Malaria & Safety – Etosha NP

Anthony Ham
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the 'Botswana & Namibia' guide.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the 'Botswana & Namibia' Lonely Planet guide.

Anthony is the author of the 'Botswana & Namibia' Lonely Planet guide.


In our view, Namibia is one of the safest countries in Africa. There is very little cause for concern and as long as you behave sensibly you should be absolutely fine. To a certain degree, safety is a matter of personal opinion and experience. We therefore encourage you to form your own opinion by consulting other resources. Your government's travel advice for Namibia would be a good place to start.
The roads to Etosha, and inside the park itself, are generally in good condition so self-drive safaris are a popular option. The population of Namibia is very small and there are long distances between settlements. Fill your petrol tank whenever you get the opportunity, carry plenty of water with you at all times, and consider renting a satellite phone in Windhoek.

Malaria & Vaccinations

Malaria is a concern in Etosha, especially in the wet months from October to April. It is recommended to take antimalarials and also take precautions such as covering up in the evening and applying mosquito repellent containing at least 30% DEET. It is recommended to visit a travel clinic before coming to Namibia. Several vaccinations are required and usually administered before your departure. You will also get advice on malaria.

Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife viewing always brings certain safety risks, but you'll be fine if you listen to the instructions given by your guide and take notice of the 'wildlife viewing safety precautions' below. There are many elephants in the park and it is important not to drive between a herd or approach them too closely.

Further advice on limiting dangers and annoyances when traveling:

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