Etosha National Park in Namibia, in the north part of the country, is a must for anyone travelling in the area. The park is one of the greatest in the world, and with its waterholes, it makes it easy for you to stop your car and observe the wildlife. Yes, you read it correctly! Your car!
How to get around
In Etosha National Park, you can use your car to get around the park and spot animals: a safari with all the comfort of your own car. Of course, there are rules to be respected like never, ever, get out of your car in any circumstance. Many people don’t realize that the whole deal of a safari is to be able to observe animals in their natural habit, without human intervention. Also, it is possible to hire a guide to come in your car and guide you to the animals. Otherwise, the whole search can be quite frustrating at time. The park is huge and animals are experts in hiding from strangers. Additionally, the park itself offers tours, that are cheaper than the private guide and still gives you the security of seeing at least some of the typical safari animals. Make use of the many stops along the park for toilets and prepare a packed lunch to keep fueled. Also, there are a couple of gas stations around the National Park: keep track of them and never risk running out of gas.
Spot the Ostrich!
Get up Early
If you decide to go on your own, one of the best tips is to get to Etosha National Park at sunrise. You are most likely to see animals in the early morning hours. The park is quieter and many animals get around the many water holes around the park.
Another tip is to be patient. As previously mentioned, a national park does not mean that at any corner, at every turn, you’ll find animals. It is most likely that you’ll have to search for hours before finding a lion, or a rhino. But with patience and a bit of luck, you’ll see them. Be very attentive, look in the grass and pay attention to the other drivers, sometimes they might slow down in front of you because they spotted something.
Spend a night in the park (or in the close surroundings)
If you have the chance, spend a night in one of the camping spots around the Etosha National Park. You’ll be able to sleep and be surrounded by nature for one or two nights, and it will totally worth it! Alternatively, a cheaper option is to sleep in one of the lodges and campings just outside the park.
Plan for a full day at Etosha National Park: you won't regret it!
Another tip is to make use of the full day at the park, in order to have the full experience of a safari in Namibia. Take the map and plan longer stops near the water holes. Don’t speed along the routes, animals are crossing those streets! Keep your eyes peeled open during the whole time, you never know when a lion or a cheetah will appear!
Gazzelles ruiniting in the grass
Visiting Etosha National Park was one of my favourite things to do in Namibia, I loved the adventure, the respectful closeness to nature and to animals.