Africa Adventure Travel at Its Best in Namibia’s Etosha National Park

Oma H. Barnett

If you haven’t fully finished making out your “Bucket List”, might I make a suggestion? Consider a visit to the Etosha National Park in Namibia, a park of with an Enchanted Forest and exotic animals.

The Enchanted Forest is unlike any forest you’ll ever see anywhere else on the planet. Not because it’s filled with evil queens or magical creatures, but because of its unique gnarled trees found only in this former German Colony. Locals believed them to be thrown from Paradise since they look as if they’ve landed upside down.

If that isn’t reason enough to add Etosha to your Bucket List, how about if I told you about the Black Rhinos? This is but one of the 150 mammals living within this 22-thousand square kilometer wildlife sanctuary. If you want to see elephant, lion, zebra, impala, and oryx all in one place–you’ve found it.

Most of the activity within Etosha takes place around its 33 watering holes. All sorts of other African animals come here to drink, eat, and lounge around. Most of them congregate around the Okaukuejo, so good thing there are a number of chalets to spend the night after a long day of game viewing.

Namutoni on the eastern side of the Etosha has some Bush Chalets, built atop an old German Fort, offering outside showers (private, of course) and swimming. The Onkoshi Camp is small, just 15 units, with thatched roofs and decks to take in all the local vegetation and animals.

Right in the middle of it all is Halali, where leopard and elephant wandering around is just an average day. Night drives through here are exceptional, and the nature walks are really educational.

Just remember that Etosha’s summer (January to March) is hot & wet with rainy season starting in November; and winter night temperatures can drop below freezing–but the daytime temps average 18-25C (64-77F). That’s quite comfortable, and the best time to go game viewing at the watering holes.

You don’t have to stick to just the water to find some other unique and exotic animals of Namibia. It can be a lot of fun trying to identify the hundreds of bird species who live here. Those Lucky Ducks. Oops, no pun intended there. Oh, look! It’s a White-tailed Shrike, Rufous-cheeked Nightjar, and a Bare-cheeked Babbler. The flamingos, however, love the 5000 square kilometers of the salt pans. I’m sorry you’re jealous, Florida–you don’t have the monopoly on the spindly-legged, pink birds.

With everything that you’ll find within the Etosha National Park, it’s a surprise this doesn’t top everyone’s Bucket List. Trust me, you’ll love it.

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