Namibia Holiday

The Ultimate Guide To Your Next Nambian Holiday
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    Everything you need to know about your self-drive Namibia holiday

    Welcome to Drive South Africa's ultimate self-drive Namibian holiday guide. What you will encounter is a comprehensive journey through most of Namibia's gems; a country brimming with immense natural beauty and friendly people. Curate your holiday experience and let us do the rest for you. It couldn't be easier.


    Where to Go

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      The Orange River

      The Orange River, also called the Gariep River by the area’s original Khoisan inhabitants, forms Namibia’s southern border with South Africa. As you enter Namibia at Vioolsdrif/Noordoewer, turn west on the C13 – also signposted the D212. This western road is the most scenic way to reach Ai-Ais Hotsprings Spa and the Fish River Canyon, but it’s also the start of a beautiful alternative route along the Orange River to Rosh Pinah and Lüderitz. … The C13/D212 passes through some spectacular Richtersveld scenery. Ochre-tinted peaks rise from the rock-strewn plains and beneath them the Orange River meanders along, bringing water birds with it, and a splash of green. Wonderful canoe trips can be organised from one of a handful of companies operating near Noordoewer, but even if you don’t have time for a multiday expedition, make sure you have at least one swim – especially refreshing in summer. Once you reach Rosh Pinah it’s a relatively uneventful drive to Aus, so linger along the river as much as possible.
      As you leave Noordoewer, the road is initially paved, but turns to gravel after about 50km. From there it’s good, if occasionally corrugated, gravel to Rosh Pinah, and then paved again to Lüderitz. There are diamond mines along the river near Rosh Pinah and you may be stopped and searched at a vehicle checkpoint, but it’s usually only cursory. There’s camping and self-catering accommodation near Noordoewer and it’s about a four-hour drive from there to Aus, and another hour and a half to Lüderitz.

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      The Fish River Canyon

      The Fish River Canyon is roughly 160km long and in places over 500m deep. It’s a spectacular natural attraction and one of the most popular destinations in Namibia. … The public access points are on its eastern edge and all fall within the Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. The section between Hobas and Ai-Ais is particularly beautiful.Drive the region in the late afternoon when the light is softer and the desert landscape at its most impressive. From the South African border, Ai-Ais Hotsprings Spa is an excellent stopover, with camping, self-catering bungalows and, of course, a hot-spring spa. Further north, Hobas Camp is the gateway to the main canyon viewpoint. Sunset over the canyon is incredible and there’s a 4×4 track along the canyon wall with plenty of places to pull over and soak in the view. Although the roads along the east of the canyon are all gravel, they’re well-traveled and well-maintained and can easily be managed in a sedan if driven carefully. It’s about 40 minutes from Noordoewer to the D278/C37 turnoff, just beyond Aussenkehr, and then about an hour to Ai-Ais and another hour to Hobas. It’s about three hours from there to Aus, but make some time for a stop at the Canyon Roadhouse – an enchanting roadside shop, restaurant, and bar about 20 minutes north of Hobas.

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      The Sossusvlei to Walvis Bay route in Namibia

      This route hugs the eastern and northern edges of the Namib Desert, and cuts through the top of the Namib-Naukluft National Park. The quickest way to Walvis Bay is to stay on the C14, but it’s well-worth detouring through Homeb and Gobabeb, and taking the D1983 along the Kuiseb River. This usually dry river marks the northernmost edge of the Namib – a striking ribbon of low, green vegetation between the endless red dunes to the south and the golden grasslands to the north. … The small settlement of Solitaire is about an hour north of Sossusvlei, and has a German bakery, small general store and fuel. It’s tiny, but a popular place to stop and there’s always a bustle of activity around. Adventurous 4×4 drivers can try the sandy riverbed and 4×4 tracks through the Kuiseb Canyon (permits can be bought at the Ministry of Environment and Tourism office in Sesriem). Otherwise first cross north on the C14, and then back south to Homeb where you can camp on the edge of the Namib desert.It’s about four hours’ drive from Sossusvlei to Walvis Bay on the C14. The 4×4 route along the southern banks of the Kuiseb River crosses the river at the Kuiseb Canyon just east of Homeb where you can camp overnight. Only attempt this route if you have 4×4 experience and you’re sure the riverbed is completely dry. Otherwise, cross the river on the C14, then drive back south to Homeb. This road to Homeb is well-graded gravel and can be driven in any type of vehicle. Homeb camp itself, however, is right on the riverbank, in deep sand.

