With by far Namibia’s most impressive volume and diversity of animals, Etosha National Park is also one of Southern Africa’s premier safari destinations. It rivals some of the best South African reserves for self-drive safaris, with a raft of welcoming camps, good roads, numerous waterholes and well habituated wildlife. The ethereal, shimmering Etosha Pan is a further attraction, an incredibly photogenic backdrop to the serious business of game viewing. Etosha boasts excellent numbers of elephant, giraffe, zebra and antelope, while the black rhino is more elusive but still regularly seen. All of the major cats are present, with cheetah usually spied during the day and lion and leopard more active after dark. Etosha is exceptional in the dry season, when animals gather around the numerous (often artificial) waterholes, many of them within camp grounds, so you can grab a drink and seat to enjoy game viewing long into the night without having to move!
The south and east of the park have traditionally been the most accessible areas, but the western gate has recently been opened to service a brand new lodge, meaning it’s now possible to navigate across the park right from east to west (or vice versa). The west, south and east are all very different, so many visitors choose to spend at least a couple of nights each in two different areas. There are various camps to suit all budgets and tastes, many outside the park boundaries but only a very short drive from the gates. Additionally, there are private reserves outside the park, such as the luxurious, game rich Ongava Reserve, which have all the same species, offer similar activities and are every bit as worthy of a visit.