History

The first Europeans in Etosha were traders and explorers Charles John Andersson and Francis Galton, who arrived by wagon at Namutoni in 1851. They were later followed in 1876 by an American trader, G McKeirnan, who observed: ‘All the menageries in the world turned loose would not compare to the sight I saw that day’.

However, Etosha didn’t attract the interest of tourists or conservationists until after the turn of the 20th century, when the governor of German South West Africa, Dr von Lindequist, became concerned about diminishing animal numbers and founded a 99,526-sq-km reserve, which included Etosha Pan.

At the time, the land was still unfenced and animals could follow their normal migration routes. In subsequent years, however, the park boundaries were altered a few times, and by 1970 Etosha had been reduced to its present size.