Etosha National Park

Etosha National Park
The main attraction at the Etosha National Park, which was established in 1907, is undoubtedly the gigantic endorheic salt-flat known as the Etosha Pan, and visitors come from across the globe to gape at this amazing natural phenomenon.

The park, which is located in Namibia's north-west Kunene Region, is 227 square kilometers in extent, and, given its almost unlimited expanse of white salt-plain set against blazing red evening skies, is capable of creating some of the most iconic sights in Africa. The park is accessible through several gates including Anderson Gate in the south - the main entrance - and the best time to view the park's many species of mammals, birds and reptiles is when they congregate around its network of man-made waterholes.

The Etosha Pan - with Etosha meaning "Great White Place" - is known for its gorgeous flocks of pink flamingoes, its comical pelicans and its generous helping of Big 5 game animals. Elephants, lions and giraffe are common, as are black-faced impala, which are found o­nly in Namibia and nearby Angola. Eagle-eyed visitors may catch a glimpse of the park's rare cheetah and leopard colonies, and they may also be treated to a quick look at the endangered black rhino.

Those planning a trip to the magnificent Etosha National Park should try to get there sometime between May and September, as these are Namibia's coolest months. In the early summer, however, the park undergoes a sea-change as the salt pan briefly fills with water during the rainy season, and, if visitors can stand the heat, this time of year has much to recommend it.

Visitors who choose to overnight in the park - open o­nly between sunrise and sunset - have access to the reserve's four rest camps, which come complete with restaurants and swimming pools.