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      The Aus to Sossuvlei Route in Namibia

      Aus is a popular stopover in southern Namibia, especially to-and-from Sossusvlei. This route from Aus skirts the eastern border of the Namib-Naukluft National Park, with glimpses of red dunes to the west and the black, blasted peaks of the escarpment to the east. There’s plenty of wildlife roaming free, especially where the road passes through the NamibRand Nature Reserve, just south of Sossusvlei. … There are magnificent views along the D707 which loops west around the Tiras Mountains and along the edge of the Namib dunes. Early morning or late afternoon is best, especially when herds of oryx and ostrich gallop across the desert, kicking up clouds of dust in the golden light. The stretch of road through the NamibRand Nature Reserve is also stunning. Here the red dune belt meets the first black peaks of the inland escarpment – an incredible backdrop for the giraffe, springbok, oryx and other wildlife that can be seen from the road.It’s about a five-hour drive from Aus to Sossusvlei, if you take it easy and stop to admire the views. The roads are all gravel, and mostly well-maintained, although there are some sandy patches and corrugation in places. The D707 is not recommended for low-clearance vehicles and if you’re worried about your car then take the C14 from Goageb to Maltahohe instead. Otherwise, opt for the most westerly roads you can. Any sturdy vehicle will have no problems and the western roads have the best dune views.

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      The Windhoek to Swakopmund Route in Namibia

      The fastest way from Windhoek to the coast is via the paved B2 highway to Swakopmund. Instead, head further south along the more direct but slower C28, which descends the long, steep Bosua Pass onto the grasslands of the northern Namib-Naukluft National Park. Once down on the Naukluft plains, there are options to detour into the beautiful Tinkas Flats. Pre-paid permits are required to leave the C28 and/or camp in the area. … The northern plains of the Namib-Naukluft National Park are known as the Tinkas Flats. They’re a particularly striking stretch of golden grassland, criss-crossed with 4×4 tracks and dotted with low, quiver-tree-covered peaks and huge granite boulders. One such granite outcrop, at Blutkuppe, is the site of a lovely, unstaffed campsite. Further west you can detour along the D1991, through the ancient Welwitschia Plains and the aptly-named ‘Moon Landscape’. The Swakop and Khan riverbeds can also be explored with a 4×4.he C28 is gravel, and the surrounding roads are best suited to high-clearance vehicles, but you won’t need a 4×4 unless you hit Bosua Pass during a serious (and rare) downpour. It’s only about four hours non-stop from Windhoek to Swakopmund, but it’s worth spending a night or two at Blutkuppe, and there are other unstaffed campsites to the west and south. You’ll need to get permits from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) to leave the C28 and to camp. Pick these up in Windhoek, Swakopmund or at one the main national park entrance gates, like Sossusvlei. You’ll need a Dorob National Park permit (and a 4×4) to drive in the Swakop and Khan rivers. This can be obtained at the MET office in Swakopmund. There’s no fuel or supplies anywhere on the C28 so take everything you need with you.

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      The Skeleton Coast in Namibia

      The Skeleton Coast begins just north of Swakopmund and runs roughly 200 km to the Ugab River and the start of the Skeleton Coast National Park, and then another 500 km to the Angolan border. As you drive north, the featureless coastline is marked off in miles from Swakopmund – Mile 28 fishing area, Mile 72 campsite, etc. The first 124 miles to the Ugab River Gate, pass one fishing spot after another and the main road hugs the coastline, with sand and stone 4×4 tracks running along the beach. Once you enter the Skeleton Coast National Park it’s not permitted to drive on the beach, although there are still a few designated fishing spots and viewpoints. Rusting shipwrecks and sun-bleached animal skeletons litter the shoreline, giving the coast its evocative name. … Fishing and shipwreck hunting are the two main activates along The Skeleton Coast. Most of the many hundreds of shipwrecks have already been completely destroyed, leaving only a few dwindling hulks still visible. Cape Cross Lodge and St Nowhere Spa and Campsite have the best accommodation south of the Ugab River, and there’s camping at Torra Bay and chalets at Terrace Bay, which is the furthest north you can drive without a guide.Thick morning fog is common year-round, but it tends to be thinner, and lift earlier, during the summer months from October to February. The C34 from Swakopmund to the Ugab River is surfaced with compacted salt and sand, known as a ‘salt road’. It’s smooth and even, but can get slippery in the fog. Inside the Skeleton Coast National Park, the road becomes gravel, strewn with sharp stones. You can transit through the park between the Ugab River and Springbokwasser gates without paying any entrance fees, but you then won’t be able to visit Torra or Terrace Bay, or stay overnight in the park.

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      Damaraland in Namibia

      Damaraland covers a vast area of north-western Namibia, from the B2 highway in the south to the Hoanib River in the north. The south-western section includes stunning natural features such as the huge granite peaks of Spitzkop, the mysteriously desolate Messum Crater and the incongruous circular tower of Mount Brandberg. In the north, a mix of good dirt roads and soft, sandy riverbeds cut across the rocky landscape and there’s a good chance of encountering desert-adapted elephant, rhino, giraffe and lion. … Just about everywhere in Damaraland is a highlight, but don’t miss Spitzkop, the Messum Crater, the Ugab River Rhino Camp and the millennia-old stone etchings near Twyfelfontein. Wild camping along the Huab River and Desolation Valley is particularly special, and experienced 4×4 drivers can also navigate the dry Ugab River inland from the sea, and tackle the infamous Divorce Pass near the Rhino Camp. In the north, the Palmwag Concession is your best chance of seeing desert wildlife.

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      Southern Kaokoland in Namibia

      Southern Kaokoland is a mix of open grassland, sandy riverbeds and sun-blasted, treeless mountains. The region begins properly at the Hoanib River and from there you can follow a network of stony 4x4 tracks and dry, sandy riverbeds that extend north towards the Kunene River. Look out for desert elephants in the riverbeds and lions around Puros. Take the time to soak in the amazing desert scenery and to camp wild in majestic canyons under the stars.Kaokoland is best from April to September when conditions are cooler. April may still bring some late summer rain so beware of flash floods in the riverbeds. Earlier in the season the landscape is greener, but the wildlife may be more dispersed and sightings less likely. This is a completely wild region and the animals are not used to human contact. Be especially mindful of the desert elephants and give them plenty of room if encountered.It’s essential to have a GPS, loaded with a detailed map of the region - Tracks4Africa is the map of choice. There’s water in Sesfontein, Puros and Orupembe, but otherwise you’ll need to be completely self-sufficient and, for safety, it’s best to travel with more than one vehicle. Give yourself at least a week to explore the region and don’t attempt it without a 4x4.

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      Northern Kaokoland in Namibia

      Northern Kaokoland is the most isolated, publicly-accessible region in Namibia. It extends roughly 120km from Orupembe village to the Kunene River, which serves as the border with Angola. There are only two access points: from the south via Orupembe and to the east over Namibia’s toughest 4×4 road, Van Zyl’s Pass. The pass should only be driven from east to west which makes the Orupembe road the only feasible exit. The region is known for its immense, almost Martian landscapes – vast grassland, blackened, desolate peaks and, in the north, huge red dunes. … Northern Kaokoland is defined by two north-south valleys: Hartmann Valley on the west, and Marienfluss Valley to the east. Both valleys are only accessible from their southern end. Hartmann Valley offers wonderful wild camping, stunning landscapes and dunes. Marienfluss Valley has more wildlife, especially springbok and oryx, but also the odd herd of cattle which belong to the local Himba community. Namibia’s famous Van Zyl’s Pass enters the south-eastern corner of the Marienfluss Valley.aokoland is 4×4 only. From the south the two main tracks into Hartmann Valley are marked by an orange drum (the main route) and a green drum (the far western route). The tracks are very bumpy and slow going, leading to towering sand dunes along the Kunene River. There are no public campsites, but you can camp wild anywhere in the valley – just try to keep to existing tracks to preserve the sensitive ecosystem. The southern entrance to the Marienfluss Valley is marked with a red drum. There are basic public campsites in the far north along the Kunene River, but Marienfluss is a wildlife conservancy and wild camping is not allowed. Except for the northern campsites there is no water anywhere north of Orupembe, and no shops, fuel or other supply points at all. Drive in convoy and/or take a satellite phone, and be aware that driving on rough terrain, especially sand, uses considerably more fuel. Don’t attempt Van Zyl’s Pass alone and don’t drive it west to east. Always exit the region to the south, via Orupembe.

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      The Zambezi Region of Namibia

      The Zambezi Region (often still referred to by its former name – The Caprivi), is a 450 km-long stretch of land that points off like a finger, from Namibia’s north-eastern corner towards Victoria Falls. It’s the wettest and greenest area of Namibia, with a number of small national parks and reserves running more or less side by side down its length. … The Zambezi Region is best known as a fishing paradise, especially for tigerfish. There’s good fishing throughout the year, but June to August are considered some of the best months, when it’s cooler, drier and the tigerfish are moving into the main channels. It’s also the best time of year to see wildlife – elephant, buffalo, hippos, crocodiles and water antelope are common. The region’s small national parks and reserves have a wild and pleasantly-unmanaged feel, with plenty of excellently situated, although occasionally somewhat run-down campsites. Even if you’re not fishing, don’t miss the opportunity to get out on the rivers and see the area from a new perspective.The main B8 transit road to Katima Mulilo is paved and suitable for any kind for vehicle, but you’ll need a 4×4 to visit any of the parks. The Zambezi Region’s off-road tracks are alternately sandy (in winter) or very muddy (in summer), and it’s recommended to travel with more than one vehicle, especially during the rainy season. Give yourself about 10 days to explore the region properly, more if you plan to spend any amount of time with a rod in your hands.

      Self-drive Itineraries

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        Namibia, Botswana and Vic Falls in 26 days

        This adventure safari starts in Windhoek and ends in Victoria Falls … It routes via the iconic Etosha, passing through some of the most spectacular and rugged scenery that can only be found in Namibia, and home to the unique desert Elephants and Rhino
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        See the Best of Namibia in 16 days

        This adventure Safari starts in Windhoek and ends in Windhoek … It explores the iconic Etosha, passing through some of the most spectacular and rugged scenery that can only be found in the northern Namibia Koakoveld region, and home to the unique desert Elephants and Rhino. In the south one passes through the Namib-Naukluft National Park encompassing part of the Namib Desert (considered the world’s oldest desert) and the Naukluft mountain range.
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        The Best of Botswana and Victoria falls via namibia in 14 days

        This adventure visits three countries and the safari begins in Kasane and ends in Kasane … It explores the Zambezi Region of Namibia, Central Kalahari, World Heritage Okavango Delta as well as the Chobe and Zambezi River fed Victoria Falls complex of Zimbabwe.

      Highlights of Namibia

      Namibia's most popular travel destinations

      • What to do at the Fish River Canyon

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        The Fish River Canyon is one of the largest in the world and the must-see attraction of southern Namibia. It’s accessible along its eastern edge at Hobas Lodge (really a small campsite with a few self-catering cottages), which is run by Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR). The main public viewpoint can only be reached by driving through Hobas and you’ll need to buy a permit at the camp gate before continuing to the canyon edge. SADC residents pay N$60 and international visitors N$80 per day and there’s a $10 fee per vehicle.

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        At the Hobas viewpoint you can walk freely along the canyon edge, but may not descend to the canyon floor unless you’re doing the multi day Fish River Canyon Hiking Trail. The trail starts at the Hobas viewpoint and ends at Ai-Ais Hotsprings Spa, roughly 90 km downstream. South of the viewpoint, a bumpy 4×4 track follows the canyon for 20 km and then returns along the same route. There are plenty of places to stop and take in the view, which are particularly impressive at sunset.

        You don’t need a 4×4 to visit the Fish River Canyon. It’s an hour from the main B1 highway and two hours from the South African border at Noordoewer. Both routes follow well-maintained gravel roads. The track along the canyon rim is very rocky in places, but is not strictly 4×4. A high clearance 2×4 will manage fine.

      • Points of interest at Luderitz and Kolmanskop

        Lüderitz is a small harbour town in south-western Namibia. Sandwiched between two restricted areas – the Sperrgebiet diamond-mining area to the south, and the Namib-Naukluft National Park to the north – the town is not on the way to anywhere and is often overlooked by visitors. Those who do come, usually do so for the eerie, deserted mining settlement of Kolmanskop which lies just outside of town. Lüderitz is also the setting off point for guided drives into the Namib, including multi day expeditions to Walvis Bay.

        The abandoned mining town of Kolmanskop was once the focus of an incredible diamond rush. Stories tell of the first settlers literally falling over in the sand and sifting diamonds out of the dunes with their fingers. The town’s heyday lasted from around 1910 to 1930 and it was completely abandoned by 1954. The desert has since moved in, and visitors can now explore the abandoned buildings, half drowned in sand, which make for some amazing photographs.

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        It’s just over an hour’s drive from Aus to Lüderitz, and worth the detour for the sheer isolation alone. There’s not much to do once you’ve visited Kolmanskop and driven south around the bay to Dias Point – further north and south is strictly off limits unless you’re on a tour. In town, there’s a hotel or two, a few self-catering cottages and a nicely-situated campsite on a small peninsular called Shark Island. On the north side of town, Agate Beach is beautiful and almost always deserted.

      • What to do at Sossusvlei

        The Namib dunes stretch unbroken from Lüderitz to Walvis Bay, but about halfway along, one river tries its best to break through and reach the sea. The Tsauchab River very rarely flows and when it does it never makes it more than 60 km before it’s completely swallowed by the surrounding dunes. The end of this drainage basin is called Sossusvlei, which loosely translates to ‘cul-de-sac marsh’. Slightly further into the dunes, the iconic Deadvlei is famous for its lifeless, skeletal trees poking up from a long-dry pan. This whole area, including the main national park campsite at Sesriem, is often referred to collectively as Sossusvlei.

        Sossuvlei

        The whole of Sossusvlei is beautiful, but there are four main attractions: Sesriem Canyon, Dune 45, Deadvlei, and the Big Daddy dune. Sesriem Canyon, with its beautiful rock formations, is located near Sesriem Camp and is one of very few places in the area that can retain surface water year-round. Dune 45 is 45 km from the park entrance gate and one of the biggest in the area. Big Daddy dune overlooks Deadvlei and at over 300 m is one of the highest dunes in the world. Drive in for sunrise for the most incredible views.

