There’s nothing quite like seeing big game animals in their natural habitat and not behind glass walls at zoos. Popular countries like South Africa and Botswana continue to rack in visitors annually to see the impressive animals in the wild, but did you know that Namibia is home to an incredible national park as well? Etosha National Park is full of exciting species in its 8,600 square mile land. Home to a wealth of game life, hundreds of species of birds, a striking landscape of salt pans and desert, it’s hard to feel disappointed when visiting this land. With affordable costs, unique spots, and ideal locations to venture beyond the park, Etosha is highly underrated. Here are the top five reasons your next safari trip should be at Namibia’s own Etosha National Park.
There aren’t many trees
Namibia is largely a desert meaning there’s far less trees than you’d find in other safari countries. This is an added perk for visitors since it’s much easier to spot the animals that aren’t camouflaging into the trees or hiding in the branches. When embarking on a safari game drive, your eyes will search the vast horizon and whenever you see a blip in the distance, you’ll know to drive toward that direction for a wildlife surprise.
You’ll see rare black rhinos
Rhinos are nearing the edge of extinction. There are about 1,750 black rhinos in Etosha National Park alone which makes up for more than a third of wild black rhinos left in the wild. So if you’re looking to see these docile giants, you’ll find them in this park. Despite the country’s unforgiving, barren land, black rhinos adapt really well to the area and are thriving in it.
It can be quite affordable
Not everyone has the luxury to dip into their savings for a high-end, swanky lodge or go on a guided, personal safari ride with a private driver. Luckily, Etosha National Park has designated game-proof campsites where you can pitch your tent for a small fee and enjoy the same scenery as the other guests staying in 5-star resorts. There are also standard lodges that are slightly lower in costs than your average “glamping” lodges in many safari parks. Guests also have the option to go on a self-driving tour. In other words, if the price of bringing along your entire family to a guided jeep tour is far too high, opt to rent a car instead and drive your family around. This way, you’ll have the freedom to go at your own pace without calculating your bank account in your head. The visitor center at the entrance of the park will provide you a detailed map to navigate your way around the park.
Watering holes are often packed
Because of Etosha National Park’s dry land, species tend to gather in some of the few watering holes which results in a spectacle of wild mammals and birds drinking and frolicking alongside each other. You won’t find this kind of action in most parts of the continent. The animals you’ll find within one watering hole range from lions, to antelopes, to giraffes, to zebras, to elephants, to black rhinos. The best time to view the circus of animals is during its dry season.
You’re not far from the Skeleton Coast
Many safari parks are isolated to the point where there’s nothing to do but pack up and go home after viewing wildlife. Luckily, Etosha National Park is less than five hours to the Skeleton Coast, another natural marvel where the desert meets the ocean. What stands out about this unique strip of land is its numerous amount of shipwreck remains and washed out animal bones (hence the name) scattered throughout the beach. It’s also home to wild horses (yes, you read that right) and is considered one of the best places in the world to go stargazing because you’ll be hundreds of miles away from the nearest city.
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