Driving in Namibia for the first time may be daunting – there is a lot to know and concentrate on a road trip. Here we have listed the Namibia road trip essentials, so you may have the very best and most secure expertise attainable.
Before you choose the destinations you want to see, consider how much time you want to spend in a car. The majority of road trip options in Namibia range from 7 to 15 days. Namibia has extremely large distances, making a drive from point A to point B take up to a whole day.
Namibia is best visited from July to October when temperatures are just around 20°C and there is little risk of rain. Since it’s also the ideal time to see animals, this is the busiest travel period; make travel arrangements well in advance.
Namibia is a big country, and there are far-between places. You may do a safari and explore the best of the deserts and national parks in a week. To avoid spending too much time in a car, two weeks is the ideal length of time to travel to the major sights.
Driving on your own in Namibia is not difficult, and if you follow our advice, you’ll find it to be a really gratifying and thrilling vacation experience. The roads see very little traffic, and since there are so few of them, getting about is relatively simple.
Namibia Road Trip
Dunes, safaris, mountains, canyons, ghost cities, huge cities, small cities; driving in Namibia is an unbelievable method to expertise this distinctive and totally stunning nation.
On our Namibia highway journey, we explored the nation, backside to prime, traversing through a number of the finest and worst roads we have ever encountered. It was an actual problem, however, we survived, solely simply, a thrilling Namibia road trip.
For a first-timer, driving in Namibia may be robust; there is a lot to know and concentrate on.
That is why we have put collectively a complete listing of our prime suggestions for driving in Namibia – that will help you have the very best Namibian highway journey expertise attainable.
14 ESSENTIAL TIPS BEFORE DRIVING IN NAMIBIA
1. HIRE A 4×4 IN NAMIBIA, JUST TO BE SAFE
A query most individuals ask is “do I want a 4×4 for Namibia?”. Technically, no.
The highway system in Namibia, save for probably the most distant areas, is comprised of effectively maintained tarred or gravel roads and many of the principal vacationer websites may be reached with no 4×4 particularly (however one thing strong is advisable), which is a part of thrilling Namibia road trip.
We managed to drive many of the nations with our all-wheel-drive Mitsubishi ASX with just one scary state of affairs – a really sandy highway between Fish River Canyon and Sossusvlei.
We do nevertheless suggest you rent a 4×4, particularly a 4×4 camper, and go for the choice with limitless mileage. A 4×4 car makes driving in Namibia a lot of extra snugs.
You are larger up, so clearance isn’t a difficulty and the bigger tires present way more grip when driving on gravel or sand roads, nice for when visiting Sossusvlei and Deadvlei, Etosha National Park, and any place alongside the Skeleton Coast. The 4×4 campers are additionally a good way to economize, as you may sleep within the tent above your car, and use the cooking gear housed inside the car.
Driving in Namibia tip | Positively rent a 4×4, it will make your expertise an entire lot higher.
2. RENT AND DROP OFF YOUR VEHICLE IN WINDHOEK
This would possibly sound apparent, however, we suggest you hire and drop off your car in Windhoek. Why? As a result, when you take your car across borders, you may be slugged with cross-border fees which may find yourself growing the general price of your journey, which is a part of a thrilling Namibia road trip.
The good news for adult South African nationals is that entry into Namibia just requires a passport that is currently valid. Therefore, if you already have a passport that is still valid, you should have no difficulty visiting Amanzi Trails if you are a South African.
Cross-border licenses are used to facilitate a more effective flow of people and products across borders. The licenses make it easier for businesses that carry goods, people, and tourists to move between SADC nations without being subjected to protracted waits at border crossings.
Crossing into Namibia from neighboring international locations will a fee, payable when getting into Namibia. So far as we’re conscious, this must be paid in money, so be ready. Additionally, you will want the relevant documentation together with:
- Legitimate passport of the driving force
- A licensed copy of the car registration papers
- Letter of authority from the registered proprietor/rent firm
- Motor insurance coverage certificates – obtainable on the border and freed from cost
- If coming from South Africa, a ZA sticker
One other massive price to look out for is a one-way, cross-country charge out of your rental company. We learned this the arduous manner of having employed our automobile from Cape City to Windhoek. Sadly, we weren’t notified of this charge upon hiring and ended up having to pay a charge of $200 USD.
Driving in Namibia tip | Rent and drop off your car in Windhoek, and keep away from taking through borders if attainable.
3. DISTANCES ARE LONG, AND DRIVE TIMES EVEN LONGER
Namibia is not often known as the land of infinite horizons for nothing – it is huge, which is a part of a thrilling Namibia road trip!
