Etosha Pan


Etosha Pan

 extremely flat salt pan, northern Namibia, covering an area of approximately 1,900 square miles (4,800 square km) at an elevation of about 3,400 feet (1,030 m). This enormous expanse of salt, glimmering green in the dry season, is the largest of its kind in Africa. It was first discovered by Europeans when Sir Francis Galton and Charles Andersson sighted it in 1851. There is geological evidence that the Kunene River (Cunene River) of Angola formerly flowed southward into the pan, forming a huge lake. Later the river changed its course westward to the Atlantic Ocean, and the lake, deprived of its inflow, shrank in size, the water evaporating to form the salt pan, or salina. There are lone salt springs on the pan that have built up little hillocks of clay and salt used by animals as salt licks. The pan is fed by a number of nearly parallel channels (oshanas) extending north into Angola that in the monsoon season from December to March fill parts of Etosha (“Place of Mirages”) and surrounding areas with rainwater pools.

      The Etosha Pan is the centre of Etosha National Park, which has an area of 8,598 square miles (22,269 square km) and one of the largest accumulations of big-game species in the world, including lions, elephants, rhinoceros, elands, zebras, and springbok. Abundant bird life includes flamingos, vultures, hawks, eagles, ostriches, guinea fowl, and geese. The eastern portion of Etosha National Park has a tree-savanna type of vegetation (abounding in tambouti [a deciduous tree that is locally used for furniture and cabinetwork], wild fig, and date palms); moringa trees are typical of the more arid thorn-shrub savanna of the western part of the park. The German colonial fort of Namutoni (originally built in 1901, destroyed in 1904, and reconstructed between 1905 and 1907), at the eastern end of the pan, resembles a fort of the French Foreign Legion. It has been restored for use as a tourist camp for Etosha National Park. A severe drought and warfare between a guerrilla organization, the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO), and South African troops decimated a great deal of the national park's big-game population in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Etosha pan — The Etosha pan is a large endorheic salt pan, forming part of the Kalahari Basin in the north of Namibia. The 120 kilometre long (75 mile long) dry lakebed and its surroundings are protected as Etosha National Park, one of Namibia s largest… …   Wikipedia

  • Etosha Pan — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Etosha National Park — Infobox protected area | name = Etosha National Park iucn category = II caption = Map of Africa locator x = 160 locator y = 40 location = Namibia nearest city = Okaukuejo lat degrees = 18 lat minutes = 56 lat seconds = 43 lat direction = S long… …   Wikipedia

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  • Etosha National Park — National reserve, northern Namibia. Covering some 8,598 sq mi (22,269 sq km), it centres on the Etosha Pan, a vast expanse of salt with lone salt springs, used by animals as salt licks. It has one of the largest populations of big game species in …   Universalium

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  • Salt pan (geology) — Natural salt pans are flat expanses of ground covered with salt and other minerals, usually shining white under the sun. They are found in deserts, and should not be confused with man made salt evaporation ponds. A salt pan is formed where water… …   Wikipedia

  • Parque Nacional Etosha — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Parque Nacional de Etosha. El Parque Nacional Etosha, situado en Namibia, es uno de los más grandes del mundo, con una extensión de 22.270 km². Tiene forma oblonga con una longitud máxima de este a oeste de 350… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Parc national d'Etosha — Catégorie UICN II (parc national) Identifiant 884 Pays …   Wikipédia en Français


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