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Etosha Budget Safari Tours

4.4/5  –  149 Etosha Reviews

There is nowhere quite like Etosha National Park. The landscape here is an intoxicating blend of vast salt pans with their seemingly eternal horizons under a sky of awesome blue. There are wildlife sightings you just don’t get elsewhere. If you’re lucky, you’ll see Etosha’s elephants caked in the white Etosha dust, or rhinos communing around waterholes after dark, or maybe even lions feeding by the water while nervous gazelle herds mill around nearby. Best of all, this is one park where budget travelers will usually get to see all this just as much as those who’ve paid a whole lot more for a luxury safari. Etosha is accessible to everyone.

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1-15 of 15 cheap tours, packages and holidays to Etosha National Park

5 Questions About Etosha Budget Safaris


5 Questions About Etosha Budget Safaris

Answered by Anthony Ham

What is usually included in a budget safari to Etosha National Park?

“It’s really important that, as part of any pre-trip preparations, you get a complete list of what’s included and what’s not included in your Etosha budget safari. Most safari operators will be more than happy to provide such a list. On a budget safari, you’ll either be camping in basic tents in a camping area that has shared facilities, or sleeping in a simple bungalow room, with either a shared or en suite bathroom. Both campsites and the bungalows are, at least in the park’s main camps, part of the same complex. These often have a swimming pool, excursion booking office, restaurant, bar and even a small grocery store. As part of most budget safari tours and packages, you should also get two guided game drives a day, which is when you’ll go out to look for animals in the company of an expert guide. If you’re on a self-drive budget safari, you will be provided with a vehicle, camping reservations and an itinerary.”


What type of accommodation can I expect on cheap Etosha packages?

“There are two main types of accommodation for those on an Etosha budget safari. Both occupy sprawling accommodation complexes, which are run by the park authorities right next to the park gates. There may also be privately owned versions of these camps a little farther afield. If you’re camping, you’ll stay in a campsite (not many have shade, and they can be a little crowded), where you’ll sleep in a basic tent with a ground mattress. All camping areas are fenced to keep the animals out, and have buildings with women’s and men’s separate shower and toilet facilities. There’s usually hot water for the shower. If you are staying in one of the bungalows, you can expect simple rooms that may or may not have en suite bathrooms. Some are part of larger buildings with shared bathrooms and a communal lounge area.”


What are the pros and cons of a self-drive Etosha budget safari?

“There are many benefits to making your Etosha budget safari a self-drive adventure. The most obvious of these is the freedom. Although you’ll have an itinerary and camping reservations, you otherwise have complete freedom to go when and where you want. If you want to stay longer to look at elephants, no one’s going to stop you. Etosha’s tracks are also excellent, so even inexperienced 4x4 drivers should have a great time. The downside of self-drive safaris is that you won’t be accompanied by a guide. That’s not so much of a problem for finding your way around: trails are well marked and maps are available from the park gate. It’s more that you won’t have someone with you to explain what you’re seeing and to help you find the animals. You also won’t have the opportunity to meet other like-minded safari travelers while you’re driving around.”


How much will this safari cost?

“There are lots of different variables (which accommodation you choose, whether it’s a group, private or self-drive safari, and how big your group is) when it comes to calculating the cost of your Etosha budget safari. In general, prices start at around US$125 to US$150 per person per day. On a budget safari of this kind, you can expect that the price you are quoted includes a guide, driver, vehicle, accommodation (including camping fees and equipment), fuel, meals, water, some drinks and game drives. Other things that you will have to pay for, whether they’re part of the quoted cost or not, include park entry fees, a transfer to the starting point of your safari, and another back from its finishing point. If you’re on a really cheap budget camping safari, you may be expected to help with chores around camp. If you’re on a self-drive budget safari, clearly you won’t have to pay for a driver or guide, but you’ll have to pay for your own fuel, and you will be expected to purchase your own supplies.”


Is 3 days a good length of time for a safari in Etosha?

“In my opinion, 3 days is the minimum period of time for an affordable safari holiday in Etosha. Having a few extra days would make it even better. When thinking about this, don’t forget that a 3-day trip means only 2 nights and 1 full day in the park. On day 1, hopefully with an early start, you will travel to Etosha, and on day 3 you will leave, preferably late in the day. Within this time frame, you should get at least four game drives in the park. Etosha is a very large park. With only 3 days at your disposal, you shouldn’t try to see too much. Although in 3 days I would recommend concentrating on getting to know one area of the park really well, you might be able to see two areas and use the drive between the two as a way of seeing more, possibly even combining your transfer with a game drive.”


Etosha Reviews

4.4/5 149 Reviews
Lizzie Williams  –  
South Africa ZA

Lizzie is a reputed guidebook writer and author of the Footprint guides to South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Exceptionally good game-viewing in unusual environments

Etosha means ‘Great White Place’ in the Herero language after the giant, parched and dazzlingly white Etosha Pan. I find this the perfect environment for silhouetting the animals – a lone wildebeest or herd of handsome gemsbok can be...

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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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Grayson  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Jul 5, 2024
Don't Miss Staying Up at the Waterholes

Visited Namibia and Etosha after spending a week in Kenya. While not as game rich or scenic as the parks in Kenya, Etosha certainly has a character in its own. Etosha is unique because of its sprawling dry landscape and its waterholes that...

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Eric de Milliano  –  
Netherlands NL
Reviewed: Jun 4, 2024

Etosha is stunning. It has a great infrastructure but it is a pity that maintenance is apparently not a priority. Roads are poor compared to other parts of the country and the NWS accommodations could use a make over.

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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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