Busy  Waterhole  Etosha  Margo

Southern Etosha Safari Holidays

Busy Etosha waterhole

The easiest part of Etosha to access

Visit the huge Etosha salt pan in the richest wildlife area in the country, ideal for a self driving Namibia safari holiday

For most visitors, this is the easiest part of the Etosha National Park to access, with the tarred C38 road running all the way to the Andersson Gate, the Southernmost entrance to the park. The gate is a six hour drive from Windhoek, so many travellers like to break their journey in the beautiful Central Highlands, which are equidistant between the park and the capital.

The most prominent feature of the 22,270 square kilometre park is the Estosha Pan – a huge salt plan very close to the gate. There are numerous excellent roads that skirt the pan, as well as routes taking visitors through some excellent game viewing areas to waterholes. Despite the desolate appearance of the park, it is in reality the most wildlife-rich part of Namibia, with lion, cheetah, rhino, elephant, giraffe zebra and oryx amongst the wildlife commonly seen.

From a practical point of view a tailor made Southern Etosha safari is ideal for self-drive safaris, with an extensive network of well-marked tarred roads, and several places to stop and view wildlife coming to drink from the many waterholes. Picnic areas, protected by gates and fences, are found at most of these waterholes, so you can really make a day of visiting the park. Opening hours are between sunrise and sunset, with many visitors queuing at the gate before sunrise, so it can be busy at the very start of the day.

The nerve centre for operations in this part of the park is Okaukuejo, 20kms from the gate and home to a National Parks rest camp with fixed accommodation as well as a campsite, shops, restaurants and a petrol station. It is also the site of a very productive waterhole, where guests at the rest camp will often see wildlife, most prominently rhino, coming to drink at night when a floodlight illuminates their nocturnal activity. There is also an excellent choice of accommodation outside of the park for luxury Southern Etosha holidays, with lodges strung out on either side of the C38. There’s far more choice here, and visitors looking to enjoy a more private safari experience should look towards the Ongava Private Game Reserve which borders Etosha, offering all of its amazing wildlife viewing and dramatic landscapes but without the crowds.

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