Etosha's political history is reviewd, from its discovery by Europeans in 1851, through the German occupation of South West Africa, until its proclamation as Game Reserve No. 2 in 1907. The effects of boundary changes between 1907 and 1970 are descriptionbed.
Names given to a total of 183 places in Etosha during the past 140 years, involving four African and four European languages, are interpreted. Analysis of original place names shows San (language of the Heikom Bushmen) predominates (43%), followed by Afrikaans (30%), Herero (8%), English (7%), Oshindonga (6%), German (3%), Latin (3%), Nama (<1%).
The landscape of the Cuvelai-Etosha region although changed dramatically with climate changes over the past 100 000 years, was only subtly changed by people over most of this perid. About 2000 years ago pastoralists migrated into southern Angola, possibly extending into the ancestral lands of the Hei//om and !Kung peoples who ranged over Ovamboland region for a possible 100 000 years BP. Rapid changes to the landscape started in the 17th century when Ovambo pastoralists and farmers moved soulhwards into this region, with livestock and agriculture aided by iron-smelting technology.
Until today, two alternatives have been discussed in order to reconstruct the Cainozoic evolution of Etosha Pan. The 'super pan' of Etosha resulted from pluvial endorheic erosion processes, and its actual position was determined by epeirogenetic (Etosha depression) and stratigraphic (Kalahari sediments) conditions.
This paper gives an overview of the geological and geomorphological history of the Etosha region in northern Namibia. The long-term evolution of this Iandscape is characterized by a) the Precambrian to earIy Palaeozoic orogeny (Damara Orogeny, Owamboland Basin), b) a long period of geoIogical consolidation and consequently c) a long period of tectonically more or less uneffected terrestrial erosion and denudation and the evolution of the Etosha Basin depocentre.
Surface carbonate occurrences from the Etosha Pan and its surrounding areas have been classified as pedogenic calcrete, evaporitic calcrete, chalks, stromatolites or sinter. The classification was based on field evidence and profile-morphologic criteria, supplemented by laboratory analysis. Stable isotope analysis of the samples collected from these occurrences show a good relation between 13 C and 18 O for all types of samples. The different types show a clear separation of isotope values.
Available speleological and biospeleologic data for the Etosha National Park are summarised. Aikab hemicenote is descriptionbed and mapped. It contains the second largest subterranean lake in southern Africa, at 0.9 ha. Tourist development of the already protected and ecologically robust Aikab is suggested as a counter measure to discourage development of other unprotected and ecologically sensitive cave Iakes in Namibia Information on the most possible location of the 'lost' Achawachab Cave is presented to stimulate efforts to find it. At least seven other minor karst phenomena are treated.
There is an urgent need in developing countries like Namibia for investigations in order to give a consolidated background for adequate management and future land use planning ativities. Soil in particular, as the basis for plant and animal life, needs special attention and protection, both to guarantee human food supply as well as species diversity especially in protected areas like the Etosha National Park.
Soil saIinization is a serious eco-pedological limiting factor, particularly for plants sensitive to even very low salt concentrations. In the Etosha National Park in northern Namibia eight soil types can be distinguished that show different levels of the electrical conductivity (EC5) and a typical vertical distribution of salts in the soil profile.
Because of the possibility of long-terrn desiccation and resulting ecological problems in southern Africa, analyses of spatial variability and temporal periodicity of rainfall are of great importance. Rainfall in the Etosha National Park and surrounding areas in northern Namibia decreases from east to west and rainfall isohyets show a nearly meridional arrangement
Within the Etosha National Park major differences have been found in the chemical quality of water at waterholes. The waterholes in the Wes and South of the Park, descriptionbed as alkaline earth - hydrogencarbonate water, provide water with low and constant electric conductivities. This water's overall chemical quality meets the guidelines (Department of Water Affairs 1991) for human consumption as well as for stockwatering.
The objective nf this paper is to identify the pattern of groundwater flow in the southern part of the Etosha Basin in northern Namibia by using the comprehensive knowledge of the chemical composition of groundwater in the Etosha National Park. The Etosha Basin, which extends from northern Namibia into southern Angola is the northwestern outlier of the large inland depocentre of the Kalahari Basin. For the characterization of the groundwater chemistry, the unit referred to is the equivalent percent concentration (meq%/1).
Studies of wildebeest Connochaetes taurinus ecology (1975-78) concluded that human activities, notably fencing off of former migration routes, eliminated the ability of wildebeest to migrate. This reduced a population, estimated at 25 000 in 1955, to 3 790 when fencing of Etosha was completed in 1973.
A survey of the diversity and ecology of Namibian fungi was initiated in 1991 and is presently ongoing. This paper is a discussion of fungal ecology, utilizing the fungi collected to date in the Etosha National Park as examples. The majority of macro-fungi collected in a single sampling of the Okaukuejo region following rains were decomposers of various substrates: fallen Colophospermum mopane twigs, leaves and branches; buried grass detritus; zebra, horse and elephant dung.