​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 opinion Etosha is a very safe travel destination. Crime of any sort within the park is almost unheard of.

The roads to Etosha, and inside the park, are generally in good condition and self-drive safaris are a popular option. There are long distances between settlements, so fill your petrol tank whenever you get the opportunity and always carry plenty of water with you.

To obtain the most up-to-date information about safety in Namibia, it is worth checking the travel advisories (see the ‘Safety & Security – Namibia’ link below).

Malaria & Vaccinations

Malaria does occur in Etosha – the risk is low from May to September and increases in the wet months from October to April. During these months it is recommended to take antimalarials and also to take precautions such as covering up in the evening and applying mosquito repellent (those containing DEET are most effective). It is recommended to visit a travel clinic before coming to Namibia. Several vaccinations are recommended and usually administered before your departure and a yellow fever vaccine is required when traveling from a country with high risk of transmission.

Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife viewing is very safe. Incidents are very rare and easily avoided; self-drive visitors should familiarize themselves with the rules of the park and those on a guided tour should listen to their guide’s instructions. There are many elephants in the park and it is important not to drive between a herd or approach them too closely.

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