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Etosha National Park, Namibia

Etosha content is provided by Kruger-2-Kalahari, specialists in wildlife photography, seasoned in more than 100 African Safaris, 95% of them self-drive. We've spent more than 650 days and nights in the African wilderness. Our goal is to promote knowledge and understanding about the earth’s last wilderness areas through images and our experiences.

More pages contributed by Kruger-2-Kalahari include:
Kruger National Park, South Africa | Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Northern Cape, South Africa | Pilanesberg Game Reserve, South Africa

All photographs, images, maps and graphics © 2011 Kruger-2-Kalahari. All Rights Reserved.


Touring Etosha National Park


Etosha National Park Map and Highlights

Map of Western Etosha National Park, Namibia Map of Western Etosha National Park

Map of the Park's Western Region (above) | Map of the vicinity of Etosha Pan (below)

Map of Etosha National Park - Etosha Pan Map of Etosha Pan, Etosha National Park

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Highlights of Etosha

Namutoni 443 mm
Halai 429 mm
Okaukuejo 412 mm.

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Choosing the Season

The Park's wet season starts in November with February being the wettest month in the park. We find the best time to visit the park is between August and October.

Once you know which season you will be travelling in you can decide what clothing to pack. We do suggest that you pack light as you can always wash some clothing when you are there.

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Getting to Etosha

Flying to Windhoek’s Hosea Kutako International airport and then hiring a car and driving up to the National Park is another way to cut down on your traveling time. This airport is located 45 km east of the Windhoek city centre.

Traveling by Road
When travelling by road from Johannesburg South Africa, you will go through three countries in one day, if you don't stop off in Botswana for the night. From Johannesburg to the South African/Botswana border post of Skilpads hek / Pioneer takes 3 hours (300 km) then we drive for 7-8 hours (710 km) along the Trans-Kalahari Highway to the Botswana/Namibian border post, Mamuno / Buitepos. From there it's another 3 hours (300 km) into Windhoek and then onto Etosha which takes 4 hours (400 km) to the Anderson Gate (Okaukuejo) or 5 hours (500 km) to the Von Lindequist Gate (Namutoni). The roads are very well signposted in all three countries.

We usually stop off at a game farm called Zelda's which is just 30 km from the Buitepos border post in Namibia. If we want to stay the night in Windhoek we stay at various hotels or guest houses, but we mostly just drive through to Etosha from Zelda's.

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Getting In

Access to the park is through 3 gates - either the Andersson gate, the Von Lindequist Gate or the King Nehale Gate. Etosha charges a daily entrance/conservation fee. This charge is per person and per vehicle. The prices vary between locals and foreign visitors and the fees go up every year like the accommodation costs that increase annually.

Note: A fourth Gate (Galton Gate) provides access to Western Etosha, but is restricted to guests who book at Dolomite Camp.

Von Lindequist Gate, Etosha National Park

Etosha National Park - Von Lindequist Gate

Okaukuejo Camp Gate, Etosha National Park

Etosha National Park - Okaukuejo Camp Gate

Etosha Gate Times


Check in times
Park Camps' check in time is after 14h00 and  the check-out time is before 09h00. Please make sure you have all your booking forms and payment confirmation papers with you in case of computer problems.

Gate opening and closing times
The gates open at sunrise and close at sunset. The actual opening and closing times for each season are displayed at the gates.





Left: National Park Gate Times

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Keeping You Safe

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What to See and Do in Etosha National Park

Nature Photography

If you are a Wildlife Photographer what can you expect to photograph in Etosha...

The winter months from June - September are the very best months for wildlife photography. Why go chasing all over the park looking for animals when you can sit in one place with a beer or cold-drink and photograph non-stop day and night!

The park is also flat and open thereby allowing good photographs with very little bush obstructing your subject.

There are about 40 waterholes and springs along the tourist roads between Okaukuejo in the west and Namutoni in the east, of which 70% are great for animal photography.

Each of the three main camps has its own waterhole that can be viewed from inside the camps. Okaukuejo waterhole could be the best waterhole in Africa during the winter months! There is a constant procession of animals day and night! The Moringa water (in Halali camp) is superb by night and if you want to see a leopard this is the place to be!

The camp waterholes are about 50 meters away from the viewing area so you don't need a super telephoto lens. We do use our 600mm lens for the smaller animals such as African Wild Cat but for elephants, giraffe and rhinos we use a 200mm lens.

Look out for the Honey Badger in the Halai camp at night, he is usually found around the campers going through the dust bins.

Black Rhino, Etosha National Park

Black Rhino, Etosha National Park

If you are a Landscape Photographer what can you expect to photograph in Etosha...

Fort Namutoni  makes a very good Landscape subject from all angles...It has lovely big palms at the entrance with a wooden walk-way leading up to its entrance. You can also get sunset photographs from the Fort's viewing deck overlooking the waterhole.

Thel Park is very flat but some of the waterholes make for good scenery photographs. Waterholes such as Homob, Salvadora, Twee Palms and Chudop are very scenic and there is the view over the pan from the view-points or from waterholes that are situated on the edge of the pan. The views from the Moringa (Halali) and Okaukuejo waterholes also make for good landscape photographs.

