Tell me about Etosha

Apr 18th, 2008, 06:42 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 25
Tell me about Etosha


The confirmation for my Etosha stay has just arrive and I am very exited. it will be my first visit to the park so I was after a few tip from you all

I have 4 days 3 nights in the park and will be doing a self drive 4x4 with a roof temp. I have the tracks4africa on my gps and have been looking at the various routes but I have a few question

1) Do they provide a detailed map of the park at the entrances or should I buy one in advance.

2) where are some of the best spots for game and also for scenic beauty

3) what time is the best for game viewing in etosha (obviously dusk) but what about in the AM is it worth getting packed up early and doing a early game drive then having a late breakfast afterwards.

Here is my accommodation, I will be driving from a camp site in the petrified forest before heading out to Botswana so I have booked the 3 camps in a line


Drive to Etosha via the petrified forest stay night at Okaukuejo camp


Etosha drive to Hali camp


Etosha drive up Namutoni and camp 5th October

Day 14 morning in Etosha drive to Botswana

Any suggestions gratefully received

ajbaldwin is offline  
Apr 18th, 2008, 06:52 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 395
ajbaldwin -

I hope you have atleast 1 night booked at the Okakuejo (sp?) water hole. Its flood lit and magical.

Its a national park, so you arent allowed to go offroad. The park gates should provide you with a rough road map. Several roads arent marked, but most waterholes are. Its not that easy to get lost in the park.

Certainly worth the effort to get up and be the first to get out of camp when the gates open. We found lions every single morning at waterholes and even a hyena chasing a white rhino (strange). You can get back to camp around 10-ish, shower and then get back out to spend the hottest time of the day by a waterhole. Unfortunately, I cant remember a single waterhole that wasnt busy (early September) and we saw a herd of nearly 100 ellies come down to drink at one (its the one closest to Okakuejo just off the track to Namutoni/Halali).
amolkarnik is offline  
Apr 18th, 2008, 06:59 AM
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Firstly in my opinion you are not staying for long enough but there is little that can be done to change that.
Here are some answers
1) No you have to buy a map.This shows all of the waterholes. When you arrive at Okakuejo go into the office to find out if any of the waterholes are dry, this is season dependant. It follows that you will not see much at dry waterholes.
2) The best waterhole is Okaukuejo, On your first night be sure to stay at the waterhole you would need to be very unlucky not to see alot of game. It is floodlit.All of the waterholes can be good do not arrive look and depart be prepared to give a little time at each.From Okaukuejo I recomend a morning drive to Okandeka and then the loop to Adamax. On the presumption that the afternoon drive will be taking you in the direction of Halali start by going to Gemsbokvlakte, then Olifantsbad and Aus then back to the main road to Halali, not forgetting to pop into Sueda and Salvadora on the way. From Halali you can do two loops so take the west to Rhino Drive in the morning, returning to Halali, in the afternoon do not miss Goas or Eland Drive. Namutoni has Klein and Groot Okevi bboth are good but also go up across "the plains" to Andoni
3) Early morning is best the gates open after sunrise get up early and take something to eat with you. Remember that you must be back in the camp by sunset so start heading back from wherever you at a suitable time.

Have a great time and a safe journey onwards to Botswana.
Apr 18th, 2008, 07:08 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 25
Thanks for the replies

Yes I would like longer in the park that 3 and a half days as it does look amazing I will look through my route to see if I can free some days up.

I forgot to mention I will be there is October which I think is the of the dry season so I will definitely find out if any of the holes are dry
ajbaldwin is offline  
Apr 18th, 2008, 07:12 AM
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October is probably the best time unless the rains come extra early. Given the current shambles in the campreservation system make sure you have all your bookings confirmed in writing.
Apr 18th, 2008, 08:08 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 25

you have got me thinking now about some extra time in Etosha

I have a couple of questions

I was originally planning on leaving swakopmund and driving up the coast to the cape cross seal colony then carry on up through the skeleton coast NP before heading inland before torra bay and camping at the petrified forest area so I could see the sink hole, burnt mountain ect.

