19 December 2012

Namibia: Game Paradise a Beacon for Visitors

Windhoek — While the coast is crowded with visitors and accommodation is hard to come by, the majestic Etosha National Park still has accommodation for holiday-goers without prior bookings and Namibians are encouraged to go and experience the beauty of the park and its abundant wildlife.

The coastal towns of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay have already run out of accommodation with residents renting out their flats, while there are those who are undeterred by the accommodation shortage and have taken to converting their vehicles into their sleeping quarters.

Speaking to New Era yesterday, Tangeni Kaulu, Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Sales and Trade Manager said Etosha still has openings available in the five camps of Onkoshi, Namutoni, Halali, Okaukuejo and Dolomite.

"They have different family accommodation comprising of double and bush chalets with barbeque facilities. The park also has camping sites with ablution facilities at a cost of N$200 per site," Kaulu said. The NWR is currently offering a special 25 percent discount per night and 35 percent for three-night bookings.

The park is very safe provided visitors adhere to the park's rules and regulations. According to her, the park does not offer camping equipment, therefore people should bring along their own tents and other basic needs such as sunglasses and sunscreen lotions.

Etosha falls in the malaria zone because of the water holes and Kaulu advises visitors intending to camp to take along mosquito repellent and long-sleeve protective clothing. The rooms are equipped with mosquito nets.

Kaulu said the camps also have tourist shops. Namibians are particularly encouraged to bring their families, especially children to experience and see different wild animals and to appreciate the country's beauty.

"The kids are being taught about different things in school such as animals, but they have never seen them in real life. It is good to bring them so they can learn easier," according to Kaulu.

Etosha is a huge national park of mixed forest and grassland centred on a large saltpan. It is home to a great variety and number of game, which is easy to find as the animals congregate at different times around the waterholes.

Wildebeest, zebra, impala, gazelle, kudu, elephant, giraffe and lion are all common sights. Etosha is also a good place for birds, with plenty of water birds on the lakes and weaverbirds and hornbills in the trees.

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