You’ve probably heard from friends, or your travel guide, that you absolutely must get up early if you do a game drive in Etosha. While it is recommended, there’s more to making the most of Etosha activities.
How should you organise your day?
Different animals are active at different times of day. So in order to get the most out of your visit to Etosha, try to be in the Park at all times of the day from sunrise to sunset. Try to also be in Etosha once at night. This means staying in one of the Park’s rest camps as you are not allowed into the Park after dark.
So if you only have one day for Etosha, make sure you use the whole day in order to get a full experience. If you have a few days for the Park, then start early one day to try to catch a sight of the more nocturnal animals. These include Rhino, Leopard, Honey-badgers, Hyenas, and active lions rather than sleeping lions! If your early start pays off, then you can take it easy the other day(s) and start a bit later and stay until sunset instead.
Where should you go in the park?
It’s better to be a little prepared when you first visit the park, whether it’s on a guided day-trip or on you own. Borrow or buy a map of the Park, and maybe a guide to the animals of the Park (we sell both!) so you know where you’re going and what you’re seeing.
Also, before you drive into Etosha on your own for the first time, get tips from some locals (like us!) as to what to look for where and when. The animals move around the Park a lot depending on the availability of water and food. This means some areas are better to visit in different seasons than others, and even at different times of day.
What should you take with you?
Cameras are of course essential, although these days cell-phone cameras are such good quality they can be sufficient for everything except the smallest animals (like birds). Binoculars are also good to have, especially for spotting the lions sleeping under a tree 400m away, but they’re also not essential.
What should you expect from Etosha weather?
Be prepared for the weather if you are going on a guided day-trip on an open game-viewer. Even in summer the mornings can be cool, and in winter the wind can be icy-cold. So be sure to take plenty of warm clothes with you. Layers are best, as it can get very hot towards lunch-time.
Etosha can be very dusty in the dry winter months, so it’s also good to have a scarf or two to cover both your lower-face and your camera, in case it’s a particularly dusty day. Sunglasses and sun-cream are absolute must-haves as well – the Etosha sun is unforgiving. And of course be sure to take plenty of water with you: looking for animals all day can be thirsty work!
N.B. on our guided day-trips, we provide blankets, water, soft-drinks and lunch. Find out more about our Etosha activities.