Etosha National Park, Namibia: where is it, when to go and what to see

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Joel Fulleda

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Etosha National Park, whose name in oshivambo means "great white place", is an area occupied for 25% by a large saline desert and for the remainder by a semi-desert and arid area inhabited by many animals. It was founded in 1907 when Namibia was still a German colony and at the time it was the largest wildlife reserve in the world; subsequently it was resized up to the current size. Inside today there are approximately 114 species of mammals including elephants, zebras, springbok, kudu, lions, hyenas, leopards, cheetahs, rhinos and impalas.

Etosha is one of the main tourist destinations in Namibia which attracts many people every year. Here is all the information on how to organize a visit to Etosha National Park, in Namibia: where is it, when to go and what to see!


  1. Where it is
  2. When to go? Info on climate and best time
  3. What to bring: recommended clothing and equipment
  4. What to do and what to see: 10 tips for visiting the park
  5. How much does it cost to visit Etosha National Park? Prices, offers and advice
  6. User questions and comments

Where it is

The Etosha National Park is located in northern Namibia and is part of the Kalahari basin; it was once occupied by an immense lake fed by the Kunene River which, after having dried up, left an immense saline expanse of 5.000 sq km on the ground. The park covers an area of ​​22.270 sq km, has a single main road that runs from north to south, and from east to west that leads to the 4 gates that allow entry.

How to reach us

  • From the main European capitals: direct flights are few. From Frankfurt the airlines Air Namibia, Southafrican Airways and "Condor fly direct to Windhoek (approximately 11 hours). From London British connects the English capital to the Namibian one with a stopover in Johannesburg (15 hours and 30 minutes). From Amsterdam Lufthansa flies with stopover in Frankfurt, from Paris Ethiopian makes a stopover in Addis Ababa Travel costs from € 450,00 - Compare flights to Etosha National Park

How to get to Etosha National Park

Once landed at Windhoek International Airport there are no public connections with the park and it is therefore necessary to rent a car or take part in an organized tour of several days, recommended solution. Etosha is 414 km from the capital, reachable via the B1 / C38 road with 4x4 cars more suitable for this type of carriageway.

Entrance to the park is possible by 4 doors or Gates. Anderson's Gates, in the southern part of Etosha, can be reached via the C38 road via Outjo and the most convenient camp to stay is Okakuejo. Von Lindequist Gate, to the east, connected with the B1, in this case the closest camp is the Namutoni. The other gates are Galton Gate, to the southwest, and finally King Nehale Lya Mpingana Gate, north of the park 48 km from the road to Ondangwa. You can only enter afterwards have purchased permits for visits and for cars and it is possible to stay inside only if you have a reservation in the official camps that have both lodges and pitches to set up tents (they must be reserved many months in advance because there are few places).

When to go? Info on climate and best time

  • Weather: arid type, with two seasons; winter, from May to October, with no rain and temperatures between 20 ° and 26 ° (easier to spot the animals), and summer, from November to April (rainy season), with high daytime temperatures up to 40 ° and warm evenings with 24 °
  • Best time: from May to October suitable for spotting animals, March can be a great time to admire the lush vegetation
  • Period to avoid: from January to the end of March, the rains are incessant and moving around is risky
  • Advice: in your suitcase you cannot miss a telescope to look for animals, a camera, glasses to shelter from the sun, a hat and a sports and comfortable clothing, in natural fiber to fight the heat

What to bring: recommended clothing and equipment

  • Clothing: in winter australian cotton and natural fiber t-shirts and trousers for the day, a sweatshirt and windproof jacket for early morning and evening. In summer, very light garments in natural fiber, hat to protect yourself from the sun, rain jacket and umbrella
  • Equipment: tent, sleeping bag and camp kitchen if you intend to camp; spyglass, map that can be purchased inside the park, camera, enough water, petrol cans

What to do and what to see: 10 tips for visiting the park

  1. Okaukuejo, Halali and Namutoni are the places where the lodges are located for sleeping; the ideal is in fact to stay 3 days and 3 nights and sleep to have a complete overview of the park
  2. Lurk quietly at night near the pools of your camp that are illuminated and fenced: you will see giraffes, elephants, rhinos and many other animals get to drink.
  3. In the morning, first consult the book at the reception of the camp, where the rangers indicate the areas with the presence of certain animals
  4. Springbok, kudu, wildebeest, girafe and rhinos are easy to spot at the Ozonjuitji pool
  5. The pools in the park are numerous, the only rule is to be patient; drive to one of the many pools and you will see that at a certain point animals will appear in front of your eyes alone or in a herd
  6. The night safaris organized by the lodges are the only way to go into the pan in the dark; It is absolutely forbidden to do it independently, in fact you must return to the lodge before sunset
  7. The park consists of a network of dirt roads in good condition. Then there are some deviations that lead into the thick of the bush and then lead back to the main road, here it is easier to spot lions and leopards.
  8. At the Halali Camp pool, at night, it may happen to spot leopards going to drink
  9. If you stay at the Okakuejo you will have a good chance of spotting black rhinos that come to drink in the nearby pools after sunset
  10. The Namutoni camp is built inside a German fort and from the walls you can admire wonderful sunsets. There are 16 pools in the surrounding area which attract many animals including lions, elephants, black antelope, zebras, jackals and giraffes

How much does it cost to visit Etosha National Park? Prices, offers and advice

To visit the Etosha National Park it is necessary buy permit which costs 80,00 NAD (€ 4,90) per person and 10,00 NAD (€ 0,60) per car per day. The passes must then be presented at the camps where you will stay and it is important to know that there are both structures inside the park and outside.

Obviously, although less convenient, sleeping in the park has the advantage of not wasting too much time getting in and out and allows you to sighting animals at night who go to drink in the lodge pools. In this case, the cost for a pitch where to put the tent is approximately 310,00 NAD (€ 19,00), for a chalet in the lodge 2.000,00 NAD (€ 122,00) and it is necessary to book at least 6 months first for both solutions. External housing, on the other hand, is cheaper; a tent place per person costs approximately NAD 110,00 (€ 6,70) and a cottage approximately NAD 1.500,00 (€ 91,00).

As for meals, the suggestion is to shopping outside the park and prepare your own food because the restaurants inside the Etosha have not exactly cheap prices (from 500,00 NAD, € 30,00).


Travel informed: useful information on Namibia

  • Inhabitants: 2.703.782
  • CapitalWindhoek
  • Languages: English
  • Local currency: Namibian dollar (NAD) / € 1,00 = 16,18 NAD
  • Weather: sub-tropical, desert along the coast and in the south, while in the inland areas of the north-central and north-east it is arid. Rainy season from November to March and coincides with the hottest days (between 18/33 °). The months from May to September are ideal for visiting the country with warm temperatures during the day and temperature changes during the night
  • vaccinations: no compulsory vaccination, recommended against tetanus, typhoid fever, Hepatitis A and B, anti-malarial prophylaxis recommended for those traveling to the north during the rainy season
  • Entry requirements: passport with residual validity of at least 6 months and at least 2 free pages; at the airport you fill out a form for a free tourist visa; to drive in possession of an international driving license (obtainable in Italy at the ACI or the Motorization, cost from € 35,00 to € 70,00 approximately)
  • Travel / health insurance: recommended.

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