Namibia is best known for colorful dunes and desert landscape settings, but it is also home to a significant wildlife population. Etosha National Park is the principal wildlife area. At it’s heart is a vast dry clay-salt pan. The name “Etosha” in tribal language means “great white place”, and the pan represents nearly a quarter of the park. As a dry desert place it seems inhospitable, but through the efforts of the park management, waterholes are maintained throughout the park which the wildlife visit with regularity. We had good experiences with many mammals, and in particular, elephants who on one morning treated us to a parade of 4 families and nearly 80 elephants visiting one of the waterholes one family at a time as other familes waited patiently for their turn to drink and bathe.
Our visit to Namibia coincided with significant rains throughout the country. The pan in Sossusvlei had been flooded and likewise the Etosha Pan, which turned out to be a gift as we enjoyed large flocks of flamingos and a transcedant evening overlooking the pan as it gently shifted colors as if contemplating a series of Mark Rothko’s paintings.