Travel in Namibia: Etosha National Park

Etosha National Park is comprised of the extraordinary Etosha Pan- a vast saline desert home to a unique variety of mammals and birds.
DSC_0741In the language of the local Ovambo tribe, Etosha means ‘great white place.’ This is aptly named, considering Etosha has the largest salt pan in Africa, and is even visible from space! 😮DSC_0733During our game drives in Etosha National Park, we spotted both black and white rhino, black-backed jackal, black-faced impala, ostrich, mongooses, zebra, giraffe, and a variety of antelope, including wildebeest, springbok and oryx.

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oryx with a family of ostrich

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black-faced impala

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gazelle
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black rhinoceros
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black-backed jackal
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banded mongoose

These are Angolan giraffe, native to the region.
DSC_0760DSC_0762These are Burchell’s zebra, which have both black and brown stripes.17240425_10106502123080107_3838344148387703671_oDSC_0674 - EditedThese are blue wildebeest, which unlike black wildebeest, have white, scruffy beards.DSC_0714Our most plentiful wildlife spotting was of oryx, and we even spotted one that had a missing horn. DSC_0756An African unicorn. 😉
DSC_0701 - EditedThe birds in Etosha were just glorious, with vibrant colors and striking markings. DSC_0814 - EditedHere’s a peregrine falcon holding a weaver bird between its talons.17218403_10106501686145727_7696936209653548962_oThis is a pale chanting goshawk.DSC_0781 These are gigantic kori bustards, the largest flying birds in Africa, weighing up to 33lbs! 😮DSC_0722Most of our sightings in Etosha were prey species. The only predators we saw were these three big CATs. 😛

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CAT trucks

In general, due to the heavy rains, March is the low month for wildlife spotting in Etosha National Park. That being said, we were still pleased to see a few new species, and because of the rains, we even spotted a glorious rainbow. ❤20170312_175430

http://www.etoshanationalpark.org/

Accommodation: Namutoni and Halali Rest Camp
The resorts we stayed at in Etosha were quite posh. 20170312_140352The hotel grounds even have an on-site watering hole, where you can spot wildlife near the camp. IMG_0785 - Edited (1)In the evening I heard hyena cackles, lion growls, and a jackal even ran by my tent. We were told not to leave shoes outside, unless we wanted the jackals to pick them up. 😮

Roadside African Attractions: Hoba Meteorite
On the way to Etosha we made a stop at the Hoba Meterorite.mteorIt’s the largest meteorite in the world, estimated to weigh about 60 tons. It landed about 80,000 years ago, and surprisingly, the ground surrounding the meteorite isn’t very indented. Scientists suppose that the Earth’s atmosphere slowed down the speed of the flying metal mass, and it appears flat on all major surfaces, because it mostly likely landed by skipping across the ground, like a stone on water.20170311_090459

Modern-day Africa
I know I talk a lot about the wildlife in the Africa and show lots of images of rural agrarian life.

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local school in Namibia

That being said, the major cities here are surprisingly quite modern.

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mall in Namibia

To experience modern-day Africa, we make lots of mall stops each week, to stock up on groceries and other supplies. I usually feel like a scrub walking around these stores in my dirty overlanding gear, when the locals here are rocking polished designer clothes. Food in Namibia is also very international as well. The stores have so much variety, and unique finds included these muesli biscuits, banana maize porridge, melon/ginger jam, and gummy candy-filled white chocolate.foodfood4Fast food chains here have everything from burgers and chicken, to pizza and tacos.food2That being said, there is still evidence of obvious poverty here, and many of the homeless children congregate in the parking lots. One of the girls on our truck gave them some tennis balls, which they thoroughly enjoyed. 🙂20170311_114421Anyway, from Etosha we made our way to Otjitotongwe Cheetah Park, to get up close and personal with some exotic cats. Stay tuned to hear all about it. Until then. 🙂

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