Etosha National Park is one of the greatest natural experiences remaining in Africa. This vast region is comparable to the size of New York state and covers 8,000 square miles. Its massive salt pan engulfs more than 1,800 square miles of this area, a geological feature so large that it can be clearly seen by orbiting astronauts and photographed by satellites in space. It is estimated that the pan dried up thousands of years ago when the Kunene River chose a new course, but the region provides a stunning vision of life and beauty to those lucky enough to experience it. Etosha means “great white place” and this description is perhaps best realized during Namibia’s dry season, when the stark white pan leaves visitors and vehicles painted with a thin layer of pure white dust.
Though the alabaster salt pan is certainly the centerpiece of Etosha National Park, mopane woodland and savanna grasslands encompass its remaining landscape. Game drives often catch sight of wildebeest, giraffe, zebra, gemsbok, springbok, and even a few members of the Big Five: lions, elephants, and smaller populations of leopards and black rhinoceros. The unique composition of the nutrients in the soil feeds the plantlife, and thus the herbivore population, with enriching minerals that have led to some families of elephant that are of a rather impressive size. With over 340 species of birds recorded within Etosha National Park, budding ornithologists will also find a treasure trove of activity in the trees and the skies. The rainy season brings the greatest amount of winged activity, as the salt pans fill to become temporary shallow lakes for migratory species of flamingos, great white pelican, and the European bee-eater.
Namibia safari excursions are never short on stunning natural beauty, and a safari through Etosha National Park is just one part of a wholly unique Namibia luxury safari. When combined with the diversity of Namib-Naukluft National Park, the iconic dunes of Sossusvlei, and the rugged Skeleton Coast, your journey is complete. Contact our luxury travel consultants to begin crafting your own custom itinerary to Namibia.