In actual fact, Namibia has the second-lowest inhabitants density on the planet after Mongolia, with solely 2.2 million inhabitants.
On some day, we spent a number of hours driving by the Namib desert without seeing one other dwelling soul – not even an animal.
Subsequently, it is necessary to notice that distances are lengthy. Drive occasions may be even longer if you account for the gravel/sandy roads which you are prone to encounter.
Driving in Namibia tip | Add an hour or two to any journey time that does not embody tarred roads
4. DON’T SPEED, ESPECIALLY ON GRAVEL ROADS
Namibian roads are lengthy and empty so it may be tempting to hurry. Do not.
The reply is likely to be apparent, however, we will not emphasize sufficiently the significance of sticking to the highway guidelines, which is a part of the thrilling Namibia road trip.
In case you‘re unfortunate sufficient to have an accident, it might be hours/days till somebody finds you, and when you‘re severely injured, medical assistance could also be hours away.
Velocity limits in Namibia are as follows:
Tarred roads | 120 km/h
Gravel roads | 80 km/h
City areas | 50-60 km/h
The penalties for exceeding the native velocity limits are extraordinarily extreme, and legislation enforcement is common.
The roads in Namibia differ in the situation – some tarred roads are wonderful (these are labeled with the letter ‘B’ on maps), whereas some gravel roads (‘D’ or ‘C’ prefixes on maps) flip to sand in a short time and may end up in accidents.
Punctures are additionally a chance on gravel roads (we will not let you know what number we noticed) and velocity might enhance the chance, which is a part of a thrilling Namibia road trip.
Driving in Namibia tip | Do not cross speed, ever!
5. HAVE THE RIGHT DRIVING LICENCE
To rent an automobile in Namibia you have to be 23 years or older and have held your full license for no less than 1 yr, nevertheless, this does depend upon the provider, and we have typically discovered the driving force has to be 25 years of age or extra.
Those between 21-25 could also be required to pay an extra insurance coverage charge, which is a part of the thrilling Namibia road trip.
In case your license is just not in English, you have to have a world driver’s license.
6. AVOID DRIVING AT DUSK
If attainable, keep away from driving at nightfall or at night time exterior the cities or bigger cities, as there is a lot larger chance of an incident occurring.
Animals are way more energetic presently of day, whereas, in some areas the place highway lamps aren’t frequent, these much less lucky workhouses on the shoulder of the highway are nearly inconceivable to see.
In case you do drive at nightfall or night, use your excessive beams and drive slower than the velocity restriction.
7. WATCH OUT FOR ANIMALS
Unsurprisingly, Namibia is filled with animals, even in the least anticipated locations, which is a part of a thrilling Namibia road trip.
When driving in Namibia, the time is looking out for animals, no matter what sort of highway you are on and what sort of day it’s, as they’re recognized to be startled and run into the entrance of automobiles.
Thankfully, there are highway indicators that point out when to be cautious, so do not ignore these.
8. LEARN THE MAPS AND ASK FOR DIRECTIONS FROM LOCALS
Earlier than your highway journey, we completely suggest investing in a Namibian roadmap and completely researching the very best routes to take.
It is also an important thought to obtain an offline map of Namibia on your cellphone, simply to be protected.
You may download our Namibia road trip itinerary map here.
We additionally suggest talking with locals and confirming your route. They know the roads the very best and can be capable of providing the proper instructions.
Driving in Namibia tip | Purchase a Namibia roadmap, obtain the Namibia offline map on your cellphone, and do not get misplaced.
9. FILL UP WHEN YOU CAN
The overall rule of thumb in outback Namibia is to all the time refill when you go to a petroleum station, as you by no means know when the subsequent alternative to refill will happen, which is a part of a thrilling Namibia road trip.
In our expertise, except if you are driving in the far reaches of the Skeleton Coast National park, it is best to be capable of discovering a petrol station pretty repeatedly.
Petrol stations in Namibia aren’t self-service, so you may be greeted by a petroleum station attendant who will fill your car, and provide to wash your windscreen.
It is customary to tip around N$5 as soon as the attendant has crammed up your automobile.
10. ALWAYS BE PREPARED
In Namibia, it’s necessary to arrange for the worst and count on the very best, which is a part of a thrilling Namibia road trip.
In any case, you are about to take off a multi-day journey in a particularly dry and wild desert – being prepared for no matter what the journey throws at you is a should.
In case you’re heading off-road by yourself, we can not emphasize sufficiently how necessary it’s to all the time pack additional provides together with meals, water, and heated clothes.
To present you thought, we all the time had a minimum of 10L of water behind our automobile, and sufficient meals to final us 2-Three days if the necessity arose.
