One of the most wonderful wildlife adventures can be the great Etosha safari and that too on your self-drive vehicle.
This is a complete guide including all possible tips to your best wildlife adventure on earth. Let’s start
The Etosha is Safari is different from other as one can see 4 out of 5 Biggs, 20000Sq.Km area coupled with 114 mammalian species and more than 340 species of birds scattered in the park. The wet & humid season sees huge inflows in the plain while the drier season sees them mostly around comparatively drier areas & thus creating one of the most compact opportunities to see their game.
The right time – Etosha has wet season all the way from November to May & the dry season during June-October. The wet season means greener grass & thick vegetation with roads a bit skid worthy & muddy. The drive is little challenging as some roads are prematurely closed and one can see animals crossing the road only to ultimate hide in the long grasses across the pathway.
The dry season is an altogether different sport with animals (forced to) flocking around waterholes. There a constant cycle moves as the Zebras, Impala are quenching their thirst, simultaneously a ferocious lion or cheetah is waiting to catch its prey. So Sept-October is great months to see the whole game.
But unfortunately you are not the only one with same thinking & many tourists flow in. So you need to book at least 9 months before for the accommodation & other needs. The price can also rise by 20-40% but it’s all worth.
Reaching Etosha National Park – It’s around 4 hour drive from Namibia’s capital city, Windhoek. It has an international airport as well. Driving is comfortable & easy. One can stop at Kameldorn Gaten, Ojitiwarango for lunch as they have a nice local food. There are 4 gates in total to enter the park. 1st is Andersson South gate followed by Galton gate in west all the way to Nehale North gate & Namutoni gate in east. Gates are open from dawn to dusk.
Self Drive through Etosha – It’s a well made sturdy road with gravels in between. It’s your choice to take 4WD or 2WD. A 2WD is enough for drier drives while 4WD recommended for drives in wetter seasons. Clearance should be good above all things. Though the speed limit is 60km/H but still one should not rush & in the whole dilemma miss some incredible things.
Distances – The distances are large so manage properly so that one need not rush when viewing the wildlife game.
Fuel – Only 3 places put fuel inside the park. Okaukuejo, Namutoni and Halaliand. These can be short of fuel too so make sure your gas tank doesn’t get way too low. Fill up whenever possible.
Maintenance – The Namibian roads are renowned for their rough terrain so make sure to know how to change tires and don’t forget to check spare tires in case of puncture. Also, under no circumstance it’s advised to come out of your car so one needs to stop at fenced ways.
Best day time – As suggested by many, the best time is early during sunrise when the weather is cooler. Other good time is during evening.
One another tip is that if you are going during dry season then it’s best to go during full heat to see animals near a lot of waterholes. One can see Zebras, Springbok, Impala, and Oryx easily. The best advice would be to get up early in search of big cats.
Best locations – Waterholes are the obvious choice and in mid day in Ozonjuitji m’bari, chudob & Sonderkop. For lions, early morning head to Groot Okevi or Rietfontein to dolomite camp. The night views are also great with 3 well lit waterholes around the place.
Food tip – While the buffets are available at camps inside with other basic things like crisps, biscuits & water, the best way is to buy something from supermarket even before entering the premises (on your very first day).
Etosha Essentials – Since the place is hot & sunny so bring along some sun block & hat. Binoculars can be nice addition. Take a torch & pack all type of clothes since days are warmer but nights colder.
Another very important thing is to bring Insect repellant & Anti Malarial drugs (Etosha is a malaria region). Also remember that our normal universal power adaptors don’t work here so search out for it and always keep some downloaded maps in your list.
That’s it for this guide, hope it was useful
Thanks for reading