The best time to visit is during the drier winter months (May–Oct), when more animals are concentrated round the waterholes, predominantly scattered around the southern edges of Etosha Pan. Viewing is easier then because the vegetation is sparser, and the lower temperatures make a stakeout at a waterhole a more pleasurable experience. On the other hand, when the wind gets up, the landscape can become enveloped in clouds of dust. Visitor numbers are inevitably higher in winter, especially in the European and Namibian school holidays, though the park is so large and the waterholes so numerous – 86 in all – that it never gets unbearably busy. In the wetter summer months, however, the lusher vegetation is much easier on the eye, and the water-filled pans attract an abundance of migratory birdlife, especially between November and April. In the rare years when the rains are really heavy (usually Jan or Feb) and the water lingers, Etosha Pan becomes a vast pink-and-white carpet of pelicans and flamingos, which flock here in their hundreds of thousands to breed.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Namibia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

19 places to get utterly lost

19 places to get utterly lost

One of the great joys of travelling is stumbling across unexpected places, wandering without a single destination in mind and embracing the journey. These place…

12 Sep 2017 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
Namibia from above: the world's most extreme landscape

Namibia from above: the world's most extreme landscape

The Namib desert is one of the world’s most extreme environments. Covering 81,000 square kilometres, its vastness can only truly be appreciated from above. He…

17 Jul 2017 • Lottie Gross local_activity Special feature
In pictures: the otherworldly landscapes of Namibia

In pictures: the otherworldly landscapes of Namibia

From the spectacular dunes of the Namib Desert to the serpentine chasm of the Fish River Canyon, the rugged mountains of the Great Escarpment to the acacia-stud…

05 Jul 2017 • Sara Humphreys camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook