meerkats standing on a woman

Etosha – A Bird Watchers Paradise

Etosha National Park Namibia

A Namibia safari & Etosha are synonymous with bird watching & big game 

I am lucky to have been given the opportunity of exploring all the big game parks in Africa. However, Etosha is still my all-time favourite. My first memory of being in the bush was from this enchanting place and most of my childhood holidays and weekends were spent venturing through this incredible park.

Big Game In Etosha

Etosha is truly special

Etosha is, of course, synonymous with big game and vast open spaces. The name Etosha is defined as “great white area” referring to the enormous dry pan in the middle of the park. It is home to an astonishing amount of wildlife, both rare and common.

What makes the park unique is the floodlit waterholes at all the main camps. There is something magical about enjoying the spectacular golden sunset at either the Halali waterhole or Okaukuejo, observing hundreds of double-banded sandgrouse coming to quench their thirst, landing between a solitary black rhino or elephant herd.

Flamingos In Namibia

Abundant bird species in Etosha

Etosha has more than 350 species of exotic birds and summer is the perfect time to visit. The occasional showers then transform the dry pans into seasonal lakes, attracting migratory and wetland species in massive numbers. The sight of thousands of bright pink flamingos in the Etosha pan is something one never forgets.

It also holds the odd record of possessing the smallest southern African bird, the Cape penduline tit; the world’s largest bird, the Common ostrich; and the world’s largest flying bird, the Kori Bustard.

More than forty species of raptors and owls reside in the park, and bushveld Namibian specials include Bare-cheeked babbler, Violet wood-hoopoe, Carp’s tit, Monteiro’s hornbill, Rockrunner and Rüppell’s parrot.

It is also a favourite spot for rarities, and it is the only known place in the sub-region where the Egyptian vulture can be sighted with any regularity.

Egyptian Vulture In Namibia

Etosha – a photographers dream

Naturally, Etosha is a photographer’s dream location, with the contrasts in light, colour and textures particularly dramatic. Many of my ‘lifer’ shots of southern African bird species were captured here.

A variety of accommodation options are available and include luxury bungalows, ultra-luxurious lodges, caravan sites and camping. The park is accessible in a regular sedan car and is malaria free.

Whether it's from a wildlife or birding point of view, Etosha indeed is one of the most spectacular parks in all of Africa.

Credit: Africa Travel Magazine

Author: Thank you to Nick Buys for his expertise

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