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Etosha National Park is a national park in northwestern Namibia. The park was proclaimed a game reserve on March 22, 1907 in Ordinance 88 by the Governor of German South West Africa, Dr. Friedrich von Lindequist.
It was designated as Wildschutzgebiet Nr. 2 which means Game Reserve Number 2, in numerical order after West Caprivi and preceding Namib Game Reserve. In 1958, Game Reserve No. 2 became Etosha Game Park and was elevated to status of National Park in 1967 by an act of parliament of the Republic of South Africa which administered South-West Africa during that time.
The salt pans are the most noticeable geological features in the Etosha national park. The hypersaline conditions of the pan limit the species that can permanently inhabit the pan itself; occurrences of extremophile micro-organisms are present, which species can tolerate the hypersaline conditions. The salt pan is usually dry, but fills with water briefly in the summer, when it attracts pelicans and flamingos in particular.
The Place to Visit at Etosha National Park
All lodging and camping accommodation inside the park is managed by Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR). There are five sites inside the park with lodges and four with facilities for camping. All sites have game-proof fences.
In the past, tourists were not allowed to go west of Ozonjuitji m'bari and the only exception to that rule were registered Namibian tour operators and guests staying at Dolomite Camp. It was built in 2010 and can be accessed from the Galton gate or through the park along the 19S latitude road. Since 2015, western part of Etosha is open to all tourists.
The Halali rest camp was opened in 1967 and is located about midway between Okaukuejo and Namutoni.
Namutoni is also a former police and military station in the eastern part of the park, 123 kilometres from Okaukuejo. Fort Namutoni was rebuilt in 1957 when it served as a rest camp for winter visitors to the park.
The waterhole at Okaukuejo, as seen from the northern end of the viewing plateau.
Okaukuejo was founded as a German South-West Africa military outpost in 1897 in an effort to control spread of foot-and-mouth disease. It later served as a police station and it was formally opened as a rest camp in 1955. The Okaukuejo tower was built in 1963 modeled after the old police station tower in the area. Okaukuejo has a restaurant, a post office, souvenir shops, two swimming pools and a tourist information center where visitors can record their daily observations. There is an observation deck at the Okaukuejo waterhole, which is floodlit at night for the benefit of tourists staying overnight, to observe nocturnal wildlife at the waterhole.
Onkoshi is an exclusive property inside the park and is located near Stinkwater
Olifantsrus Campsite is the newest camp to open inside the park. It is located between Okaukuejo and Dolomite. It does not have any accommodation in rooms or bungalows and offers a camping only experience. The main attraction here is glass fronted hide which overlooks a waterhole.