Okaukuejo tower is very good for landscape photographs because you have a 360 degree view and you can get lovely sunrise and sunset photographs.

Salvadora Waterhole Landscape

Landscape at Salvadora Waterhole

If you are a Macro Photographer what can you expect to photograph in  Etosha...

The three main camps have a lot of trees and bush for you to explore, while Halali has a walk that goes up the hill within the camp - an excellent spot to look for insects and wild-flowers, especially in summer and spring. Even though the warmer months are obviously the best times for insects we have had the odd insect surprises in winter. Insects are very hardy creatures and even in winter the days in Africa can get warm, thus encouraging the insects to come out for awhile.

Praying Mantis

Praying Mantis, Etosha NP

If you are a Bird Photographer what can you expect to photograph in Etosha...

Bird photography in Etosha can be good in winter but is best in the summer months, when thousands of water birds, like both species of flamingo, come to visit the pan.

Onkoshi - This is an excellent location to photograph waterbirds. There are flamingoes, pelicans, avocets, redbilled teals and many others that you can photograph in the rainy season from the comfort and privacy of your chalet.

Dolomite - This new camp in Western Etosha attracts many different birds such as bul-buls, starlings, bee-eaters, shrikes, hornbills, swallows, sunbirds, martial eagles, bateleurs and vultures, plus owls at night.

Namutoni - The waterhole is not great for mammals but it can produce some good bird sightings including caspian plover, red-billed queleas and greater painted-snipe.

In camp keep a look-out for the palm swift, sunbirds, starlings, barn owls and red-faced mousebirds. Fisher's pan, which is just behind the camp, can produce some nice summer migrants such as black-necked grebe, lesser and greater flamingos, yellow-billed stork, African openbill, and saddle-billed stork.

Halali - This camp is our favorite for birds. You may see bare-cheeked babblers, violet wood-hoopoes, carp's tit, southern yellow-billed hornbills and southern white-faced scops-owls - all in camp.

At the Moringa waterhole we have seen doves, pygmy falcons, fork-tailed drongos and at sunset huge flocks of namaqua sandgrouse with owls later in the night.

Okaukuejo - In camp there is a sociable weaver nest in a tree right at the waterhole wall and the weavers will keep you entertained for hours. You can see many birds either at the waterhole or in camp.

By day keep a lookout for namaqua sandgrouse, red-billed queleas, lanner falcons, gabar goshawks, red-billed teals, southern pied babblers, crimson-breasted shrikes, violet-eared waxbills, African hoopoe, groundscraper thrush, dusky sunbirds, acacia pied barbets, golden-tailed woodpeckers, and large flocks of double-banded sandgrouse.

At night watch for pearl-spotted owlets, verreaux's eagle-owls, barn owls, and rufous-cheeked nightjars

Goshawk taking flight

Goshawk Taking Flight

Other Activities
There are morning and sunset drives where experienced rangers will take you in an open 4x4 vehicle and will tell you about the Fauna and Flora while keeping a lookout for the big cats. Please note that departure times change according to the seasons, so check at reception before you book. No children under 6 are allowed. 

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Shopping within Etosha National Park

We suggest you stop in Windhoek to get most of your supplies (from either the Spar, Woolworths or Pick n' Pay) because the shops in Etosha don't have a big variety.

The shop at Okaukuejo has the basics such as water, cool drinks, butter, some tinned food, ice creams, beer, cigarettes and some AA batteries. There is also a post office and curio shop that sells some clothing, post cards and books.

The shop in Halali camp also has just the basics plus some curios and of course beer and wines.

Namutoni's shop is in the Fort and had the basics plus some postcards, sunglasses, curios and books.

Namutoni Camp shop

Namutoni Camp Shop

All the shops have credit/debit card facilities. 

Petrol Stations and breakdown stations
There are petrol stations at all three camps with a breakdown / service yard at Okaukuejo. Please fill up whenever you can as they do run out of fuel and pumps do break.

Halali Camp - petrol station

Petrol Station at Halali Camp

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Safari Dining


All three camps have restaurants with Namutoni having two inside the Fort. The restaurant at Halali overlooks the swimming pool area and has a bar. Okaukuejo has a lovely big restaurant with a large outdoor seating area under thatch and umbrellas. There is a Braai outside next to a huge bar area overlooking the swimming pool. The food and service are good. 

Etosha Halali Camp Restaurant

Halali Camp Restaurant

Braais (barbeque) at the Bungalow -  If we stay in the chalets we normally braai but if we stay in the rooms we take a lot of snack foods with us for our dinners or we may eat in the restaurants. 

Halali Camp braai (barbecue)

Halali Camp Braai (Barbeque)

Enjoy breakfast or lunch at any of the picnic sites throughout the park but the picnic sites don't have braai/barbecue facilities. These picnic areas are fenced and all have toilets and benches with chairs. They do not have shops, takeaways or fresh drinking water so please take your own food and water with you.

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Link to Kruger 2 Kalahari Website
Everything you need to know, from Wildlife Photography techniques to the best Southern African safari destinations of Kruger Park, Kgalagadi, Pilanesberg & Etosha.

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