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Tips on how to Plan a Namibia Self Force Shuttle

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Planning a Namibia self drive trip including the sand dunes of Sossusvlei

Namibia is best to your first African street commute. It’s a protected and out there nation with surprising sights such because the rhinos and cheetahs of Etosha and the large sand dunes of Sossusvlei. The roads could also be tough, however no less than there’s no visitors and the surroundings is wild and wonderful.

We’ve already shared our detailed Namibia street commute itinerary, and on this publish I’ll duvet plan your personal Namibia self-drive commute.

Contents

  • Visas
  • When to Pass
  • Getting There and Away
  • Language
  • Will have to You Hire a 2WD or four wheel drive in Namibia?
  • Automotive Apartment
  • Namibia Street Prerequisites
  • Using in Namibia Pointers
  • Petrol Stations
  • Instructions
  • Opting for Your Namibia Self-Force Itinerary
  • Cash and Prices
  • Namibia Lodging
  • Web and Cellular Knowledge Plans
  • Well being and Commute Insurance coverage
  • Meals and Drink
  • What to Pack
  • Our Namibia Weblog Posts

Visas

Many nationalities together with voters of the USA, UK, EU, Canada and Australia don’t want a visa for Namibia in case your keep is for 90 days or much less.

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When to Pass

The June to October dry wintry weather season is thought of as the most efficient time to seek advice from Namibia. Days are heat, nights may also be cold, and the dry climate is the most efficient time for a Namibia safari in Etosha Nationwide Park.

The rainiest and freshest climate is from December to March. We visited in April and had some rain nevertheless it didn’t have an effect on our commute. Temperatures have been most often round 30ºC all the way through the day and within the low 20sºC at night time, despite the fact that the Namibia coast is at all times cooler. Roads have been in a rougher situation on the finish of the wet season than they might be within the dry season.

The most important downside at the moment of 12 months was once that it was once tricky to peer animals in Etosha as they don’t want to pass to the waterholes. We had some success on the japanese fringe of the park and noticed rhinos, giraffe, zebras, many forms of antelope, or even two cheetahs, however within the centre of the park we once in a while drove for hours with out seeing the rest.

If a self-drive safari in Namibia is essential to you, pass all the way through the dry season. Another way, the rustic may also be visited at any time of 12 months.

Stormy skies in the Namib desert on our Namibia self drive road trip.

We had stormy skies within the Namib Barren region however little or no rain.

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Getting There and Away

Until you’re overlanding throughout Africa or riding up from Cape The town, you’ll almost certainly shuttle to Namibia through airplane to Windhoek airport. We flew from Cape The town on Air Namibia and left to Johannesburg on British Airlines.

Air Namibia has direct flights to Namibia from Frankfurt, Germany. From in every single place else it is very important transit by way of Johannesburg or in different places in Africa. Take a look at Kiwi and Skyscanner for the most efficient flight offers.

Arriving at Windhoek airport was once simple. In not up to an hour we had handed via immigration, withdrawn money from an ATM, purchased a SIM card on the MTC store, and collected our condominium automobile. It helped that we best had carry-on baggage so didn’t must watch for baggage.

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Language

English is Namibia’s nationwide language and is broadly spoken. Different languages often spoken are Afrikaans, German, and lots of African languages.

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Will have to You Hire a 2WD or four wheel drive in Namibia?

The most important choice to make when making plans your Namibia self-drive commute is whether or not to hire a four wheel drive or common 2WD automobile. It’s a debatable factor and also you’ll pay attention very combined evaluations. Some other people say a four wheel drive is very important whilst others set up in a compact automobile.

Maximum Namibia vacationer sights are out there in a 2WD, however a four wheel drive (most often a Toyota Hilux) will likely be extra at ease at the lengthy, bumpy gravel roads. A four wheel drive is really useful within the wet season.

The key problem of a four wheel drive is that it’s a lot more dear—each the condominium rate, extra quantity, and gas prices. We additionally heard that it’s more uncomplicated to roll a four wheel drive on a gravel street if you’re green.

We determined to chance it with a 2WD and firstly booked a Toyota Corolla for £421 ($556) for 15 days. However then our buddies visited Namibia the month ahead of us and misplaced a work of the bottom in their automobile from all of the rocks bouncing round.

