Otjozondjupa regions. Regarding climate, Etosha National Park features savannah desert climate with an annual average temperature of 26 °C. The mean low temperatures can be 6 °C in winter which in summer, they can go beyond 45 °C. Some parts of the park feature no rain at all in some years and in events of rain, the dry rivers quickly appear.
The first Europeans to explore Etosha Pan were Francis Galton and Charles John Anderson on 29th May 1851 when they were travelling with Ovambo Copper ore traders upon arriving at Namutoni and upon the pan discovery, they headed to the north. The name Etosha literally translates to Great White Place referring to the Pan. The northern areas of Etosha are occupied by the Ovambo people while other Otjiherero speaking groups thrived just outside the park boarders. The areas close to Etosha Pan had Khoisan speaking people.
In 1954, the Hai||om people were evicted from the Etosha National Park resulting into them becoming landless farm labourers but following an establishment of a recognised traditional Authority in the year 2004 that have strengthened the negotiation between them and the government, the Namibian government has resolved to resettle them in the farms close to the park and a count of Six (6) farms have already been purchased since 2007 in the southern side of Gobaub depression and various families have already been resettled.
Etosha National Park also features the Etosha Ecological Institute which was opened on April 1st 1974 by Adolf Brinkmann of the Administration of South West Africa. The Ecological institute undertook extensive studies in the park including the vegetation classification, the ecological and population studies of elephants, Wildebeest along with lions not forgetting anthrax studies. This Institute is still furthering the cause and apparently it has established collaborations with researchers from profound Universities in Namibia, United Kingdom, United States, South Africa, Germany, Israel, Norway and Australia.
Namibian Safari Attractions in Etosha National Park
Etosha Pan as a Namibian Safari Attraction in Etosha National Park
The Salt Pans are the most remarkable geological features in Etosha National Park. The dominant depression stretches over 5,000km2 and approximately 130km in length. The pan feature hyper saline conditions which hinder the permanent existence of species on it. However, there is presence of extremophile micro-organisms that have capacity to accommodate such conditions. The Etosha Salt Pan is mainly dry but gets water especially in the summer periods attracting flamingos and pelicans. In the dry season, the winds blow across the pan picking up saline dust carrying it across the country and beyond towards the Southern Atlantic.
Dolomite Hills as a Namibian Safari Attraction in Etosha National Park
The Dolomite Hills is positioned on the park’s southern border close to the Anderson Entrance gate and are named Ondundozonanandana literally translated a place where young boys that would go grazing never returned basically explaining the abundance of predators especially Leopards in the hills which resulted into their naming as Leopard Hills. The dolomite hills thrive in the Halai area and it the only place in the Etosha National Park where mountain Zebras can be explored
Birds as a Namibian Safari Attraction in Etosha National Park
Etosha National Park features 340 species of birds of which the a third of them are wetland and Migratory species. The birds of Etosha National Park include among others; Martial, bateleur, Wahberg and tawny eagles, lapped faced and White backed vulture, Secretary birds, Yellow-billed and Black-shouldered kite, lesser and greater flamingo, giant eagle owl, greater and lesser kestrel, Pygmy falcon, Lanner Falcon, Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill, African grey hornbill, cape and pied crow, grey heron and cattle egret, lilac breasted roller and purple roller, Double-banded and Namaqua Sandgrouse.
Wild game as a Namibian Safari Attraction in Etosha National Park
As earlier noted, Etosha National Park is one of the outstanding African parks featuring a myriad of wild game among which include; African Bush elephant, Southern White Rhinos, Angolan Giraffe, South west African Lion, African leopard, South African Cheetah, Serval cat, Caracal, African wild cat, Bat-eared fox, Black-footed cat, Black-backed jackal, Cape fox, Brown and spotted Hyena, Aardwolf, Banded and Yellow Mongoose, Slender mongoose, common warthog, common genet, Honey badger, Aardvark, Plains Zebra, Gemsbok, Black-faced Impala, Plains and Mountain Zebra, Greater Kudu Blue Wildebeest among other wild game.
Namibian Safari Activities in Etosha National Park
Birding as a Namibian Safari Activity in Etosha National Park
With 340 species of birds, Etosha National Park presents remarkable birding possibilities. Birding is common along the Fishers Pan where counts of storks and flamingos gather in times of rain. The black necked and great crested grebe can as well be explored at this point. The Etosha Pan fills with water in times of rain pulling counts of flamingos and the ideal time to explore them is Jan and Feb. The park features 35 raptors that thrive in the dry spells including the Martial eagle, the tawny eagle and Bateleur along with Vultures like the white backed and lapped-faced not forgetting hooded vultures. Evening experience presents possibilities of exploring eight (8) owl species in the park. The specials of Namibia including violet wood-hope, Bare-cheeked babbler, Ruppel’s Parrot, rockrunner along with great bird species like the Kori bustard – the heaviest flying bird in the world and the Ostrich – the world’s largest bird all combine to present remarkable birding experience in Etosha National Park Namibia.
