When was first established in 1907 by von Lindequist, the then governor of German South West Africa, it was the largest game reserve in the world with its 100.000 kms. Today the park is less than a quarter of its original size, but still remains one of the larger of Africa.
The Etosha Pan dominates the park and gives it the name, Etosha meaning "great white place".
Etosha is home to 114 mammal species (encluded the endangered black rino and roan antilope and the endemic black-faced impala), 340 bird species, 110 reptile species and 16 amphibian species.
At the beginning there were no fences and the game was in no way restricted in its movements. Today the park is surrounded by a strong wire, sometimes electrified fence, which is intended to keep animals in and poachers out.
Inside the park there are three resorts: Okaukuejo, Halali and Namutoni.