Epupa Falls to Etosha Pan (Olifantsrus)

The Etosha pan ("Land of Dry Water") is a large endorheic salt pan, forming part of the Cuvelai-Etosha Basin in the north of Namibia. It is a hollow in the ground in which water may collect or in which a deposit of salt remains after water has evaporated. At 130 km's long and up to 50km's wide in places, it is comfortably the largest salt pan in Africa and is the park's most distinctive and dramatic feature, visible even from space. The large mammals in Etosha National Park include lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, giraffe, wildebeest, cheetah, hyena, mountain and plains zebra, springbok, kudu, gemsbok and eland. Among the smaller species you will find jackal, bat-eared fox, warthog, honey badger and ground squirrel. Olifantsrus is Etosha’s newest camp and the first accommodation option in the park to offer a camping only experience, allowing you to feel that little bit closer to the incredible African bush all around you. Situated in the wilder, more remote and previously less-utilised western section of the park, Olifantsrus is approximately 60kms from Galton Gate, 130kms from Okaukuejo and 50kms from Dolomite Camp. Rare and shy species such as black rhino and black-faced impala are well-established in this quieter part of the park.

🙂 Elephants. Elephants. Elephants. Black rhino at Hide. Sunsets. Scenery.

🙁 Everything to love!

Tuesday, 5 January 2021: Epupa Falls – Etosha Pan (Olifantsrus) (484Km) 32C

We were up at 07h00 and ready to go by 08h00 however there had been such disorganised chaos in our booking that it took over an hour to sort out! In the end we actually got a free dinner. Did a top up at Crazy multi-cultural Spar. Gave some little child all our groceries from the fridge and boxes as replenishing them for fresh items – he was very happy!! The drive went fairly quickly and we arrived at 18h00. We were SO excited to get to Etosha Pan! Arrived at Ratel Draf waterhole first. Just WOW!!! A group of elephants were snoozing in the sun.

In excess of 100 more ellies were all taking it in turns to queue to drink water and were exchanging greetings before they swapped spots at the water hole with families rumbling gently to each other after patiently waiting at the side ….10 giraffe, numerous zebra with brand new foals and lots of springbok. Spent 30minutes watching them and then reluctantly had to move on to get to our camp in time.

Next water hole was hosting terrapins, vultures jackals, koorhaan couple calling and bones.

Arrived at Olifantsrus – we were told that our reservation had been cancelled!! Fortunately a lovely chap sorted it all out for us without a hitch as I had the covering e-mail. Olifantsrus has a small info centre which provides some history of the camp. Between 1983-1985 it was necessary to cull about 525 elephants when the population exploded from 500 in 1967 to 3000 in 1983. You can still see the huge steel structures which were used to hoist the animals for butchering as well as a few sun dried skulls which remain as a daunting reminder of the past.

We took the spot next to the hide entrance.

Stunning sunset! Had a lovely braai of chicken and salad.

Rescued a scorpion which some Eastern European tourists were planning to kill! It was a dangerous scorpion which we moved well away from camp with a spade.

We went to the hide and were delighted to find a black rhino snoozing – well, until Paul dropped his spade with a bang and the poor thing nearly died of shock and stormed off into the night!!

Thew car was leaking again but we were exhausted and that would have to be tomorrow’s problem!

Go back to: Epupa Falls

Go to: Etosha Pan: Okaukuejo

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