Wednesday, 30 April 2014

When is the right time to visit Etosha National Park?

 Visit Etosha National Park in January

The weather in January tends to represent the start of the wet season. Generally speaking conditions should really start to deteriorate, with increasingly prolonged periods of grey and stormy weather. With the arrival of the rains, temperatures start to fall from their peaks.

In terms of game viewing the arrival of the rains signals a mass exodus away from the dry season waterholes in search of better grazing, making for generally more difficult game viewing. The biggest issue is elephant, which tend to migrate away into the surrounding woodlands and out of range ... it is not unusual to see no elephants at all during this time. Since the rain tends to arrive from the northeast, the game tends to head in this direction and there can be good numbers in view on the plains around Namutoni. Additionally some of species select this time to give birth, most notable amongst which are the young antelopes. The main pan may also start to fill with water, which can attract a good number of waterfowl. Dramatic skies should be a regular feature for photographers.

The visitor numbers in January are usually very high up until the mass departure of the holiday crowds around the 5th of the month. Before this break point crowding around the main restcamps, along the main roads and the more accessible waterholes is a major issue. Trips need to be planned carefully to take this into account and we strongly recommend staying on the private concessions outside the reserve if at all possible. After this date traffic falls to very low issue and the reason to stay in the private reserves outside the park is now more to do with the quality of accommodation and service.

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