In central-northern Namibia the flat landscape is dotted with large saltpans, the most famous of which is Etosha Pan in the eponymous Etosha National Park, a vast area of over 20 000 sq km that protects a wealth of wildlife.
Etosha, meaning ‘great white place’, was once a super-lake. Today a few rivers and occasional heavy summer rains fill the pan, but for the most part it is parched and dry. The edges of the Pan give way to a variety of vegetation types; from woodland and swathes of mopane, to open acacia-strewn plains and grasslands.
Fringing the Pan are a number of productive waterholes that sustain a highly density of mammals, from elephant to vast herds of springbok, endemic black-faced impala, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe and gemsbok. Attendant predators are never far away and include lion, spotted hyena and black-backed jackal.
Namibia safaris in Etosha National Park is excellent, the best time being from May to September - the cooler months in Namibia. Visitors to Etosha Game Reserve can expect to see many buck species, elephant, giraffe, rhino and lions. More fortunate visitors will see leopard and cheetah.
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