This holiday is perfect for wildlife lovers; spend five nights in Etosha National Park traversing the width of the park from west to east, searching for the diverse range of animals who call Etosha home.
- Self-drive through the renowned Etosha National Park searching for wildlife
- Explore two very different parts of Etosha by spending time on both the Ongava and Onguma private game reserves
- Visit the world renowned AfriCat Foundation and learn more about their conservation initiatives involving Africa’s large cats
Our most wildlife focused holiday in Namibia spends five nights in Etosha, including its lesser visited western section. You will stay on two private reserves that border the park; Ongava in the south and Onguma in the east, ensuring the wildlife encounters don’t end as you exit the park for the day. You will also spend one night at Okonjima, home of the AfriCat Foundation where you can track some of their rehabilitated big cats.
The best time to visit Etosha is during the dry season (June-October), when animals are easier to spot as they congregate around waterholes. By the end of the dry season, extraordinary numbers of giraffes, elephants and zebras can be seen at waterholes. During and after the rains (December-March) wildlife spotting can be more challenging as lush vegetation hides the animals, and they scatter further afield as they no longer need to stay close to waterholes. However, as many animals give birth during this time and predators take advantage of the inexperienced young animals, it is the ideal time to witness predator/prey interaction.
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Extend your stay
We were sitting by the waterhole in the dark, when I heard a rustling amongst the trees to the right and then the biggest elephant I've ever seen appeared and strolled up to the edge of the waterhole. I was in awe, the sight was beyond my wildest dreams and if that wasn't enough, a rhino and her calf joined the elephant. This was just one of many amazing memories I came home with from Namibia, a destination that I definitely will return to.Lynne Raw , Operations Manager
Itinerary & Accommodation
- Day 1: Windhoek
- Arrive at Hosea Kutako (Windhoek International) Airport, where you will receive your rental vehicle. Once you have sorted out all the formalities for your vehicle, drive to Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia. After checking-in at your accommodation, you can explore the city. Windhoek is a city of many contrasts; modern skyscrapers blend with historic buildings from the German colonial era. Windhoek attractions you may wish to explore this afternoon include the Christ Church (Christuskirche), the capital’s best-recognised landmark, the National Museum of Namibia which houses an excellent display on Namibia’s independence and Katutura, a former apartheid-era black township. Windhoek has a selection of restaurants for you to dine at this evening. Joe’s Beerhouse is a Windhoek institution.
- Days 2: Windhoek – Western Etosha
- Leaving the capital city this morning, you will head north west to Western Etosha, where you will spend the next two nights. The wildlife jewel of Namibia, Etosha National Park is one of the best game reserves in Africa. Etosha is huge; at 22,270 square kilometres it covers an area larger than Wales and is home to over 100 species of mammals, 110 reptile species, 16 amphibians and 1 species of fish! Today you will enter Etosha National Park through the Galton Gate in the West. Western Etosha was not accessible for many years, but was opened to the public in 2014.
- Day 3: game drives in Western Etosha
- Etosha is dominated by a huge mineral pan, which covers a quarter of the park and was once a lake the size of Holland. Surrounding the pan is a variety of grass and woodlands amongst which live a wonderful variety of animals, birds, insects and reptiles. Etosha’s highlight is its waterholes; there are dozens of them, some natural while others are artificially fed from boreholes. During the dry season, staking out a position at a waterhole viewpoint is a rewarding way to watch game without moving from one spot. The most numerous antelope species in Etosha is springbok, which can sometimes be seen herding in their thousands. Other common herbivores are giraffe, zebra, eland, wildebeest, kudu and oryx. Black rhinos are more rare but still regularly sighted. Herds of fifty elephants are not unusual and often walk right down the middle of the road giving people in cars an incredibly close and thrilling encounter. When it comes to predators, lion, of which there are thought to be over 1000 inside the reserve, are the most visible. For birders there is a large variety of birds including ground hornbill, lilac-breasted roller, eagles and vultures.
