M USHARA B USH C AMP We left Halali in the early morning even though today we had only 88 miles to travel, part of it on gravel and the rest of it on tarred roads. This route would take us along the Etosha Pan—a huge dry lakebed covering about 1827 square miles. It is actually a salt pan with a base of clay which rarely sustains over 10 cm of water even after heavy rains.
Mammals do not use it as a water source but migratory birds and flamingos use it intensively when there is water. A blue-green algae, brine shrimp and other such creatures can live in it but no plants or other animals. It is very dramatic to drive along the Pan because it looks like a gray calm ocean in the distance even when it is completely dry. The Pan is protected within the National Park and it was created by tectonic action that changed the course of the rivers which had fed it. On the drive, we stopped at all the waterholes we could find and continued to see mountain zebras, giraffes, elephants, warthogs, gnus, springbok, and black-faced impala. We were very impressed with the numbers of zebras we saw — it just seemed there were thousands all over the park.
We stopped for lunch in Numatoni, a tourist town just inside the Van Lindquist Gate that we used getting to and from the Mushara Bush Camp. Our credentials were checked each time we
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