We determined it might be more secure and extra at ease to hire a better clearance SUV—a compromise between a sedan and a four wheel drive. We modified our reserving to a Nissan X-Path, which price double the cost at £810 ($1069).

We have been pleased with our choice because the roads have been tough and uncomfortable in lots of puts and it might had been worse in a smaller automobile. The one position we idea a four wheel drive would had been higher was once in Damaraland the place we needed to power via flooded and sandy sections of roads in the course of nowhere—we controlled despite the fact that!

Our Nissan X-Trail SUV, one of our biggest Namibia travel expenses

Our Nissan X-Path SUV in Namibia

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Automotive Apartment

In prime season ebook as a ways prematurely as imaginable, particularly for a four wheel drive.

If you make a decision to move with a 2WD, you’ll in finding the most efficient charges on websites like Kayak and Apartment Automobiles. We searched on Kayak and booked with Argus for a Thrifty automobile. We had no issues of them. The large firms have places of work on the airport so you’ll get started your street commute instantly.

For a four wheel drive you’re at an advantage renting with an area corporate. Their places of work are in Windhoek (40 mins from the airport) however maximum be offering loose pickup. You’ll be able to see the Bradt Namibia guidebook and the Tripadvisor Namibia discussion board for really useful firms. I’ve heard excellent issues about Complex and Safari Automotive Apartment, however there are lots of choices. Remember to pass with a competent corporate as you do not need your car breaking down in the course of nowhere!

If you end up evaluating costs, come with all of the additional fees like further driving force rate and be sure you have limitless kilometres.

You’ll additionally want a bank card within the driving force’s identify for a deposit—a dangle of 10,000 NAD ($770) was once placed on our card and got rid of on go back. For 4WDs I noticed excesses as much as €2500 ($3000).

We at all times purchase separate extra automobile insurance coverage because it’s a lot inexpensive than purchasing a coverage from the auto condominium corporate. An annual international coverage price us £52 ($67). UK citizens can glance on Cash Saving Skilled for the most efficient extra insurance coverage offers.

Remember to test your spare tyre ahead of you allow the condominium position—it’s possible you’ll properly want it. Fortunately, we didn’t, however I did obtain directions on converting a tyre simply in case.

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Namibia Street Prerequisites

Gravel road in Namibia

A regular gravel street and an extraordinary passing car.

Distances are lengthy and Namibia is a moderately populated nation, so that you’ll most often be riding on empty directly roads.

There are some tarmac roads in Namibia together with the B1 which hyperlinks Windhoek to Etosha. They’re in excellent situation and there’s no longer a lot visitors.

As a rule you’ll be riding on gravel roads. Some sections are properly graded and slightly easy, whilst others are corrugated, bumpy, and uncomfortable. We discovered Damaraland and Solitaire/Sesriem the worst spaces. We have been travelling in April, despite the fact that, so it’s imaginable that all the way through the dry season the roads are in higher situation.

As we didn’t have a four wheel drive we regularly selected an extended direction than incorporated a tarmac B street, reasonably than power totally on C roads. This stored us time general and was once extra at ease.

Black rhino in road on a Namibia self drive safari in Etosha

Glance out for rhinos crossing the street in Etosha!

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Using in Namibia Pointers

Crime isn’t a significant worry in Namibia. The most important factor is the gravel roads which purpose many injuries. Right here’s stay protected:

On gravel roads

  • Force slowly on gravel roads—by no means greater than 80 kmph (we most often drove slower). Dashing is the most important explanation for injuries.
  • Persist with third or 4th tools when riding on gravel.
  • Gradual regularly the use of gears and brakes, no longer simply brakes. Handiest brake on directly sections of roads, no longer on corners (there aren’t many of those anyway).
  • Decelerate when passing every other car coming in the wrong way to minimise the wear from free gravel and as it’s possible you’ll lose visibility within the mud cloud.

Different riding guidelines

  • Force at the left.
  • Don’t power in sand until you could have a four wheel drive and revel in. We noticed vehicles get caught within the sandy phase at Sossusvlei—take the four wheel drive taxi as a substitute.
  • Stay snacks and water available for lengthy drives. We stocked up at a grocery store in Windhoek after we first arrived.
  • Refill on every occasion you move a petroleum station. We regularly drove for hours (5 hours in a single case) with out passing one. We stored monitor of what number of kilometres we have been getting in line with tank of petrol so lets pass judgement on it.
  • Steer clear of riding at night time as animals regularly wander into the roads.