- Day 4: Western Etosha – Ongava Private Reserve
- Today drive through the western section of the park, stopping at waterholes en route to look out for animals coming to drink. Exit the park before sunset at the Andersson Gate in the south and head to the Ongava Private Reserve. Sharing a common boundary with Etosha National Park, Ongava is considered one of the finest private game reserves in the region, enjoying global recognition for exceptional conservation; ground breaking research and exciting safari experiences. Ongava takes great pride in keeping the experience small and personal by only allowing a limited number of visitors at any one time. At 30,000 hectares, Ongava is one of the largest private game reserves in Namibia and a haven to large concentrations of wildlife including lion, black and white rhino, elephant, giraffe, cheetah and several species of antelope including the rare black-faced impala.
- Days 5-6: Ongava Private Reserve – Onguma Private Reserve
- Today you will drive through Etosha to the east. It is recommended to make a stop at the Okaukuejo waterhole en route. This is the most famous waterhole in Etosha and is a hub of animal activity from morning to night. Exiting the park at Von Lindequist Gate, you will spend the next two nights on the Onguma Game Reserve. Originally part of the greater Etosha Game Reserve, the Onguma Game Reserve is situated on the eastern side of Etosha, bordering the Fisher’s pan and a short drive from the von Lindequist Gate. Onguma Game Reserve has more than 34,000 hectares of protected land and wildlife. Lions are frequently seen and often heard. There is a healthy black rhino and leopard population and hyenas are also regularly spotted. More than 300 bird species can also be viewed at Onguma. During the Namibian summer months the reserve becomes a bird watcher's paradise with thousands of species migrating to the wetlands created by the seasonal rains and ephemeral river systems. Activities available from Onguma include game drives on the reserve and interpretative bush walks. In the evening, watch animals congregating at the waterhole located just in front of the lodge as you enjoy a sundowner drink.
- Days 7-8: Etosha National Park – Otjiwarongo – Windhoek
- Leave Etosha behind and head south to Okonjima, home of the AfriCat Foundation. A highlight of any visit to Namibia, this non profit organisation was founded in the early 1990s and their mission is the long term survival of Namibia’s predators in their natural habitat. AfriCat has saved more than 1000 predators since its inception and over 80 percent of them have been released back into the wild. AfriCat is most well known for cheetahs, but they also work with leopards, lions, hyenas and wild dogs. Head out on game drives to track the animals that are being rehabilitated in the 200 square kilometre Okonjima Nature Reserve. Discover the World are big advocates of the AfriCat Foundation and are proud to have adopted a cheetah there, called Dune. Then, head back to Windhoek Airport where your holiday ends.
Accommodation OptionsThis holiday is based on the accommodation shown below.
Olive Grove Guesthouse, Windhoek
- Grade: Standard
- Type: Guesthouse
Olive Grove Guesthouse is situated in a quiet suburb of …
Dolomite Resort, Etosha National Park
- Grade: Standard
- Type: Luxury Lodge
Located in the quieter western part of Etosha National P…
Ongava Lodge, nr Etosha National Park
- Grade: Superior
- Type: Luxury Lodge
Sharing a common boundary with Etosha National Park, Ong…
Onguma Tented Camp, nr Etosha National Park
- Grade: Superior
- Type: Unique and Boutique
Onguma Tented Camp is situated on Etosha's eastern side…
ExcursionsSee below some optional activities you can book on this holiday. There are also options including game drives and safari walks that are offered by the lodges, please see the accommodation pages for more information.
Prices & Dates
Best time to visit: June – October (dry season)
Prices from £1,741 per person including flights
- Return flights (based on guide price of £700pp from London)
- 7 nights' accommodation (5 nights bed & breakfast, 2 nights half board basis)
- 9 days car rental (based on Hyundai Tuscon or similar)
- Meet & greet
- Additional meals and excursions not specified above
- National park fees
- Travel insurance
- Car rental contract fee
How to book
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