“Great White Place”
Etosha national park is the quintessential African safari experience. When researching on google or Instagram it will pop up.
We are covering one of the biggest tourist attractions in Namibia – Etosha National Park.
Many things can be seen from space like the Great Barrier reef, Pyramids of Giza, Grand Canyon. In Namibia the Etosha pans. Big white mass full of history and life. Where does the name Great White place come from? The blue green alagae gives Etosha its characteristic colouring.
The Etosha pan is a large salt pan forming part of the Etosha basin in Namibia. It is 130km long and 50km wide in places and is the largest salt pan in Africa. The pan is believed to have developed through tectonic plate activity millions of years ago. The word Etosha itself means Great White Place, that can be seen from space as a 4730 square kilometre oval shaped salt pan. When close by you see shimmering mirages.
You can explore Etosha by self drive or guided. I will say I prefer self drive. The park has 3 main NWR camps – Okaukuejo, Halali and Namatoni. We have visited all three, but our favourite remains Okaukuejo for the amazing waterhole. If glamping of sublime luxury is your thing we can curate that for you as well.
This is the one national park that we have been to at least five times, different times of the year. With patience and spending few hours driving in the park, you will have a successful list of wildlife encounters on your safari.
The Okaukuejo waterhole during the right time of the year is magnificent. Besides the most spectacular sunsets, the abundance of wildlife visiting that hole is incredible.
Etosha is entirely malaria free in the dry winter months. The park is entirely accessible for two-wheel drive vehicles. The best game viewing is in the dry season, roughly from June to October. The park’s vegetation is particularly sparse at this time of year and the animals rely heavily on the 30 waterholes and springs, making for excellent game viewing at these hotspots. The rainy season from January to March is very hot but the better season for birders.
Etosha National park is open all year from sunrise to sunset.
Etosha Pan is designated as a World Wildlife Fund Ecoregion and was also used as a backdrop during the filming of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The area is filled with amazing lodges and other campsites which a few of them we have visited, we always come back to the same one for the one and only reason, the waterhole. Nothing beats the roar of a lion in the dark night with only the stars shimmering down some light, that pure mighty roar of the Lion. When leaving Oukakeujo at the right time in the morning, you will have a great chance of spotting the predator with the 1100 psi bite force living under one of the roads. We have always seen them, sometimes with little ones.
We have witnessed a waterhole filled with wildlife of different species looking like Tokyo at peak. Rhinos fighting and elephants playing. You need to bring time and patience to encounter the true beauty of Etosha. It is a magical place filled with history and wildlife that will leave your mind engraved with memories. Plan for three to four days to cover different areas to increase game viewing opportunities and mix the styles of Etosha accommodation. The park is only 22,269 square kilometre.
The campsites are dry sandy with electrical points, shared ablution, and the most amazing waterhole in the right season with the most magical backdrops at golden hour. Cost of the ,campsites:
July to October N$375 pp
Park entrance fee SADC NAD60 per adult per day
20 TIPS WHEN VISITING ETOSHA:
1. WAKE UP EARLY and get out as soon as the gate open.
2. Exit the park right before it closes
3. Pack your meals to go
4. Bring lots of game viewing snacks
5. Make coffee before hand
6. Have everyone visiting the bathroom whenever the opportunity presents.
7. Mingle with fellow tourists to find out what they have spotted. ( we have made some awesome friends along the way in the park and meeting up again at poolside in the campsite)
8. Buy a map
9. Have a look at the sightings map
10. Pay for as many consecutive days as you’ll be in the park
11. Lower your tire pressure and keep vehicle in 4x4
12. Bring binoculars
13. Go visit the Salt pan picnic spot.
14. Finish meat and dairy in your fridge before exiting park.
15. Pack Mosquito repellent
16. Keep quiet at waterholes
17. Spend enough days in the park for best experience
18. Make sure your cameras are charged!
19. No drone allowed
20. No plastic bags allowed
Where to stay?
Either split your days between camps and lodges
We normally stay at 1 campsite and drive different routes everyday, when we exit we exit a different gate and do a long drive that day.
How do I stay connected while in Namibia?
1. Buy a MTC sim card
2. Buy Aweh Gig N$40 – 1GB free data 500MB social media data that you can use within 7 days. It expires after 7 days.
3. What if I use the 1 Gig and need more? You can not buy Aweh Gig within 7 days, but you can top up with Aweh Prime. Make sure to ask for the correct one when you are buying.
For bookings to Namibia www.chasinggravel.com