The 22,000 hectares of Etusis Nature and Game Reserve are landscaped by three main scenic areas:
The Etusis Marble Mountains
Throughout the farm extends a line of marble mountains – unfortunately, the mining rights are with the Namibian state, so in some places marble is being mined.
Regardless, the Marble Mountains are a special attraction of Etusis in their unique beauty.
The Otjpatera Mountain Range
Otji – big, Patera – closure. As the Damara drove their herds across the plain, the mountain range got its name. Because the high mountains, which rise up to almost 2000m, blocked the way.
Spectacular rises the massif, which is one of the oldest mountains in the world, with its gorges and steep slopes directly behind the Etusis Lodge.
For experienced climbers an exciting day trip is the ascent of the highest peak – for beginners climbing one of the smaller hills is also a unique experience.
The Etusis Waterfall
In good rainy seasons, the masses of water thunder from the gorge over the Etusis waterfall and a wide river winds through the valley until it is dammed in front of the lodge to a lake.
However, most of the year it is a dry river bed, a so-called Rivier – with one exception that Etusis gave its name: Etusis is “the place to dive” because at the foot of the waterfall is a permanent pond with a depth of up to 12 meters. A blessing in this arid land, which is why the Etusis Waterhole is already mentioned in ancient records and was fiercely fought for.
The Etusis Plains
In front of the two mountain ranges, the Etusis Plains – mostly flat dry savannah interspersed with rocky cliffs from the Ice Age which appear in their symmetry as being stacked by human hands.
The Etusis Wildlife
All areas of the reserve attract a variety of wild animals. The Hartmann Bergzebra can be found everywhere – from the plain to almost the highest peaks. In 1993, when the reserve was founded, it was threatened with extinction in this area. Volker and Susanne Ledermann therefore set up the Etusis Foundation for the Conservation of Hartmann Mountain Zebra in cooperation with the Zurich Zoo. The movement behavior of the zebras was studied, the adjacent farmers convinced of gentle hunting and of course we set up a strict hunting ban in the reserve. Today, the population has recovered well and on almost every Scenic Drive, our zebras show up to our guests.
The king of the reserve is the leopard – although rarely seen, we find his tracks everywhere in the sand and the territories also extend up into the Etusis mountains.
One of his favorite preys are the ubiquitous Chacma Baboons who prefer to live on the rocks of the Marble Mountains.
In addition, there are a variety of antelopes – Kudus, Oryx, Impalas, Springbok and in the mountains the graceful Klipspringer.
The antelope’s features are also followed by other hunters, especially the lithe cheetah, our shy heraldic animal.
Those who go out at night, on the other hand, get to know a completely different animal world: Aardwolves, Civet Cats, Brown Hyenas, the Springhare reminiscent of a kangaroo, the awe-wrening aardvark or the cute, but defensive porcupines are just a few creatures of the Etusis Nights.
Those who turn their gaze to heaven will admire another spectacle – a starry sky that is never visible in the light of European cities.
Talking about looking upwards: a rich birdlife also flies above Etusis: from the tiny hummingbird to the ostrich, from the weaver bird to different types of eagles, from the colorful bee-eaters and hornbills during the day to the owls of the night many species are represented.
Namibia’s minerals and plants on Etusis
The dry, barren land is characterized by a lot of sand and rocks. On Etusis alone we have old mines where gold, tomalin, copper, mica and, of course, marble has been or is being mined. Unfortunately, the prevention of this permanent mining of parts of the mountains is not in our hands – the mining rights lie with the Namibian state. For us remains the admiration of the beauty of minerals and the joy of finding a rock crystal or Tomalin.
Despite its dryness Etusis also is covered with quite some peculiar plants and just the art of survival in the drought makes its flora so amazing. Whether Bushman’s candle, bottle or balsam tree, broom or fodder shrub, the poisonous wolf milk plants or the various acacias: every plant has its fascinating character, which we are happy to show you.