Etosha National Park is one of the unique national parks of Africa with many waterholes that charms the animals to come near them. Etosha, meaning ‘Great White Place’, is an immense flat, mineral pan which is part of the great Kalahari Basin whose floor was formed millions of years ago.
The unique Etosha Pan makes for exciting game viewing during the dry season when abundant wildlife gathers around the water holes. The temporary lagoon formed by the short rain also attracts wading birds.
Covering more than 20,000 sqaure km, the park contains one of the biggest salt pan in Africa. In the dry season from May to October, the arid landscape makes an enticing landscape with everything from elephants to the grasslands to nature lovers and photographers. The great mix of wide open grasslands, sub-desert plains and massive salt pan has diverse vegetation on which the large wildlife thrives on. The park consists of a network of road connecting to several camps and leading to many waterholes and are good enough even for a decent sedan car.
Namibia is a diverse country with various habitats and vegetation. It is one of the few countries where animals still roam freely unrestricted by the influence of humans. The park is home to variety of animal species in large number makes an excellent outing for the wildlife viewing. With the four (lions, leopard, rhino and elephant) of the big five found in good numbers, many other animals are seen around water holes in plenty during the dry season. While the commonly found animals are elephants, zebras are blue wildebeest, sometimes giraffes and eland may also be seen along with the predators like lions, leopards and rarely cheetahs are also seen lurking around the water hole during dawn and dusk times. Rhinos can also be seen after the dark near floodlit waterhole.
The sparse rain that showers the park attracts flamingos and pelicans looming around the shallow lagoons of the salt pans. The heaviest flightless bird, ostrich and the heaviest flying bird, Kori bustard is also seen with the migratory bird, the European bee-eater being the popular sighting. The park accounts for more than 300 bird species, around 110 reptile species and 16 amphibian species.
The semi-desert, flat salt pan of Etosha is usually dry and hot. The dry winter season (May to October) begins with very little less to no rain makes the landscape dusty and can be haze until the end of season. It tends to be drier as the winter progresses and the month of October can be really hot with temperatures going upto 35°C/95°F during day time and around 10°C/50°F when the sun goes down.
The wet season (November to April) coincides with the summer months leading to scant rainfall during the hot days with temperature around 30°C/86°F. The month of November and December is seen with the occasional thunderstorms followed by the mild showers from January to March paving way to the lush green grasslands and water bodies around which wildlife is in peak condition.
Best time to visit
Wildlife is high during the wet season but are dispersed throughout the park and travelling can be difficult with roads flooded by rain. Hence the best time to visit the park is during dry winter season starting from May and up to October where the water is scarce and the wildlife gathers around the water holes. Weather is relatively hot and dry but makes up an excellent landscape of golden grasslands, immense salt pan and waterholes which attracts abundance of wildlife.
Etosha makes an excellent park to the nature lovers. The concentration of wildlife around the waterholes makes it easy for the wildlife viewing amidst the beautiful landscape of African safari. Book your seats to Namibia and experience the great white plane of Etosha National Park.