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Etosha Self Drive

Abu Dhabi, United...
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Etosha Self Drive

Hello, We are wanting to self drive within Etosha for approx 5 days with 3 young children. Is it safe to drive without a guide, will we see other cars in there or be ‘on our own’ so to speak? We are looking at June 2017. We have good 4WD experience and are aware obviously that it is wild and there are animals about but do people drive on their own or is it recommended to join a company? Thank you

11 replies to this topic
Jerusalem, Israel
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1. Re: Etosha Self Drive

No need for an organized tour. you will see many cars and people on the road. You don't really need 4x4 inside the park as the roads are in good condition.

stay inside the park, so you can have morning and evening self drives and use of the pool and restaurants (or self catering) in the hot hours of the day and also the night sightseeing at the waterholes.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Etosha Self Drive

As Yaeli says above, self drive no need for tour. Just get the map at Reception, take cold drinks, snacks or lunch ( they have allocated picnic and loo areas ) and drive the loops. Main thing is that the kids can see out window and if you are renting a high clearance vehicle should be no problem. If BBQ, self cater keep eye out for Jackals as they come to sniff out whatever is cooking. This applies mainly to Okaukuejo ( in my experience ).

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Etosha Self Drive

You will be fine. Get the Etosha Honeyguide map at any of the NWR camp shops. Aim for the waterholes, man made or natural. Use the map for your routes. Take some snacks/breakfast/lunch and watch the interaction. In the heat of the day take the kids to the pools at the NWR resort camps for a dip. At sunset go the resorts waterholes. Wonderful. Don’t let the kids feed the jackals that might come near the braai. Not a threat just watch and don’t leave the braai untended.

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4. Re: Etosha Self Drive

We travelled in June 2012. As othes have said there is no need for a guide, and a high clearance vehicle is better for the view. The reception had a note book where people wrote about sightings, we found this really helpful. The map we had was accurate and also had a good selection of identification illustrations for both birds and animals. All waterholes / areas are signed so its easy to know where you are. The camp / chalet areas are in a gated enclosure which are closed at night to protect you from the wildlife. Except the Jackals that is. The only thing I would mention is that June is winter in Namibia so it can get down to freezing temperatures at night, temp warms up quickly during the day. The wildlife tend to move away /' keepy away from vehicles. We had the windows down and never felt in any danger. Don't forget the binoculars as a lot of things are often not close up. The main routes had a few other cars when we were there but on the less travelled tracks we went a few hours before seeing another car.

Nashville, Tennessee
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5. Re: Etosha Self Drive

As stated above, no need to have a guided tour. Very easy to drive yourself.

One thing to consider, June is the last month before high season. It can get a little crowded. I would start planning now. I would call someone or use Cardboard box to help get it planned pretty quickly. We use Discover Namibia (they have planned 4 trips for us).

Most of all, enjoy the trip! Etosha is fabulous.

Exeter, United...
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6. Re: Etosha Self Drive

I know it's late in the day but hopefully this may help someone else.

4x4s are completely unnecessary in Etosha. Having visited a couple of times with 3 kids, once in a HiLux and a second time in a VW Caravelle, I'd recommend the Caravelle over the 4x4. Much more room for everyone with 3 rows of seats and an even more elevated view.

Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
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18,859 posts
62 reviews
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7. Re: Etosha Self Drive

John, it is never too late for a good tip! BTW, where did you rent the Caravelle from, and how much does it cost (per day). Thanks!

12 posts
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8. Re: Etosha Self Drive

Hi! Im a bit late, but I could give you some advise as im Namibian.

No guide needed in Etosha, just a sturdy 4x4. If you are sure about your travels then I would suggest booking accommodation as soon as possible, as most of our lodges are alreadg fully booked until next year July.

I work in the toursim industry, and if you have any additional questions, please free to contact me :)

New York City
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9. Re: Etosha Self Drive

I would buy 3 of those map/guides. One for each kid. They have pictures of the animals and birds on them. I had a ball circling all the ones that we saw!

Bristol, United...
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10. Re: Etosha Self Drive


If you’re not staying in the park (all booked up unfortunately) are you able to still use the pools/facilities in the camps?



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