        The entrance to Sossusvlei is at Sesriem Campsite and you’ll need to stay here, or at one of the luxury lodges inside the park, if you want to drive into Sossusvlei for sunrise (which is a must). Guests at Sesriem get pre-dawn access to the dunes, with enough time to get to Dune 45 or Big Daddy before sunup. Those staying outside can only start their drive in once the sun has already risen. It’s 60 km from the campsite to the end of the basin. Most of this is tar, but the last 5 km are deep sand and 4×4 only. A shuttle service operates over this last section for those who don’t have a 4×4. The service is a bit irregular, however, so having your own vehicle is definitely recommended.

      • What to do in Windhoek

        Windhoek is Namibia’s capital and biggest city, with a population of around 350,000. It’s the starting point for most fly-in, self-drive holidays, and the salvation of anyone with vehicle or medical issues. Windhoek is a modern, westernised city, with a dose of German-colonial architecture and a splash of African flamboyance. It’s a clean, well-ordered city with a mild climate, intermittent summer rainy season, and over 300 days of sunshine a year.

        If you’re looking for curios and souvenirs then Windhoek is the best place to find them. The Old Breweries Craft Market in the city centre is a good place to start and while you’re there, take the time to visit the nearby German Lutheran Christuskirche, perhaps the city’s most famous landmark. There’s also a handful of small, interesting museums, including the National Museum of Namibia which has interesting displays on Namibia’s recent and ancient history.

        Windhoek is Namibia’s commercial hub and the best place to head if you have any trouble with your vehicle, or need medical assistance of any kind. It would be hard to place the city more centrally in the country, and all the major highways pass through. There are some good restaurants (especially if you eat meat…) and a range of accommodation, including secure campsites for self-drive 4x4s. You won’t need more than a couple of days to see the main highlights and stock up for your holiday.

      • What to do and see in Walvis Bay

        Walvis Bay is Namibia’s most important harbour town and the centre of the country’s import/export and fishing industries. The town is situated on a large, natural deep-water harbour and is surrounded by a lagoon and salt fields to the south and high dunes to the east and north. About 15 km south of town, the Kuiseb River marks the boundary with the vast dune fields of the Namib-Naukluft National Park.

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        Walvis Bay is Namibia’s most important harbour town and the centre of the country’s import/export and fishing industries. The town is situated on a large, natural deep-water harbour and is surrounded by a lagoon and salt fields to the south and high dunes to the east and north. About 15 km south of town, the Kuiseb River marks the boundary with the vast dune fields of the Namib-Naukluft National Park.

        Walvis Bay’s suburbs extend a few blocks back from the harbour, and while they’re neat and orderly, there aren’t the German architectural features found in Windhoek and Swakopmund. This stretch of coast is known for its superb seafood and there are excellent sunset views from the laid-back restaurants at the north end of the Esplanade/Promenade. Pretty seaside walks run south from the harbour and there’s a chance of spotting large flocks of pelicans and flamingos. Behind town to the east, ‘Dune 7’ is the tallest dune in Namibia and a popular spot for sandboarding. Walvis Bay is also the setting off point for guided excursions into the Namib dunes and in particular to Sandwich Harbour.

      • Points of Interest at Swakopmund

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        Swakopmund sits on the mouth of the ephemeral Swakop River, roughly 30 km north of Walvis Bay. It’s a popular seaside resort town known for its German-style architecture and sandy beaches, and as a centre for local adventure activities. The summer months are particularly busy, especially December and January when the coast is much cooler than the interior and local holiday-makers arrive in numbers for the Christmas season.

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        Swakopmund has lovely, sandy beaches, with a wide, grassy seafront promenade that runs almost the length of the town. The German architecture is distinctive and unusual against the backdrop of the surrounding dunes. It’s a slightly bizarre experience to find yourself in what feels like a German seaside resort in the middle of the desert. There are 4×4 trails up the Swakop and Khan riverbeds, and the nearby ‘Moon Landscape’ and welwitschias are definitely worth a visit. Permits for the area can be picked up at the Ministry of Wildlife and Tourism Office in the centre of town.

        In summer, you’ll need to book accommodation well in advance, or try one of the campsites further north. Otherwise, there are two good campsites on the south end of town and for most of the year you can just arrive and see what’s free. A variety of hotels and self-catering cottages are also available. If you need a longer break from the road, then Swakopmund is the place to do it, but if not then you’ll need no more than a couple of days to resupply and explore the town.

      • Experience Spitzkoppe in Namibia

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        About an hour and a half’s drive northeast of Swakopmund, the granite boulders of Spitzkoppe appear at first as small, distant outcrops, but soon swell to towering peaks as you draw near. There are two main domes, rising 700 m and 500 m from the surrounding plains, with a number of smaller boulders scattered around. Between the rocks and crevasses, there’s a handful of small, private campsites, which are popular with hikers, rock climbers and self-drive campers.

