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Snapshot of Etosha National Park

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

When one thinks of iconic, vast African landscapes inhabited by massive herds of plains game, one thinks of Etosha National Park (Etosha). 

3 min read

An elephant and a zebra walking across a vast open space in Etosha National Park.

Etosha gets its name from the massive Etosha Pan, which covers nearly a quarter of the park’s surface. This huge space is home to hundreds of different species including endangered animals. 

About Etosha National Park

Etosha is one of the largest protected areas in Africa, located in the northwest corner of Namibia. At 22,270 sq km (8,600 sq mi) Etosha has a surface area to match that of New Jersey or Slovenia. It’s slightly larger than Kruger National Park, but with far fewer roads, camps and people, and a landscape dominated by expansive salt pans. 

A single oryx (gemsbok) stands in tall yellow grass, feeding in the heat of the day. The landscape behind it looks hot and dry.

This park is famous for its abundance of wildlife. Many of these species specialise in surviving in the park’s unique habitats, such as the prevalent salt pans. Species you might see on a safari in Etosha include: 

  1. Elephant

  2. Rhino

  3. Giraffe

  4. Lion

  5. Oryx

  6. Leopard

  7. Caracal

  8. Bat-eared fox

  9. Brown and spotted hyena

  10. And many more

Etosha National Park accommodation

Bushwise founder Sophie Niemann at the back of a 4x4 overland vehicle, preparing a meal while travelling through Etosha National Park.

There are six major camps inside Etosha. All are near the park’s main roads and are managed by Namibian Wildlife Resorts (a government agency). These are:

  1. Dolomite Camp

  2. Okaukuejo Camp

  3. Halali Camp

  4. Namutoni Camp

  5. Olifantsrus Camp

  6. Onkoshi Camp

Of these camps, Olifantsrus is only camping and self-catering. Okaukuejo, Halali and Namutoni camps have camping areas as well as chalets, restaurants and swimming pools. Onkoshi and Dolomite are the newest camps and have more luxury-style accommodation. All camps have floodlit waterholes for excellent game viewing. Private luxury accommodation is found just outside the park’s boundaries.

Safari in Etosha

There are a few different ways to experience Etosha, depending on your budget, interests and length of stay. Certainly the most affordable is to stay within the park at the campgrounds and conduct your own self-guided driving safari. You might get lucky and see everything on a self-drive. 

A woman holds a cell phone up to take a photo of an elephant in the distance. She is looking out of a rolled down car window and the landscape beyond her is vast and open.

But, as with African safaris, going with a field guide is highly recommended. These professionals have spent a lot of time in Etosha and are familiar with the landscape and animals. Trained safari guides will have a much better idea of where certain animals spend their time, and will have daily updates on animal movement. 

If you’re trying to see something special, consider booking a guide while you’re in Etosha. You might also want to join one of the camp’s extra activities, such as a photographic or aerial safari.

Consider a career as a safari guide

Did you reach this page because you love wildlife and nature? Have you ever considered turning your passion into a career? Bushwise offers 2-, 6- and 12-month wildlife courses where you can become a qualified safari guide. Imagine working in a place like Etosha! It’s not an impossible dream. Make it possible with Bushwise.

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