The vast white pan visible from space
Originally a lake, Etosha is one of Namibia’s premier wildlife destinations proclaimed a game reserve in 1907.
A breeding ground for Namibia’s flamingos, the Etosha Pan a vast open place that covers approximately 4800 km², nearly a quarter of the Etosha National Park. The saline environment can only support soft tolerant grasses but the area surrounding the pan is dense mopane woodland occupied by herds of elephants as well as a other mammals that visit the pan and surrounding waterholes when there is water. These include quite large numbers of zebra, blue wildebeest, gemsbok, eland and springbok as well as black rhinoceros, elephants, lions, leopards, and giraffe.
Etosha Pan itself, supports little wildlife all year round, as it is too saline, but is used by a large number of migratory birds. With the hypersaline pan home to brine shrimp and a number of other micro-organisms tolerant of the high saline conditions. In rainy years the Etosha Pan becomes a huge shallow lake, a breeding ground for flamingos, which arrive in their thousands, and great white pelican.