        The granite boulders of Spitzkoppe are one of Namibia’s most photographed features. Sunset is particularly spectacular, when the exposed rock turns a vivid orange-red and the surrounding grassland a glowing gold. It’s best to visit during the cooler winter months, and outside of the Namibian and South African school holidays, when the campsite is at its quietest.

        The paved B2 highway will take you most of the way there and the final 30 km is reasonably well-maintained gravel. You can reach Spitzkoppe in a regular car, but once there, some of the campsites are along sandy tracks and a high-clearance vehicle or 4×4 may be required. There’s also a tented camp and luxury lodge in the area. If you’re not rock climbing, there’s not much to do but relax and enjoy the peace and views. Two or three nights is probably all you need to soak it all in.

      • The Messum Crater in Namibia

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        Southern Damaraland’s Messum Crater is a fascinating, eerie wasteland of blasted rock, ancient lichen fields and sprawling, octopus-like welwitschia plants. The crater itself forms a slight depression about 20 km across, with a ring of barren hills along its outer edge, and further outcrops rising from the centre. It’s thought to be roughly 130 million years old, and linked to the volcanic activity that shaped the Goboboseb Mountains to the north.

        Camping in the crater is not allowed, but try to visit in the late afternoon, possibly on the way to the Ugab River Rhino Camp, which is about an hours’ drive to the north. In the afternoon light the crater is particularly beautiful and, as it’s not an especially popular destination, you’ll probably have it all to yourself.

        The roads into the crater are rough and stony – not strictly 4×4, but a high-clearance vehicle is essential. It’s a very remote region and punctures are common so make sure you have spares and the appropriate tools with you. The lichen in the area is also extremely sensitive and easily damaged by passing vehicles. Be sure to drive slowly and cautiously, and don’t leave the main tracks for any reason.

      • The Valley of Desolation

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        Desolation Valley lies in central Damaraland, and follows the Huab River west into the ConsTorraervancy. It’s a secluded and, as its name suggests, desolate valley, known for its large herds of oryx, desert elephant and spectacular wild camping. The easiest entrance is from the graded C39 as it crossed the Huab River to the north. From there, follow the sandy riverbed south and west as it heads deeper into the increasingly wild valley.

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        The tracks along the Huab River are beautiful and there are plenty of wonderful spots to wild camp. Elephants also use the riverbed to travel and you should give them plenty of space if you do see them – they’re not as accustomed to people as those in the national parks. To the east of the valley, there’s a public campsite (and bar) at Twyfelfontein, as well as the Damara Village Living Museum and the UNESCO World Heritage Site petroglyphs.

        Avoid riverbeds during the rainy season from November to March – the Huab River can flood quickly and heavy rains can fall as late as April. For the rest of the year the rivers remain dry and, although sandy, are easily negotiable in a sturdy 4×4. Away from the rivers the 4×4 tracks are rocky and slow going. The area is very isolated so make sure someone knows where you’re going and/or take a satellite phone for emergencies. The valley’s western exit is challenging and should not be attempted alone. Rather drive out east along the Abu-Huab River towards Twyfelfontein.

      • Palmweg Concession in Namibia

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        Northern Damaraland’s Palmwag Concession covers around 5,000 km2 of pristine semi-desert wilderness and is home to a number of rare, desert-adapted species, such as lion, elephant, giraffe and black rhino. Palmwag is a private concession, run in collaboration with a number of conservation and local community organisations. Palmwag Lodge has rooms and an excellent campsite, and there are other wilder designated camping areas inside the concession.

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        Palmwag is a fantastic safari destination. The wildlife can be elusive, but that only makes the sightings even more rewarding. These are some of the last free-roaming, desert-adapted animals in the world and it’s a very special experience to find them in their natural habitat, against such a spectacular backdrop of rocky peaks, golden grasslands and twisting canyons. This is one of the few areas in the world where black rhino numbers are increasing, and it’s a magnificent place to see them in the wild.

        From the north and south, the C34 is well-graded gravel, but inside the concession the tracks are rough and the riverbeds strictly 4×4. You’ll need to buy an entry permit at Palmwag Lodge and once within the concession camping is only permitted in certain areas. Driving off the main tracks is forbidden and you’ll need to be completely self-sufficient and take all refuse with you when you leave. Palmwag is a great place to relax and unwind. Give yourself at least a few days to properly explore the region.

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      • Etosha National Park in Namibia

        etosha national park
        Sani Pass is a spectacular pass in the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg

        Etosha National Park is by far Namibia’s most well-known and frequently-visited game park. There’s good reason for this. Although the vast saltpan and low, scrubland scenery can get a little monotonous after a while, the open landscape around the pan provides few hiding places and the abundant wildlife couldn’t be easier to spot. This is especially true during the dry winter months when water is extremely scarce and the animals are forced to gather in their thousands at a limited number of permanent waterholes.

