10 Frequently asked questions: Etosha National Park
1. How many days should I spend in Etosha National Park?
Two nights are more than enough if you spend your time in the park wisely, but preferably you would want to spend 3 to 4 nights. See my post “How many days should I spend in Etosha National Park”
2. Can I self drive to Etosha National Park? And do I need a 4×4?
Yes, most definetly you can self-drive. Namibia is famous for being a road trip destination and Etosha National Park is one of the best locations for it. No, you don’t need a full on 4×4, but it is preferable. See my post “Do I need a 4×4 to roadtrip Namibia?”
3. Should I be worried about malaria in Etosha National Park?
No, you don’t have to worry about malaria. Especially not in the winter moths/peak season. But be precatious. Wear long pants and shirts at night and use anti-repellant if you feel the need i.e. you see and feel mosquitoes
4. When is the best time to visit Etosha National Park?
From as early as April when the winter starts until about September/October before the summer rain starts. This is peak season for Etosha.
5. What animals will I see at Etosha National Park ?
Four of the big five i.e. lion, leopard, elephant and rhino. There are no African buffalo in the park. Also giraffe, wildebeest, cheetah, hyena, mountain and plains zebra, springbok, kudu, gemsbok and eland. There are more than 100 animal species and more than 300 bird species.
6. How do I get from Windhoek to Etosha National Park?
The easiest is to rent a car and drive the about 450km. The road is tarred/asphalt all the way from Windhoek to either Okaukuejo or Namutoni camp. There are many well stocked shops, fuel and ATM/cash machines along the way. Visa/Mastercards are accepted everywhere.
7. How much does it cost to visit Etosha National Park?
Very cheap, probably one of the cheapest National Parks in Africa. There are three costs involved when visiting the park. Accommodation, a park fee per individual per day and vehicle fee per day. For a detailed break up see my post “How much does it cost to visit a National Park in Namibia?”
8. What food can I take into Etosha National Park?
You can take any food you wish to consume into the park. However, you will not be allowed to take any animal products i.e. meat, dried meat, eggs, bacon etc. out of the park if you are heading South. Namibia has a veterinary cordon fence that runs across the country from East to West. The fence exists to prevent the spread of animal diseases from the North to the rest of the country.
9. Is petrol and diesel available in Etosha National Park?
There are fuel stations at Okaukuejo, Halali and Namutoni camps. They usually have fuel and accept credit cards. Recently a fuel station was built 5km before the Andersson Gate/Okaukuejo gate. I usually fill up before I enter the park.
10. Do they accept credit cards in Etosha National Park?
Yes they do, but to be safe take some cash as well. Remember that you will have to pay your park fees upon arrival. It is not included in your accommodation booking.
Bonus question: What times do gates open and close?
This varies according to the time of the year. The rule is gates open at sunrise and close at sunset. You can confirm current opening and closing times with any NWR office.