Etosha – meaning Great White Place – is a HUGE national park in Namibia and about 22% of the park is made up of the Etosha Pan which is a large flatland area that is dry most of the time but can get a little water in it when and if they get rains in the area. It's very salty/mineral-y when it does get water so the animals don't really like drinking it. There are several watering holes scattered throughout the park though and that's where the animals congregate to quench their thirst after wandering around eating all day. We are here in the wet season (summer) but it's still pretty arid and desolate. The eastern side of the park was somewhat greener but the central/western side still seems pretty uninviting for grazers. Despite that, we saw several huge herds of elephants, zebra, black faced impala, blue wildebeest, oryx (gemsbok) and springbok. It's also an added bonus that this is the time of year that most species are having their babies. The cuteness is sometimes too much to handle. We saw baby springbok, impala, wildebeest and zebra. We were really hoping to see somebody dropping their babies but that may have been too much to ask. We did see a zebra that was still wet from just being born though. And at our first lodge at Etosha there was a herd of impala that one day had one baby in the herd and the next day had over 15! Their little bodies on spindles for legs was just adorable… And they would spring and hop and frolic all over the place. This is called 'pronking' and was both funny and seriously cute!
Being in Etosha in low season (summer/wet) has some advantages like the above mentioned babies as well as not having a ton of people all crowded around trying to see the same animals at the watering holes. The downsides: Supposedly the animals are harder to find because there is more water available, it's hot. But really, if you're used to Texas summers like we are, this isn't bad at all. It's actually raining right now … A little thunderstorm is passing through and it feels pretty grand.
Tonight is the last night in Etosha area and we are headed into a region called Damaraland tomorrow. That will be our first spot of camping (rooftop tent on the 4×4 style) so that's both exciting and brings me a little bit of anxiety. Pretty sure it'll be amazing but the unknown always puts those good little butterflies in my stomach. While we are there we may go try to find the desert elephants… Pretty unique I'm told. Hope we find them. 🙂
Here are a few snaps of some Etosha wildlife… Including an X-rated lion shot.