Etosha National Park Self Guided on a Budget

To go on safari in Africa can get expensive. East Africa in particular, has very expensive park fees, may be difficult to self drive, and may require guides. Etosha is one of the best safaris in Africa, and compared to others, is a bargain. This park is the easiest self driving safari in Africa we went on, and does not require a 4WD car.

Etosha National Park on a Budget, Etosha, Namibia

Lion resting alongside the road

Car Rental

Cars can be rented from Windhoek, where there are several different car companies. You can choose between a small car (Volkswagen Polo) or larger 4WD vehicles such as a Toyota Hilux. Etosha can be done with any car. Roads are very good quality gravel roads. Expect to pay around $25/day for a small car and $60/day for a 4WD.

Etosha National Park on a Budget, Etosha, Namibia

Cheetah stalking Springbok’s

Etosha Entry Fees

  • $80 NAD per person per day

  • $10 NAD per vehicle per day



Etosha Park Entrances

Gate hours are from sunrise to sunset. Anderson and Von Lindquist are the most popular entrance and exit points. Anderson is the closest to Windhoek, about a 4 and half hour drive.

  • Galton Gate (West)

  • Anderson Gate (South)

  • Von Lindquist Gate (East)

  • King Nehale Iya Mpingana Gate (North)


TIP: Drive to Etosha National Park and stay OUTSIDE of the Anderson Gate for 1 night. Here you will find lots of accommodations, including camping. The other gates have limited options outside and are more expensive. We stayed 1 night at Eldorado Guest House and Camping, which was one of our best campsites in all of Namibia for $120 NAD per person (Eldorado B&B). 

Etosha National Park on a Budget, Etosha, Namibia


Campgrounds and Park Accommodations

There are five villages/camps throughout the park.

  • Okaukeujo – camping, bungalows, and private rooms

  • Halali – camping, bungalows, and private rooms

  • Namutoni – camping, bungalows, and private rooms

  • Dolomite – bungalows and private rooms

  • Sonderkop – bungalows and private rooms


Camping Costs

$246 Namibian Per Person Per Night


Camping Recommendation

For a 2 day Safari, enter from the Anderson Gate where you stayed the night prior and stay 1 night at Halali and 1 night at Namutoni. Exit from the Von Lindquist Gate the following day. For a 3 Day Safari, camp 1 night each at Okaukeujo, Halali, and Numatoni.

Etosha National Park on a Budget, Etosha, Namibia


Watering Holes

Watering Holes are all throughout the park, depending on the season and amount of rain will change which have water and how much. There are also man made watering holes. In the rainy season, about half or more of the watering holes had some water. In the dry season, most will dry up aside from the man made watering holes.

Watering Holes are some of the best places to see animals, especially in the dry season. The two best watering holes are in Halali and Okaukuejo.

Etosha National Park on a Budget, Etosha, Namibia

African Elephants

Where to Go

We went in the rainy season in March. There was a good amount of water, so the animals are then more spread out. We heard normally Okaukuejo and Halali were best for animal sightings, but Numatoni was actually the best the time of year we went.

We spent 1 day exploring around the Okaukeujo area. We saw a lot of animals at the watering holes Gemsbokvlakte, Olifantsbad, and Aus. We also saw a lion up close in the Salvadora area. We drove all roads between Okaukuejo and Halali on day 1, ending around 6:30pm. You also can visit the watering holes at the campsite (floodlit) for an evening viewing of the animals.

On Day 2, we drove Rhino Drive to the Helio watering hole. We did not see any animals in the Halali area, so we drove to Namutoni, where there was the highest abundance of animals at the time. We saw a lot of animals just off the main road, including 4 cheetahs and 3 Lions, especially around the stretch between Okerfontein watering hole and Chudop.

Etosha National Park on a Budget, Etosha, Namibia


Animals Seen

  • 1 White Rhinoceros

  • 5 Lions

  • 4 Cheetahs

  • 10 African Elephants

Etosha National Park on a Budget, Etosha, Namibia

A Yawning Lion

Etosha National Park on a Budget, Etosha, Namibia


Several of the Following

  • Giraffe

  • Zebra

  • Kudu

  • Gemsbok

  • Blue Wildebeest

  • Springbok

  • Damara Dik Dik

  • Impala

  • Duiker

  • Steenbok

  • Blackjacked Jackal

  • Banded Mongoose

  • Warthog

  • Lots of really beautiful birds also can be seen throughout the park


Etosha National Park on a Budget, Etosha, Namibia

Giraffe’s Running in the Wild

Namibia Articles:

  • Etosha National Park  (Current)

  • Himba Village Tour in Opuwo click HERE

  • Swakopmund and Outdoor Adventures click HERE

  • Naukluft Mountains Hike click HERE

  • Sossusvlei and Deadvlei click HERE

  • Luderitz and Kolmanskop Ghost Town click HERE

  • Fish River Canyon click HERE


Return to Africa

Return to Destinations


Contact Us

Contact Us

Visited on 03/12/2016-03/13/2016.


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2 comments on “Etosha National Park Self Guided on a Budget”

  1. Mfuwe Reply

    Great report. Thanks for sharing.
    PS Your “White” Rhino is actually a Blackie. Or at least that photo is.

    • Beard and Curly Reply

      Wow thanks so much for pointing that out. We always thought it was a White Rhino. I think the blackies is more rare. So Yay!

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