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Marsh or Helmeted Terrapins

Turtles | Namibia

Introduction: Marsh or Helmeted Terrapins belong to the Family Pelomedusidae. They are medium-sized side-necked terrapins and can often be found in temporary pans such as in Etosha Pan and other slow moving and still waters. They migrate to vleis after good rains and are often victims of road kill. They can live for up to 16 years, a long time for such a reptile. Perhaps their unpleasant, musky smell has something to do with their longevity, as they are not a favoured food source for humans.

Distribution: Absent from permanent waters inhabited by crocs, probably due to their thin shell. They are present in most of northern and central Namibia less for the Namib Desert.

Diet: An omnivorous creature it will eat almost anything including insects, frogs and water weed. In Etosha Pan it ambushes, drowns and eats doves and sand grouse drinking at the water's edge, in a similar attacking fashion to that of a crocodile.

Colouring: A uniform olive to dark brown shell with black undersides and a dark head.

Breeding: Males chase females in the water where mating takes place. Some 10 to 30 elongated, soft-shelled eggs and laid in a traditional flask-shaped pit. The female will urinate on hard soil to dig if the ground is hard. Young are hatched after about 100 days in rain affected soil.

Size: Total length male 200mm. Female 325mm.

Anderssons Camp

A mid market lodge, situated on the Ongava Private Reserve, very close to the main, Andersson, entrance to Etosha Park

Dolomite Camp

On a small hill on the extreme western side of Etosha - Dolomite is the newest (and fifth camp) to open within the park boundaries. It is a smaller lodge as opposed to the traditional resort feel of the other camps within the park

Eagle Tented Camp

Value for money accommodation in a well designed tented camp

Epacha Game Lodge and Spa

Traditional slightly formal up-market lodge. Situated on same property as Eagle Tented Camp

Etosha Safari Camp

Only 10km's from the park, Etosha Safari Camp offers good quality budget accommodation

Etosha Safari Lodge

Within 10km of the Etosha entrance this mid-range lodge offers an ideal base from which to explore the park

Etosha Village

40 Room lodge only 4km from the park. Offers self catering units and a restaurant

Etotongwe Lodge

Etotongwe Lodge is situated in the northern Namibian town of Outjo. This is 94kms south of the world-famous Etosha NP. Stopover here on your way to explore the country's most visited tourist attraction.


One of the five camps situated inside the park, generally less popular with visitors than Okaukuejo or Namutoni but has the advantage of a secluded quiet spot lit waterhole

Hobatere Lodge

On the far western edge of the park, just outside the Galton Gate, this is an excellent location to explore Etosha, Damaraland and the remote Kaokoland area

Little Ongava

Luxury accommodation, each unit with private pool, great place to spoil yourself. Guided tours on private nature reserve and inside Etosha Park

Mondjila Safari Camp

Value for money self drive option situated 32km from the park

Mopane Village Etosha

Accommodation in permanently erected tents, 14km south of the park


Extremely popular and busy accommodation inside the park with a good spot-lit waterhole, great choice if location is deciding factor on where to stay

Olifantsrus Campsite

A brand new campsite inside Etosha Park. No accommodation is available here and this only caters for self-sufficient campers. A highlight of the camp is the unique hide which overlooks the camps waterhole

Ongava Lodge

Upmarket accommodation, situated on private game reserve with easy access to the National Park

Ongava Tented Camp

On the same property as Ongava Lodge, but offering a more traditional tented safari style experience

Toshari Lodge

Once called Etosha Gateway lodge this is a budget accommodation option which has recently been renovated.

Vreugde Guest Farm

This small family owned and managed guest farm is situated in easy driving distance of Etosha. The tranquil gardens and homely atmosphere make for a relaxed stay far from the crowds of the more commercial lodges

Namibia Tours