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Etosha

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Etosha National Park, Namibia

The word Etosha means "great white pan". The Etosha pan alone is the size of The Netherlands, and the pan is only about half of the area of Etosha National Park.
 
More Zebras
Zebras at waterhole
Giraffe and elephant Most maps of Namibia show the pan as a small white shape: which if you think about it, gives you an idea of the size of the country, which I hadn't fully grasped before my visit.
Etosha evokes images of wildlife at waterholes, and indeed in the dry season, these are the best places to find animals. However, it's far more of a challenge to make photographs here. For one thing, most of the waterholes are some distance from the car parks: you need at least a 500mm lens, preferably longer (virtually all the pix from Etosha on this site are heavily cropped) and you must stay in your vehicle (for your safety) so supporting the long lens becomes an issue. Then, a lot of the waterholes are man-made. They're there for the animals not for the photographers, but you have to work hard to avoid showing the concrete blocks (clearly seen in this picture taken at Andoni) and the solar panels which power the pumps.
More giraffes
Okakuejo waterhole at night Each of the three rest camps in the park has a waterhole, which is floodlit at night. This one is at Okakuejo, famous for sightings of Rhino and Elephant.

Here, the hand of man is again very apparent. However, there are seats facing onto the waterhole, and even a grandstand (!) You can easily set up a tripod and wait for things to happen. This picture wasn't filtered, so you can see the colour cast of the lights used. However, they are bright: this pic was shot on 400 ISO film (the film has been lightened a bit in Photoshop; but, projected, the unaltered film looks much as you see it here)

More elephants

Springboks fighting Springboks grappling 
The very pale 'white' rocks play havoc with exposure, and take on a strong tint from the light at different times of day (e.g. the mauve just after the sun went down in the top picture) which looks distinctly 'unnatural' even though it is genuine.
 
 
 
More Springboks
One of the commoner mammals in the eastern, relatively 'wetter', half of Etosha is Red Hartebeest.
 
More Hartebeest
Red Hartebeest at waterhole
Greater Kudus, running Another common mammal is Greater Kudu, which is much less timid here than it is in Kenya and Tanzania.
By the way, what looks like water in the background is actually an Etosha mirage.
 More Kudus
More Etosha images:
Travel Diary Sossussvlei Birds Swakop/Walvis Bay Hobatere Himba People Home
Welwitschia Cape Cross Etosha Moon Landscape Okonjima Twyfelfontein Misc
Images and text © Liz Leyden 2008.
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