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Etosha National Park
Dust cloud in Etosha National Park © Yathin S Krishnappa, Wikimedia Commons
Translated as the ‘Place of Mirages’, ‘Land of Dry Water’ or the ‘Great White Place’, Etosha is an apparently endless pan of silvery-white sand, upon which dust-devils play and mirages blur the horizon.
As a game park, Etosha excels during the dry season when huge herds of animals can be seen amidst some of the most startling and photogenic scenery in Africa. The roads are all navigable in a normal 2WD car, and the park was designed for visitors to drive themselves around. If you insist on guided trips – or want an introductory guided tour in a safari vehicle – these can be organised both at restcamps and lodges within the park, and by the private lodges just outside (or consider instead one of the concession areas in Damaraland). For most people, though, Etosha is a park to explore by yourself. Put a few drinks, a camera, a couple of memory cards and a pair of binoculars in your own car and go for a slow drive, stopping at the waterholes – it’s amazing. There are three restcamps within the park, and two new lodges, as well as an increasing number of lodges outside its boundaries, yet the park is never busy in comparison with equally good reserves elsewhere in Africa.