Etosha National Park

- Overview Etosha Safaris

About Etosha National Park

Etosha is Namibia’s best park for wildlife watching and is characterized by the vast, saline Etosha Pan. During the Dry season the waterholes around the pan become crowded with large concentrations of animals. Four of the Big Five are present, only buffalo is absent. During the Wet season, the animals are dispersed and wildlife viewing isn't as productive. Etosha’s floodlit waterholes provide a rare opportunity for nighttime wildlife-watching.

Size: help
22,158km² / 8,555mi²
Altitude: help
1,061-1,451m / 3,481-4,760ft
Pros and Cons
  • Exceptional wildlife viewing during the Dry season
  • Unique opportunity to view animals at night at floodlit waterholes
  • Easy self-drive destination
  • Several accommodation options catering to different budgets
  • Wildlife viewing isn't productive during the Wet season
  • Rest camps catering to self-drive visitors make it less exclusive
  • Very hot climate

Wildlife

Wildlife viewing is outstanding in the Dry season (May to October) when animals congregate around the waterholes. Elephants are abundant. Big herds of blue wildebeest, zebra, springbok and gemsbok are often seen drinking together at a waterhole. Giraffe and eland might join as well. Big cats are spotted at dawn and dusk and black-backed jackels are very common. There are, however, no buffalos, hippos, crocodiles or monkeys.
More about the wildlife

Scenery

Translated as 'Great White Place', Etosha takes its name from the enormous Etosha Pan – a large silvery-white salt pan that acquires a thin layer of salted water after heavy rains. The water becomes deep enough for the pan to act as a breeding ground for greater and lesser flamingos. It is the artificial waterholes and natural springs, among the grassy plains and mopane woodland that attract most of the wildlife.

Weather & Climate

The semi-desert landscape of Etosha is almost bereft of rainfall during the Dry season (May to October). Temperatures can go as low as 7°C/45°F in the early morning for most of this season; only in September and October does the weather start to get hot. Etosha’s Wet season (November to April) continues with the heat, with nighttime temperatures of around 17°C/63°F.
More about the weather and climate

Best Time to Visit

Animals congregate around Etosha’s centerpiece pan and waterholes in the Dry season (May to October). The plentiful wildlife and generally good weather means the park gets quite crowded at this time, which is reflected in the prices that apply to visitors. However, while wildlife watching is more challenging in the wetter months, there’s far less dust and haziness, and you have the chance to see the results of recent breeding.
More about the best time to visit

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Safari Reviews

- Etosha
Expert Rating
Wildlife
Scenic beauty
Bush vibe help
Birding
User Rating
Wildlife
Scenic beauty
Bush vibe help
Birding
Latest User Review
By Sterna999 from AustriaAT
Rating:
 10 Aug 2017Reviewed:

I saw so many impressive animals in such a short time it is just incredible! I hardly got any sleep, not wanting to miss any movements around the moon-lit waterholes at the camps in the NP. Also on the road, you never knew what surprise would come ne... Full review


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