Travel writer Christopher Clark recently returned to Etosha whilst on an epic month-long trip around Namibia with Namibia Experience. You can find more of his dispatches from the trip here. All images are courtesy of the author.
I love the feeling of excitement and anticipation that sets in whenever I arrive at the gate of a celebrated national park.
In this instance the feeling was heightened by the fact that it was my first time entering Etosha National Park from the Galton Gate on the far west side, which in 2014 opened up large tracts of this vast park that were previously inaccessible to the public, save for the handful of guests at the exclusive Dolomite Camp.
As soon as we entered the park, it was clear that the west was an entirely different world from the better-known areas of the park around the Etosha Pan, which lies more than 100 kilometres east. The terrain is rugged and undulating; the vegetation is greener and more dense. Within just a few kilometres of Galton Gate, we’d already encountered two rare species that are only found in this section of the park: the black-faced impala and the Hartmann’s mountain zebra.
A little further along the road, we came across our first black rhino, always a special Etosha sighting, and made all the more so in this instance by the fact that there wasn’t another vehicle in sight. We’d quickly learn that such privacy is one of the major draw cards of this still under-explored area.