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Etosha National Park

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Earth : Africa : Southern Africa : Namibia : Northern Namibia : Etosha National Park
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Etosha National Park is the 2nd largest of Namibia's game reserves (after Namib-Naukluft National Park, Africa's largest and the worlds 4th largest nature reserve). It spans 20,000km² in Northern Namibia.


Etosha National Park[8] name means "big white place", referring to the Etosha Salt Pan.


Namuntoni: The waterhole in the camp first came to notice of Europeans as the place where travelers John Anderson and Francis Galton camped at the time that they discovered the Etosha Pan in 1851. From 1897 Namutoni served as a control post during the "rinderpest" epidemic. When the epidemic abated it remained a frontier post which supervised trade with Owamboland.


Etosha landscape is quite unique, has different sizes of salt pans and the lush grasslands, which attracts animals, particularly in the drier winter months, because it is a source of water in a very dry land.

Flora and fauna[edit]

Wildlife that can be seen here include: Rhinos, Lions, Zebra, Giraffes, Gemsbok, Springbok, Wildebeest, Elephants, and Jackals.


The Etosha National Park has a savanna desert climate[9]. The annual mean average temperature is 24 °C (75 °F). In winter, the mean nighttime lows are around 10 °C (50 °F), while in summer temperatures often hover around 40 °C (104 °F).

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

  • Hosea Kutako International Airport, (457km from Etosha National Park), +264 61 295 5600 (), [1].  edit
  • Eros International Airport, 3 Aviation Road, Windhoek (418km from Etosha National Park), +264 61 295 5500.  edit
  • Andimba Toivo ya Toivo Airport, Ondangwa (165km from Etosha National Park), +264 65 240 476.  edit

By train[edit]

By bus[edit]

By car[edit]

To visit Etosha, one needs a vehicle. Rent a car at the airport.

Local transport[edit]

Visitors are not permitted to wander around the park (except in the enclosed camping/hotel areas) on foot. The B1 (from either Oshakati or Tsumeb) brings you to the park's eastern gate at Namutoni. The C38, from Outjo bring you to the park's southern gate.

There are also several safari companies operating from Windhoek and Swakopmund, which offer tours of varying length in Etosha. Safari companies are also allowed to enter the western part of the park, which is closed to private visitors.


Fees is subject to change.

Get around[edit]

As mentioned above, you need a vehicle to get around the park. The roads are all well-graded gravel, so there is no need to have a four-wheel drive. Since the dust generated by traffic is damaging to the environment, the speed limit is 60 km/h (37 mph). Be careful when driving on gravel roads especially, when braking as there is very little traction available and one can skid very easily. Remember to fuel up in advance as the fueling stations are only at the camps and distances in Namibia are deceptive.

See[edit][add listing]

Zebras in Etosha National Park
Helmeted guineafowls
  • Animals! Park offers the chance to see the Big 5 as well as a huge amount of other animals. Throughout the park, particularly at watering holes, they are gathering in many groups.
  • Etosha Pan. The 4730 km2 Etosha Pan is a huge, oval salt pan situated in the central part of Namibia’s Etosha National Park. Other smaller pans surround the main Etosha pan. This pan is dry saline desert most part of the year. Etosha Pan is feeded by the rains during the wet season, but mostly by the waters of the nearby rivers. During the rainy years floodwater transforms the pan into a shallow lake usually not exceeding one meter in depth.
  • Rest Camp watering holes. At all three rest camps, there is are watering holes just outside the perimeter fence. At night they are lit with flood lights and visitors can sit and watch as the animals come down to drink, flirt and occasionally fight well into the night. They are ideal places to wander down to with a sundowner after getting back from a days game spotting. Visitors are not allowed out of the rest camps after sunset so the waters holes can provide the opportunity to continue watching the animals after dark.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Birdwatching. There are recorded 340 species (including nearly 50 different birds of prey), Etosha is a prime bird watching destination. It is possible to watch all year round, but especially in summer when migrants arrive.  edit
  • Desert Express, [4]. It offers 7-10 days excursion to the South Namibia, as well as Etosha National Park.  edit
  • Namibia safari, +27 (0)12 315 8242 (), [5]. This train safari starts in Pretoria (South Afrika) and ends in Tsumega (Namibia) including the visit to Etosha National Park.  edit
  • Safaris, [6]. Etosha National Park Tours & Safari Packages.  edit
  • Wildlife watching. From every hotel there are possibilities to do a game drive, be sure to bring your binoculars as some animals (like lions or cheetahs) can only be watched, when distance is kept. Also, when close to animals be very quiet, most animals will be scared by the slightest noise. The best time to easily see a lot of wildlife is in the afternoon around 15:30, beware however that most hotels and lodges close their gates at 6 in the evening. When you want to visit the park after the gates are closed you will need a special guide to accompany you.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

A good map that has all the water holes that tells you where to see the animals you may want to see.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

All facilities inside the park are run by Namibia Wildlife Resorts [10], a company owned by the Namibian Government.

There are designated rest camps for visitors, enclosed by walls and fences. All campings have permanent accommodation, petrol stations, pools and shops for those things you forgot. The gates for camps open at sunrise and close at sunset. You are not allowed outside of a camp during night. Bush camping is not permitted. Camps have waterholes with floodlights.

  • Dolomite Camp, +264612857200. At the west of the park is this newly opened camp. It's accessible by entering the Galton Gate. Notable wildlife includes the Hartsmann's zebra which doesn't occur in the eastern section the park.  edit
  • Halali camp, +26461259372. South of the pan and situated about half way between the other two rest camps. This has the most impressive floodlit water hole with a viewing platform - you can walk down after setting up camp and sit here at sunset, drink a sundowner and watch the animals come down to drink.  edit
  • Namutoni Camp, +264818865788, [7]. Camping Area with Restaurant. At the east gate of the park. This is on the site of an old German fort which was burned down many years ago in a raid by the Ovambo people from the north. Today the fort is a hotel. There is also a shop where you can buy food and basic supplies.  edit
  • Okaukuejo camp, +264612857200. At the south entrance to the park. There are small huts available, as well as a restaurant and pool. Be sure to have a look at the waterhole around midnight, you can often see rhinos even during wet season. This has the best layout among all the camps and the best waterhole for sitting down and watching animals.  edit

Stay safe[edit]

Stay in your car; wild animals can be dangerous. There are plenty of picnic spots around the park where one can alight from your vehicle, but these are not all fenced so be on the lookout for animals. At night, jackals may walk around your campsite, they will usually flee when they see you but be careful, some jackals carry rabies.

Although all campsites are fenced, do not sleep outside, especially not on the benches surrounding the waterholes. The fence is not high there and not really an obstacle for a lion.

Etosha is in the malaria zone, so take appropriate precautions.

Get out[edit]

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