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African Photo Safari

Best Watering Holes Etosha National Park

What are the Best Watering Holes Etosha National Park?
Did you know that Etosha is home to more than 40 watering holes. Some are man-made, some are natural springs, and a few of them have spectacular flood-lights to illuminate the wildlife activity after dusk.
Each watering hole has a different personality and attracts various wild animals, particularly during the dry season when the wildlife collects to cool off and quench its thirst.
The best watering holes Etosha National Park allow you to get close enough to take the most awesome photography, not always from the safety of a car, sometimes you can experience the magnificence at very close quarters from a dedicated viewing platform.

Best Watering Holes Etosha National Park

Okaukuejo

As you would expect, this watering hole is right alongside the Okaukuejo Camp, the favorite camp of many guests due to its easy approach and great access to all of the self-drive routes.
Others choose it for its nearness to the spectacular watering hole, where the animals gather mostly in the early morning and at dusk.
At dusk, visitors make their way uphill to sit on the viewing deck, with its comfortable protected seating area. From here, the floodlit Waterhole spectacularly backlight the scene, affording amazing views of herds of elephants, zebra, and lions and their cubs.
It is a favored resting place for the magnificent, endangered black rhino. Etosha is commonly thought to be the best place in Africa to spot the rhino, so grab your camera, relax by the light of the watering hole, and record some wondrous memories.

Klein Namutoni

On the East side of Etosha, you will find Klein Namutoni watering hole, within touching distance of the Namutoni campsite.
It is close enough that you can stay until the daylight has almost gone and still make it back to camp before the sunset curfew.

The views and the photo opportunities of the floodlit watering hole from the vantage point are second to none. Stroll down from the camp, be mindful to take a flashlight for the uneven surface, find a seat, enjoy a beer as you wait quietly and patiently for the show to begin.

Giraffes will put a smile on your face as you watch them bend awkwardly to get a drink, antelope, and spotted hyena will have you watching on in awe. There are few greater sights than a family of elephants bathing and splashing in a watering hole, another regular occurrence at Klein Namutoni. The black rhino also shows their face from time to time, one glance from them sends some of the smaller mammals running.

Halali

Although Halali is one of the smaller watering holes of Etosha National Park, it still attracts its fair share of wildlife. It has a very intimate feel to it, probably as it is quite secluded.
The more subdued atmosphere makes it a popular drinking spot of the shy leopard, it is one of the better places on the park to get a closeup view of them.

It is a natural spring, unusual in such a huge expanse of dryness, and attracts many birds throughout the day. It is at sunrise and set that the elephants, wildebeest, zebra, and black-faced impala are more regularly found quenching their thirst.

Chudop

This watering hole is set down in a dip, giving the viewer amazing views from above. Humans are virtually out of the animal’s eye line, so here, more than anywhere else, the wildlife behaves naturally.

There are more than 300 lions in Etosha, and lots of them tend to stop off at Chudop on their way to other areas of the park. Expect to see them devouring an earlier kill, lazing in the shade, or dependant on the time of your visit, there may be some cubs playing under the watchful eye of a lioness.

Warthogs frequent this watering hole, in their droves. Fascinating creatures that drink harmoniously alongside elephants, flamingo, and hyenas.
The Kori Bustard is often spotted in this region of the park, often mistaken for an ostrich at first glance. It isn’t, it is the heaviest bird in the world that can fly. He rarely does, probably because it requires too much effort to get his substantial weight off the ground!

Other Watering Holes of Etosha

Okendeka is found on the west side of the salt pan, its natural fountain makes for wonderful pictures, particularly when the animals are using it to bathe.

Daytime activity at watering holes is always hit and miss, and changes from day-to-day.
Okerfontain and Olifantsbad often report lots of elephant and giraffe sightings in daylight.
They are much quieter than the big watering holes in the grounds of the camp, with a secluded feel. Damara dik-diks, the smallest of all antelope, gather here in numbers.

Finally…

Watering holes are plentiful spread throughout the park if your drive has seemed fruitless that day, make a beeline for one. It is very rare to find an empty watering hole during the dry season, just park up, wait, and prepare to be amazed.

Rely on the expertise of your guide or invest in a map of the park and soon you will be enjoying the best watering holes Etosha National Park.

Best Watering holes Etosha National Park

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