Wildlife in Namibia

etosha park water hole An abundance of wildlife congregate around the water holes of Etosha National Park

In the north of the country, Etosha National Park is Namibia’s unmissable wildlife destination. During the dry season when water is scarce, the park’s animals gather around waterholes making game viewing as easy as parking your car in the right spot. Along with herds of springbok, zebra and blue wildebeest, you’ll see lots of elephant and lion and, if you’re lucky, cheetah. You’ll also get to see desert animals such as oryx, meerkat, ostrich and bat-eared foxes.The park is the best place in Africa to spot black rhino, while black-faced impala and damara dik-dik are two other special species: they are only found in one other place – across the border in Angola.

cape vultures A pair of Cape Vultures, a protected species

To the south of Etosha, Waterberg Plateau Park is home to some rare species, such as sable and roan antelope as well as black and white rhino and Namibia’s only breeding colony of Cape Vultures.

namib elephant

Among the rugged mountains of Damaraland, in Namibia’s northwest, are free-roaming populations of desert elephant (which are incredibly rare – the only other place in the world where they are is Mali) and desert-adapted black rhino and lions. Namibia’s most rewarding wildlife experiences include tracking black rhinos and elephants against spectacular desert backdrops.

croc in caprivi

In far north-eastern Namibia, the Zambezi Region (formerly known as the Caprivi Strip) offers a different wildlife experience to the rest of the country, thanks to its heavy summer rainfall, rivers and water sources. This is where you can see hippo and crocodile and it’s one of the only places in the country where buffalo occur. A highlight of the Zambezi Region is water-based wildlife viewing either from boats on from mokoro (traditional dug-out canoes).

cape fur seals skeleton coast Cape fur seal colony along the Skeleton Coast

Stretching along Namibia’s northern coastline, the Skeleton Coast National Park has one of the world’s biggest breeding colonies of Cape fur seals at the Cape Cross Seal Reserve. There are around 100 000 seals here year-round, and if you visit the reserve in November and December you’ll see their tiny pups – and perhaps a stalking jackal.

mike lloyd whale Credit: Mike Lloyd

In central Namibia, there’s marine wildlife to see on boat and kayaking trips from Walvis Bay to spot seals, whales and dolphins. Central Namibia also has two places to do animal tracking: search for cheetahs and leopards at Okonjima Nature Reserve near Otjiwarongo and track rare and extremely elusive pangolins at Erindi Private Game Reserve.

leopard onguma

Southern Namibia isn’t a prime big game region, though if you want to see the animals of the Namib Desert (oryx, springbok, kudu, zebra, giraffe, hartebeest, leopard, hyena, jackal and fox) the NamibRand Nature Reserve, a huge conservation area with spectacular scenery and a low density of visitors, is your best bet. An unusual wildlife highlight of southern Namibia is the herd of around 150 wild horses that roams freely in the desert between Aus and Lüderitz – the world’s only desert-dwelling wild horses.


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

Popular Namibia Safaris

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

 | Affordable Luxury in Namibia (11 days)

Affordable Luxury in Namibia (11 days)

From the capital of Windhoek to the pristine Ongava Private Game Reserve, this Namibian adventure has all the elements of an unforgettable safari into the untamed wilderness...

 | Namibia Safari on Board the Rovos Rail (9 days)

Namibia Safari on Board the Rovos Rail (9 days)

Immerse yourself in the luxury and old-world charm of this train journey through a land as old as time...

 | South Africa to Namibia Classic 4x4 Self-Drive Adventure (11 days)

South Africa to Namibia Classic 4x4 Self-Drive Adventure (11 days)

This is a great adventure, travelling up the West Coast of South Africa and visiting iconic destinations in southern Namibia...

 | Exciting Family Safari in Botswana and Namibia (11 days)

Exciting Family Safari in Botswana and Namibia (11 days)

Enjoy both Botswana's Okavango Delta and Namibia's Caprivi Strip on a safari holiday filled with fun ...

