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3-Day Etosha Safari Tours

4.4/5  –  142 Etosha Reviews

Etosha National Park in northern Namibia would easily make any list of the top five wildlife areas in southern Africa. It has fantastic wildlife for a start, including lion, elephant, black rhino and so much more. But it’s also the landscapes here that are so special because they’re completely unlike anywhere else you can imagine. Its combination of vast salt pans and big herds of animals makes for some fascinating encounters, from elephants caked in the Etosha dust to black rhinos communing around waterholes after dark. And on a 3-day Etosha safari, you should have enough time to see it all.

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1-7 of 7 Etosha National Park 3-day trips, itineraries, holidays, packages & vacations

5 Questions About 3-Day Etosha Safaris


5 Questions About 3-Day Etosha Safaris

Answered by Anthony Ham

Is 3 days a good length for an Etosha trip?

“You could spend weeks exploring Etosha National Park and still want more, but 3 days here is an excellent way to start. Three days allow you to have 1 full day and 2 nights in the park, which should give you enough time for at least four game drives, possibly more. On the first day you will travel to the park. To make the most of your limited time here, try to arrive early. That will leave the rest of day 1, all of day 2 and at least half of day 3 to enjoy the park. On day 3, you’ll leave Etosha, but hopefully it’s quite late in the day. While 3 days are certainly enough for getting to know Etosha, it’s also a bare minimum. If you’re able to, I would strongly recommend allocating more time here. That’s because this is a really large park, and the longer you are here, the more you can see and the greater your chances of enjoying a spectacular wildlife experience.”


Which activities are available on a 3-day safari in Etosha?

“The main activity when you’re on safari in Etosha is likely to be a game drive. If you’re on a group or private safari, that will mean going out to look for animals with a guide and a driver in a 4WD safari vehicle. These vehicles usually have open sides, a canvas roof and tiered seating. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see Etosha’s wildlife and learn about it from an expert guide. If, on the other hand, you’re on a self-drive safari, then you’ll be the guide and the driver. It will be up to you to find the animals, but that’s not difficult in Etosha, and you’ll have the freedom to stay at each sighting for as long as you want. If you’re staying in one of the conservancies or private game reserves next to the national park but still a part of the same ecosystem, you might also be able to go on a walking safari or enjoy a cultural visit to a nearby town or community.”


What are the lodges like in Etosha?

“Etosha has an excellent range of accommodation, and lodges are at the heart of what the park has to offer. Most lodges are in the upper mid-range to top-end price categories, although most are located just outside the national park. Some of these are in the adjacent private game reserves, which are quieter than the main park and its accommodation, but you still have easy access to the park itself. Most have swimming pools, restaurants, bars and other facilities. Not all are lodges: some come in the form of tented camps, where you sleep in safari tents. The national park has a number of sprawling, fenced park-run accommodation centers in or just outside the park. These are much cheaper and have everything from campsites to lodge rooms. Some also have a swimming pool, restaurant and bar, and even a small grocery store for supplies. Many overlook waterholes and these are the best places to see the black rhinos and other animals come and drink after dark.”


Should I choose a guided or self-drive safari to visit Etosha?

“Whether you choose a guided or self-drive safari, either is an excellent option. They just offer different experiences and you need to decide which one best suits the kind of safari you want to enjoy. A guided safari takes two forms: the private or group safari. On a private safari tour, you have your own vehicle, driver and guide. On a group safari, you’ll share these with other travelers. The advantage of a guided safari is that you can learn so much from your guide, drawing on their experience with animals and local culture. Everything is also done for you. On a self-drive safari, you’ll have your own vehicle and you will be your own guide and driver. It means that you won’t have a guide to show you around and explain everything to you. You also won’t share the road with other like-minded safari travelers. But you will have lots of freedom to go where you want and decide how long you stay at each animal sighting.”


How much does a 3-day Etosha safari cost?

“There are so many variables that go into the cost of a 3-day Etosha safari that it is only possible to give a broad outline of possible costs. For a budget camping safari, prices start at around US$175 to US$200 per person per day. A luxury safari can cost as much as US$1,000 per person per day. How much you pay will depend on many factors. One of these is accommodation: a budget campsite is obviously much cheaper than a five-star luxury lodge. Another variable is the type of safari: private safaris are much more expensive than the group or self-drive variety. Other things to consider when calculating cost are the season when you travel and how many people there are in your traveling party (small groups cost more). One final thing: always make sure that you understand what’s included in the quoted price of your safari and what’s excluded. As a general rule, your guide and driver (for group and private safaris), vehicle, accommodation (including camping equipment), game drives, meals, water and some drinks should all be included. But always ask.”


Etosha Reviews

4.4/5 142 Reviews
Mike Unwin  –  
United Kingdom UK

Mike is an award-winning wildlife writer, former editor of Travel Zambia magazine and author of the Bradt Guide to Southern African Wildlife.

White dust and waterholes

Etosha’s harsh landscape is not to everyone’s taste: the wilderness of dusty, rubble-strewn thorn scrub surrounding the vast, featureless salt pan is impressive rather than beautiful. The wildlife, however, is consistently outstanding...

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Emma Gregg  –  
United Kingdom UK

Emma is an award-winning travel writer for Rough Guides, National Geographic Traveller, Travel Africa magazine and The Independent.

Herds in the heat haze

Namibia’s flagship park, Etosha, is easily one of the finest places in the world to watch wildlife, and one of my personal favourites. I’d recommend spending several days here. The park’s dominant feature is the 120-km wide Etosha...

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Graycha Levi  –  
United States US
Reviewed: May 12, 2023
It is breathtaking. Unique and beautiful place.I love everything the wildlife and the nature amazing

Etosha is home to a range of wonderful species, black rhinos, lions and elephants. The reserve is doing a excellent work protecting, rehabilitating the animals. The service was excellent respectful staff. Accommodation was amazing, the...

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Phil Atkinson  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Oct 4, 2022

Just an amazing place teeming with wildlife but you had to make the effort too which added to the fun. Plenty of people but it was so big you never really noticed. Reasonable food, drink and accommodation to be had there too within the park...

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Leigh  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Aug 12, 2019
Happy to have been. An abundance of animals and viewing spots, barren landscape and bumpy roads.

I visited the Etosha National Park from a campsite outside the main gate. Even before reaching the first Lodge inside the park I had seen two lions. The roads were quite drivable, even in a two wheeled car. There were plenty of watering...

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dennis.zaebst  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Aug 11, 2019
Spectacular and exciting photographic tour site

When I visited Etosha NP in May and June 2017, the weather was beautiful; highs in the mid-70s (F), dry and pleasant, and there had been recent rains which brought the flowers evident in so many of my photographs. The large animals were...

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