Namibia Blog Header

Go Big Itinerary Google3

Follow Namibia

cc248a74-62ee-4595-a3f8-0f97c7ed4663

Interested in visiting Namibia? Request an info packet today

BLOG-clip-2  

Subscribe to Namibia's Blog

Your email:

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

Exploring Etosha's Newly Opened Western Region

  
  

Situated in the previously restricted western section of the Etosha National Park  there’s a campsite that you may not yet have heard of... It's called Olifantsrus and it offers up unique game viewing experiences. Here is a bit more information on this awesome place.

Accommodation, Conservation, Etosha, Olifantsrus, Namibia accommodation, etosha national park, namibia elephants, namibia conservation

Olifantsrus is more than a resting place for Elephants...
It is a camping and game viewing experience of a lifetime.


It is located approximately 60kms from Galton Gate, 130kms from Okaukuejo and 50kms from Dolomite Camp. The site caters exclusively for campers and given its location you’re sure to feel like you’re right in the heart of the African bush. Look out for the more shy and rare species such as black rhino and black-faced impala who have established themselves in the quieter western part of the park. 

Accommodation, Conservation, Etosha, Olifantsrus, Namibia accommodation, etosha national park, namibia elephants, namibia conservation

Olifantsrus at Etosha National Park
(Image source: Google Maps)

 

State of the Art Game Viewing Hide

One of the key attractions of Olifanstrus campsite is the double-storey viewing hide, a one-of-a-kind attraction in Namibia. The hide stretches out over a man-made waterhole engineered for peaceful game viewing. Aluminium windows wrap around the ground level of the thatched hut so that visitors can get right up close to the action. Upstairs is an open-air balcony offering some fantastic views of the landscape.

Accommodation, Conservation, Etosha, Olifantsrus, Namibia accommodation, etosha national park, namibia elephants, namibia conservation

The double-storey game viewing hide at Olifantsrus Etosha.
(Image courtesy of Namibia Wildlife Resorts)

  

A Tribute to the Elephants of Etosha

Olifantsrus means “Elephants’ Rest”. If you’ve had the privilege of exploring Etosha, then you’ve undoubtedly seen these magnificent beasts roam the land in their large herds. But the name is also a tribute to those 525 elephants that died in a large and controversial culling scheme in the 1980’s close to the campsite. The abattoir still stands at the site today as a stark reminder of what happened. There are placards with more information at the site, so you can brush up on your history and conservation facts while you’re there.

Accommodation, Conservation, Etosha, Olifantsrus, Namibia accommodation, etosha national park, namibia elephants, namibia conservation

Elephants gather around a waterhole at Etosha in great numbers.

 

What’s on offer for campers 

Olifantsrus has 10 campsites with a maximum of 8 people per site. There are electrical power points available as well as basic ablutions and a communal kitchen. The picnic spots offer a welcome spot of shade in the heat of the midday sun, or a good place to meet up with your fellow campers for a coffee and a rusk in the morning.

 

Things to know:

  • The camp opens at sunrise and closes at sunset as per the general park regulations. Day visitors are only allowed to use the picnic facilities up until 16h00 

  • Day visitors pay an entry fee at reception upon entering Olifantsrus

  • Currently only cash is accepted (Namibian dollars or RSA Rands) with card facilities to be implemented shortly

  • The communal kitchen has a two plate gas stove and a fridge

  • There are ablution blocks with toilets and showers

  • The kiosk sells beverages and snacks

  • Currently there are no braai facilities for campers, only flat bases to make fire

  • GPS coordinates for Olifantsrus:  S 18.971492  E 014.860921

 

For additional information contact Namibia Wildlife Resorts

 +264 61 2857333

reservations@nwr.com.na

Hide and Seek in Namibia

  
  

Just below Namibia's Etosha National Park, Andersson’s Camp has a ground-level hide that is a fantastic way to get up close and personal with some of Etosha’s wildlife. If you are a keen photographer, or just a nature lover, then read on as we will be telling you why you need to get yourself to this awesome wildlife watching spot.

Etosha, Wildlife, Namibia, namibia safari, Ongava, Andersson's camp, namibia photography, Olwen Evans, Wilderness safaris

Zebras making their way to a waterhole with Andersson's Camp in the background.
(Photo via Wilderness Safaris


What is a Hide? 

A great way to catch undisturbed views of wildlife in Namibia is to spend a lot of time in a purpose-built hide. These hides are built so that they blend in with the natural surrounds and thus the local wildlife will be at ease and guests will be able to quietly see how these animals behave in their natural environments.

Etosha, Wildlife, Namibia, namibia safari, Ongava, Andersson's camp, namibia photography, Olwen Evans, Wilderness safaris

A warthog, just chilling.
(Photo courtesy of photographer Olwen Evans & Wilderness Safaris)

 

At Andersson’s Camp Wilderness Safaris has set up an underground hide near a waterhole a few hundred metres from their main camp. A fenced-off passageway leads from the camp’s main area to the underground hide that allows guests of the camp to easily travel to and from the hide whenever they desire.

 

Ground Level Photography

Once in the hide you will be in a large airy and cool room that serves up panoramic views. In the hide there are benches allowing guests to get comfortable while they wait for and watch the animals around the waterhole.

Etosha, Wildlife, Namibia, namibia safari, Ongava, Andersson's camp, namibia photography, Olwen Evans, Wilderness safaris

Ample space and surfaces to makes getting that shot that much easier.
(Photo courtesy of photographer 
Olwen Evans & Wilderness Safaris)

 

The hide at Andersson’s Camp is open on three sides and as a result it is always cool and pleasant. Unlike most hides, which are very cramped and often intolerably hot, there is a lot of space in the Andersson Camp hide and this allows photographers enough room to maneuver.

Etosha, Wildlife, Namibia, namibia safari, Ongava, Andersson's camp, namibia photography, Olwen Evans, Wilderness safaris

The ground-level hide offers guests unique viewing opportunities.
(Photo courtesy of photographer 
Olwen Evans & Wilderness Safaris)

 

So if you’re searching for that perfect shot then feel free to bring your tripods and other equipment into the hide as there is ample space in which to set your equipment up for that once-in-a-lifetime shot.

Etosha, Wildlife, Namibia, namibia safari, Ongava, Andersson's camp, namibia photography, Olwen Evans, Wilderness safaris

You’ll need space for your tripod if you want the most from your low light shots.
 (Photo courtesy of photographer Olwen Evans & Wilderness Safaris)

 

What to Look Out For

Once in the hide you will be about 6 metres away from the animals, close enough to hear the animals slurp the cool water and see their alert eyes blink. It’s as close as you can get to the majestic animals without putting yourself, or the animals, in real danger.

Etosha, Wildlife, Namibia, namibia safari, Ongava, Andersson's camp, namibia photography, Olwen Evans, Wilderness safaris

Undisturbed and up close game viewing.
(Photo courtesy of photographer Olwen Evans & Wilderness Safaris) 

 

You can expect to see giraffes, black-faced impalas, hartebees, kudus, warthogs and other large antelopes and mammals. Along with these more common animals, lucky guests have also seen black rhino and lions coming to cool off at the shady waterhole.

Etosha, Wildlife, Namibia, namibia safari, Ongava, Andersson's camp, namibia photography, Olwen Evans, Wilderness safaris

Two adult hartebees at the waterhole.
(Photo courtesy of photographer Olwen Evans & Wilderness Safaris) 

 

Etosha, Wildlife, Namibia, namibia safari, Ongava, Andersson's camp, namibia photography, Olwen Evans, Wilderness safaris

You are so close to the action in the hide that even "smaller" creatures can be seen up close.
(Photo courtesy of photographer Olwen Evans & Wilderness Safaris)

 

Day and Night 

Anyone who has been on an authentic safari knows that animals tend to come and go as they please. This is why patience is so important when you are on the look out for wildlife. Luckily, the hide is open day and night and guests can stake out the waterhole by the light of the moon or the rays of the sun. 

