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Namibia Safari

Damaraland and Etosha

Interactive Map of Damaraland, Etosha and Ongava

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Etosha & Ongava Camps map
Damaraland Camp
Desert Rhino Camp
Doro Nawas Camp
Palmwag Lodge
Desert Rhino Camp
Palmwag Lodge
Etosha & Ongava Camps map
Etosha & Ongava Camps map
Andersson's Camp
Little Ongava
Ongava Lodge
Ongava Tented Camp
Damaraland Camp
Doro Nawas Camp
Okonjima and AfriCat
Okonjima and AfriCat

Desert elephant in Damaraland region Petroglyphs at Twyfelfontein Zebras in Etosha National Park Black Rhino in Damaraland region
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Damaraland is situated in the mountainous region in north-west Namibia inhabited by the Damara people and named after them. Originally, it was an area occupied primarily by the Damara people, but it soon became the home of other tribes such as the Hereros and the displaced Riemvasmakers of South Africa. Today, many residents of Damaraland are thus of mixed heritage, but most consider themselves Damara.

The natural laws of food and water availability dictate the movement and cycles of the rare and endangered Desert Elephant, Black Rhinoceros, Oryx, Kudu, Giraffe, Hartmann's Mountain Zebra, Springbok and other species that have come to terms with life in a desert environment. Even Lion and Cheetah move in and out of the area occasionally. If you stay at one of the safari camps in this region, you have a very good chance to see the Desert Elephant. Birding specials include Monteiro's Hornbill, Carp's Black Tit, Ruppells Korhaan and Ludwig's Bustard.

This is a wonderful area for enjoying the desert environment. There are no large concentrations of game, as the desert cannot sustain the numbers. What makes this area fascinating is that this is the Africa of old, with no fences, and local herdsmen with their livestock live side by side with the wildlife.

Etosha National Park
Etosha was first proclaimed in 1907. The park originally stretched all the way to the Skeleton Coast and, up to 1967, was the world's largest park. In 1967, the park's size was slashed from nearly 10 million hectares to its current size of 2.7 million hectares (about the size of Switzerland).  Etosha is home to 114 species of mammal, 340 bird species, 110 different reptiles, 16 species of amphibian and just one fish species.

The park is named after the massive pan that covers 5,000 spuare kilometers.  The pan seldom contains much, if any, water, as it is fed by rains rather than rivers and even when rains arrive, few areas hold water for long due to the high rate of evaporation.

Ongava Game Reserve
In the early 1990's a group of Namibian, English, American and South African partners joined together and bought 30,000 hectares of land on Etosha's southern boundary. The aim of this venture was to create Namibia's finest private game reserve and to create a buffer for Etosha along its southern boundary.

Ongava (meaning rhinoceros in Herero) was born, and a massive rehabilitation and restocking program took place. White Rhino were introduced and over time Black Rhino migrated onto the reserve. Many thousands of animals are now found on Ongava including Elephant, Giraffe, Gemsbok (Oryx), Springbok, Red Hartebeest, Eland, Wildebeest, Zebra and the rare Blackfaced Impala. Lion, Leopard and Cheetah have also moved back onto the Ongava Reserve.

The Ongava Game Reserve offers exclusive (you must be a guest at one of the camps) day and night wildlife-viewing drives, visits to hides that overlook waterholes and walks with experienced guides. Game drives and day trips into the easily accessible Okaukuejo area of Etosha National Park are rewarding, with sightings of lion, elephant, gemsbok, springbok, red hartebeest, and white and black rhino.

A highlight at Ongava is that it is one of the few private game reserves in southern Africa where there is a chance of seeing both black and white rhino. For those who enjoy close wildlife encounters, tracking white rhino on foot with a guide is a highlight not to be missed.

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For History and General information about Namibia, click More Namibia
For information about the National Parks of Namibia, click Nam Parks

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