Tire punctures are extremely frequent in Namibia, so be ready with a spare tire (or two). And if you do not know already, learn to change a tire earlier than you depart.
In our 10 days on the highway, we did not have a single puncture, nevertheless, we noticed three punctures in a single afternoon. In case you drive slowly and keep away from potholes or massive stones, you ought to be okay.
Driving in Namibia tip | Stay by the motto “It is higher to be protected than sorry”.
11. GET INSURANCE, AND THEN SOME
We’re of the idea that it is best to by no means journey without travel insurance, ever. However, when you do not all the time use it, you have to for a Namibian highway journey, which is a part of a thrilling Namibia road trip.
There are a lot of potential points that will come up whereas self-driving in Namibia, together with accidents and minor injury to automobiles, theft, muggings, and medical points.
When reserving your automobile, be sure to get probably the most complete insurance coverage and pay extra to cut back your extra.
It might be costly, however, accidents are way more seemingly on Namibian roads because of the completely different driving situations.
It is price noting that the majority of automobile rental companies in Namibia do not cowl you for nighttime driving or ‘off-piste’.
When it comes to travel and safety in Namibia, take the conventional precautions you’d anyplace, similar to by no means leaving valuables or luggage unattended in your automobile, and being cautious of these around you at ATMs.
In some areas, we suggest that you just don’t wander alone or catch taxis late at night time (significantly after 9 pm) as there have been stories of armed muggings and theft of vacationers’ backpacks.
We use World Nomads when traveling by Namibia, and suggest you do too. You may guide a coverage right here, or utilize the field under.
Driving in Namibia tip | Do not go away house without journey insurance coverage, and browse by your automobile rent insurance coverage completely.
12. DRIVE ON THE LEFT
Namibians drive on the left-hand facet of the highway, which for us Aussies, is totally regular, which is a part of a thrilling Namibia road trip.
Nonetheless, we realize this is not regular for almost all of the world and is one thing to concentrate on when hiring an automobile in Namibia.
In case you‘re anxious, it might be finest to rent a computerized automobile to keep away from any gear change/braking/turning abruptly points (we have been there when driving in Europe!)
Driving in Namibia tip | Drive on the left, all the time!
#13 FOLLOW THESE SIMPLE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
To remain protected and sound when driving in Namibia, apply these easy security precautions:
- Do not choose hitchhikers, even when they give the impression of being misplaced or harmless. There have been many stories of carjackings because of selecting faux hitchhikers.
- Do not ever go away valuables present in your automobile if you go away it unattended, and all the time lock your car. When you have valuables like cameras, telephones, and many others, take them with you when leaving the automobile.
- Know which areas to keep away from, particularly townships.
- At all times drive with the doorways locked and home windows wound up, particularly in main city areas and around site visitors.
- Attempt to park your car in a safe compound, or on a busy, well-lit avenue.
14. DRIVING IN NAMIBIA – FOLLOW THESE GENERAL RULES
- Maintain your lights on always as this makes your automobile simpler to identify, even in the very best of climates.
- Flash your hazards if you go, one other driver. This acts as thanks.
- Namibia drivers are typically very courteous (see the purpose above), so be identical.
- Decelerate when approaching different vehicles on gravel roads to keep away from stones being thrown up by tires. We won’t let you know what number of occasions we had stones hit our windscreen.
- Seat belts when driving a rented automobile in Namibia are obligatory.
- Drivers are to hold always whereas driving, a sound driver’s license, registration paperwork, and insurance coverage paperwork.
- Do not depend on cellphone reception, as in probably the most distant areas, even 3G is just not out there.
PLANNING YOUR ROAD TRIP AROUND NAMIBIA
RENTING YOUR CAR
An internet aggregator of over 900 automobile rental websites may be out there all over the world, and they usually even have a worth match assurance. Seek for your good rental utilizing the field under:
To start out your Namibia highway journey, you first should get to Namibia. Worldwide flights will arrive at Hoseo Kutaki Worldwide Airport, Windhoek.
Namibia has an exhaustive array of lodging choices, with everything from high-end lodges to campsites, which is a part of the Namibia road trip.
For such a big nation, lodging may be discovered nearly anyplace, whether or not or not it’s a sleepy roadside city in the course of the desert or an unbelievable lodge within the coronary heart of Etosha.
In case you‘re searching for resort or safari lodge lodging in Namibia and do not know the place to start out, we suggest utilizing Reserving.com to search for the lodging you are searching for at the lowest attainable costs.
We used our Lonely Planet Southern Africa information religiously on this journey and suggest you buy and browse one earlier than traveling, which is a part of the Namibia road trip.
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