Etosha, Wildlife, Namibia, namibia safari, Ongava, Andersson's camp, namibia photography, Olwen Evans, Wilderness safaris

On the move.
Some herbivores spooked by the arrival of a larger animal.
(Photo courtesy of photographer Olwen Evans & Wilderness Safaris)

 

During the day you can expect to see general game like giraffes, zebras, black-faced impalas, kudus, warthogs and other antelopes. In the early evening (and often when dinner is served at the camp!) rhinos often come down for an evening drink. After darkness falls keep your eyes peeled for lions who sometimes come down to the hole for a night cap.

Etosha, Wildlife, Namibia, namibia safari, Ongava, Andersson's camp, namibia photography, Olwen Evans, Wilderness safaris

A black-faced impala enjoying the cool water.
(Photo courtesy of photographer Olwen Evans & Wilderness Safaris) 

 

Where is Andersson's Camp?

If you want more information on how you can book some time at Andersson’s Camp then click on this link. You can find the camp in the Ongava Game Reserve, which is a privately run reserve right that shares a border with Etosha National Park.

Most travellers get to Ongava via the C38, but for the more adventurous there are less well travelled roads that will get you there as well… Just be sure to be adequately prepared! 

Etosha, Wildlife, Namibia, namibia safari, Ongava, Andersson's camp, namibia photography, Olwen Evans, Wilderness safaris

(Map via Wilderness Safaris)

 

If you still aren't convinced then check out all the glowing tesitominals on Trip Advisor for Andersson's Camp and then begin planning a visit to this truly awesome spot in Namibia.

Etosha, Wildlife, Namibia, namibia safari, Ongava, Andersson's camp, namibia photography, Olwen Evans, Wilderness safaris

There's plenty to explore and experience at Ongava and Andersson's Camp.
(Photo via Wilderness Safaris)

 

+++++++

Capture Namibia: Photography Tips from Chris Schmid

  
  

Award winning photographer Chris Schmid has always tried to express his feelings by sharing his experiences and emotions through the images he has captured. We recently spoke to the Sony Global Imaging Ambassador about the time he spent capturing images in Namibia, and here’s what he had to say…

Chris Schmid Photography, namibia photography, namibia, etosha photography, etosha, elephants, aerial photography, capture namibia

Image © Chris Schmid / schmidchris.com

  

1. Tell us about your most unforgettable moment while shooting in Namibia.

Namibia is such a paradise for photography that it’s difficult to choose just one, but one unforgettable moment happened in Etosha. We were waiting at a waterhole observing a lonely bull elephant. After a few minutes we turned our heads and we saw a herd of 30 elephants, with babies in two, coming straight toward us rapidly. It was such an impressive moment and it delivered such amazing images thanks in part to the unique blue pastel colour of the Etosha sky.

Chris Schmid Photography, namibia photography, namibia, etosha photography, etosha, elephants, aerial photography, capture namibia

Image © Chris Schmid / schmidchris.com

 

2. Every destination has its challenges and rewards; how does Namibia compare to other places you’ve photographed?

Well, in Namibia you must be ready to drive a loooooonnnng way through some of the most amazing landscapes in the world. The main challenge we had was being at the right place at the right time of day. You’re travelling around through so many magical landscapes, but very often with a very strong light. So it can be sometimes frustrating because the place is so beautiful but you’ve got to get there at the right time to get the magic light.

Chris Schmid Photography, namibia photography, namibia, etosha photography, etosha, elephants, aerial photography, capture namibia

Image © Chris Schmid / schmidchris.com

 

If I can give one tip to a traveller it is this: Prepare carefully for your itinerary to be sure to that you are at the right place at the right moment. Do keep in mind though; Namibia requires more than one visit. That’s for sure. The first time you will get only begin to get an idea of what you really can achieve. 

 

3. Which 3 photos shot in Namibia are you most proud of and why?

One of the three is this image about the elephant herd coming straight to us. It was such impressive and emotive in the same time.* 

*This image is posted above.


I would say the second one is from my aerial shooting over the Namib Desert. I really love aerial photography because it gives so different images compared to inland images. And flying over the Namib Desert is unbelievable! You can hardly concentrate on your camera because it’s so amazing! It’s on my to do list when we’ll be back in Namibia probably next year.

Chris Schmid Photography, namibia photography, namibia, etosha photography, etosha, elephants, aerial photography, capture namibia

Image © Chris Schmid / schmidchris.com

 

Finally the third one is my image of the red hartebeest captured very early in the morning in Etosha. I really love to play with shadow and contrast in my photography, keeping the image simple, like a shadowgraph. The light was absolutely magic; the grassland was gold, and this in combination with the silhouette of the antelope makes this one of my favourite photos.

Chris Schmid Photography, namibia photography, namibia, etosha photography, etosha, elephants, aerial photography, capture namibia

Image © Chris Schmid / schmidchris.com

 

4. When going on a Namibian photographic expedition, what is your equipment of choice? And what do you never leave home without?

Namibia requires a large variety of lenses, because you will be shooting amazing landscapes as well as a variety of wildlife. I travel with a Nikon 500mm and a 70-200mm, both mainly for wildlife images. I also take a wide-angle zoom like a 16-35mm or 14-24mm and a fixed focal 35mm 1.4.

For landscape imagery I love the new Sony A7r that allows me to travel light without compromising quality. For wildlife photography I mainly use a Nikon D4s, a D810 or also a Sony A77II on a 70-200mm. I always prefer staying far away of the animals, respecting them and it gives a more natural comportment. I love also to include them in their environment.

Chris Schmid Photography, namibia photography, namibia, etosha photography, etosha, elephants, aerial photography, capture namibia

Image © Chris Schmid / schmidchris.com

 

5. A photographer friend is desperate to capture the best of Namibia. What top 3 tips would you give them? 

First you must read, read, read about Namibia and really choose what you want to see and be focused on. You can’t see everything in one visit. I always tell to my friends that it is better to be concentrate on a small part of the country than travelling all around the country. In my opinion if you really want to know a country you visit it minimum two times.

Chris Schmid Photography, namibia photography, namibia, etosha photography, etosha, elephants, aerial photography, capture namibia

Image © Chris Schmid / schmidchris.com

 

The second tip I would give is that you must be really patient when observing the wildlife in Etosha. Don’t try to move everywhere if you don’t see anything. Just wait and be patient: Something will happen for sure.

The last tip I would give is to wake up early, very early. Shoot during the golden hours. The light in Namibia is magic and precious so you must take care of it!

Chris Schmid Photography, namibia photography, namibia, etosha photography, etosha, elephants, aerial photography, capture namibia

Image © Chris Schmid / schmidchris.com

 

You can follow Chris on Facebook, or you can visit his website by clicking here.

  BIOPIC 

A few words on Chris Schmid...


Chris is a self-taught photographer and visual storyteller. He believes hard work, persistence, and little else will get a photographer where he or she wants to go.

"My body of work is the result of learning from mistakes and by experience. Most of all, I seek, appreciate, and respect a solid critique. There is nothing more humbling (or inspiring) than hearing an honest opinion of my work from a friend or other photographers."

The last couple of years his work has been more and more recognized and it this has given him the chance to win some prestigious awards around the world.

Since August 2014, Chris is very proud to be part of the Sony Global Imaging Ambassador program.

 

More Photographer Tips

This part of a series of blog post interviews with professional photographers on how to Capture Namibia. Every week we'll be posting tips, tricks and amazing photographs from these impressive photographers.

