Namibia Etosha Region Information
Etosha, meaning "Great White Place", is dominated by a massive mineral pan. The pan is part of the Kalahari Basin, the floor of which was formed around 1000 million years ago. The Etosha Pan covers around 25% of the National Park. The pan was originally a lake fed by the Kunene River. However the course of the river changed thousands of years ago and the lake dried up. The pan now is a large dusty depression of salt and dusty clay which fills only if the rains are heavy and even then only holds water for a short time. This temporary water in the Etosha Pan attracts thousands of wading birds including impressive flocks of flamingos. The perennial springs along the edges of the Etosha Pan draw large concentrations of wildlife and birds.
A San legend about the formation of the Etosha Pan tells of how a village was raided and everyone but the women slaughtered. One woman was so upset about the death of her family she cried until her tears formed a massive lake. When the lake dried up nothing was left apart from a huge white pan.
The game viewing in Etosha National Park is excellent, the best time being from May to September - the cooler months in Namibia. Visitors to Etosha Game Reserve can expect to see many buck species, elephant, giraffe, rhino and lions. More fortunate visitors will see leopard and cheetah. There is a network of roads linking the three campsites and subsidiary roads lead to various waterhole's.
Non-resident visitors to Etosha, i.e. those residing at one of the many private lodges and hotels around Etosha, can stop off at these camps for rest, recreation, and refueling. All three camps have floodlit waterhole's, two of which provide excellent night game viewing. Rhino and elephant are often seen at the waterhole at Okaukuejo, while the newer waterhole at Halali is fast attracting more wildlife. However, Namutoni waterhole is disappointing, probably because there are so many other waterhole's in the vicinity.
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