        Etosha’s waterholes are its main attraction. Each of its six rest camps has one, but Okaukuejo Camp’s is particularly famous. From raised benches, behind a low stone wall, you can sit back and watch the animals come to you. It’s not uncommon to see rhino, zebra, elephant, oryx, kudu and giraffe all splashing side by side as they jostle for a clean place to drink. Etosha National Park has four of the Big Five (no buffalo), plus numerous other iconic species, and sights like these are common at the waterholes across the park. Of course, predators need to drink (and eat) too, and things can get very lively when a pride of lions arrives on the scene.

        It’s about four and a half hours from Windhoek to Etosha, all on paved roads. You don’t need a 4×4 to explore the park, although a high-clearance vehicle is recommended for the road west of Okaukuejo. Winter is the most popular time to visit – from late May to October. The park gets especially busy from the end of June through to the end of September so it’s best to book well in advance if you’re visiting then. By October it’s very dusty and hot, and during the summer rains it can get very humid, and the risk of Malaria increases. Most travellers opt for 4×4 rental Namibia, to accommodate their travel plans.

      • Van Zyl's Pass in Namibia

        van zyls pass

        Van Zyl’s Pass is Namibia’s toughest road and a popular destination for 4×4 enthusiasts. The pass is located on the south-eastern corner of Kaokoland’s Marienfluss Valley, in the far northwest of the country. This is a very remote, beautiful region, and is home to the Himba Tribe who graze their cattle alongside antelope, elephant and other desert wildlife. Van Zyl’s Pass is a challenging entry point into the Marienfluss Valley, but shouldn’t be used as an exit.

        The Marienfluss Valley can only be entered from the south, either over Van Zyl’s Pass, or via the much easier southern route to Orupembe. The valley itself runs south-north, ending at the Kunene River, which forms the border with Angola. The Marienfluss, and neighbouring Hartmann Valley to the west, are Namibia’s most isolated regions, with stunning grasslands, mountains and dunes. The pass is a highlight in itself – just crossing it feels like an achievement – and once through you’re free to explore the beautiful landscapes beyond.

        Because it’s so narrow and steep, Van Zyl’s Pass should only be driven from east to west – it’s effectively a one-way system and anyone coming the wrong direction can cause a serious jam. The pass is about 15 km of very rough, rocky driving, not be attempted without prior 4×4 experience. It’s an exciting route and could take anything from two to six hours to complete, from Otjitanda into the Marienfluss Valley.

      • Epupa Falls in Namibia

        The Epupa Falls lie along the Kunene River, on the border between Namibia and Angola. They’re not particularly high – the highest single drop is less than 40 m – but its many small rivulets fan out across the roughly 500 m-wide river and, with numerous palm trees and baobabs, it’s one of Namibia’s most beautiful scenes.

        epupa falls

        The falls are at their best in the early morning and late afternoon, when the light softens and catches the spray. A few shot hikes lead to various viewpoints and sundowner spots. There’s a small Himba market at the falls, and the option to visit one of the local Himba villages nearby. If there’s enough water, you can also spend the afternoon river rafting, but be aware that water levels can vary considerably and during the dry winter months there may not be any falls at all.

        The easiest way to reach Epupa Falls is along the gravel C43. It’s reasonably well-maintained, but there are plenty of sudden dips and potholes and a high-clearance vehicle is recommended. To the east, the D3700 follows the river to Ruacana, but it’s 4×4 only and may be completely flooded and impassable in the rainy season. There’s camping and lodge accommodation at the falls, and a restaurant and basic supply store too

      Why Namibia?

      Unless you have months to spare, it’s impossible to see all of Namibia in one holiday. The main attractions are separated by hundreds of kilometers, so fitting even a few of them into a single itinerary can be a challenge. All of the major highlights – the Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei, Damaraland, to name a few – are all places that visitors love to return to again and again. Add the many wonderful lesser-known destinations that you often only discover once there, and every holiday to Namibia seems to end too soon, and with the certainty that you have even more to come back for next time.

      wildlife

      It’s said that once you get Kalahari sand in your shoes you’ll always return. Although only eastern Namibia is true Kalahari, the adage could undoubtedly apply to the rest of the country too. There’s something incredibly humbling and peaceful about immersing yourself in such an immense, unpeopled wilderness. The sense of freedom and opportunity to explore is addictive and pulls people back time and again.

      Etosha National Park is Namibia’s most famous and popular wildlife destination. The park has no buffalo and so cannot claim the Big Five, but the other four are abundant and can frequently be seen drinking at the same waterhole in a single morning. During the winter months (from May to October), water is extremely scarce and all animals, predator and prey alike, must share the same few water sources. This makes for excellent game viewing and some often very lively animal interactions..

      namibia

      In the northeast, the Zambezi Region is lush and green in comparison. There are a handful of parks and reserves along this 450-kilometre strip of land, and although there are no rhinos remaining, the rest of the Big Five can be found. Fishing for tigerfish on the Zambezi River is one of the area’s major attractions. Even if you’re not into fishing, just being out on the river is a fantastic experience. The birdlife and views are phenomenal.