Warthog warning sign on a self drive Namibia trip

Be careful for the warthogs!

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Petrol Stations

It’s a good suggestion to refill when you’ll as there are lengthy stretches with out petrol stations. Stay money available as they don’t at all times settle for playing cards.

Stations don’t seem to be self-service so keep to your automobile and an attendant will refill for you and regularly blank your windscreen. They may be able to additionally test your oil, water and tyre force when you ask. It’s normal to tip round five NAD—we most often gave extra, particularly in the event that they wiped clean the home windows.

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Instructions

We purchased a SIM card and knowledge plan (see under) and used Google Maps for instructions. The instructions have been at all times correct, however unsurprisingly it took us longer than the estimated time—most often 30 to 60 mins longer for a 4 or 5 hour adventure.

There isn’t mobile sign in every single place, however when you get started turn-by-turn instructions in case you have a sign (or at the resort WiFi), they’re going to proceed despite the fact that you lose connection.

We didn’t want a paper map, as there aren’t many roads and it’s no longer laborious to seek out the way in which. I did write down the instructions for every adventure ahead of we were given to Namibia simply in case we didn’t have a sign for Google Maps.

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Opting for Your Namibia Self-Force Itinerary

Running down the Big Daddy Sand Dune at Deadvlei in Namibia

Operating down the Giant Daddy sand dune is a spotlight of Namibia!

The most well liked Namibia itinerary is Windhoek—Etosha—Swakopmund—Sossusvlei—Windhoek (or the opposite). You’ll be able to power this direction in 10 days. We had 14 days and incorporated further stops at Okonjima Nature Reserve and Damaraland. It’s a good suggestion to get a divorce the lengthy power from Etosha to Swakopmund.

There are lots of different puts to seek advice from in Namibia. When you’ve got longer than two weeks or shuttle at a faster tempo, you have to upload probably the most southern sights together with Lüderitz, Kolmanskop, and Fish River Canyon.

See our Namibia two week itinerary for our direction, distances, adventure occasions, and lodging.

I like to recommend getting inspiration for what to do in Namibia from blogs and a guidebook (we used Bradt Namibia) and making a customized Google Map with pins for all of the puts you have an interest in visiting. You’ll be able to then calculate how lengthy it’s going to take to shuttle between them (keep in mind so as to add additional to Google’s estimate) and determine a logical direction.

Giraffes in Etosha on a Namibia self drive safari

You’ll be able to see numerous giraffes in Etosha, even within the wet season

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Cash and Prices

The native forex is the Namibian greenback (NAD), which is pegged to the South African rand and they’re used interchangeably. The present change fee is 1 USD = 13 NAD and 1 GBP = 17 NAD.

Our lodging at all times permitted bank cards, however no longer all petrol stations accomplish that stay money available. It’s additionally helpful for tipping resort body of workers.

It’s tricky to modify Namibian bucks if you go away the rustic, so in case you have South African rand (the ATM at Windhoek airport gave us rand) stay the ones for the top of your commute you probably have some left as they’re more uncomplicated to modify.

To trace our shuttle bills we at all times use our iPhone app, Path Pockets. Namibia isn’t an inexpensive nation. We spent a mean of £144/ $183 in line with particular person in line with day on our two-week street commute renting an SUV, staying in at ease accommodations, and consuming out for each and every meal.

See our Namibia price range publish for an in depth price breakdown.

You need to surely shuttle Namibia for much less, particularly when you rented a compact automobile, camped and self-catered.

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Namibia Lodging

We stayed in at ease, mid-range accommodations that incorporated breakfast and dinner (the exceptions are the cities of Windhoek and Swakopmund the place you’ll devour out in eating places). You’ll be able to see precisely the place we stayed in our street commute itinerary.

We booked all our lodging in Namibia one to 3 months prematurely and most often needed to pay a deposit. Some in style accommodations, particularly in Damaraland, have been already booked up, possibly as a result of we have been travelling all the way through the Easter vacations. Ebook camps in Etosha and different Namibia Nationwide Parks as a ways prematurely as imaginable.

Tenting is a inexpensive possibility both in an abnormal flooring tent or in one of the crucial rooftop tents that may be rented with a four wheel drive.

