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Etosha National Park

Etosha National Park

Etosha National Park is one of Southern Africa’s best loved wildlife sanctuaries and one of Africa’s most easily accessible parks for a self drive game viewing experience.  With 114 species of mammal and 340 bird species, you are sure to see a great variety of wildlife on your safari, including several rare and endangered species such as the black rhino and black-faced impala.

Etosha, meaning ‘place of dry water’, encloses a huge dry pan of some 5 000km².  Productive waterholes fringe the edges of the pan sustaining a high density of large mammals from elephant and lion to vast herds of springbok, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe and gemsbok.  Usually a shimmering white horizon, come the rains the pan fills with water, stimulating the growth of blue-green algae attracting thousands of beautiful pink flamingoes to waft in.

With excellent roads, Etosha is a perfect self drive venue where a wait at the edge of a waterhole will be well rewarded as game approaches through the shimmering haze.  If you prefer to have a guided safari, there are superb lodges in Etosha to provide this service.

Bordering Etosha is the wonderful Ongava Private Game Reserve with large concentrations of wildlife, known for successful reintroductions of white and black rhino and spectacular luxury camps.  Take a look at our itineraries that incorporate these fabulous locations to celebrate the special occasion in your life.

 

at a glance

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Introduction

Etosha National Park lies in the vast arid space of Northern Namibia and is one of Southern Africa’s best loved wildlife sanctuaries. It offers excellent game viewing in one of Africa’s most accessible self drive venues.   Zebra and springbok are scattered across the endless horizon, while the many waterholes attract endangered black rhinoceros, lion, elephant and large numbers of antelope.

Etosha, meaning ‘place of dry water’, it encloses a huge, flat calcrete depression (or pan) of about 5 000km². The ‘Pan’ provides a great, parched, silver-white backdrop of shimmering mirages to an area of semi-arid savannah grassland and thorn scrub. The pan itself contains water only after very good rains and sometimes for only a few days each year, but is enough to stimulate the growth of a blue-green algae which lures thousands of flamingos.

On the southern boundary of Etosha National Park and forming a buffer to the Park lies Ongava Game Reserve, a    30, 000-hectare private reserve. It is a haven to large concentrations of wildlife: notably lion, wildebeest, springbok, gemsbok, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, red hartebeest, giraffe, eland and the largest population of the endemic black-faced impala outside of Etosha. The Reserve is also known for the successful reintroduction of white and black rhino. Birdlife is prolific with 340 species seen,amongst them ten of Namibia’s 14 endemic bird species including White-tailed Shrike, Short-toed Rock Thrush, Hartlaub’s Francolin, Rüppell’s Parrot and raptors in abundance. Ongava also provides easy access to the prime game viewing areas of western Etosha, Namibia’s premier wildlife destination.

 

When To Visit

Every single month is worth a journey to Namibia. Most visitors prefer to travel during the months May to October. It hardly ever rains and the visitor can enjoy the uninterrupted sunshine, except at the foggy coast. The climate is moderate and during the day it does not get extremely hot. Nevertheless it can get very cold in the evenings.

January, February, March

These mid Summer months tend to be the wettest and hottest.  This is the time when rainfall is expected.  Temperatures can be 30-35degC peaking to over 40degC in the desert.  This can make travel a little uncomfortable.  Torrential downpours can occur in the mountains causing flash floods in the valleys.  Once the rains start wildlife viewing in Etosha can be poor because of animal dispersals.

April, May

These are often lovely months in Namibia. Increasingly dry, with a real freshness in the air, and greenery in the landscape; at this time the air is clear and largely free from dust, allowing superb photography.  Game viewing is getting better and travel gets easier as roads that may have been damaged during rainfall are repaired.

June, July, August

This is Namibia’s winter.  Nights can become cold, incredibly dropping to below zero giving frosts in Etosha and the mountain regions.  With the drying conditions the wildlife in the north starts heading towards the permanent water, so making for better wildlife viewing.  It is peak season for game viewing with visitor numbers increasing.