But will it be more interesting if I head inland and take in the spitzkoppe and darmaland before camping in the petrified forest area

Or should I push through and try and make Etosha so I can have an evening by the waterhole?

What do you think?
ajbaldwin is offline  
Apr 18th, 2008, 08:38 AM
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Personally speaking if it were a choice betweem Swakopmund and Etosha then I would choose Etosha.
To get from Swakopmund to Etosha in a day would be a long drive unless you used the main roads. The distance from Swakopmund via the Springbok Gate to the petrified forest is around 500kms this will take at least 8 probably 10 hours allowing for stopping to admire the view etc. To then try to get to Anderson gate is another 330 kms but on better road this is at least another 4 hours, and remmember you nedd to be through the gate in time to get to Okaukuejo before sunset.

Apr 18th, 2008, 08:52 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 378

I found the Okaukuejo and Namutoni areas to be more interesting than Halali. I'd recommend an extra day at either of these two (particularly Okaukuejo). Halali is still worth a day, but not more in my opinion.

I visited in early September, and found that game activity was consistent at the water holes throughout the day. Of course, mornings and evenings were busier, but it seemed like we always had animals to look at.

Enjoy. Etosha is definitely worth the drive.
Gritty is offline  
Apr 18th, 2008, 09:07 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 371
I would recommend getting a map before you arrive if possible - when we arrived last visit they didn't have any available in the office or shop (luckily we'd taken an old one so had something to use, but definitely need one)
tockoloshe is offline  
Apr 18th, 2008, 10:24 AM
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sorry and i don't want to create any disappointment BUT when i visited etosha in mid october in 2004 it was just waste of time animal wise.
there had been torrential rain the week prior to our arrival and the animals didn't have to come to the waterholes!

so, i would suggest you appreciate whatever you encounter especially as you are going further to botswana anyway.

regarding driving within NP and best game viewing the rules are wellknown and have been described earlier.

regarding your general purpose for including etosha - based on our experience we would never go again there only for wildlife sightings.
but that is a personal experience and might differ greatly from other's and also greatly depending on the weather.
but expect lowkey ;-)
Apr 18th, 2008, 10:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,131
We had the same experience as pippa13 when we were in Etosha last June. Wildlife sightings were not memorable.
Marija is offline  
Apr 18th, 2008, 11:32 AM
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1-I don't know if they provide a map but you can get the GLOBETROTER NAMIBIA Travel Map that is a very nice and detail road map of the country and in the back has a map of Etosha with all the waterholes .

2-Around Okaukuejo the ones i enjoyed more where Gemsbokvlakte,Olifantsbad and Aus,apart from Okaukuejo itself of course.I found Okondeka too far out of the way for just plain game and with luck maybe lions,but not elephants,kudus or elands.You stay also a little too far from the waterhole so no close look of the wildlife unless they pass by you.

-In the Halali area i liked Rietfontein and Goas much over the rest but Sueda and Salvadora are probably your best chance for cheetah in Etosha , but this is always a big bonus of course.

-Namutomi was the area i enjoyed the most , a little less crowded that the rest and many interested waterholes like Chudop or Kalkheuwel(pack with animals the 2 times we visited)Klein Namutomi is a must at sunset with giraffes in their hundreds coming to drink and many dick dicks and black face impalas.

3-To me the best time is early in the mornig.Be the first to go out and the first 2 hours will be your best in the park with much lees people in the waterholes and the best chance to find the most difficult animals active.
During the midday hours go to the farther waterholes(Aroe , Andoni, Okondeka)where you will also will find lees people.

I did the drive from Palmwag to Swakopmud(about same distance) visiting the Skeleton Coast road and Cape Cross.ThatīS a very long drive but the mystery,solitude and wild feeling of the Skeleton Coast is very nice and we really enjoyed the day.