Follow us to get the latest in the Capture Namibia series:

          

Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa

Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa

 Featured Photographers  

   
Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, Marsel van Oosten, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, Christopher Rimmer, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, Paul van Schalkwyk, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, hasselblad masters

 Marsel van Oosten 

 Christopher Rimmer

Paul van Schalkwyk

Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, Bill Gozansky  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa,

Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, Hougaard Malan

Bill Gozansky

 Roy van der Merwe

 Hougaard Malan

Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, Ted Alan Stedman  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, Skyhawk photography

 Matthew Hood

 Ted Alan Stedman

 Jan & Jaye Roode

The Ghosts of Etosha

  
  

The “white ghosts” of Etosha are something that any explorer of Namibia's national park should try and catch a glimpse of. Namibian photographer and elephant lover, Anja Denker, is here to tell you what it is like spending time with these gentle giants and how you can observe and photograph these magnificent creatures.


The Ghosts of Etosha

Photos and words
by
Anja Denker


VAST

 

The great white place

The word Etosha literally means “great white place” as the pan in the middle of the park is a vast expanse of white, salt-laced earth. This soil supports very little plant life except for the blue-green algae that gives Etosha its characteristic coloring. 

In the areas where the soil does get wet elephants can be found wallowing, covering their bodies in the mud that forms. This mud then dries into a light (usually) white coat.

MUD

 

WHITE

 

White/Grey/Green 

The ‘white ghosts’ of Etosha, as I like to call them, can be observed frequenting the Nebrownii waterhole, where the dry white clay dusts their skin and coats the entire elephant in white – often brilliantly offset against the bright blue sky.  

It is also a treat to photograph elephants at the Goas waterhole, due to the fact that it is so vast and open and very green especially in the rainy season. Here you can get a fantastic contrast between the blue sky, green vegetation and gentle grey giants.  

CONTRAST

 

The startling contrasts of color make for a visual, photographic feast, especially when it comes to the elephants that love to wallow in the water and the distinctly coloured mud. It is not uncommon when visiting Etosha to see these giant animals caked in the dried white mud of the pan.

FUNMUD


It wasn’t until October last year that I came across my first ‘green’ elephant. This particular elephant coating himself with the green algae slick of the pan and gaining a distinctly ‘mouldy’ appearance in the process!

MOULD

 

Being so used to seeing the typical “white” elephants, this green specimen came as a complete surprise. The lone elephant bull was standing in a patch of blue-green algae at the Springbokfontein waterhole, a contact spring at the edge of the pan. 

ZEB

 

He was obviously having great fun splashing in the mud and coating himself with the green stuff he had found.  His new dye-job really made him stand out in the vastness of the pan, and when a few zebra and blue wildebeest joined him it made for truly unique photo opportunity.

ZEBW ILD

 

Photography on the pan 

There are quite a few challenges when photographing on the Etosha Pan, the most obvious being the harsh light and predominant white background, which poses some real exposure problems.  Strangely enough I find that I need to overexpose the shot sometimes, say for instance at midday at a waterhole when the background is bright and the animals are too dark. Of course it is advisable to use the “golden hours “ to full advantage, those being first light early in the morning and then in the late afternoon. 

SUNSET 

I have managed to get some very decent shots in not so favourable light conditions as well and you'd do well to remember that any challenge forces you to grow. Cloud cover is also great as it softens the light considerably, being a wonderful natural filter.

CLOUD

 

I like to shoot at eye-level and up but this is not very often possible on the pan due to the animals being lower than the photographer. Except, of course, in the case of an elephant when it is close enough or when you get an animal on a rise and you can shoot against the horizon.

Dust is also a very big challenge in the sense that you really have to protect your gear carefully – it creeps in anywhere!

DUST

 

For the love of elephants

Elephants have always held a fascination for me, not only because of their impressive size, but also for their remarkable intelligence and emotional capacity. They demonstarte these almost human-like traits with their communication habits, mourning rituals, deep sense of family ties and fierce protection of their offspring.

MATERNAL 

I can remember I was with my daughter in Etosha and a small breeding herd of Elephants approached us from the front. There was plenty of space to move for the elephants so we stayed in our parked car and waited for the approach.  The herd moved past our left side where my daughter sat – so close that their skin nearly touched the side of the car.  As the herd made its way past us the matriarch lifted the tip of her trunk and briefly touched our side mirror as if in silent acknowledgement of our presence.

FINAL


+++++++
 

You can follow Anja on Facebook or visit her profile here.

Capture Namibia: Photography tips from Marina Cano

  
  

Marina Cano is an award winning Spanish photographer who recently spent some time in Namibia. She took several amazing shots of the Land of the Brave and its creatures. We tracked her down and got her to share some of her wisdom and a few of her favourite shots from her trip.

describe the image

Tell us about your most unforgettable moment while shooting in Namibia.

There were many incredible moments in Namibia, it’s difficult to choose just one. But early one morning we were tracking a young female cheetah, Jacomina. She had been introduced to the wild for just three months. I went with the rangers who were taking care of her while she got used to her new habitat. When we arrived there, she was alone.

Then Jacomina started calling for her cubs. After a few minutes, the ranger's became anxious because the cubs did not come. She continued to call them while moving around the area. We were on foot and followed her cautiously in the distance almost without breathing. After what felt like an eternity, two adorable cubs came running towards her. I could see a big smile and relief on all faces. Everything seemed to be much more beautiful even more sunny. At sunset the same day we found them relaxing in the bush- all three of them were lit up by the last rays of the sun. The mixture of shadows and light spilling onto them was just awesome.*

*This picture appears below so keep on reading!

 

Every destination has its challenges and rewards; how does Namibia compare to other places you’ve photographed?

Traveling in the winter, I had many opportunities to witness and observe a diversity of animals in large numbers at the many different waterholes. Sunsets were those magical moments that all photographers dream about. Every evening was a gift (sometimes it felt like I was having a romantic date with elephants, giraffes, rhinos, birds…) Simply put, it is nature at its best. 

I felt comfortable, safe and also fulfilled with the spirit of adventure in Namibia.

The challenge is to make sure that you are at the waterholes close to the lodges in Etosha when the light starts to become precious in the golden hours of the day. Everyday you need to have a very specific schedule because the distances from the lodges in the parks are far. The Namibian landscape is unique and spectacular, it does not matter where you are; you recognize an image taken in Namibia as soon as you see it.

describe the image

 

Which 3 photos shot in Namibia are you most proud of and why?

1. Okaukuejo waterhole at Etosha. 

describe the image

After sunset with giraffes and rhinos drinking, the sky turned into a swirl of reds, oranges and blues... In this picture you can only see the silhouettes in the reflection. I turned the picture upside down, so the sky remained in the bottom, and the silhouettes are in the upright position. The result is ethereal and mysterious.

 

2. Erindi Private Game Reserve

describe the image

The curious baby leopard. It was just a miracle that we discovered a leopard cub by chance. The cub was about one month old. After spending over an hour with it, the cub became inquisitive and more confident and allowed us close enough to photograph it.  The cubs curious beautiful blue eyes curious looked straight into the camera resulting in this delightful image.

 

3. Cheetah family in the bushveld

describe the image

The cold blue environment contrasted with the warm light surrounding their bodies created a magical atmosphere, almost surreal. They came across as very relaxed and at the same time very aware of us. They all looked straight into the camera. I love the baby cheetahs’ faces, looking mildly upset and curious, but feeling very safe close to their mum.

 

When going on a Namibian photographic expedition, what is your equipment of choice? And what do you never leave home without?      

This was my first time in Namibia, I was there for one month exploring and discovering the beauty of this corner of Africa. My equipment: Canon EOS 1DX, Canon EOS MARK IV, Canon 600mm f/4, Canon 300mm 2.8, Canon 100-400mm, Canon 16-35mm, Canon 85mm. Manfrotto tripod.