September, October

Temperatures are rising and game-viewing in most areas is at its best, although there’s often a lot of dust around and the high temperatures are starting to take their toll on the vegetation

November, December

November can be a variable month for weather. Some years the hot dry weather continues and other times by early November rain clouds can be forming.  If rains do occur this can be quite a dramatic experience.

December temperatures are high averaging 30 degC, some days may be humid with localized thunderstorms usually in the afternoon especially in the center and east of the country.  Desert regions remain dry.

 

 

Temperature & Rainfall

Climate Data – Etosha

Etosha Highlights

Black Rhino

Black Rhino

Black Rhino

Okaukeujo Waterhole is right next to the Okaukeujo rest camp. It is floodlit and draws the shy ...

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Black Rhino

Black Rhino

Okaukeujo Waterhole is right next to the Okaukeujo rest camp. It is floodlit and draws the shy black Okaukuejo rhino almost every night as well as numerous elephants, especially between June and December.

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Private Reserves

Private Reserves

Private Reserves

Private reserves such as Ongava are located on the fringes of Etosha National Park, where lodges ...

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Private Reserves

Private Reserves

Private reserves such as Ongava are located on the fringes of Etosha National Park, where lodges offer day and night-time guided game viewing, bush walks and tracking wildlife on foot.

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Pink Flamingoes

Pink Flamingoes

Pink Flamingoes

After the heavy rains Etosha’s huge salt pans transform into a beautiful lake, attracting large ...

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Pink Flamingoes

Pink Flamingoes

After the heavy rains Etosha’s huge salt pans transform into a beautiful lake, attracting large flocks of balletic pink flamingos.

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Waterhole Game Viewing

Waterhole Game Viewing

Waterhole Game Viewing

Water is an important ingredient for survival and most animals will drink daily. So naturally, the ...

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Waterhole Game Viewing

Waterhole Game Viewing

Water is an important ingredient for survival and most animals will drink daily. So naturally, the best places to spot game is near sources of water. All the major waterholes in Etosha have areas for visitors to park their vehicles and watch the animals come down to drink and some of them are floodlit for 24-hour game viewing.

The huge saltpan and grassy plains of Etosha are home to the Big 5, as well as plains game of giraffe and springbok, including more unusual species like the black faced impala.

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Guided Game Drives

Guided Game Drives

Guided Game Drives

On guided 4 x 4 game drives, guests experience fascinating perspectives of wildlife in Etosha. ...

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Guided Game Drives

Guided Game Drives

On guided 4 x 4 game drives, guests experience fascinating perspectives of wildlife in Etosha. Up-to-date information is received on game movement and therefore guests have a high success rate for spotting game.

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Self Drive Safari

Self Drive Safari

Self Drive Safari

Etosha is perfect for a self-drive safari with camps located inside the park. Sitting by a ...

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Self Drive Safari

Self Drive Safari

Etosha is perfect for a self-drive safari with camps located inside the park. Sitting by a waterhole can be the most rewarding method of game viewing, as sooner or later the wildlife congregates there.

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camps & lodges

Anderssons Camp

Anderssons Camp

Andersson’s Camp was named after Swedish explorer Charles Andersson – one of the first Europeans to ‘discover’ Etosha, Africa’s largest ... Read More

Mushara Outpost

Mushara Outpost

Mushara Outpost accommodates 16 guests in eight luxury custom-made tent-like wood and canvas structures which are nestled on the banks of an ancient ... Read More

Ongava Lodge

Ongava Lodge

Ongava Lodge is situated along the southern boundary of Etosha National Park and within the privately owned 30,000 hectare Ongava Game Reserve. ... Read More

Ongava Tented Camp

Ongava Tented Camp

Ongava Tented Camp is situated along the southern boundary of Etosha National Park, and within the privately owned 30,000 hectare Ongava Game ... Read More