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Can you drive to east Etosha from Windhoek in a day?

Paris, France
4 posts
Can you drive to east Etosha from Windhoek in a day?

Hi, I am planning a trip to Namibia and we are short of time. We would ideally go from Windhoek to Etosha East in a day in order to be able to take the rest of the trip in a more leisurely fashion. I have heard mixed reports on whether the drive is feasible in a day. some say 6 hours, others 7, others say it is not possible in an ordinary car. Would appreciate any tips, many thanks.

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
39,939 posts
448 reviews
1. Re: Can you drive to east Etosha from Windhoek in a day?

The distance is 533km. Averaging 80kmph that is doable in 7 hours BUT you need to allow for Towns, Fuel, Road checks etc.,

If your intention is to traverse Etosha from East to West it would be easier to enter at Anderson Gate which is 100km or more closer, then work east the next day before swinging back to Okaukuejo and on to Dolomite. At least that would be a nice Game drive instead of burning rubber and risking a wrecked holiday.

London, United...
Level Contributor
33,542 posts
78 reviews
2. Re: Can you drive to east Etosha from Windhoek in a day?

Without knowing what the rest of the trip is, it's difficult to advise. I agree with mfuwe - why not take the shortest route to Etosha if you are in a hurry?

Paris, France
4 posts
3. Re: Can you drive to east Etosha from Windhoek in a day?

Thanks to both of you. What you suggest makes sense - we had booked the itinerary through a travel agent but when I started querying the detail I realised some of the staging posts appeared to be illogical. Anderson Gate does seem less risky.

Swakopmund, Namibia
Level Contributor
94 posts
1 review
4. Re: Can you drive to east Etosha from Windhoek in a day?

I do agree with the comments made. To add a bit ... I have found that as the eastern side is a bit further than the Andersson's Gate, it is actually not a bad plan to "get it under your belt" as such. Yes, it can take 6, 7 or even 8 hours, depending how often you stop but then you have that behind you. The eastern side of Etosha is great for game drives so if you enter at the Andersson's Gate side, you then have to make your way east and then back again ... obviously I do not know where you are going after Etosha.

Bear in mind that the road to Etosha is a good tar road and in fact, a little boring.

Danie Steyn - Namibia Tours & Safaris

Paris, France
4 posts
5. Re: Can you drive to east Etosha from Windhoek in a day?

That's a really good point, thanks Danie. The idea is to cross Etosha from East to West over three days, and then head North to the falls.

All things considered, we shall stick with that so as not to have to retrace our steps or reshuffle all the bookings.

Thank you all for your comments, it really is helpful to be able to see our plans through others' eyes.

Washington DC...
Destination Expert
for Washington DC
Level Contributor
2,652 posts
276 reviews
6. Re: Can you drive to east Etosha from Windhoek in a day?

Yes just leave at daybreak because the gates close at dark

Edited: 15 August 2013, 05:59
Paris, France
Level Contributor
44 posts
73 reviews
7. Re: Can you drive to east Etosha from Windhoek in a day?

Hi, I am planning the trip the other way around. Starting with Okakuejo, Halali and finishing with Namutoni. Can any one tell me how it is to leave Namutoni side to go back to Windhoek? When should I leave earliest? Or should I drive through the camp and leave from Okakuejo?

London, United...
Level Contributor
33,542 posts
78 reviews
8. Re: Can you drive to east Etosha from Windhoek in a day?

It will probably take about 8 hours. Say 5 hours after you leave the park.

Or just look at answers #1 and #4

Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
2,276 posts
212 reviews
9. Re: Can you drive to east Etosha from Windhoek in a day?

Remember, you cannot leave the camp until sunrise because the gate will be closed. You will ned anywhere from 10-30 minutes at the gate to leave the park. You will have a traffic stop on the road back to Windhoek. Also, there are a LOT of police set up along the road, so speeding is a bad idea.

Are you spending the night in Windhoek or trying to go all the way to the airport. The airport is another 30 minutes past the city. Do you have a car to drop off? That is 30-60 minutes as well.

What time of year? Certain times it can be dark by 5:30pm.

Sondrio, Italy
Level Contributor
34 posts
79 reviews
10. Re: Can you drive to east Etosha from Windhoek in a day?

I left Onguma Bush Camp (out of the park but very close to Namutoni) at 7AM and arrived in Windhoek around 4PM. I wanted to visit on the way Cheetah Conservation Fund that is 3.5 hours drive from eastern Etosha and 3.5 hours from Windhoek. You can take a short safari drive (about 1 hour), have a lunch and drive to Windhoek.

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