700 km north of Windhoek is the Famous Etosha national park. When going to Namibia this is one of the places one must see. It covers an area of 22 912 km² after several reduction from the approximately 80 000 km² it was when first declared in 1907. The word “etosha” means “The great white place” from the Etosha Pan; a great dried clay lake which covers 4731 km².
The park is home to a great variety of wildlife, including lions, elephants, rhinos, leopard, osterich, zebras, blue wildebeest (gnu), giraffes and antelopes to mention a few. There is also a lot of birds here. Most of these animals I have only seen on nature shows on animal planet, and it’s fantastic to see them in their home environment.
Etosha is known as a watherhole park. There are resorts around the waterholes where all the animals has to come and drink when it gets dry. Unfortunately the rainy season started just a day before we arrived at the park, and we didn’t see any animals at the waterholes. However we saw some animals when driving around in the park.
To get to the Etosha we hired a guide with a minibus that had room for all nine of us. The added cost of the guides wasn’t to much divided between all of us, and Chris “the sandman” could tell us a lot about the different animals we saw. He also was quite a human lexicon when it came to identify birds. Even though a guide can be a good resource, it’s is very easy to drive around the park on your own. When coming to the park there is maps and charts of all the animals for sale at the shop.
When staying in the park it’s possible to either renting a lodge or camp in your own tents. We went camping, and I can recomnd that to everyone who goes to Etosha on a budget. There are nice toilet and showers and simple kitchens to wash up and prepare food. to heat food one can buy wood in the shop and use one of the many barbecues. The swimming pool and restaurants are open to all guests.