...are situated on these grass plains to the east and south of the pan
There are 4 entry gates to the park - King Nehale Gate in the north, Von Lidequist Gate near Namutoni in the east, Andersson Gate near Okaukuejo in the south, and Galton Gate near Dolomite in the west. Galton gate used to be closed to the public and only people staying at Dolomite were allowed to use the gate but from 28 February 2014 Galton Gate was opened to all tourists! This means any visitor who wants to experience the previously restricted west of the park can do so without having to stay at Dolomite camp.
There is also an upmarket lodge in the park called
Onkoshi which opened in 2008 and is situated north of Namutoni.
In June 2011 the new
Dolomite Camp opened in western part of the park. This is not an upmarket camp as it has 3 Premier (or Deluxe) chalets and 17 standard bush chalets.
Visiting Etosha also provides opportunities for people to visit
Himba villages, like the Himba village at Toko Lodge.
Stopovers are also an important part of your safari and it's crucial that you choose them wisely. Here we list some of our favorites to and from Etosha.
The natural springs and man-made waterholes surrounding the pan to the South and East support the many different game species and make the park a photographer's paradise in the winter months
'big-five' comprise the lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and cheetah (there are no buffalo in the park)
Keep a lookout for the rare Black-faced impala, found only here
When we visit the park we hardly ever go out on drives as the waterholes at Halali and Okaukuejo camps produce such good game sightings. The waterhole at Namutoni Camp is generally not good for game viewing
We sadly stopped visiting the park in 2002 as the bungalows, restaurants, air conditioners and ablutions were not adequately maintained. Namibia Wildlife Resorts have, however, upgraded all the facilities - with a more than doubling of fees of course - but the Park is still much more affordable than the East African safari lodges or the private lodges.
In 2009 we ventured back to the park and the chalets are now superb! The decor is most appropriate for an African Game Reserve and all the air conditioners are new. Namutoni, in our opinion, is still not a nice camp as the waterhole is not productive in terms of game sightings and the accommodation, even though it has been upgraded, is expensive for what you get.
As at 2011 a double room in Halali and Okaukuejo cost N$650.00 per person per night while at Namutoni a double room was N$1000,00 per person per night. (It seems that NWR have realised that many people are not staying at Namutoni so they have reduced the Namutoni rates from 2012 to be in-line with the other camps.)
There is a low-season and a high-season - November to May is the low-season with lower rates while June to October is high season. Don't think there are no animals in the park during the low-season because there are plenty - they just don't come to the waterholes - you have to drive around to find them! The low-season is also a great time for birders as the park gets hundreds of thousands of flamingos, pelicans and other water birds in addition to the bushveld birds. Here are two views of the room we stayed in at Halali...
Not bad for 'cheap' accommodation hey!
Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) have renovated in style - let's hope they maintain adequately in the future.
To see some of our photographs please visit our Etosha
Gallery page and for some tips on photographing in the park please see our interviews with
Daryl Balfour who is a professional nature photographer and
Kathryn Haylett who is a safari guide and wildlife photographer specialising in various Namibian wildlife destinations.
To get a feel for the Park please check out our Etosha Trip Reports:
Namibia has so much more to offer in addition to Etosha. There is the Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei, Kolmanskop, Solitaire, Damaraland, the Kalahari, Namib Naukluft Park, Caprivi Strip and the Skeleton coast to name some of the more famous tourist hot-spots.