Moon Mountain Lodge, Namibia - view from the tent

The view from our room at Moon Mountain Hotel

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Web and Cellular Knowledge Plans

WiFi is usually sluggish and it’s going to best be to be had in not unusual spaces of accommodations (or under no circumstances). There have been some surprises despite the fact that like the great WiFi in our room at far flung Huab Hotel.

A cellular information plan is a good suggestion for instructions and may also be quicker than WiFi. We purchased an MTC SIM card and 3GB information plan at their store at Windhoek airport for 402 NAD ($31). They set it up for us and it was once fast and simple.

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Well being and Commute Insurance coverage

Malaria is provide within the north of the rustic together with Etosha Nationwide Park, so it’s possible you’ll wish to imagine taking anti malarial capsules. It’s very best to get a health care provider’s recommendation ahead of you shuttle. As we have been best in Etosha for a couple of days and the danger appeared low, we selected to not take capsules and to hide up with Deet insect repellant.

Faucet water is protected to drink in Namibia.

Commute insurance coverage is very important in case the rest is going flawed. We use True Traveller insurance coverage, which is the most efficient and least expensive possibility we’ve discovered for UK and EU voters. In case you are from out of doors Europe, we propose International Nomads, which is a well-respected corporate with superb protection.

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Meals and Drink

As the most well liked Namibia locations are in far flung spaces, you’ll devour maximum of your foods at your resort. Dinner and breakfast are regularly incorporated in the cost and lunch is to be had at an additional price.

Breakfast was once at all times a continental taste buffet with bread, cheese, meat, fruit, and cereal plus eggs and meat cooked to reserve.

Dinner is most often a buffet or a three-course set meal and not using a selection.

Namibia is an excessively meaty nation, however we let our accommodations know prematurely that we have been vegetarian (then double checked after we arrived) they usually have been at all times in a position to supply us with an alternate (despite the fact that it wasn’t extraordinarily thrilling).

The German affect in Namibia signifies that the superb bread and truffles (regularly supplied as afternoon tea) are a spotlight.

South African wine is to be had at eating places and accommodations in Namibia, and despite the fact that it’s dearer than in South Africa, it’s nonetheless excellent worth.

Sundowner at Huab Lodge, Namibia

Playing a sundowner is a vintage Namibian revel in. The view from Moon Mountain’s bar was once impressive.

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What to Pack

A couple of pieces that might be helpful:

  • South African/Namibian energy adapter – They use a spherical 3 pronged plug that isn’t incorporated in common adapters.
  • Water bottle – We use this Vapur Component foldable person who doesn’t soak up a lot house when no longer in use.
  • Digital camera with an extended lens (for safaris) – I used my mirrorless digital camera, the Olympus OMD-EM5 and the Olympus 75–300mm lens. This is a a lot smaller, lighter combo than an SLR with telephoto lens and labored properly.
  • Spare digital camera batteries and reminiscence playing cards – You’ll be taking a large number of pictures!
  • Binoculars – We didn’t have any however they might be helpful on safari.
  • Torch/flashlight – This was once helpful strolling down darkish paths in some accommodations.
  • Insect repellent
  • Flask – For espresso on lengthy drives (puts to forestall are uncommon). Simon made his personal together with his AeroPress espresso maker.

Another way, we simply packed our same old garments, electronics, and toiletries in our carry-on measurement backpacks—see our carry-on packing checklist.

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Our Namibia Weblog Posts

Learn those posts for extra information about our Namibia reviews:

  • The Easiest 2 Week Namibia Street Shuttle Itinerary
  • Our First Impressions of Namibia
  • How A lot Does a Namibia Street Shuttle Value?

In case you are visiting South Africa too, see our South Africa street commute itinerary for a one-month commute from Johannesburg to Cape The town.

We had an attractive time street tripping throughout Namibia. I am hoping this publish has helped you intend your personal self-drive commute—let me know in case you have any questions.

If you happen to loved this publish, pin it!

What better way to travel Namibia than driving yourself? Check out this awesome guide on how to self-drive Namibia, so you can plan a road trip for yourself.

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Similar posts:

  1. Namibia Street Shuttle: The Easiest 2 Week Itinerary
  2. How A lot Does a Namibia Street Shuttle Value?
  3. Namibia Commute: Our First Impressions