The Etosha National Park lies to the north of the country and covers a whopping 22,000km². The actual Pan, formerly an ancient lake, dominates the eastern side of the park at over 100km wide. Standing on the edge, this immense dry white crust dances with mirages in the heat and you can see the curvature of the earth.
Amazingly, the surrounding environment is alive with a variety of vegetation and wildlife. The scarcity of water attracts elephant, rhino, lion, giraffe, gemsbok and a host of plains game to waterholes dotted around the park. A good strategy is to find a good waterhole and just sit and watch what happens. The interplay between the various species that often come to drink together or prey on other drinkers can result in unexpected action. There is a wide variety of birdlife including ten endemic species, and Fischer’s Pan even plays host to seasonal influxes of flamingos and pelicans.
All except the four government run camps (Okaukuejo, Namatoni, Halali and Onkoshi) are located outside the park gates, some within good conservancies of their own. Many are clustered around the east or southern gates as development has been restricted in the western part of the park. It pays to choose your location carefully to enjoy the best of Etosha without necessarily having to share it with many others.