This 3-day/2night budget camping safari starts in Swakopmund every Saturday and ends Monday afternoons in Windhoek. Leaving Swakopmund in the morning we drive to Etosha National Park where you will spend 1 full day and an afternoon game driving, searching for predators & prey alike. Spend your evenings at the flood-lit waterhole waiting for animals to come and drink. Etosha National Park stretches approximately 22,000sqkms and is named after the famed Etosha Pan. Upon leaving Etosha, make a final stop at the Okahandja craft market for some local souvenirs. We arrive in Windhoek in the afternoon where we will be dropped off at our accommodation within the city limits.
Day 1: Saturday Swakopmund – Okaukuejo – Etosha National Park
You will be collected at your accommodation in Swakopmund from 09h00 today.
Onwards on a proper paved road all the way to Etosha, this is like all of Namibia a scenic route. After lunch we head north on the main road, passing the small town of Outjo, then onwards to Etosha national park.
We are introduced to the park with a short game drive between the main entrance gate, (Anderson Gate), and Okaukuejo Camp with a good chance to spot big game right from the very start. Etosha is huge, just over 22,000 square km and is home to 114 species of mammal, 350 species of bird, 110 species of reptile, uncountable numbers of insects and, somewhat bizarrely, one species of fish.
After setting up our campsite, depending on time, we will head out for a short late afternoon game drive in search of big game. Elephant, rhino, giraffe and the big cats are often seen in this area. We also look for the smaller species, several types of antelope and gazelle abound, zebra are common and the bird life can be spectacular.
All visitors must be back in camp at sunset, but the ‘game show’ doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Assessable on foot and only a short walk from our campsite, Okaukuejo is justly famous for its flood-lit waterhole where we are afforded the chance to see all of Etosha’s treasures. Big cats, elephant and the whole spectrum of smaller game, but in particular, this is our best chance of getting up close to a black rhino. Namibia is the last stronghold of these critically endangered creatures but here, at Okaukuejo, they are regular visitors.
Day 2: Sunday Okaukuejo – Etosha National Park
We have the whole day to explore Etosha and we want to make the most of it. The park gates open at sunrise and after a quick cup of coffee and a snack we will aim to be on our way as the sun breaches the horizon. Early morning is usually a productive time for game viewing and first thing in the morning is a good time to catch big cats returning from the hunt.
Etosha is a desert landscape and water is the most scarce natural resource. There are however numerous waterholes here, both natural and man-made, and our game driving technique is to take in as many as possible. Here we hope that the game will come to us as the animals attend for an early morning drink.
Along the way, we will make a stop at a designated picnic area for a quick breakfast before continuing our game drive en route to the camp at Halali. The name for Halali is taken from a bugle refrain that was originally used during sport hunting with horses and hounds in Europe. The bugler would sound the Halali to signify that the hunt was over. This was considered appropriate for Etosha as inside the protection of the park, the hunting of animals is over forever.
We will have lunch at Halali. There is a small shop with basic merchandise and a few souvenirs and there will also be time for a swim in the pool. There is also time to visit the Halali camp waterhole before we head back out into the park for our afternoon game drive.
On our way back to Okaukuejo we will stop to have a closer look at the Etosha Pan. The name Etosha translates as ‘great white space’ but this name does not do justice to the immensity of the pan. Over 4,700 square km of the dazzling white mineral pan, is so big that it can be seen from space. Keeping a sharp lookout for game as we wind our way back to Okaukuejo, we aim to arrive back at our campsite just before sunset and just in time for the best hour of the day at the Okaukuejo waterhole.
Day 3. Monday Etosha National Park -Windhoek – 500 km
After breaking camp for the last time, we will game drive to the park exit, hoping to catch sight of some magnificent predators and plains game before heading south to Windhoek, we stop briefly at the small town of Okahandja to refuel our vehicle.
This is also where we will find Namibia’s largest wood carving market. Craftsmen from all over Namibia come here to showcase a wide variety of items both large and small. Here we have the opportunity to collect a truly Namibian souvenir and at the same time to support the local artists and communities.
We aim to be back in Windhoek in the late afternoon. There will be a shuttle service to take you to your accommodation within the Windhoek City limits. We recommend Chameleon Backpackers for great value, centrally located, accommodation.
We recommend that departure flights are not scheduled for today.