Scenery | Namibia’s Sossusvlei, Damaraland and Kunene Luxury Safari (7 days)

Namibia's Sossusvlei, Damaraland and Kunene Luxury Safari (7 days)

Experience Sossusvlei's red dunes glowing in the early morning light, find desert-adapted elephant in Damaraland and meet the Himba nomads in Namibia's far north-west...

 | Etosha National Park Road Trip Adventure (8 days)

Etosha National Park Road Trip Adventure (8 days)

Drive yourself through the majestic landscapes of Namibia en-route to Etosha and spend your days searching for, and finding the wildlife that Etosha is known for...

 | Best of Namibia, Botswana & Victoria Falls

Best of Namibia, Botswana & Victoria Falls

Travel from enigmatic red sands and surreal pans to rugged coastline and open plains, before exploring pristine waterways and scenic rivers - Kwando, Chobe and lastly, the mighty Zambezi River...

Red dunes | Short and Sweet Sossusvlei Sojourn (5 days)

Short and Sweet Sossusvlei Sojourn (5 days)

Reconnect with nature in Namibia's southern desert and marvel at Sossusvlei's high red dunes glowing in the early morning light...

 | Unforgettable Namibia Safari Adventure (11 days)

Unforgettable Namibia Safari Adventure (11 days)

Namibia is an ideal destination for travellers seeking an unforgettable African experience in a uniquely beautiful untamed wilderness...

 | Nambian Desert to Coast Self-Drive Road Trip (9 days)

Nambian Desert to Coast Self-Drive Road Trip (9 days)

From the famous Sossusvlei, quaint Swakopmund, historical Damaraland and on towards Etosa National Park, this road trip through Namibia is an authentic and different take on a safari......



You might also like

Namibia vs Botswana

Elewana Collection’s Zarafa Camp in Botswana Botswana is known for its superb luxury camps and its policy of low impact tourism: the country limits the number of people staying in conservation areas, which means that a safari in the country tends to be relatively expensive. On the other hand, Namibia is more tourist-friendly and with its well-maintained roads, is a far easier country…

Why go to Namibia?

A blockbuster combination of sublime landscapes that will make you feel like you’re on another planet, some of the best wildlife viewing on the continent, a host of fascinating desert-adapted plants and animals and jaw-dropping natural wonders make Namibia a country you’ll never forget. Namibia’s scenery and sights are as astonishing as they are varied, ranging from the Namib…

Adventure activities in Namibia

Namibia spells adventure with a capital A. Planning your Namibian adventure holiday is a matter of deciding what sorts of experiences you’d like to have. Without much planning or preparation, you can have a jam-packed itinerary full of adventurous activities – some of which are suitable for the whole family – just by staying in Swakopmund, where various tour operators offer…

Best time to go to Namibia

Hamerkop Namibia generally has a dry climate and you can visit the country year-round. However, deciding on the ideal month to travel to Namibia really depends on which regions and attractions you will be travelling to and what your interests are. For example, the dry months are best for wildlife viewing in places such as Etosha National Park, whereas the rainy summer months are best…

Southern Namibia

Orange River | Credit: Judith Nicolai Bordering on South Africa, Namibia’s southern region has a lot to offer in terms of wild desert landscapes and outdoors activities, from canoeing on the Orange River through the other-worldly desert scenery of the |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park to the jaw-dropping majesty of the Fish River Canyon, Africa’s largest canyon. Southern…

Namibia travel costs

Prices for lodging in Namibia range from N$140 (US $12) per person in a campsite, N$200 (US $17) for a budget guesthouse, N$700 (US $60) for a B&B room to N$1000 (US $85) per person for a chalet in one of the camps in Etosha National Park, N$1500 (US $128) per person in a mid-range safari lodge and around N$7000 (US $600) per person for a night in an all-inclusive luxury safari…

Visas for Namibia

Namibia has visa exemption agreements with the USA and many European countries, so if your country is covered by the exemption then you can travel visa-free to the country for up to three months. Everyone entering Namibia needs a passport with six months of validity from the date of entry to the country and one blank page. ...

Namibia vs South Africa

The Cape wine lands, South Africa In terms of city culture, landscapes, flora and fauna, South Africa has a lot more diversity than Namibia. South Africa also has excellent game parks where Big Five viewing is easy, as well as forests and mountains, a beautiful coastline with superb beaches and culturally rich cities home to award-winning restaurants, fantastic shopping, art and…

Ready to start your adventure?

+27 (0)21 422 3498
   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    Mon - Fri: 8AM - 9PM GMT+2