Etosha National Park Travel Guide

posted 3rd November 2017 by Danica Wilson in Travel guides

Our guide to

Etosha National Park Safaris

An Etosha safari holiday is something special.

It’s sheer size (22,270 square kilometres) means you won’t cover every inch of ground during your stay, so just immerse yourself whilst here to make the most of every moment.  The extensive mineral pans in Etosha and its perennial springs attract hordes of wildlife. There’s a diversity of environments with grasslands, woodlands and savannahs.

In Etosha, you will see greatness with the majestic elephant, important to remember you won’t see buffalo.  Predators here are in strong numbers with leopard, lion, hyena, cheetah and caracal to name a few.


The plains game are in abundance and waterhole viewing is rather exciting as you watch in anticipation animals approach the water hole with caution, checking for predators before quickly drinking and moving on. You will likely see giraffe, eland, the iconic oryx, kudu, springbok, gemsbok, zebra and some impressive bird numbers (around 340 species recorded give or take) and types. When the rains come early in the year, the pans gather water which in turn attracts flamingos in great numbers. 

Etosha is home to endangered and rare species like rhino and they thrive here particularly black rhino. Roan antelope and red hartebeest can also be seen.

So you see, Etosha National Park is the ultimate location for a Namibia safari.

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Leopard big five safaris wheeler
Rhino at the waterhole, Anderssons Camp Etosha
Images courtesy of our guests

How to get around Etosha

There are multiple ways to experience an Etosha National Park safari holiday.  

If you seek freedom to explore at your own pace, a Namibia self drive holiday may suit. It’s easy to create a circuit safari holiday that takes you to Namibia’s highlights and hidden gems, keeping in mind the vast distances. We recommend two safari lodges or camps in different sections of Etosha, ideally one inside the national park and one on a private reserve so you have the opportunity to see the diversity of wildlife and ecosystems. A four to six night Etosha safari offers the ultimate wildlife safari experience.

Why not join one of our hand-picked Namibia small group tours. Alternatively, if you are wanting the effortless Namibia safari with the expertise of a great Namibian naturalist guide, we recommend private guided Namibia safari in 4×4. This sees you ‘on tour’ essentially enjoying a Namibia safari with your very own guide and travelling in the comfort of an air conditioned, kitted out 4×4 vehicle at your own pace, going where you want to go.  

Regardless of your preferred holiday style, we will make your Namibia safari dream a reality and effortless from start to finish. You will be met the moment you arrive by our guest services team, assisted to vehicles for road transfers, great accommodation options, easy light aircraft travel and your preference of stay basis, from bed and breakfast to fully inclusive.

The fun begins when we start talking with you about your dream Namibia safari, where you want to go, the way you wish to travel and all the various types of accommodations in Namibia.

Top Five in Etosha

  1. Etosha National Park game drives – even if you stay in a private concession outside Etosha, you really have to go into the primary park in 4×4 to see what all the fuss is about
  2. Waterhole viewing at night is a real treat and Etosha has three floodlit waterholes where you can continue the Namibia safari magic well into the night
  3. Etosha pan itself is enormous taking up around 25% of the actual park, now that’s big!
  4. Birdwatching in Etosha is rather special with 340 species and 46 of those are raptors. Wet season sees flamingos coming through and impressive flocks of species like Queleas
  5. Etosha can be hot, dusty and nothing beats a sundowner drink by the campfire and a boma dinner – slow cooked food in the bush and under a starry sky

Accommodation in Etosha

You can stay inside the park or outside on private reserves. There are pros and cons for both and that’s why we always recommend experiencing at least two different properties during your stay.  

Inside the Park

Etosha accommodation is government run camps, hugely popular for location and affordability. Rooms are chalet or bungalow in style with ensuite facilities and serviced rooms ideal for family safaris and Namibia self driving holidays.

Outside the Park

The Namibia luxury safari lodges skirt around the outside of Etosha National Park in private reserves and here, you escape the crowds and budget campers and can game drive morning, afternoon and night and get off-road. Downside of course is to see Etosha proper, you need to drive and enter the gates paying park fees enroute or we include them for a few visits to maximise the experience.

Best time to visit Etosha

Etosha Safaris are possible and importantly, fantastic throughout the year. In the dry winter months the wildlife congregate more around the waterholes. November to March herald the rains and it’s ideal for birding and birthing not to mention the young species fighting for survival. Keep in mind it can be very hot.

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