10 What Basic Functions Must Animals Do To Stay Alive Etosha Pan

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Etosha Pan

Etosha Pan, Namib Natural Phenomenon – is a salt flat in north-central Namibia that is part of the Namib Desert. The country was formed by tectonic plate activity 10 million years ago. It is a dry wasteland for most of the year, and sometimes turns into a shallow lake during the wet season.

The pan plays a vital role in maintaining the surrounding ecosystem, including the many species of animals and birds in the nearby savannah. The harsh summer drought forces these animals to congregate around the waterholes that surround the pan. Due to the fact that this “salty desert” has no water outlet, frequent evaporation has left an accumulation of salt deposits on its surface. This is why the pan has a bluish-white appearance from the aerial view.

History as a hunting ground

Before the Etosha region was occupied by Europeans, it was reserved as grazing and hunting land by the resident tribes and Bushmen. After Swedish explorer Charles John Anderson and his friend Francis Galton discovered Namibia in 1851, many other travelers ventured across the territory in search of a new promised land. Etosha and its surroundings soon became a hunter’s paradise, until the Governor of the country announced in 1907 that the depletion of wildlife was a serious problem.

At this point, a reserve with no physical boundaries was created to protect the plants and animals from any threats. That way, game can roam free and the ecosystem can function as nature intended.

Animal and Plant Life

The high salinity of the Etosha Pan makes it difficult for plant life to survive – only a few salt-tolerant grasses and shrubs grow on its edges. Although the salt content of the water means it is unsuitable for human or animal consumption, the area is densely populated with various life forms.

It is home to about 114 mammal and 340 bird species, both of which occupy the savannah plains in the area. Five of Africa’s largest wild animals, including the lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhinoceros – known as the Big Five – and flocks of flamingos are among Etosha’s many exciting attractions. Underground springs that form waterholes on the periphery of the pan provide food for these animals, which would not survive otherwise. During the hot migration season, when temperatures can reach as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit, these waterholes are a lifesaver for parched wildlife.

Estosha National Park

This national park is one of the largest on the continent and continues to be a safe haven for Namibian wildlife. Today the park is closed with an electrified fence that keeps animals inside the designated area and hunters out. The variety of game and the charm of wild Africa make Etosha a perfect getaway for a wildlife safari.

Depending on where you go, different companies offer organized tours of different lengths. Typically, travelers fly into the capital Windhoek and then either catch a connecting flight to the airstrip outside Etosha National Park, or they are transferred directly to their hotels by coach. A variety of outdoor activities are available to tourists, which can be arranged through your hotel. These range from slot machines to charter flights over the pan. Legend has it that here you will find Africa’s tallest elephants reaching up to 4 meters in height – a must-see for any wildlife fanatic!

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