Regarding wildlife sightings we visited in June and our experience in this particular point was magnificent,excellent.
What we didn't like was the amount of people , seen buses at some waterholes and roads too good . All this will take out the wild experience completely But overall we enjoyed the place.

Some pictures we took in our 4 days at Etosha

Good luck.


PacoAhedo is offline  
Apr 18th, 2008, 12:18 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 25
Thanks you all for your responses on Etosha

Looking on Google maps It looks like I am best to do an overnight on route to Etosha

What are peoples opinions on the route through? should I take option a or b

option a

I was originally planning on leaving swakopmund and driving up the coast to the cape cross seal colony then carry on up through the skeleton coast NP before heading inland before torra bay and camping at the petrified forest area so I could see the sink hole, burnt mountain ect.

option b

But will it be more interesting if I head inland and take in the spitzkoppe and darmaland before camping in the petrified forest area

anyone any opinion?

ajbaldwin is offline  
Apr 18th, 2008, 02:36 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 395
ajbaldwin - I see you are in england.

I still have my copy of the Etosha map. If you wish I could make a photocopy for you and put it in the post. Email me at amol_karnik at fastmail dot co dot uk if you'd like a copy.
amolkarnik is offline  
Apr 18th, 2008, 06:18 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Don't know if they are still there but in 2003 there were a couple of picnic areas that did not appear on all the maps. They were enclosed by fences and offered a good place to stop, eat, and strech your legs. You might check to see where they are if they are not shown on the map you get.
tuckeg is offline  
Apr 18th, 2008, 11:59 PM
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Please do not take any notice of the people that deride Etosha. It is commonplace on these forums whenever an interesting discussion and exchange of information is underway for people to attempt to hijack it for some form of perverse pleasure.
Etosha is just fine, and if you see little game it is usually because you do not look hard enough or go in the wrong season. Obviously weather can be a factor and sometimes the rains come early sometimes late. I have always visited in mid to late October and have had one rainy day, not that it spoiled the viewing.What you see is mainly down to yourself and that is the delight of going to parks like this, you are in charge, and you get the satisfaction of doing it yourself.

Anyway back to your question, both of these routes are scenic. I have never actually been all the way up the coast road to the Springbok gate, I imagine it is not exactly exciting, probably sand and sea most of the way.The other alternative is to exit at Omararu and head inland via Uis Mine and head north, I think this would be far more scenic but the diversion to Spitzkoppe would be long and you are in theory going back on yourself.If you wish to go to Spitzkoppe then go up the BI take the well marked turning on to the D1925 after Spitzkoppe you can continue north to Uis mine and on to the Petrefied forest area. These roads are not brilliant but you should be able to travel safely at up to 80kph, but go slower.

Going back to my earler comments I think that if you stuck to the main roads B2 to Okahanja BI to Otjiwarongo, then the C38 to the Anderson Gate you could get from Swakopmund in 8 hours the roads are all tarred the distance is around 630kms.

As for Maps you could try Stanfords,
they do not apear to have an Etosha Map, but some of the Namibia Maps may have a relatively large map of Etosha within them.

Apr 19th, 2008, 01:06 AM
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As always your pictures are wonderful, The Dik Dik is superb.
I think they prove that you can have good viewing in Etosha, I have found it the best place for Kudu, and you are of course guaranteed good waterhole shots.
Apr 19th, 2008, 07:04 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,367
Have you zoomed in on the T4A map. You really don't need any other maps.
luangwablondes is offline  
Apr 19th, 2008, 10:54 AM
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"Etosha is just fine, and if you see little game it is usually because you do not look hard enough or go in the wrong season. "

as an advise, and that's what is asked for, i have never heart a less meaningfull statement. especially the "season" makes the difference and this thread is meant to find an answer to that!

Apr 19th, 2008, 12:41 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 641
Hi Paco,
I love those silouette shots. Your photos makes me eager to go to Namibia in less than 2 weeks now. I didn't expect to see so much wildlife there.
safarimama is offline  

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