Nmibia - Etosha information

Apr 10th, 2006, 05:28 PM
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Nmibia - Etosha information

I'm considering making a trip to Etosha when I visit Namibia in September. Can anyone tell me that the terrain and vegetation is like?

I love to find a shady spot, park and watch the world go by for an hour or two. Having seen several mentions of "three zebra under the only tree for a hundred miles", I'm not sure if this is for me.

Is the area anything like Ngorongoro Crater? I hated the crater, thought it was much too dusty and stark. Ironically, I loved Amboseli and will go back again. For anyone considering a trip there, I highly recommend Tortilis Camp.
seyfun is offline  
Apr 10th, 2006, 10:19 PM
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Based on my National Geographic viewing Etosha is a green paradise in the rainly season and then gradually deteriorates to end up as a bone dry, dusty, burning hell over the dry season. However I am sure that is only part of the park, which is huge. I have never been there and I am only responding because I am also very interested in this park for future trips. I have noted however that there are a lot of accommodation options next to waterholes, which would certainly be a good place to watch the world go by - trees will be available to sit under in camp!

With regard to dust and starkness, are you taking into account the massive effect seasonal weather can have on what any park looks like?
kimburu is offline  
Apr 11th, 2006, 12:22 AM
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Hi there,

If you are in Namibia anyway ETOSHA IS A NOT TO BE MISSED LOCATION.

Etosha is a large area which has varied vegetation. It is split into two parts The Eastern sector and the Western sector. The general public are allowed in the East as a self drive and the Western section is for the public only as part of a guided tour. However as you say that you want to sit under a tree for hours and watch the world go by, then you will be restricted to a self drive which means the Eastern section only

The East has the large pan which in the usually dry, there is virtually no game at all on the pan itself all of the game is within the rest of the reserve.

There are a number of water holes where you can sit however in the wet season these are less frequented by the animals.

There is no real comparison between Etosha and Ngorongoro Crater, they have entirely different habitats.

In September it will be quite hot and dry; however this will mean that the waterholes should also be quite productive. If your intention is to see game then your timing should be OK.
Just make sure that you book a car with AC, by the way a conventional car is fine for Etosha as the roads inside the reserve are fabulous.

Have a great trip


Maurice_M is offline  
Apr 11th, 2006, 01:11 AM
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I did take into account the seasonal differences, which is why I mentioned being there in September. From what I've read, that should be mid-way between the green paradise and the dusty hell.

Based on the post from Maurice, it sounds like I should be OK as far as shade goes. For those whondering why the emphasis on shade, I'm trying to avoid prolonged direct sun exposure. My dermatologist isn't happy with me making this trip in the first place.
seyfun is offline  
Apr 11th, 2006, 01:47 AM
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I thought i would just mention that there is no green in September as it is in the height of the dry season. For some green, i would recommend early april through til late may if you do not want it to rain. The pans would have started to dry up and animals move back towards the permanant water supplies.

The other option would be to go in December, though the amount of green depends on the start of the rains. The animals will automatically disperse so sitting in one area will not be so productive. They know more rain is coming so they move off into more remote areas of the reserve. Obviously, April, end of the rain season the reverse is true plus the grass will be higher and greener

Apr 11th, 2006, 03:53 AM
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Don't forget that one of the great things about Etosha is being able to sit at the waterholes located right by the camps themselves - Okakuejo waterhole attracts huge amounts of game and you can even sit, beer in hand, watching the wildlife from your accommodation or from a bench up close (plenty of great game viewing at dusk and night-time).

Would it be a problem for you to be sitting in a closed, air-conditioned car at a waterhole? You wouldn't be in the shade of a tree, but the car would afford some protection. And this is the only way to game view in the public part of Etosha anyway - you wouldn't be in an open vehicle.

We had an amazing time at Etosha - I think it would be a real shame to go to Namibia and miss out on the incredible wildlife in the park.
hanl is offline  
Apr 11th, 2006, 09:52 AM
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Seyfun,... if you are "allergic" to the sun in a medically-involved way I would seriously look at what is said... they didn't say it explicitly but it sounds like everything I imagined.. in the dry season, a fantastic place but basically a desert with lots of wildlife ... if you would not consider the Kalahari, think twice... otherwise I am just loving this and can't wait for more information...like where is a good place to stay...
kimburu is offline  
Apr 11th, 2006, 11:06 AM
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Etosha is an AMAZING park, with a tremendous amount of wildlife. You will never experience only three zebra under the only tree for a hundred miles. I visited in August, and saw groups of zebras in the several hundred, along with large herds of gemsbok, springbok, hartebeast, etc., and lots of elephant, lion, one cheetah and several rhino (both day and night sightings).

You could sit at the waterhole at Okajuejo (a great camp) for hours, and thousands of animals will come to you. The waterhole in the camp is very popular, with lots of people, but you can also drive to isolated waterholes and see thousands of animals.

thit_cho is offline  
Apr 12th, 2006, 02:16 AM
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Thanks for all this great insight and commentary. I'm definately getting the idea that I'm just going to have to slather on lots of sunscreen and get over it.

Kimburu, I'm finding lot's of places to stay. Most of them are expensive, but there are a few mid-priced accomodations. As lbj mentioned, Okakuejo Rest Camp seems a must-stay destination for the waterhole viewing. I'm planning two nights there.

Etosha Aoba Lodge is also looking like a gem, just 18 kilometers outside the Von Lindequist Gate. Price is $178 pp.

Thanks again for all the information.
seyfun is offline  

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