Etosha National Park
Etosha means “Great White Place,” referring to the dusty clay and salty plains of the expansive pan that comprises much of the 8,569 mi² national park. The pan (a silvery white, shallow depression that is mostly devoid of vegetation) is situated in the eastern, more vegetated portion of the park. Because of the park’s wildlife diversity, it’s arguably Namibia’s premier game viewing destination.
Large populations of elephant, zebra, blue wildebeest, springbok and gemsbok precariously congregate at the park’s 40 or so waterholes, within sight of the park’s resident lion, leopard and jackal. Other animals include Black-faced impala, Damara dikidik and both black and white rhinos. If you wait long enough at one of these waterholes, you can spot 8 or more of these species simultaneously; wait long enough, and you may witness an once-in-a-lifetime interaction. Birdlife is equally prolific. Among the 340 species recorded, the main highlights are the millions of greater and lesser flamingos that breed at the park's salt pans.
Two small private game reserves border the national park: Ongava in the south and Onguma in the east. Unlike in Etosha, guided walks and night drives are permitted. In addition, only guests staying at the reserves' lodges are allowed entry, ensuring a more exclusive safari experience.