For this trip, Canon Spain lent me the EOS 1DX camera and the fabulous 600mm lens. All I can say is that I felt extremely lucky because I was able to get very close to the animals when I most needed it. I recommend that you bring two camera bodies so you don't have to change lenses due to there being so much dust in the air.

describe the image 

A photographer friend is desperate to capture the best of Namibia. What top 3 tips would you give them?

1. Winter in Etosha offers a lot of activity at the most waterholes. The best waterholes in my experience are the ones at the lodges, so you don't have to rush up and down when it gets darker.  Find a comfortable seating position and be ready to take the most exciting pictures. The weather is wonderful, not too hot in the days and evenings, but for sunrise shots wear warm clothes.

2. Erindi Game Reserve will offer you exciting and different approaches to wildlife photos. You can drive off-road and have really close encounters with the wild. The sunsets are endless, and some of the most beautiful I've ever seen.

3. Book well in advance for Etosha because during high season it gets very busy at the lodges. Spend as much time as you can in the park, every single day is to be treasured. Every minute is magic and you might not want to ever leave. Anyone who wants to join me for my photo safari is very welcome.

describe the image

You can visit Marina’s website here or check out her Facebook page for more of her work. 

bio

About Marina...

Marina Cano is an award winning Spanish photographer who has published two books and is regularly featured in the National Geographic. She has exhibited her work in Korea, South Africa, Cuba, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. When not taking photographs Marina lectures around the globe.

 

More Photographer Tips

This part of a series of blog post interviews with professional photographers on how to Capture Namibia. Every week we'll be posting tips, tricks and amazing photographs from these impressive photographers.

Follow us to get the latest in the Capture Namibia series:

          

Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa

Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa

 Featured Photographers  

   
Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, Marsel van Oosten, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, Christopher Rimmer, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, Paul van Schalkwyk, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, hasselblad masters

 Marsel van Oosten 

 Christopher Rimmer

Paul van Schalkwyk

Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, Bill Gozansky  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa,

Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, Hougaard Malan

Bill Gozansky

 Roy van der Merwe

 Hougaard Malan

Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, Ted Alan Stedman  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, Skyhawk photography

 Matthew Hood

 Ted Alan Stedman

 Jan & Jaye Roode

Where to Stay in Etosha National Park

  
  

So, you want to visit Etosha National Park? Of course you do. It is one of the most highly regarded national parks in Africa. The park has an enormous amount and variety of wildlife and guests are frequently treated to sightings of several rare and endangered animals. If you are going to visit Etosha, you will need a place to over night. This blog will give you the low down on where to stay while you explore this national treasure.

10069933323 ccceb6ee3f o

A dazzle of zebra at a waterhole in Etosha.


Staying Inside the Park 

Most people start by looking for accommodation inside the park itself. There are only five camps you can stay at that are situated inside the boundaries of the park and they are all run by Namibia Wildlife Resorts. Below is a table of all five of these camps; if you want more info on the camp then simply click the picture next to the description.

http://www.etoshanationalpark.org/media/Etosha-Map2.jpg
Click here for a larger version of this map.

(Map via ENP)

 


 

Halali

Image via ENP

Halali

Closest gate: Either Anderson or Von Lindequist

This camp can be found right smack in the middle of the park. It is surrounded by shade-providing Mopane trees and has a nearby waterhole that allows guests to unobtrusively view game. Rhinos, lions and all manner of creatures frequent the viewing spot- so be sure to bring your camera! Halali has chalets and camping facilities, a bar, swimming pool and a restaurant.

Book here

 

NAM

Image via ENP

Namutoni

Closest Gate: Von Lindequist

The building that makes up the bulk of this complex is an old German fort and is the first port of call for most visitors who want to secure driving permits within Etosha. There are also several chalets and double rooms at which guests can stay. An African fusion restaurant, fully stocked bar as well as a flood-lit waterhole should provide enough reason to stay at this camp!

Book here.

 

 


 

okaukuejo

Image via ENP

Okaukuejo Camp

Closest gate: Anderson Gate

This camp has a wide variety of accommodation options from luxury bush chalets over looking the flood-lit waterhole to family chalets and double rooms. There are also camping facilities as well as a swimming pool, bar and restaurant. The camp is very close to the Anderson Gate and is easy to get to if you use that gate to get into the park. It is the administrative hub of Etosha. 

Book here.     

 

DOLO

Image via ENP

Dolomite Camp

Closest gate: Galton Gate

Up until recently the western portion of Etosha was closed off to the public. It has just been reopened and so too has the Dolomite Camp (the camp gets its name from the geology surrounding it). This part of Etosha has seen increases in the numbers of black-faced impalas and black rhinos, so be sure to be on the look out for these two large mammals. Beyond this, awesome views and beautiful vegetation make visiting this camp a treat.

Book here.  

 

DOLO

Image via ENP

Onkoshi Camp

Closest gate: King Nehale

With space for just thirty people this camp is the smallest and most intimate of the five NWR camps in Etosha. Onkoshi is also off all of the major routes and feels more secluded and private than most areas of the park. Each chalet in the camp offers a view of the Pan itself- this should convince you to try book a spot here. Each of the fifteen chalets are double rooms and there is a pool, restaurant and bar. 

Book here.     

 

Staying Outside the Park

If none of the five options within the park really suit your tastes then there is always the option of staying just outside Etosha as there are many different establishments that specialise in providing guests with a springboard into Etosha National Park.

One of the advantages of staying outside of the park is that you are spoiled for choice. From self-catering camping lodges, to luxury lodges with spa’s, we’re sure you will find somewhere that’s perfect for you.

Below we have collected a few options to demonstrate to you how diverse the lodges and camps around Etosha are. If you want more information on any of the camps just click on the picture next to the description.

Etosha Safari Camp

Etosha Safari Camp

Close to Etosha’s Anderson Gate this unique and quirky lodge is a must for visitors looking for something a little bit different. One of a kind décor and the serene surrounds make this camp the perfect place for young and old alike. It is reasonably priced with both double and single rooms available.

Book here.

Monjilla

Mondjila Safari Camp

Situated 30km south of the Anderson Gate this camp is well within driving distance of the famous national park. The camp has a laundry service, internet and a beautiful deck for watching the sun set behind the famous Namibian horizon.

Book here.

Aoba

Etosha Aoba Lodge

Etosha Aoba Lodge can be found on the Onguma Private Game Reserve. Onguma used to be part of Etosha National Park but it is now privately owned and managed. The Aoba Lodge  boasts eleven chalets that are all extremely private. Onguma, and Aoba, can be found on the eastern side of Etosha.

Book here.

ETOSHA VILL

Etosha Village

The name of the game at Etosha Village is good value and friendly service. The Village focuses on giving animal lovers easy access to one of the world’s most renowned national parks and is only two kilometres from the Anderson Gate. Game drives through the park can be organised as well.

Book here.

Mokuti

Mokuti Lodge

This lodge is a short four-minute drive from Etosha’s Von Lindequist Gate. The lodge hosts large groups of visitors from around the globe, so look forward to being able to share some stories round the camp fire with your fellow travellers. This lodge is situated on a nature reserve that shares on the border of Etosha. 

Book here.

Mushara Lodge

Mushara Lodge

This lodge is a situated very near the Von Lindequist Gate and is perfectly suited to explorers who are looking for a relaxed, tasteful and serene place to stay. The lodge has a library, a well-stocked wine cellar and a great collection of modern and traditional Namibian and African art.

Book here.

Eldorado

Eldorado B&B and Camping

This well-priced establishment can be found jminutes from the Anderson Gate. The area is famed for its birdlife and many interesting species have been spotted in and around the camp. Run by the same family for over 60 years Eldorado's focus is on good value and good service.

Book here.

epacha lodge and spa main 059

Epacha Game Lodge and Spa

This lodge is situated a little further from Etosha than the others on this list. However, it is still within an hour’s drive of the massive national park. Epacha boasts a spa and luxury chalets; so if you are looking for wellness and wilderness while visiting Etosha then Epacha is the perfect place for you.

