Etosha in January

mokuti etosha lodge Mokuti Etosha Lodge

Average temperatures hit a sticky 34°C. It’s rainy season: incredibly for a place one thinks of as arid, this can mean mud in patches! A 4x4 will be useful and comfortable, but it is a lot more costly, and the majority of Etosha’s roads remain accessible in an ordinary city car. Park authorities also tend to temporarily close roads that will be a problem. The weather is simply unpredictable: there can be clear sunny skies, but Etosha can also be overcast for days at a time, with the chance of some quite heavy rain. As such, potentially not the best time for photography, although there may be dramatic skies and sunsets thanks to thunderstorms. The beginning of January is still peak local holiday travel time, so the park will be packed. Things quieten down drastically later; by month-end some private lodges can even feel a bit echoey! All the more attention for those lucky few. If the rains have been good, there will be water in the pan itself, and Fisher’s Pan near Namutoni could have turned pink with flamingos, which breed here in good years. Those charismatic big guys, the elephant and rhino, will have gone walkabout toward the east, i.e. moved from the waterholes to thicker bush. As the park roads tend to link waterholes, this can make sightings less accessible.’

etosha national park safari


Our Recommended Itinerary

Etosha National Park Road Trip Adventure (8 days)

day 1

Welcome to Namibia

day 2

Eastern Etosha

day 3

Game viewing

day 4

Namibian vistas

day 5

Southern Etosha

day 6

Namibian wildlife

day 7

Last safari day

day 8

End of Namibian safari

View Full Itinerary

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Etosha in December

The rains should have arrived, and the game will be moving east to browse in the Namutoni area and further north, beyond the road network. The central waterholes quieten down and will no longer be visited much by elephant; rhino, too, may take some seeking out. Baby animals are born and shiver into action, able to walk in no time, but vulnerable for the first few days after birth.…

Etosha in April

Still nice and quiet in beautiful Etosha, although there will be a spike in tourists around Easter, when rest camps will fill up. The seasons are changing, evenings and early mornings may be cooling down by the end of the month. A less predictable ‘shoulder season’ month, but often very good for Etosha. The herds should have started to move back towards the central areas by the end of…

Western Etosha

The western side of the Etosha National Park has its own character and appeal, plus the all-important wildlife encounters (although game is considered to be sparser). The only accommodations here, a NWR luxury eco-camp called Dolomite and a fenced, camping-only site called Olifantsrus – opened in 2010 and 2014 respectively. This section of the park was also off-limits to self-drivers…

Etosha National Park wildlife

African elephants that have become accustomed to the relentless cycles of drought in Etosha and map its water sources in their memories. From just 26 in 1954, their numbers have swelled to over 2,500. It was in Etosha that a study proved that elephant can communicate using infrasonic sounds; they literally ‘bounce’ these off a thermal inversion layer in the atmosphere. This allows…

Etosha in August

Peak season in terms of weather, international tourist numbers and waterhole action. August seldom sees a drop of rain, and average temperatures are rising: highs are 31° and lows 11°. It will be busy enough in the park for those allergic to crowds to consider staying in a lodge on a private reserve outside the park borders, or look to the less-visited Western side of the park. Acacia…

Etosha in October

One of the hottest months of the year, with high temperatures averaging 37°C. You’ll be able to tell it’s really warm when you see the tiny dik-dik breathing rapidly: it has an enlarged internal nasal area with lots of blood vessels and ‘nasal panting’ helps cool it down (elephants flap their enormous ears to do the same thing). Happily, humans have iced drinks! Visitor numbers…

Popular Etosha National Park Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

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