Namibia’s flagship reserve may lack the presence of buffalo (though they are in the nearby Waterberg Plateau and Caprivi Strip) but the abundance of elephant and lion more than makes up for it. Etosha is also the best place in Africa to see black rhino; stake out waterholes at night and check them again during the day – both lions and leopards often use them as ambush points.
Etosha is a stunning park by any stretch of the imagination, both in size the amount of extraordinary African wildlife that it contains. The park is so large that it can easily be seen from outer space, and astronauts have been known to photograph it as they zoom over. How amazing is that? To give another comparison, Etosha National Wildlife Park is as large as the country of Switzerland. It also contains a very large salt pan which covers over 20% of the area, so in the rainy season parts of it become a shallow lake.
You can visit any time of the year, but winter May to September is the dry season, which means animals have to visit the water holes regularly and you can park up and “spy” on them easier. It’s also a bit cooler for humans who don’t like sweltering in heat. However, that is not to say you should avoid taking a Namibian holiday at other times of the year.
Namibia, and Etosha especially, has one of the largest populations of Black rhino left in the world, and is one of the few countries that has both Black and White Rhinos.
For the chance to see Cape buffalo and hippopotamus you will need to travel to the northwest to the Caprivi Strip which reaches all the way to the Victoria Falls. The north is also on the edge of malaria territory, so while it is not likely, it is possible to be exposed to mosquitoes that may carry the disease. Take precautions by wearing dark covered clothing (they prefer lighter colors) and use repellent while there.