Etosha National Park- User Reviews
This is one of Africa's iconic game parks
Etosha is one of Southern Africa's iconic game parks. Namibia is a very safe country to visit, the main tarred roads are good although the dirt roads need caution and preferably a four wheel drive. The wildlife is easy to see with a good selection of mammals, the bird life is exceptional so it is worth self driving around the park and taking one's time to look at them all. There are excellent bird books and apps for smart phones to help identify them all. The landscape is generally flat and arid with very little dense vegetation making game viewing easy. The southern hemisphere spring around September is a good time to visit, the weather is warm during the day and the nights are cool, it rarely rains at this time of the year. Accomodation is good, clean and comfortable with a choice of camping and various levels of chalet depending on the budget. It does need to be booked well in advance as it is a very popular destination. The camps all have WiFi and cell phone coverage. The main camps serve barbecues and buffet food which is freshly prepared and good quality. Food allergies and sensitivities can be catered for. A choice of game meats is available with South African wines and local beers. The camps have well maintained swimming pools for cooling off in the afternoons. The staff are all friendly and helpful, and the guides are knowlegeable if you choose to go on night drives etc. The highlight for me was the birding, 132 species seen in 14 days and some award winning photos to bring back!... more
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 next...
A multiday adventure in Namibia
When visiting Etosha, try to plan your stay for several days. the park has multiple camps (with bungalows and tent places) from where you can discover the wild life of Etosha.
The Etosha N.P. has several waterholes which, during drought, are roamed by zebra's, giraffes, lions, rhino buffalo, leopards and so on. All these waterholes are near the roads making this is almost a guarantee to see a great variety of animals.
I was in Etosha for 4 days and stayed for the first days at the Okaukuejo camp. On the campsite is a large swimming pool and small stores where you can buy food, drinks and books about the park and animal recognition.
During the day I joined various safari's where you follow the dirt road at slow pace and hold at every waterhole.
This campsite also has its own waterhole. My advice is to visit it after sunset. Its easily accessible and the spectator area is on a rocky hill giving a beautiful overview of the waterhole and area.
This was our first encounter with a leopards who came for a drink.
My second destination was the Halali-camp which also has its own large waterhole. During the day I (obviously) went on safari where we found a pride of Lions. In the evening we went on a 3
5-hour night safari where you go off the road with jeeps and red flashlights.
Overall I enjoyed my stay and will go there again in the future.... more
Abundance of wildlife in a vast arid landscape - a unique setting for a nature lover.
The Etosha National Park remains one of the largest natural habitats with a large variety of animals and birds. The scenery is unique with the Etosha Pan (dried lake) to the north and variety of habitats along the southern shoreline. Sunny weather through most of the year provides travelers (and particularly photographers) with great viewing opportunities. Luxury accommodation to basic camping facilities are available. Opportunity to self drive and pace ones trip is an added bonus.
Etosha is wonderfull !
I stayed 2 days in Etosha national park including 2 nights at one of the campings. It was wonderfull, we saw a lot of animal, elephants, girafes, lion, ... the waterhole at the camping was one of my favorite places in Namibia !
Fine park must see!!!
We went in the wet season and there were less big animals, I think it’s better in the dry season because they have to come to the water holes.
Etosha National Park, with its waterholes, is a wildlife experience, ideal for a self-drive holiday
Etosha is a vast National Park with 4 lodges within the park (Dolomite; Okaukuejo; Halali and Namutoni, travelling west to east) and a handful just outside the gates. The lodges are government-run and are not at the luxury end of accommodation. The largest is Okaukuejo with its iconic illuminated waterhole. In September we found it to be fairly busy: the accommodation, however, was very good with air conditioning. We were close to the camp site and only a short walk to the waterhole. The food is generally fine and the staff were always pleasant and helpful. The only mild criticism would be that the shop is poorly stocked and geared to campers. We could park our 4x4 right outside our chalet door. Most visitors were self-drive but there were a few huge trucks with 12 or so people on the camp site. Those who didn't wish to drive through the Park took advantage of the various guided tours. In terms of service in Etosha in general, one has to be tolerant. The service in the modern-looking restaurant at Halali was hopeless. It is the wildlife, however, that visitors come to see.
There is no point looking for hippos or crocs: there are none. Leopards and cheetahs are more or less impossible to find without a guide but the herds of elephants; zebra; wildebeest and oryx are superb. Solitary male lions and prides are a great sight, let alone rhinos slowly joining giraffes, elephants, jackals and springbok at the waterholes. The oryx, kudu, impala, Hartebeest and hyenas add to the rich tapestry. Driving along the road there are frequent sightings of Pale Chanting Goshawks; bee eaters and eagles (including the Martial Eagle).
A great thing about Etosha is that traffic is light. At the Goas waterhole there two other vehicles where we watched some 200+ zebras and around 80 kudus drinking: an amazing sight. There was a caracal, but I couldn't spot it. One aspect, rarely mentioned, is the silence at a waterhole: to hear the sound of hooves on stones as zebras approach or the splash of water, the snorting, is enchanting. The roar of a lion is something else! At the waterholes it is so marvellous to see the giraffes, elephant and rhino in particular slowly approaching, unhurried. This is especially so at sunset with the sun behind (the best for this Okaukuejo as night driving is forbidden and proximity to accommodation is vital). The illuminated waterhole at Okaukuejo is amazing at night. The hierarchy of 'rights' can be fascinating. Giraffes take a long time to have the confidence to drink but there was no panic as the roar of a lion filled the air: they stood up, faced one direction with ears pricked and slowly moved off as the lions approached.
The scenery in Etosha is nothing spectacular, of course, being fairly flat. The salt pan can be very dramatic with, perhaps, a dozen ostriches crossing the blazing white salt. There are many areas of bush and of light woodland in which one might suddenly come across a herd of 100 or so zebra: this type of vista is as compelling as seeing a herd in the open. To drive for ten minutes seeing little and then to see a male lion under a thorn bush or indeed a rhino is amazing. There is a degree of luck involved, of course as they can easily be missed. The herds of elephants are dramatic. In some areas they are very dark coloured, in others almost white from dust from the salt pan.
Amazingly, there a few small saloon cars around. A 4x4 would be the norm, giving height and ability to cope better with the rougher roads (the roads around the Goas waterhole were very rough but OK in a 4x4). The Park is so dramatic that after a 3 night stay, we stayed outside the eastern gate and re-entered it for another half day. If visiting Namibia and doing 'the circuit' over a fortnight, do finish the trip with Etosha rather than begin it ... leave the (fantastic) country on a high.
Best place on earth to see black rhinos. Okaukuejo waterhole is the best waterhole on earth (saw 3 of 5 big 5, lion, black rhino and elephant). Clear routes. Depends on the time you drive, is hardly to see good sightings. Possibility to see rare sightings like Rock Monitor Lizard.
Etosha National Park is quite a unique place - we got to see a lot of animals in their natural habitat. One morning when we left very early (6ish) from one of the camps we even saw a leopard perched on a tree, enjoying the scenic view (or maybe eyeing a kudu ...). We can really recommend staying several days in the camps, as there are water holes at each camp and animals do really show up at those. We even saw two rhinos at a waterhole at night (around 9pm) so patience really pays off.