Located in North Central Namibia, Etosha covers an area of over 5.5 million acres. This park is known for its ethereal salt pan that covers around 23% of the park, and for being Namibia’s finest savanna wilderness. In addition to the massive salt pan and savanna plains, its diverse habitats also include woodlands, open shrub savanna, and rocky hills. This arid environment is home to an incredible number of mammal species, including a number of threatened and endangered species like the black and white rhino.
Excursions in Etosha focus on its impressive wildlife. Whether taking a trip through the national park or a neighboring reserve, this raw wilderness provides an excellent wildlife viewing experience year round. Drives in the national park take you to the shimmering salt pan and the park’s series of water holes and springs. The survival of Etosha’s wildlife heavily depends on these vital water sources that attract a continuous flow of wildlife, especially during the dry season.
By May, temperatures drop as the region transitions into winter. Days are sunny and comfortable with average temperatures in the mid-70s. June and July are typically the coldest winter months, when nights dip into the 30s. Be sure to wear layers on early morning and afternoon excursions. Etosha’s dry winter months provide incredible wildlife spectacles, as water becomes scarce and its wildlife is drawn to vital water holes and springs. By September, temperatures in Etosha rise as the region transitions into summer. Average daytime temperatures are in the mid-90s and sometimes reach the 100s. While days are warm, nighttime temperatures remain comfortable, as the air cools with the setting sun. The first rains typically fall in December or January and last into March. With the rains, wildlife is able to disperse throughout the park. The subsequent growth signals the start of the birthing season for Etosha’s antelopes, and migratory birds arrive.
Etosha is a prolific wildlife destination. The survival of Etosha’s wildlife depends on its series of waterholes and springs that attract a continuous flow of animals through the day and night. Both white and black rhinos can be found within the park, as well as large populations of lions and elephants. Most southern African antelope species can be found here along with a few rarities, like the Damara dik-dik and the black-faced impala. This arid environment is unable to support hippos or crocodiles, but the birding in Etosha is phenomenal, with more than 340 recorded species! Not only is Etosha one of a few remaining breeding grounds for endangered blue cranes, but it is also a site where over a million flamingos congregate when the pans fill with water.