Travel article: Etosha National Park- Safari

Travel blogger: Christelle & Cedric

Trip story: 100 days in Africa!

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Etosha National Park, Namibie

Namibia 4 days - June 2019










Following our first safari at Kruger Park, we could not wait to do another one, in Namibia this time at Etosha


On the road, we are escorted by hundreds of warthogs. We watch them running on their very short legs, fidgeting with their horns that make the simple gesture of eating complicated. Besides, they kneel to eat! Strange position.


The vegetation of the park surprises us. A huge pan (dry lake) is surrounded by a few twigs. It's very arid, how do animals feed and drink? (Namibia is experiencing the worst drought in its modern history and has just sold a million animals to leave enough resources for the others to survive)


Answer: at wateholes, natural or artificial. If at the Kruger, animals wander in groups of the same family, in Etosha it is really common to see at waterholes dozens of zebras, giraffes, elephants, impala, kudu and even lions cohabit!




For three days we drove the challenging tracks of the park, from dawn to sunset, trying to provoke a magical encounter with wild animals at the turn of a track or at waterholes. And we had lots of them!



Indeed it is always impressive to be face to face with an elephant who decides to cross in front of the car, to see a family of about twenty arrive so far away and see them destroying everything in their path making a crazy noise. At the water point, they take the opportunity to have fun and cool off with some water fights helped by their trunk! The little ones (not so small to our human reference) follow their mother and stay in their paws whatever happens. 


They cohabit very well with zebras, who also roam in large numbers. We will easily see more than 200 during these three days. There are many little ones who mingle with their parents' coat. We love their colors and steps.


We also love giraffes that seduce us by their nonchalance. One morning, at sunrise, we could only see their shape, in the distance, their neck protruding in these landscapes so arid and without relief. If they can eat on the few trees stretching their necks, the latter turns out to be a handicap when they have to drink. It is too short and they are forced to spread their legs and find themselves in an unstable position!



Then at another waterhole, we see a hundred of Kudu, impalas, antelopes, Oryx. Some have horns of different shape and size, others not. We are surprised to see them running so fast, predators are around...




Speaking of predators, we met the most feared one. Lion ! And even two lions, a couple we watched for over three hours. Simple program, ritualized and quite primitive: sleep, drink, mate and they start again. We will not see them hunting this time and when we come back in the late afternoon, they are still there. Slackers;) The carcasses present let us see the results of the hunt though!






In Etosha there are no buffalo, hippopotamus or crocodiles but many rhinos. Blacks this time. The distinction between black and white is not the color or shape of the horn as we thought but the shape of the mouth. These forces of nature wander in the middle of the desert, we spot them from afar as they are massive. We would not like to meet face to face and yet it could have happened!





Indeed, after more than 8000 km with our small city car, on the Etosha tracks, we are told by some tourists that our tyre is flat. OK cool, how are we doing to change the wheel around big cats, elephants and rhinos


Fortunately there is some break area where you can take refuge. As protection, a gate mesh super fragile and a poke would open it!


We get to work (especially Cédric) to mount the jack, mount the car, install the spare wheel. I wade and watch for the potential presence of animals around (we will learn later in Botswana the rules of safety when we encounter a lion or rhinoceros.So not instinctive, we would have finished like a sausage!).


Nothing on sight, 30 minutes later we go back to the entrance of the park to repair the tyre. Surprise, it is not pinched but only deflated! We made it: Namibia with a city car and without pinched tyre!



Ostriches are also in numbers, they run so fast. Smaller, hornbills hover around us and huge buffaloes walk peacefully.



We leave after three intense days of safari smiling after the incredible animal encounters we had. We loved to drive alone in our little car. We did not feel like disturbing them, they wander in their natural environment and party at the waterholes together. We want to go back!


Some recommendations:

# the entrance to the park costs 80 Namibian dollars per day per person (only 5 euros!)

# The accommodations inside the park are atrociously expensive and booked months in advance. Camping much cheaper however we were not equipped. We stayed at the park exit (Anderson Gate level) at Etosha Lodge for 100 euros per night for a beautiful bungalow. Buffet (no other options) at 300 Namibian dollars (20 euros).

# the tracks are drivable in a city car but it shakes a lot.

# It is not necessary to venture far from the park entrance, there are animals everywhere.

# Due to the drought, it is recommended to go to the water points and wait for the animals to come. 

# the tracks are in better condition at the Namutoni exit.

# The best animal encounters are at sunrise and at sunset. We regret, however, that the doors open a little late. Schedules change every day, ask around beforehand.

# in Tsumeb, 120 kilometers from the park entrance, there is a very nice hostel for 25 euros a night. Tsumeb Backpackers. It is a long way to get to the park every day but it is an option for the day before or the end of the safari.

Leave a comment

Paul Mérouze
Jul 1, 2019 - 06:51 AM



Christelle & Cedric
Jul 2, 2019 - 07:19 AM

Ca ne reste qu'un changement de roue ;) certes avec une possible attaque de lions !


Jul 1, 2019 - 05:10 PM



Jul 1, 2019 - 05:11 PM

Chouette tous ces animaux