ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
|# Excl Vagrants:||290|
|# Near Endemics:||12|
|Habitat: Arid grassland, scrub, waterholes, salt pans|
ABOUT THE BIRDING
Etosha National Park is perhaps the best and certainly the most visited game park in Namibia. The park is excellent for game viewing, especially in dry season from April-October. It's also excellent for birding, which is best during rainy season from November-March. The most prominent feature of the park is the Etosha Pan, a vast salt pan that covers about 4800 SqKm. The pan was formed some 100 million years ago and was a large lake fed by the Kunene River in Angola until about 16,000 years ago. Now it is vast expanse of sand dotted with salt springs and hillocks of clay and salt. In rainy season the pan forms rain water pools and can be entirely covered by a shallow lake if the rains are especially heavy. In those years it attracts thousands of migrating flamingos.
The major attractions in Etosha center around the permanent water holes, each with its own characteristics. The Okaukuejo Waterhole is adjacent to the Okaukeujo Rest Camp and is considered the best place in Africa to see Black Rhinoceros. The Odondeka Waterhole is one of the best places to see Lions. The Halali and Goas Waterholes are the best places to see Leopard. The Sudea and Salvadora Waterholes are the best place to find Cheetah
Some of the specialty birds at Etosha are Black-faced Babbler, best seen at Bloubokkie Draai, Violet Woodhoopoe, Carp's Tit, and Bare-cheeked Babbler, best seen at Halali Camp, and Monteiro's Hornbill and Rueppell's Parrot, best seen in far western Etosha at Hobatere along with Hartlaub's Francolin, White-tailed Shrike, Rockrunner, and Bare-cheeked Babbler. Other birding locales are Fisher's Pan, where one can see water birds and flamingos when wet, Namutoni Camp where the waterhole attracts Caspian Plover and Greater Painted-snipe, Andoni Plains which is very good for Blue Crane, Burchell's Sandgrouse, several larks, and other grassland birds, Springtontein where the open flats feature Double-banded Courser and Temminck's Courser, the grasslands attract Black-winged Pratincole in some years, and bushy patches are home to the isolated population of Rufous-eared Warbler. and Etosha Lookout during wet season when the pan attracts various water birds, plovers, and sometimes Wattled Crane, Okaukuejo Camp where a good colony of Social Weaver and the attendant Pygmy Falcon are found as well as various seedeaters, finches, and other birds.
Bare-cheeked babbler, violet wood-hope, Carp's tit, Monterio's hornbill, rockrunner and Rppel's parrot
LOCATION OF SITE
Etosha National Park is located in north central Namibia. It's about 500 km from Windhoek to Halali Camp in the center of the park. From Katima Mulilo near the Zambia border, Halali Camp is about 720 km.