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Animals Of Etosha National Park

ZebrasHere are close on 114 species of mammal in Etosha. They include the black-faced impala – there are no southern impala in the park – and the threatened black and white rhino. There are no buffalo, hippo, crocodile or monkeys.

When the rainy season starts in the summer months, October to April animals seldom need to visit the drinking places along the tourist routes. So this is not the best time to visit the park.

At this time of year, however, large herds of game can be seen on the grass plains west of Okaukuejo and in the area around Fischer’s Pan near Namutoni. The formation of large herds is a defence strategy against the relatively high concentration of predators which follow the game. From time to time large concentrations can also be found on the Andoni Plains north of Namutoni.

The period of concentration of game and migratory patterns vary from year to year. The better the grasslands around Okaukuejo after the rainy season, the longer the concentrations of game. At the beginning of the rainy season the animals disappear quickly from the tourist areas, but return gradually after the rains.

The rainy season is also the time of year when many young animals can be seen, since it is also the lambing and calving season. The young of jackals, foxes and the felines are often seen, especially near Okaukuejo and Halali.

After the first rains most of the elephants leave the tourist area for the northern and southern part of the park. Some of them even leave the park for areas outside, depending on the availability of water.

Plains game such as zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, springbok, impala and eland abound in great numbers on the grasslands and congregate at waterholes in the dry season. Herds of fifty elephants are not unusual and often walk right down the middle of the road giving people in cars an incredibly close and thrilling encounter. Lions and hyenas must be searched for, but silver-backed jackals trot around almost oblivious to you. The desert dwelling oryx, upon which the mythical unicorn must surely be based, will certainly be seen here along with the impressive curly horned kudu. Etosha also contains endangered black rhino and unusual species like the black-faced impala – a larger and darker subspecies found only in south-western Angola and north-western Namibia.