Zebra at Etosha National Park - Wikipedia by Yathin S Krishnappa - 800px-Equus_quagga_(Namutoni,_2012)Etosha National Park is one of Africa’s larger parks, just over 8500 sq. miles of which almost 2000 sq. miles are saline depressions or ‘salt pans’. The largest of these pans, the Etosha Pan, can be classified as a saline desert in its own right.  Etosha Pan lies on the northwestern edge of the Kalahari Desert. Until three million years ago it formed part of a huge, shallow lake that was reduced to a complex of salt pans when the major river that fed it, the Kunene, changed course and began to disgroge into the Atlantic instead of into the pans. If the lake existed today, it would be the third largest in the world.  Today the park only rarely fills with water when there are unusually heavy rains in Angola which ultimately seep this far south.   Normally, the park consists of grassland, woodland and savannah.   Park authorities have developed three major “waterholes” along the southern perimeter of the park which attract game year round.  There are 114 mammal and 340 bird species, including elephant, lion, giraffe, blue wildebeest, the black-faced impala, eland, kudu, gemsbok (oryx), zebra, rhino, cheetah and leopard.