There are more than 40 waterholes at Etosha National Park, each with its own strengths. We’re so addicted to this wildlife park in northern Namibia that we’ve visited nearly 30 times and have got to know the waterholes very well. For consistently good wildlife sightings over the years, here's my pick of 12 of the best.
1. Klein Namutoni
Animals to see: lion, elephant, black rhino, kudu, giraffe, black-faced impala, warthog, plains game (i.e. springbok, zebra, wildebeest and gemsbok)
Animals to see: lion, elephant, spotted hyena, eland, kudu, warthog, giraffe, black-faced impala, plains game
Animals to see: lion, elephant, black-faced impala, giraffe, warthog, kudu, red hartebeest, plains game
About 15km east of Halali camp are the two artesian springs of Goas. You can get fairly close-up photos here. It’s a reliable place to see black-faced impala, red hartebeest and kudu. We’ve also seen lots of elephant and a pride of 15 lions with mischievous cubs. There are good opportunities to watch birds of prey hunting.
Animals to see: lion, elephant, black-faced impala, giraffe, kudu, red hartebeest, plains game
Animals to see: leopard, elephant, rhino, giraffe, red hartebeest, black-faced impala, plains game
Animals to see: elephant, lion, giraffe, kudu, red hartebeest, plains game
7. Salvadora and Charitsaub
Charitsaub is an artesian spring that sometimes dries up late in the dry season (May/June to October). Check the large umbrella thorn tree north of the waterhole for birds of prey like red-necked and lanner falcons. You can often see lions and spotted hyena here, and zebra and wildebeest are regulars.
Animals to see: lion, cheetah, spotted hyena, plains game
8. Olifantsbad and Aus
Olifantsbad (elephant’s bath) is about 23km southeast of Okaukuejo, with Aus another 8km further on. Both are much-loved by elephants. Olifantsbad has the added benefit of a fenced picnic site (and toilet) nearby if you need to stretch your legs. Over the years we’ve had some fabulous elephant sightings at both these waterholes.
Animals to see: elephant, lion, giraffe, warthog, red hartebeest, kudu, black-faced impala, plains game
Animals to see: elephant, lion, kudu, red hartebeest, giraffe, plains game
Like Newbronii, Gemsbokvlakte 15km southeast of Okaukuejo, is a great place to watch a congregation of various species drinking. Large numbers of zebra come and go, hee-hawing their disapproval every now and then, their hooves rattling on the rocky ground. In the late dry season, the solar-driven borehole fills the trough slowly so animals may have to wait – and that’s when zebra get very vocal. At other times of year, over-spill may form pools around the trough.
Animals to see: elephant, lion, kudu, plains game
Animals to see: elephant, lion, spotted hyena, giraffe, plains game
Animals to see: elephant, black rhino, lion, spotted hyena, giraffe, kudu, plains game
A version of this article first appeared on AFK Travel’s website.
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