I still remember… it was November of 1998. I was sitting in the cool shade of a Mopane tree, daydreaming a little but still watching the march of animals to the waterhole, when a hornbill came to sit right beside me on the bench and watch the procession. Later that night a large bull elephant came right up to where I was standing behind a single wire, eyed me from above, then casually walked back to the waterhole. It was as if all was in my dream. I still remember.
Now, some 14 years later I have returned. The memories are still strong. Etosha has changed little.
The animals are clearly the main attraction in Etosha National Park. With multitudes of permanent and semi-permanent waterholes, there is no shortage of wildlife spotting. Though in the rains they are more spread out.
Night time, sitting around Okaukuejo Waterhole brings some incredible scenes, as the hierarchy of animals becomes obvious, each coming separately to drink and bathe. If you are patient enough, after the elephants come the Black Rhinoseros.
This is the way I would best advise finding and viewing Rhinoseros. The day we saw these Rhino, we had just come back to camp after 11 hours of driving throughout the park. Exhausted and with dinner cooked, we sat down around the waterhole to rest. When the Rhinoseros arrived, all we could do for the first few minutes was look at each other and smile! ‘Rhinoseros Drive’, yes that gruelling 11 hour safari, had provided us with almost no animals, let alone Rhinoseros. Lesson? Sometimes your own backyard is more relaxing and clearly more fruitful!
Then there are the various and interesting landscapes of Etosha. Etosha Pan, a wide lifeless saltflat, holds interest if only for its starkness.
Etosha is never complete without its incredible sunrises, sunsets and full moons.