When you look up the word legend in the dictionary, it’s described as and old story about famous people and events in the past, someone or something we know about and admire.
Such an admirable and well known place is found in the north of Namibia; a place not just legendary, but also where legends live.
This strikingly interesting place I am referring to is the Etosha National Park. The park covers a total area of 22 270 square km. What makes it so extraordinary is the fact that it was declared a National Park even before 1910. That is more than a 100 years ago.
It is where the zebra, with his very interesting attire lives. This animal always leaves me with a sense of wonder. Is he black with white stripes or white with black stripes? I wonder what his morning routine is like when getting out of the bathtub and standing in front of the closet:’’ Am, I going to wear the white suite today with the black stripes or the black suit with the white stripes? What a pickle”.
If I had to choose which animal I want to be then it is most certainly a giraffe. They have long necks and beautiful slender legs. It would really be amazing to have such a great view of the world every day, don’t you think?
You get to experience everything first hand. Well, after the birds have seen it off course. The only thing about a giraffe that I think is a little bit weird, although it’s an advantage to them, is the fact that their tongues can be up to 53-centimeters long. Good golly miss Molly.
Apart from this piece of weirdness, they have the softest look in their eyes. This gigantic animal, standing a few meters high, the tallest on earth, has so much grace. They have grace when they walk, run, eat or trot. The only time grace falls out the window is off course when they are angry or feel threatened. They may seem nonchalant and very silent, but be aware; they are very accurate kickers if you get too close.
The elephant is just as much a legend as Etosha itself. They are enormous, beautiful, laid-back, and can reach a ripe age of up to 60 years old. You would think that because they have such big ears, they would have impeccable hearing right? Wrong. It is not just because of their big floppers. They can hear through their feet. Ever seen an elephant stomping on the ground like crazy? This is their way of communicating with each other elephants, sending signals to their friends, which are picked up by the soft tissues under their feet. They communicate with each by creating vibrations in the ground. This makes me think of that Beach Boys song, Good Vibrations. I'm pickin' up good vibrations, she’s giving me excitations. Good, good, good, good vibrations. I’m picking up good vibrations. (Now you’re humming it, aren’t you?)
There is one more thing about Etosha I want to mention: Panoramic opportunities.
It is one of those places where you can take a panoramic photo, 360 degrees, and don’t know where to start or stop. As you try to get everything into this wide angle shot, you realize, you have to take another one, because you have missed something.
All of these aspects and more make this a legendary place. It is not because of just the animals, the views or the amount of tourists that visit here, but all of this combined. It is every bird that takes flight at sunrise, every stomp of the mighty one, every roar of the king and every whisper of the wind as the sun sets. It is you who makes this a legendary experience.
As a last note I would just like to add: Please look after our parks.
Do not litter, do not cut down trees or light a fire where there is no designated fireplace. Do not feed the animals or get out of your car where you are not allowed to. For more information on traveling through Namibia click here for our Travel tips blog post.
When taking a picture of an endangered animal with your mobile or camera, disable the Geo-tagging function. This way, you don’t give tech savvy poachers information on the exact location of these animals.
These are only a few of the rules, but make sure you know what the rules are when entering the park so that you can enjoy your holiday without any challenges from the law.
I have an important rule when traveling: Leave only your footprints and only take along your memories and photos. For me, Etosha will always be a place of legends.
Jessica Thomas is a local freelance writer. She is an eccentric young lady who has a love affair with writing. Get on board her journey of discovery.