Etosha National Park Self Guided on a Budget

Etosha National Park is one of the top parks in Africa. Other top parks in Africa for safari, especially those in East Africa, can get very expensive. Etosha compared to other safaris is a bargain. This is perfect for budget travelers and backpackers alike. It also is a perfect safari for self-driving enthusiasts. It does not need a 4WD vehicle and is very accessible. Our guide on Etosha National Park self guided on a budget will help with your pre-trip planning for that perfect safari vacation!



Etosha National Park on a Budget, Etosha, Namibia

Lion resting along the road

When to Visit

The dry season is between June and October. This is the best time to view wildlife in Namibia.




Visitors from Western Europe, USA, Canada, Japan, the UK, and South Africa do not need a visa. For other countries not listed, please refer to the Namibian High Commission for more details. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry into Namibia. It is required to have at least 1 completely blank page.



Car Rental

Rent a car 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 good quality gravel roads. Expect to pay around $20/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 game lodges and campsites. The other gates have limited options outside and are more expensive. We stayed at Eldorado Guest House and Camping, which was one of our best campsites in 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 ($20 USD)



Camping Recommendation

We recommend entering from the Anderson Gate and departing the park from the Von Lindquist Gate. For a 2-day safari, stay Halali and Namutoni one night each. For a 3-day safari, stay one night each at Okaukeujo, Halali, and Numatoni campgrounds.



Etosha National Park on a Budget, Etosha, Namibia




Watering Holes

Watering Holes are all throughout the park. Depending on the season and amount of rainfall, watering holes will change. Several are artificial and have water year round. In the dry season, most dry up aside from a few of these artificial watering holes. Watering Holes are the best place to see animals, especially during 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 more spread out. Okaukuejo and Halali are known to be the best for animal sightings throughtout the year. However, when we went Numatoni was the best for animal sightings.



We spent 1 day exploring the Okaukeujo area. There were lots of animals at the watering holes Gemsbokvlakte, Olifantsbad, and Aus. There was a male lion very close to the road in the Salvadora area. We drove all roads between Okaukuejo and Halali on day 1, ending around 6:30 pm. You also can visit the watering holes at the campsite (floodlight) 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. It seemed as if nearly all the animals were around Numatoni. Just off the main road we spotted 4 cheetahs and 3 Lions.



Etosha National Park on a Budget, Etosha, Namibia




Animals Seen During Our Safari

  • 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



Packing Essentials for Etosha*



Other Essentials:

  • Wingspan Optics binoculars

  • Natrapel DEET free mosquito repellent

  • Camera with zoom (telephoto) lens – we recommend between 200 – 400 mm. Check out the Canon 70-200mm lens for the best quality you can get!

  • Hat

  • Waterbottle – try to help reduce plastic bottles!

*If you are considering buying any camping gear, hiking gear, or photography gear, please consider buying through the below affiliate links on this page. You won’t pay for anything extra at all, but we will receive a small commission (usually 2%-5%) to help run the website. We appreciate the support!




Check out our ultimate Namibia guide:

Namibia Ultimate Self Driving Guide & 2 Week Itinerary




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



Best Safaris in Africa




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



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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