Book here.

Onguiva

Little Ongava

There are only three units at Little Ongava, making it one of the most private and sought-after camps in the whole of Namibia. Be sure to book long in advance if you want to get a spot here. The camp itself is perched on a rocky outcrop that is extremely close Etosha’s Anderson Gate.

Book here.

IMG 0407

For more places to stay outside of Etosha click here.


An Important Reminder

Whether you are staying in the park or outside the park you need to know that you cannot drive around the park in your private vehicle after dark or before sunrise.

Be sure to check what time the day begins and ends before setting off an adventure through Namibia’s largest game park. Always allow enough time to get back to the gate you arrived in at and never, EVER leave your vehicle.

IMG 0598

Every animal in Etosha is a wild animal- be safe and enjoy!


+++++++

 

Check out some of our other blogs on Etosha National Park:

 

 How to Explore Etosha

Camping in Etosha 

describe the image describe the image

Three New Self-drive Routes Through Namibia

  
  

Open Africa is an organisation that prides itself on promoting sustainable tourism ventures in countries like Namibia. Recently at last week’s Namibian Tourism Expo, Open Africa, in conjunction with the Namibian Tourism Board and the Millennium Challenge Account Namibia, launched three new self-drive routes through Namibia.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

Each self-drive route has been carefully planned out to highlight aspects of Namibia that are a little bit less well known to both local and international tourists. This blog post will provide you with an overview of all the experiences you can have on each route (for a detailed itinerary visit our page here or click any of the names of the experiences below).


The Omulunga Palm Route

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

What you can expect on the Omulunga Palm Route

There are several notable cultural experiences to be had on this tour as many of the local tribes along of this route have a proud history. The Owambo homesteads along the way are reminders of Namibia’s hard-fought liberation struggles as well as its promising future.

Many of the local communities along the route manage conservancies that aim to provide locals with the opportunity to share their traditions, culture and wildlife with visitors.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

An Owambo homestead.

 

Regions the Omulunga Palm Route will take you through

The route takes you on a journey from the arid northwest of the country to the fertile and verdant northeast. It should also be noted that this route also takes travellers down to the world famous Etosha National Park.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

Visitors getting close to some game at Etosha.

 

Experiences on the Omulunga Palm Route 

The Roof of Namibia Experience

The Roof of Namibia experience is 467km long and roughly runs parallel to the Angolan border in Namibia’s north. The journey traces the Kunene River from the Ruacana Falls across to the Okavango River. The trip takes travellers past several pans and flooded channels. These watery ecosystems are home to a massive amount of birdlife on offer.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

The Ruacana Falls.
(Image by Tom Jakobi via Wikicommons)

 

This part of the Omulunga Palm Route is not just about rural wildlife as there are several urban settlements along the way with attractions such as the Outapi War Museum, Ombalantu Baobab Museum and the Eenhana Shrine.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

The mighty Ombalantu Baobab.
(Image via Wikimedia)

 

The King Nehale Experience

This experience is a 641km trail through the culturally rich and unique towns of Oshakati, Ongwediva and Ondangwa. There are also several rural villages that surround these larger towns, so be sure to be on the look out for those!

The major attractions on the King Nehale Experience are the Omugulugwombashe National Monument, Uukwaluudhi Royal Homestead, Uukwambi Kings Monument, Oshakati Open Market, Ongula Traditional Homestead, Nakambale Museum and Lake Oponono. This part of the route also takes you through Etosha National Park. Exploring this world-class National Park is a must-do activity when visiting the Land of the Brave.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account
A Blue Crane at Lake Oponono
.
(Image by Alastair Rae via Wikimedia)

 

The Arid Eden Route

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

What you can expect on the Arid Eden Route

This route is a dream come true for travel photographers. As you head away from Swakopmund the arid desert landscapes and the crystal clear skies offer up some of the best photography opportunities in Namibia.

There are several unique locations along this route ranging from ancient rock paintings to modern cultural experiences in the heartland of the Himba people.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

A Himba woman looks on.
(Image courtesy of Expert Africa)

Regions the Arid Eden Route will take you through

The Arid Eden Route begins in the coastal town of Swakopmund and runs all the way up to northern border with Angola. Something that makes this route quite special is that it winds through the previously restricted western part of Etosha National Park.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

The beach at Swakopmund.

 

Experiences on the Arid Eden Route

The Welwitchia Experience

The Welwitchia Experience is 860km long and allows travellers to experience all the excitement of Swakopmund as well as the awe-inspiring Etosha National Park. The route, which is mostly gravelled roads, is well maintained and any car with sufficient ground clearance and sturdy enough axel will be able to navigate it.

gravel road namibia 88c90f18 902e 4486 925d 712761bd7ba4

A typical gravel road in Namibia.
(Photo by Andreas Seehase via Foto Community)

 

The Windhoek to Galton Experience

The Windhoek to Galton Experience is the experience that gives adventurers access to the previously mentioned western part of Etosha via the Galton Gate. The route is 520km in length and as you drive from the capital city to the Galton Gate be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife on the verge of the road.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

Explore the western parts of Etosha.


German delicatessens, coffee shops and local butcheries with locally sourced game and beef are also dotted along the route. So be sure to take a bit of time out and pop in to one of these establishments.

If you have time (and are properly prepared!) don’t forget to get off the beaten track and explore some of the landscapes that the route traverses. Massive mountain peaks, unique geological formations, desert-adapted wildlife and never ending horizons abound in these parts of the Land of the Brave.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

There is wildlife aplenty on this route!


North West Trails

This trail is for those who seek a bit more adrenaline coursing through their veins. The main attractions on this part of the route are surely the Spitzkoppe and Mount Erongo. These mountains are favourites among both mountain bikers and rock climbers and offer several routes up and down their slopes and faces.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

Explorers taking in the Spitzkoppe.


The North West Trail also takes travellers past Namibia’s highest mountain, Brandberg. The area around the huge mountain has over 2000 recorded rock art sites and there are professionally run tours that take tourists to the major sites. Such a tour is a must for anyone interested in the ancient history of Namibia.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

An example of some of the rock art you can find in the area.


The foothills of the Brandberg are also home to some of Namibia’s desert-adapted elephants. The region is easily accessible and it is thus it one of the best places in the world to catch a glimpse of these mighty and rare large mammals.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

A young desert-adapted elephant near the Brandberg.
(Image courtesy of the Cardboard Box Travel Shop)

 

Twyfelfontein (or ǀUi-ǁAis) is another attraction on the North West Trail. It is an official World heritage Site thanks to its numerous petroglyphs and the naturally formed geological wonders like the Organ Pipes and many petrified trees. If you want to explore Twyfelfontein then using the small town of Khorixas is a good idea as it is the last convenient place to stock up with supplies before heading out in the arid northwest.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

A unique rock formation near Twyfelfontein.


The Himba Cultural Experience

The Arid Eden Route, as mentioned above, will take you through the heartland of the Himba people of northern Namibia. The Himba Cultural Experience focuses on these unique people and the suggested 443km goes through several homesteads in the area.

The remote Himba settlement at Puros is particularly unique as its massive camel thorn trees provide shelter for all from the unrelenting sun. At Puros there is a supply store where locals and travellers can stock up on essentials like sugar, cooking oil and soap. There is also a billiard table at the store where you can share a conversation and friendly game with some of the Himba people.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

A group of Himba cutting loose.


The Four Rivers Route

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

What you can expect on the Four Rivers Route

The route focuses on getting travellers off the beaten path and the meandering course it takes through the riverine landscape encourages exploration and discovery.

