One of the best ways to visit the Etosha National Park is to drive there yourself and guide your own safari. It's the most cost effective, flexible and family friendly way to go on safari in Namibia.
To give you an idea of the distances involved when travelling through the park, this table works out how far it is between all the main restcamps and gates and how long it will take you to cover that distance traveling at an average speed of 30 km/h.
Useful information considering the fact that the park gates close at sunset so you need to time your drives accordingly.
Google Interactive (Magnification) Satellite Map of Etosha
Double click your mouse on the map or use the controls in the top left hand corner to zoom in for a closer look at the reserve.
The resolution in the Namutoni area of the park is so good that you can zoom in and get a birds eye view of the courtyard of the old fort and you can check if there is any water in the floodlit waterhole of the camp.
To help you get the most from this map I've added icons that represent the main restcamps, entrance gates, picnic spots, waterholes, lookout points and airstrips.
Wildlife Sightings Potential
Etosha provides excellent wildlife viewing opportunities because of the sparse vegetation which provides unrestricted views for a long way and the fact that during the dry season the wildlife is forced to come to the waterholes to drink because there is no other water available.
The three floodlit waterholes at the main restcamps provide a unique insight into the nocturnal activities of the animals which is unparalleled in national parks anywhere else in Africa. Take a look at these Namibia safaris trip reviews to see exactly what wildlife has been spotted here.
Best Times For Etosha Safaris
As the diagram above indicates, the best time to visit the park is between the dry, cooler months of June to October but game viewing is good all year round.
The rain season runs from January to March and on average it rains about 358mm (14 inches) per year.
- The floodlit water hole which is a particularly good place to see black rhino situated at Okaukuejo camp.
- A sunset photograph from the top of the stone tower at Okaukuejo.
- The beautiful old fort which has been restored to its former glory (built in 1902) at Namutoni restcamp.
- A night drive at any one of the camps where you will see wildlife that is not active during the day.
- Dikdik drive where you are almost guaranteed to spot this amazingly small antelope.
- Getting to within a meter or so of honey badgers that come into Halali restcamp to scavenge.
- The Etosha Pan itself which stretches out flat and featureless for many kilometers has an inexplicable magic even though it is a dry, hot and seemingly lifeless place to be.
- The Ghost Tree Forest that lies near Okaukuejo camp is filled with some of the weirdest looking trees imaginable.
Size: The Etosha National Park is a vast tract of land covering a full 22,912 sq km. The whole western section of the park is reserved for registered Namibian tour operators with permits to enter the area.
Accommodation: There are three rest camps here. Namutoni, Halali and Okaukuejo. You can camp at all three, or make use of the excellent chalets which were completely refurbished and in some cases newly built in 2007.
Getting there: Andersson's gate lies approximately 1852 kilometers from Johannesburg and 421 kilometers from Windhoek. This is the perfect place to do a self drive safari because the roads are in good condition and so are most of the facilities (apart from the picnic spot ablutions).
One of the best ways to find a safari company that you can entrust with your dream Namibia African safari is to get advice from somebody who has been on a trip with them in the past.
This top three Etosha safari operators list was set up with that in mind by using recommendations from trip reports and travel reviews written by previous safari travellers themselves.