Etosha National Park
Translated as the 'Place of Mirages', 'Land of Dry Water' or the 'Great White Place', Etosha is an apparently endless pan of silvery-white sand, upon which dust devils play and mirages blur the horizon. As a game park, it excels during the dry season when huge herds of animals can be seen amidst some of the most startling and photogenic scenery in Africa.
The roads are all navigable in a normal 2WD car, and the park was designed for visitors to drive themselves around. If you insist on guided trips then look to one of the private lodges just outside the park or, better, to the concession areas in Damaraland. Etosha is a park to explore by yourself. Put a few drinks, a camera, lots of film and a pair of binoculars in your own car and go for a slow drive, stopping at the waterholes – it's amazing.
There are three rest camps within the park, and several lodges outside its boundaries, and yet the park is never busy in comparison with equally good reserves elsewhere in Africa.