As with the other two routes discussed there are a variety of culturally diverse experiences along the Four Rivers Route. The people of the Zambezi are particularly culturally distinct from the rest of Namibia and this makes this route particularly worthwhile for travellers who have been to Namibia before.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

A local homestead in the Zambezi region.


Regions the Four Rivers Route will take you through

This route starts in the northeast at Nkurenkuru and going through the lush Zambezi (formerly Caprivi) region and on to the world-famous Victoria Falls. The regions along this route are crisscrossed with rivers and their tributaries and as such this part of Namibia is verdant and teeming with birdlife, wildlife and surprises.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

Elephants ahead!

 

Experiences on the Four Rivers Route

The Kavango Open Africa Route

This part of the Four Rivers Route traces 383km through the lush regions along the Kavango River. Starting at Nkurunkuru in the west and ending at the eastern border post of Mohembo the route allows travellers to experience the birds, people and wildlife of the region up close.

 

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

The banks of Kavango River are particularly picturesque.

(Image courtesy of Dr Klaus Dierks)


This route opens up an area for travellers that has only been explored since the nineteenth century and is thus the perfect place for those of you who have the need to explore this lesser seen side of Namibia. The Mahango and Khaudum National Parks on the border of Botswana are also magnificent and are well worth the visit.

Other notable attractions that form part of the Kavango Open Africa Experience include the Mbunza Living Museum, Khaudum National Park, Nyangana Mission, Andara Mission, the Okavango River System and Popa Falls as well as the Mahango National Park.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

Popa Falls.
(Image courtesy of Dr Klaus Dierks)


The Caprivi Wetlands Paradise

This experience takes you on an incredible 430km trip through some of the most diverse landscapes and unexpected ecosystems in the Land of the Brave.

One of the most unique parks in the world, Bwabwata National Park, just north of the Okavango Delta is part of this experience. Within in this park there are 5000 residents who live side-by-side with the free-roaming animals in the park.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

A hippo at Bwabwata National Park.
(Image via Cardboard Travel Box)

 

The residents living on this land, thanks to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in Namibia, help run and conserve the ecosystem. The local people then derive financial benefits from the tourists visiting the area in what is one of the most innovative and community-orientated conservation programs in the world.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

Locals fishing on the Kavango.


The area surrounding the Kwando River is not only famous for it’s free-roaming elephants but it is also one of the best places to go birding in Namibia. The region is home to over 400 species of birds that live in habitats ranging from acacia woodlands and mopane forests, to floodplains filled with plant and animal.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

The river banks in this region are full of varied flora and fauna.


The Four Corners Experience

The Four Corners Experience is different from all the other experiences on the three routes we have described as it actually takes you out of Namibia and into two of its neighbouring countries, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

Your journey will begin at the Ngoma border post and the trip will take you through the Chobe National Park in Botswana. The route will then lead you to where the mighty Zambezi and Chobe rivers merge. The area where these two great rivers converge is famed for its wildlife and luxury lodges.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

The Chobe/Zambezi confluence seen from the air.
(Image via Springbok Classic Air)

 

The final experience on the Four Corner Route will also take you to one of Africa’s truly great wonders: The Victoria Falls on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Self-drive, Namibia, Adventure, Caprivi, Zambezi, Etosha, namibia self-drive, open africa, millennium challenge account

The awesome Victoria Falls.
(Photo via Wikimedia)

 

+-------+

 

These are just three routes through the vast expanse of Namibia. Remember, you can always create your adventure. If you feel like putting together your very own roadtrip then why not have a look at our other blog posts on self-drive adventures through the Land of the Brave:

 


Driving Through Etosha
self drive namibia, namibia, etosha, etosha national park, etosha game park, safari, etosha safari, etosha accomodation, namibia travel tips

 


Motorbiking through Namibia
CAPIRCORN

 

 
Self-drive Tips
namibia, self drive namibia, self drive safaris, 4 x 4 africa, etosha, adventure holiday, namibia roads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Camping in Namibia: Etosha National Park

  
  

If you want an authentic safari adventure in Namibia then few places are better to visit than Etosha National Park. We have a guide on travelling through the park and today we will be looking at how you can organise your very own camping adventure within, or nearby, the world-renowned park.

Initial planning

First, you need to decide which part of the park you want to be based in or nearby. There are three gates that you can use to enter Etosha: The King Nehale gate in the north, the Von Lindequist gate to the east, and finally the Andersson gate in the south.

Which gate you choose to use to enter the park with is up to you and will probably depend on which part of the country you are travelling to the park from.

Etosha, Namibia camping, camping, safari, camping safari, Namibia safari, adventure, campsites

Note the gates to the North, East and South
.
(Map source Map of Namibia)

Camping in Etosha 

Namutoni Camp

This camp’s main reception area was once an old German fort and has since been developed into the primary reception for visitors entering the park. Over the years a fully functioning restaurant and lodge have been added, and more recently Namutoni has also upgraded its camping facilities.

Etosha, Namibia camping, camping, safari, camping safari, Namibia safari, adventure, campsites
Shade and rest areas are all part of the camping experience at Namutoni.
(Image source Find Trip Info)

The campsite is geared towards self-catering and there is space for you to braai (BBQ) on one of the many communal fire pits. The site also has a good number of toilets and showers so that campers can freshen up after a day’s worth of safari adventures. There are also plug points if you need to charge any gear you may have brought with you.

 

Etosha, Namibia camping, camping, safari, camping safari, Namibia safari, adventure, campsites

The campsite is grassy and comfortable.
(Image source Bjusterbaarlik)

One of the best things about camping at Namutoni is that you will have unfettered access to a nearby floodlit watering hole. This enables visitors and keen photographers the chance to catch a glimpse of the park’s nocturnal inhabitants.

You can book by clicking here now. 

Halali Camp

Halali is located in the middle of the park and may be more attractive to guests looking to remove themselves from the hustle and bustle of the busier camps in Etosha.

The watering hole at Halali is more secluded than the one at Namutoni and feels more private and away from the crowds. It is, like the one at Namutoni, floodlit at night so that you do not miss out on any game viewing opportunities.

Etosha, Namibia camping, camping, safari, camping safari, Namibia safari, adventure, campsites

Elephants relaxing at the Halali watering hole.
(Image source John van der Woude)

The campsite’s facilities have been highly rated by campers over the years and a nice feature of the site is that there are several Mopane trees that provide shade for campers looking to relax. Shade can be invaluable when the mercury begins to rise in the summer months.

This campsite also has all the amenities one would expect including ablutions, electricity and cooking areas.

You can book by clicking here now.

Camping outside the park

There are a few camping sites a short distance outside of the Etosha’s boundaries. These camps are close enough to the national park to make visiting the famous game reserve extremely easy. Many travellers also remark that these camps, because they are removed from Etosha, are usually a bit quieter and more peaceful than the often busy safari park.

Onguma Safari Camp

(10 km’s from the Von Lindequist gate)

Onguma is actually a separate game reserve right next to Etosha. This means that guests can choose to explore Onguma’s 34 000 hectres of private game reserve, or go on guided safari drives through the neighbouring Etosha with employees from Onguma.

Etosha, Namibia camping, camping, safari, camping safari, Namibia safari, adventure, campsites

Rhinos and more await within the park.
(Image source Onguma Game Reserve)

The campsite at Onguma is focussed on striking a balance between comfort and allowing you to feel like you are truly camping in the wilderness. As such each campsite has electricity, toilets and showers.

Etosha, Namibia camping, camping, safari, camping safari, Namibia safari, adventure, campsites

Running water and electricity are always good things.
(Image source Onguma Game Reserve)

You can also choose to eat at the lodge’s restaurant if you are not interested in cooking for yourself. However, self-catering is encouraged as meals have to be booked in advance if you wish to eat at the restaurant. Note that you will have to bring your own food with you as there are no shops in Onguma, so come prepared.

