Besides the wide range of mammals, the abundant bird life and the diverse plant life that occurs within Etosha National Park, not to mention the Etosha Pan itself, there are a number of other aspects in the park, which might be of interest to the would be traveler. These include the Fairy Tale Forest, The Seven Soldiers commemoration plaque, The Thirstland Trekkers grave site, The Halali Stone Memorial and The Namutoni Memorial.
Fairy Tale Forest / Sprokieswoud (in Afrikaans)
Unique to Namibia, the Sprokiesboom (fairy-tale tree) goes by the Latin name of Moringa ovalifolia. This interesting species belongs to a family of 9 found in southern Africa, north-eastern Africa, Madagascar and India.
Usually these trees occur only on mountain slopes and hills and Etosha is the only place where they are found growing en masse on the plains in an area of about one square kilometre just west of Okaukuejo on the road to Grünewald waterhole. Their upside down appearance is similar to that of the Baobab tree except their bark is silvery and covered in knobbly protrusions. This eerie appearance is how they earned the name – fairy-tale tree.
The San believe that the trees were thrown from heaven in anger and landed upside down on earth.
Growing up to seven metres tall, the species is very common in the hills of northern Namibia and are considered a delicacy by the local elephants, which uproot them with great success to devour the succulent roots and pulpy bark.
The Seven Soldiers of Namutoni
At the entrance to Fort Namutoni is a plaque commemorating those who lost their lives defending this fort.
The Thirstland Trekkers
The grave of Mrs. JEM Albert, buried in 1876 is located at the Rietfontein waterhole. This is the single reminder of the shattered dreams of the many trekkers from the Transvaal who lost their lives here in search of a new and prosperous life.
Halali Stone Memorial
At the entrance to the office at Halali Rest Camp, the six officials who died here during a census in 1 June 1982 are commemorated by a stone memorial. These people lost their lives when a light aircraft crashed down in the residential area at Halali.
Diagonally across from the office at Namutoni is a memorial to four officials who died in a helicopter crash on Andoni Plains.