When is the best time to visit the Etosha National Park ?

Published January 2023

The Etosha National Park in Namibia is a popular destination for tourists visiting the country, because of its diverse wildlife and unique landscapes. The lush grasslands stretched out as far as the eye can see during the summer seasons. And equally incredible landscape in the winter months, with harsh dry and dusty terrain that make for dramatic photography opportunities. The park is home to a wide variety of animals, including Elephants, Lions, Giraffes, and many species of Antelope and Birds. Its famous feature being the Etosha Pan, a large salt pan, 4,730 km2 in size, is one of the larger salt pans in the world, attracting a variety of migratory birds.

The tourist establishments bordering the Etosha Park, such as the Onguma Nature Reserve, offers scenic drives into the reserve and the opportunities for wildlife viewing from open sided vehicles. Overall, the Etosha National Park is a great destination for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers.

The best time to visit Etosha National Park in Namibia depends on what you want to see and do.

If your main focus is wildlife sightings, then generally the best time is during the dry season, which runs from May to October. During this time, the park’s waterholes become more active as animals come to drink and the grass is low, making it easier to spot wildlife. The park’s roads are more accessible during the dry season also since the heavy rain falls in the summer seasons often wash away the main pathways making it more difficult to reach certain areas with non 4×4 vehicles.

However, the rainy season, November to April, is also an amazing time to visit the Etosha National Park. The park is lush and green, the vegetation is thick and many wildflowers are in bloom. During this time, many migratory birds are passing through the park also, making it a great time for birding enthusiasts.

Etosha National Park in Namibia is home to a wide variety of animals, including many species of mammals, birds, and reptiles. Some of the most common and notable animals you may see while visiting the park include:

  • Elephants: Etosha is known for its large elephant population, which can often be seen around the park’s waterholes.
  • Lions: The park is also home to a healthy lion population, which can be spotted on game drives or at waterholes.
  • Giraffes: These tall mammals are common in the park and can often be seen grazing on the trees.
  • Antelopes: Etosha is home to several species of antelopes including the Springbok, Gemsbok or Oryx, and Eland.
  • Birds: The park is also a great destination for birders, as it is home to more than 340 bird species, including Flamingos, Pelicans, and many migratory birds.
  • Rhino’s: The park has a healthy population of both Black & White Rhinos.
  • Cheetahs: The park is a great destination to see cheetahs in the wild.
  • Hyenas: The park has a healthy population of both Brown and Spotted Hyenas, which can be seen in different areas of the park.

These are just a few examples of the many animals you may see while visiting Etosha National Park. It’s also worth noting that sightings can never be guaranteed as wild animals roam free and their movements are unpredictable.