 

Etosha, Namibia camping, camping, safari, camping safari, Namibia safari, adventure, campsites

It's easy to unwind in a setting like this.
(Image source Onguma Game Reserve)

 

You can book by clicking here now.

Etosha Safari Camp

(9km’s away from the Andersson gate)

The Etosha Safari Camp is another lodge near Etosha that offers visitors the option of bringing their owns tents and setting up camp for a few nights. The campsite is exceptionally well appointed with power points all over the site, as well as sinks, showers, toilets and braai (BBQ) facilities for those who wish to self-cater.

 

Etosha, Namibia camping, camping, safari, camping safari, Namibia safari, adventure, campsites

The camping is easy, and the scenery is beautiful.
(Image source Gondwana Collection Namibia)

If you don’t feel like cooking your own grub then guests at the campsite are more than welcome to eat at the main lodge’s restaurant. Campers are also invited to make use of the other facilities at the lodge like the pool area and the bar.

 

Etosha, Namibia camping, camping, safari, camping safari, Namibia safari, adventure, campsites

Every camper needs a dip in a pool at some point.
(Image source Gondwana Collection Namibia)

Since the camp is so close to Etosha it is a breeze checking in and out of the national park for game drives. 

You can book by clicking here now.

Eldorado B & B Camping

(8km from the Andersson gate) 

Eldorado Farm is run by Adri Pienaar who is the third generation of his family to run the guest farm. On the farm itself there are several antelope, ostriches and wildebeest and given that it is only 8km away from Etosha’s Andersson gate you will find it very easy to get your fill of game while staying here.

Etosha, Namibia camping, camping, safari, camping safari, Namibia safari, adventure, campsites

Welcome to Eldorado!
(Image source Eldorado)

There is a lodge on the farm but Eldorado’s campsite is becoming more and more popular with outdoor enthusiasts and as a result booking in advance is essential if you want to secure a place at their campsite. The Campsite at Eldorado has electricity, running water, ablutions and self-catering facilities.

 

Etosha, Namibia camping, camping, safari, camping safari, Namibia safari, adventure, campsites

The campsite is very spacious.
(Image source Johan Groenewald)

 

Camping is good for you

If you enjoy the outdoors and safari then camping in or around Etosha is just the thing for you. All the camps mentioned above give you the option to either be totally self-sufficient or partly self-sufficient. With a wide selection of restaurants and amenities there’s no reason why camping cannot be both rugged and comfortable.

10 Reasons You Should Visit Namibia

  
  

In June last year we announced that the lucky winner of our Landscape Escape competition was one Kevin Read from Canada. Kevin won a once in a lifetime trip around Namibia and decided to document what he and his wife Ruth discovered on their journey through the land of the brave.

namibia, namibia tourism, namibia competition, namibia attractions, etosha national park, self drive namibia, self drive safari, adenture holidays in africa, africa birding, namibia camping

Ruth and Kevin- winners!

Kevin and Ruth enjoyed their stay so much that they compiled a list of reasons why they think you should take the plunge and explore this vast and beautiful country as soon as possible.

10 Reasons You Should Visit Namibia

We spent the months of November and December 2013 exploring the country of Namibia. Over the course of almost eight weeks, we drove approximately 10,000 kms (6,200 miles) all over the country. We experienced the many different cultures and saw so many natural wonders.

But one of the things that we didn't see was North American tourists.

People from Canada and the U.S. who come to Africa seem to be attracted to Kenya, Botswana, or South Africa all of which have more highly developed tourism infrastructure. As a result, they tend to have more "luxury" travel options. Namibia is a little more wild, and still has a lot of areas that may be considered early development when it comes to tourism.

Here's why we think North Americans should visit Namibia...

1. They speak English in Namibia

We find that a lot of North Americans are unsure about visiting a country where they will have a difficult time being understood. You won't have a problem in Namibia. Despite the fact that there are approximately eight other popular languages (Afrikaans, German, and many local languages) English is the official language. All road signs are in English, and although you may meet some rural people who only speak their local language, there will always be someone close by who can translate. 

namibia, namibia tourism, namibia competition, namibia attractions, etosha national park, self drive namibia, self drive safari, adenture holidays in africa, africa birding, namibia camping

All road, traffic, and tourism signs are in English. 

2. Birds 

We've never been much into birds. Namibia may have changed that a little bit! There are around 700 species of birds in Namibia! It seemed like every day that we were in Namibia we would see some kind of different bird. And of course many are so colorful, and with long bright feathers. Oh, and owls! We have never seen so many different owls.  

namibia, namibia tourism, namibia competition, namibia attractions, etosha national park, self drive namibia, self drive safari, adenture holidays in africa, africa birding, namibia camping

An owl in Namibia. 

3. You can go camping! 

The easiest and most popular way to tour Namibia is with your own vehicle. The local public transportation system isn't the easiest, but if you have your own vehicle you can go anywhere. It's also common, and a great idea, to do a self drive camping tour of Namibia, and there are a LOT of campgrounds in Namibia, In fact, we were surprised at the number of beautiful campgrounds.  

namibia, namibia tourism, namibia competition, namibia attractions, etosha national park, self drive namibia, self drive safari, adenture holidays in africa, africa birding, namibia camping

Our camping vehicle from Namibia Car Rental

4. The desert is truly beautiful 

I've never been much of a desert person. I typically like trees and greenery, but Namibia gave us a whole different perspective on the desert and the different landscapes that the desert presents to you. While there certainly are some long boring sections of desert scenery, there is also very stunning scenery that makes you wonder how it can possibly occur naturally. 

namibia, namibia tourism, namibia competition, namibia attractions, etosha national park, self drive namibia, self drive safari, adenture holidays in africa, africa birding, namibia camping

The dunes at Sossusvlei. 

5. Protection of the environment 

If you are an ethical traveler, you may be interested to know that Namibia was the first African country to incorporate protection of the environment into its constitution. The Government of Namibia has reinforced this by giving its rural communities the right to manage their wildlife through communal conservancies. These conservancies are clearly defined tracts of land, registered with government, where local communities manage their natural resources through a democratically elected committee and approved management plans.  

namibia, namibia tourism, namibia competition, namibia attractions, etosha national park, self drive namibia, self drive safari, adenture holidays in africa, africa birding, namibia camping

Many private lodges in Namibia also have their own environmental conservancies. 

6. It is a safe and politically stable country

The country is very safe, and the people are friendly. There are only two million people in the whole country, and 40% of all reported crime occurs in the capital city of Windhoek. We never once felt unsafe.   

namibia, namibia tourism, namibia competition, namibia attractions, etosha national park, self drive namibia, self drive safari, adenture holidays in africa, africa birding, namibia camping

Ruth, visiting with the locals. 

7. The wildlife 

We spent a total of seven days exploring Namibia's Etosha National Park. But even though Etosha is a world class wildlife park, we found that you don't really need to be in a National Park to experience wildlife. Yes, you'll see everything in Etosha...lions, elephants, rhinos. But you'll also see animals simply wandering near the side of the road outside of parks. The Caprivi region of Namibia gave us our best animal viewing outside of Etosha. Plan on at least four days to properly explore Etosha National Park.  

namibia, namibia tourism, namibia competition, namibia attractions, etosha national park, self drive namibia, self drive safari, adenture holidays in africa, africa birding, namibia camping

Animals of Etosha National Park. 

8. The different cultures 

Namibia has people who you will not find anywhere else in the world. People who continue living with ancient traditions and lifestyles without the pressures and conveniences experienced in most of the world. One of the highlights of our trip was the couple of hours we spent with the Himba people in the northwestern region of the country.  

namibia, namibia tourism, namibia competition, namibia attractions, etosha national park, self drive namibia, self drive safari, adenture holidays in africa, africa birding, namibia camping

Himba women. 

