Etosha National Park is a national park in northwestern Namibia that spans an area of 22,270 km2. It is named after the large Etosha pan which is almost entirely within the park. The name Etosha comes from Oshindonga word meaning Great White Place referring to the Etosha pan. The Etosha pan that is 4,760 km2 covers 23% of the total area of the Etosha National Park. The park is home to hundreds of species of mammals, birds and reptiles, including several threatened and endangered species such as the black rhinoceros.
The park is located in the Kunene region. The park boarders Oshana, Oshikoto and Otjozondjupa region. It was elevated to a National Park status in 1967 by an act of parliament of the Republic of South Africa which administered South-West Africa during that time.
The national park of Etosha has a savanna desert climate. The annual mean average temperature is 26°C. In winter, the mean low temperature is 6°C and in summer they can exceed 45°C.
Etosha National Park has different types of vegetation ranging from woodland, grassland savanna and saline desert
The park has about 114 mammal species namely lions, elephants, rhinos, springboks, leopards, cheetahs, sported hyenas, zebras, wildebeests, oryx, meerkats among others.
There are over 340 bird species, 110 reptile species, 16 amphibian species and 1 species of fish. The number of fish species increase during the rainy season.
Large mammals like lions, elephants and rhinos had been nearly exterminated by the year 1881 in the region thanks to the proclamation of the game reserve that helped some of the animals recover, but some species like wild dogs and buffalos have been extinct since the middle of the 20th century.
A bone meal plant was constructed near Rietfontein and culling of wildebeests and zebras began in 1952 due to overgrazing. Official records indicate 293 zebras and 122 wildebeest were processed at the plant, but conservationists claimed thousands had been culled and successfully forced the plant’s closure during the same year