Etosha is more than just Namibia's safari hotspot. It's one of the greatest wildlife destinations in the whole of Africa. On this exciting self-drive holiday you'll experience it in depth, spending five nights exploring both the national park and the private game reserves of Ongava and Ongumu. To round off this wildlife spectacular, a night at Okonjima – home of the AfriCat Foundation – is also included.
- Self-drive, west to east, through Etosha National Park
- Stake out a waterhole on the lookout for giraffe, zebra, elephant, rhino and Etosha's other big game
- Explore the neighbouring game reserves of Ongava and Onguma where optional activities include bush walks and game drives
- Track cheetah at the AfriCat Foundation and learn about big cat conservation
Our most wildlife-focused holiday in Namibia spends five nights in Etosha. As well as exploring the less-visited western section of the national park, you will spend time in two neighbouring private reserves (Ongava in the south and Onguma in the east) where you can join optional activities like game drives and bush walks. Heading south back towards WIndhoek, your final night at Okonjima provides a fascinating insight into the predator conservation work of the AfriCat Foundation, with an opportunity to track some of their rehabilitated big cats.
The best time to visit Etosha is during the dry season (June-October) when animals congregate around waterholes and are easier to spot. By the end of the dry season, large numbers of giraffe, elephant and zebra can often be seen at these shrinking water sources. During and after the rains (December-March) wildlife spotting can be more challenging as they're less reliant on waterholes and tend to scatter further afield. However, as this is when many animals give birth, predators take advantage of inexperienced young animals and you may 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 for an overnight stay at Okonjima, home of the AfriCat Foundation. This non-profit organisation was founded in the early 1990s with the aim of securing the long-term survival of Namibia’s predators in their natural habitat. AfriCat has saved more than 1,000 predators since its inception and over 80 percent of them have been released back into the wild. The organisation is best known for its cheetah conservation programme, but it also works to protect leopards, lions, hyenas and wild dogs. During your stay, head out on game drives to track the animals that are being rehabilitated in the 200 square kilometre Okonjima Nature Reserve. As enthusiastic supporters of the AfriCat Foundation, we are proud to have adopted Dune, one of its cheetahs. 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
Airfares start from around £700 per person and are quoted separately to the holiday price.
When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.
Best time to visit: June – October (dry season)
Prices from £1,041 per person
- 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
So that we may send you a personalised quote and confirmation of availability, please click on the link below and complete our Enquiry form. One of our Travel Specialists will then be in touch to complete your booking or answer any further questions you might have.
We will always offer the best price available at the time of booking and guarantee no surcharges - see our 100% Guarantee for full details.
Speak to a specialist: 1-844-584-0668Book this trip
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