In northern Namibia lies one of the greatest game reserves in Africa. Etosha: “the great white place”, “the place of a mothers tear”, “the place of dry water”. These evocative interpretations of an ancient name summon images of shimmering white horizons, powerful emotions and an aura of unreality.
Stretching across 22,275 square kilometres the park encompasses stark white pans, ancient rivers, endless plains, Acacia thickets, Mopani woodlands, an enchanted forest and the delightfully named Ondundozananandana hills. Home to more than 114 mammal species (including several rare and endangered species) and 340 bird species (this number swells with the arrival of summer migrants) the park offers brilliant opportunities for game viewing, bird watching and photography.
The scarcity of water and the dependence of the parks diverse herds of game on a limited number of drinking points is partly what make Etosha a remarkable experience. The definitive feature of the park is the vast white pan.
In summer the glaring pan teases the eye, convincing all that this is the mythical inland lake the great explorers spent years searching for. In winter, whirling winds race across the pan, whipping up dust devils and leaving a fine white layer of dust over everything. Hanging in the air the dust layer acts as a natural filter in front of the setting sun, creating amazing sunsets.
The stark white pan with its shimmering mirages, dancing dust devils and dreamlike quality creates a backdrop un-equalled amongst parks in Africa. The diversity of species and the ethereal quality of the park combine to make Etosha an incredible experience and a challenge to try to capture the spirit of this great park and all its splendid creatures.