8. Hiking 

Probably not known by many, but Namibia has a lot of premier hiking trails. November and December aren't really the best time of year to hike in Namibia because it's summer and it's often too hot to go hiking. The best time of year to visit for that type of outdoor activity is from April through October. Fish River Canyon offers the most well known hiking opportunity, a five day excursion along the riverbed at the bottom of the canyon.   

namibia, namibia tourism, namibia competition, namibia attractions, etosha national park, self drive namibia, self drive safari, adenture holidays in africa, africa birding, namibia camping

Kevin, at Fish River Canyon

9. Namibia is still relatively unknown 

One of the main reasons we wanted to go there! We like going to places that are a little more off the beaten path when it comes to tourism, and we're glad that we came to a place that is really only just starting out in the tourism world when you compare it to most other countries.  

namibia, namibia tourism, namibia competition, namibia attractions, etosha national park, self drive namibia, self drive safari, adenture holidays in africa, africa birding, namibia camping

The ghost town of Kolmanskop. 

10. Namibia has the best beer in Africa! 

Of course the most important reason to visit any country is the quality of it's beer! Namibian beer is brewed to the highest German standards and Namibians are passionate about their beer!  

namibia, namibia tourism, namibia competition, namibia attractions, etosha national park, self drive namibia, self drive safari, adenture holidays in africa, africa birding, namibia camping

Namibian beers are very good.

If you want to read more about some of Kevin and Ruth's other globe trotting adventures then head on over to their blog by clicking here.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest so that you can keep track of any news or competitions and you too could find yourself on the African adventure of a life time.

                                  

The Amazing Birdlife of Namibia

  
  

Namibia is home to 676 of Southern Africa's 887 species and the whole country is littered with endemic and interesting birds. There are many great spots for bird watching in Namibia - here are just three of them to give you a glimpse into birding paradise. 

The Zambezi (formally Caprivi) Region

The Zambezi or Caprivi Strip can be found in the extreme north east of Namibia and this region alone is home to over 425 species of birds. The network of rivers and deltas formed by the confluence of the Kwando, Zambezi and Chobe rivers create an ideal space for avid bird watchers to catch a glimpse of some of the unique birdlife on offer in Namibia.

Here are just some of the species you can find there: 

africa birds and birding, africa birding, birding africa, namibia, namibia tourism, namibia birding, namibia birdlife, birdwatching namibia

The African Pygmy Goose
(image courtesy of Adrian Binns via 10000 Birds)


africa birds and birding, africa birding, birding africa, namibia, namibia tourism, namibia birding, namibia birdlife, birdwatching namibia

The African Marsh Harrier in flight.
(image courtesy of Trevor Hardaker)


africa birds and birding, africa birding, birding africa, namibia, namibia tourism, namibia birding, namibia birdlife, birdwatching namibia

Pel’s Fishing Owl
(image courtesy of the Internet Bird Collection)


africa birds and birding, africa birding, birding africa, namibia, namibia tourism, namibia birding, namibia birdlife, birdwatching namibia

African Wood Owls
(image courtesy of Bird Forum)

For places to stay in the Zambezi / Caprivi Region click here. Or if you'd like to find out more about the region, click here.

 

Etosha National Park

Usually, when people think of Etosha they think of spotting big game, and while that is fair enough (as you will discover by clicking here) there are other attractions at the massive national park. The bird life is fantastic and varied in the park and depending on whether or not it is a dry season you can find different species of birds making their homes in the park.

During the drier times two of the best places to go birding are near the rest camps of Okaukuejo and Halali. Not only do these two camps offer wonderful accommodation and facilities but they also will give you the chance to see some of Namibia’s 13 endemic bird species.

Okaukuejo Camp is renowned for its resident Southern Pied Babblers and Crimson-Breasted Shrikes. And if you are staying at Halali you may catch a glimpse of the Bare-Cheeked Babbler or even a Violet Wood Hoopoe. Be sure to keep an eye out for the Kori Bustard - its quite something to watch the heaviest living animal capable of flight launch into the air.

 

africa birds and birding, africa birding, birding africa, namibia, namibia tourism, namibia birding, namibia birdlife, birdwatching namibia

Southern Pied Babbler
(image courtesy of the Internet Bird Collection)

 

africa birds and birding, africa birding, birding africa, namibia, namibia tourism, namibia birding, namibia birdlife, birdwatching namibia

Crimson-Breasted Shrike - commonly referred to as "The German Flag" by the locals
(image courtesy of Outdoor Photo)

 

africa birds and birding, africa birding, birding africa, namibia, namibia tourism, namibia birding, namibia birdlife, birdwatching namibia

Bare-Cheeked Babbler
(image courtesy of Rock Jumper Birding)


africa birds and birding, africa birding, birding africa, namibia, namibia tourism, namibia birding, namibia birdlife, birdwatching namibia

Violet Wood-hoopoe
(image courtesy of the Flacks)


africa birds and birding, africa birding, birding africa, namibia, namibia tourism, namibia birding, namibia birdlife, birdwatching namibia 

Carp's Tit
(image courtesy of Wilkinson’s World)

The park really comes alive for bird enthusiasts after good rains because as the Etosha Pan starts to fill up with water thousands of birds make their way to the newly formed water source. You can expect to see Flamingos, Pelicans and maybe even some rare Blue Cranes following rain in the region.

africa birds and birding, africa birding, birding africa, namibia, namibia tourism, namibia birding, namibia birdlife, birdwatching namibia

Flamingos on the pan.
(image courtesy of Kruger 2 Kalahari)

 

africa birds and birding, africa birding, birding africa, namibia, namibia tourism, namibia birding, namibia birdlife, birdwatching namibia

Pelicans
(image courtesy of Doug Breakwell via Flickr)

 

africa birds and birding, africa birding, birding africa, namibia, namibia tourism, namibia birding, namibia birdlife, birdwatching namibia

Rare Blue Cranes
(image courtesy of Frank Will via Flickr)

For a listing of the various places to stay in Etosha click on this link to read our comprehensive “how-to” guide for a visit to Etosha National Park.

 

The Waterberg

The Waterberg plateau has an amazing array of birdlife and is just stunning in so many different ways. Have a look at our blog post on it and you will get a sense of the beauty that awaits at this location. The area is home to over 200 different species and is home to the only breeding colony of the critically endangered Cape Vulture.

 

africa birds and birding, africa birding, birding africa, namibia, namibia tourism, namibia birding, namibia birdlife, birdwatching namibia

Cape Vulture in flight.

Click here to find out more about REST, a Namibian organisation trying
to help these majestic creatures back from the brink of extinction.

(image courtesy of Avian Leisure)

 

africa birds and birding, africa birding, birding africa, namibia, namibia tourism, namibia birding, namibia birdlife, birdwatching namibia

Bradfield’s Hornbill
(image courtesy of Brian Scott via Flickr)

 

africa birds and birding, africa birding, birding africa, namibia, namibia tourism, namibia birding, namibia birdlife, birdwatching namibia

African grey Hornbill
(image courtesy of Biodiversity Explorer)

If you want to stay overnight at the Waterberg Plateau park then click this link and read all about the different accomodation options available.


Go Namibia, Go Birding!

So there it is! A list of just three top birding spots in Namibia, where you can stay and what you can expect to find. While we haven't come close to describing all of the hundreds of species of birds you can find in Namibia (you can download a Namibia birding checklist for that) we hope its given you a taste of what's in store. One thing is for sure though, if you come to Namibia and want to do some bird watching, you will not leave disappointed.

 

What interesting bird species have you spotted in Namibia? Share them with us!

#BirdingInNamibia

Namibia Tourism on Twitter
  
Namibia Tourism on Facebook

 

 

More on Birding in Namibia

Download a Namibia birding checklist

 

Get a full list of great places to go bird watching in Namibia 

BIRDING CHECKLIST    MAP17
All Posts