Etosha National Park, Namibia - Large Salt Pan Visible From Space

The Etosha National Park is a national park in the northwestern part of Namibia. The park is mainly a salt pan which is so large that it can even be seen from space. It is also one of the most accessible game reserves in Namibia and Southern Africa.


The park was proclaimed a game reserve on the 22nd of March, 1907 by the Governor of German South West Africa, Dr. Friedrich von Lindequist. The Etosha National Park covers an are of 22,270 square kilometres – 8600 sq miles. The salt pan – Etosha Pan – which covers 23% of the area of the Etosha National Park is what gives the park its name. It is a very noticeable depression with the main depression covering an area of about 5000 sq. km, or 130 km in length and 50 km in width. Due to the hypersaline nature of the pan, very few species can inhabit it.

The salt pan is also very dry in the dry season, but fills up with water during the rainy season.

Home to numerous species of mammals, birds, reptiles including endangered animals like the black rhino, it is located in Kunene region, sharing boundaries with Oshana, Oshikoto, and Otjozondjupa regions.

Etosha National Park
Photo Credit: Info Namibia

The Etosha National Park was first discovered by Charles John Anderson and Francis Galton. They were travelling with Ovambo copper ore traders when they arrived at present day Namutoni, then known as Omutjamatunda.

The people who initially inhabited the Etosha Pan, were the Hai//om people and they were forcibly removed from the park in 1954. They were originally hunters but now, they have become landless farm laborers.

Initially when the Etosha area was announced as a reserve area, it stretched from the mouth of the Kunene river and Hoarusib river on Skeleton Coast to Namutoni in the east. The original area was estimated to be 99,526 square kilometres (38,427 sq mi), an estimate that has been corrected to about 80,000 square kilometres (31,000 sq mi).

The national park of Etosha has a savanna desert climate. The annual mean average temperature is 24 °C. In winter, the mean nighttime lows are around 10 °C, while in summer temperatures often hover around 40 °C. As it is a desert, there is a large variation between day and night. Rain almost never falls in the winter.

When visiting the Etosha National Park, you can lodge or camp at any of the 5 sites inside the park. All sites have game proof fences so it is pretty safe.

The camps include:

The Dolomite Camp;

The Halali Rest Camp;

The Okaukuejo Camp.

The Onkoshi Camp;

The Olifantsrus Camp.

All camps are managed by the Namibia Wildlife Resorts.

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