Game drive as a Namibian Safari Activity in Etosha National Park
The game drives can be both guided and self drive. The former gives you an opportunity to tap into the guide’s expert knowledge and interpretation of the general park landscape including the verdant savannah game of Etosha while the later offers an adventure exploration of the park by yourself. The activity can be conducted in the morning and in the evening and the impressive wild game that can be explored include; endemic black-faced impala, hyena, cheetah, silver-backed lion, jackal, leopard, kudu, gemsbok, giraffe and a range of elephant.
Etosha Salt Pan Visit as a Namibian Safari Activity in Etosha National Park
The Etosha Pan visit enables you to explore this ancient landscape stretching 5,000km2 and approximately 130km in length. It is an expanse geological feature that is really worth exploring and photographing. The bird species including flamingos can be explored in times of rain. The great white space is one of the icons in Etosha National Park with a challenging of identifying where the pan separates from heaven.
Cultural tours as a Namibian Safari Activity in Etosha National Park
This presents an opportunity to explore the HaillOm San also known as the Bush men who are the former owners of the land that apparently shelter the park. The hunter gather society feature an indigenous knowledge of the local biodiversity including the use of plants for medicine, the animals behaviour patterns and the significance of various landscapes that mark the park land.
Accommodation in Etosha National Park
Dolomite Camp is a luxury tented camp to the west of the park overlooking the park landscape. The area in which the camp is positioned has many water holes that pull a myriad of wild game to it. The guests enter through Galton gate and accommodation is presented in twenty (20) lush tents, en suite with massage showers,
Facilities at Dolomite Camp
- Swimming pool
- Curio Shop
- Secure parking
- Bar with Lounge
- Water hole
Luxury Tent Amenities
- Endless views of the Salt pan, hills in the west of Etosha and the plains
- Mosquito nets
- Ward robe
- Private Safes
- Coffee and Tea section
- Lounge area
- Lighted make up mirror, Hairdryer & desk
- Laundry service on request
- 1 unit for the disabled
The Halali Camp is positioned in between the Koppjes and a few hills in a dense vegetative area attracting counts of wild game including leopards. Accommodation at Halal is presented in form of camping and Bush chalets with 2 or 4 beds. The chalets feature varying sizes and thus can accommodate single travellers, couples and families on safari in Namibia.
Facilities at Halali Camp
- Curio Shop
- Pool bar
- Swimming pool
- Petrol station
- Water hole along with a view point
Namutoni Camp stands as an old German Fort and the elevated walls offers magical views of King Nehale waterhole. The Namutoni Camp is positioned to the east of the park and can be reached through the von Lindequist Gate. Its close proximity to the Fishers Pan makes it a darling for bird lovers. Namutoni was initially a control post in the times of Mad Cow disease epidemic that befell Namibia in the year 1897. It was built by the German Schutztruppe from 1902 – 03 and was reconstructed in 1906 following its destruction by the Ovambo people. The Fort later served as a police post and as a base for South African Army. The Fort was declared a monument in 1950 and later in 1957, it was opened for tourism.
Accommodation is presented in three forms;
- The Chalets featuring 2 beds and en suite bathroom
- Double rooms en suite
- Camping area with shared facilities
Facilities at Namutoni Camp
- Two restaurants Steakhouse and African Fusion
- Craft Shop
- Swimming pool
- Petrol station
- Bush bar
Etosha Village Lodge
The Etosha Village presents budget accommodation in Etosha National Park. This lodge is surrounded by mature indigenous trees thus providing tranquil stay for travellers on safari in Namibia.
- The lodge has provision for self catering with a barbeque, the open air Kitchenette and outside seating.
- The eating and cooking utensils available and can be secured at the reception area
- Ice and Fire wood available at the reception
- Accommodation is presented in forty (40) individual canvas suites positioned on timber decks
- Bed rooms are well Air conditioned
- Semi open Air bath room with wash basin, shower and the toilet
- Rooms are wheel chair friendly
- Every room has desk, electronic safe and shelves
The lodge also has 2 Group campsites taking 25 – 30 tents & these sites feature power outlets, running water, Barbeque area and distinct male and female shared washroom
The Lodge also features 4 individual campsites with shared ablution, power outlet, running water, Barbeque and Running water
Facilities at Etosha Village
- Swimming pool
- Bar Area with big TV
- Curio Shop
Popularly known for its floodlit water hole, the Okaukuejo Rest Camp stands as the Etosha’s administrative center and the Etosha Ecological Institute is positioned at the center. Positioned to the south of the Etosha National Park, the Okaukuejo Rest Camp was initially a military outpost in the year 1901 while the tower was added in the year 1963. The camp is 17km from Anderson gate.
Accommodation is presented in three (3) categories;
- Water hole Chalets which overlook the water hole and have en suite rooms with double bed while premier chalets feature 2 bed rooms
- Bush Chalet with enough living space, lounge and are en suite
- Camp site with shared facilities
Facilities at Okaukuejo Camp
- Petrol Station
- Swimming pool
- Curio Shop
- Famous flood lit water hole