      Other places to see Namibia’s wildlife include the eastern edge of the Namib Desert, in particular the NamibRand Nature Reserve, and across the huge semi-desert wilderness of Kaokoland and northern Damaraland.rld.

      All in all, South Africa is a country like no other.

      When To Go

      When to visit Namibia?

      • January
        South african beach
        • January is mid-summer in Namibia, which means high temperatures and – to the extent that it rains at all – afternoon thunderstorms. Most of the rain falls in the north, especially in the north-eastern Zambezi Region, but sudden downpours can occur across the interior. These seldom last long, however, and rarely disrupt travel, although flash floods may hit the normally dry riverbeds, making them impassable.
        • Across the interior, the wet summer months are generally less productive for game viewing. Increased surface water allows animals to spread out, often to areas not covered by park roads. This is particularly true in Etosha National Park. When the saltpans are full, wildlife can roam far from the permanent waterholes that make such excellent animal magnets in winter. That said, January is the start of the birthing season so there are newborns to be seen and, if there have been good summer rains, the pan will be full of seasonal pelicans and flamingos.
        • On the coast, Walvis Bay and Swakopmund are cooler than the interior and can get busy with local holiday makers. Both cities quieten down when schools go back in the middle of the month.
        • On the coast, Walvis Bay and Swakopmund are cooler than the interior and can get busy with local holiday makers. Both cities quieten down when schools go back in the middle of the month.
        • The Zambezi Region is exceptionally humid and wet in January, but it’s a good time for bird watching. Around 480 species can be found here, many of them migrants that are only resident in summer.

      • February
        turtle
        • Weather-wise, February in Namibia is very similar to January, with high temperatures and rain in the north. By the end of the month conditions are beginning to cool slightly and the afternoon thunderstorms are becoming less frequent. This is still high summer and Namibia’s low season, and the parks and reserves are at their least busy. By February, schools are back in session and the coastal resorts around Swakopmund are quieter. February is not usually considered a good time to visit, but Namibia is most famous for its landscapes and these can be even more spectacular when it rains.
        • In Etosha National Park the pan is now approaching its fullest, and in good years plays host to thousands of migrating flamingos. The bulk of the wildlife – especially the elephants – remain scattered over a wide area, but animals can still be seen, particularly newborns. However, if you’re specifically looking for wildlife you may be disappointed. You’ll have far better sightings between July and October.
        • These wet summer months may be relatively poor for game viewing, but they can provide some wonderful and unusual photo opportunities. The increased rainfall pulls dust from the sky, making landscapes crisp and clear. In very wet years, sudden ephemeral rivers can transform the desert, and wild flowers and grasses revitalise the otherwise arid terrain. Birding in the Zambezi Region is excellent in February, but be aware that the summer months also present the highest risk of Malaria. Precautions should be taken when visiting the far north and especially the Zambezi Region. There’s no Malaria on the coast, however, and if you’re looking for flamingos, February is a good time to see them as they gather in the lagoons around Walvis Bay.


      • March
        zerbra at a waterhole
        • In the centre and north, March is still hot, with partly-cloudy days, beautiful cloud formations and mild to warm nights that seldom fall below 15°C. The southern and coastal regions are much drier throughout the year, but what little rain does fall spreads out into March and April, and both day- and night-time temperatures are more extreme. Hot days can still exceed 40°C in Sossusvlei and along the Fish River Canyon, and March and April are the hottest months of the year on the coast.

        • March is when Namibia is at its greenest, although that barely applies to the arid coast and south. If it does rain in Sossusvlei, March is the most likely month, but don’t expect more than a few millimetres. In the north, the rains are now on their way out and by the end of the month Etosha Pan will be starting to dry. Conditions for wildlife viewing are still not ideal, with plenty of surface water still available. There’s always the chance of great sightings in Etosha National Park, but activity around the permanent waterholes is best from June/July once other sources have dried up.

        • Birding is still excellent across the region and along the Zambezi. March and April are the final months before the migrant species return to the Northern Hemisphere and are perhaps Namibia’s best months for bird watching. March is still not prime tigerfish season, but by the end of the month water levels along the Zambezi River are nearing their highest and this opens up new areas that are too shallow to explore at other times of year.



      • April
        namibia in April
        • By April, it’s starting to feel like autumn in Namibia. Daytime temperatures still average above 30°C across the country, but the evenings are noticeably cooler and nights in the centre and south can drop below 10°C. The rains in the north have now almost entirely abated, but there’s still a chance of thunderstorms in the south. The Orange River and Fish River Canyon are particularly beautiful at this time of year when thunderclouds build up over the Richtersveld and produce some incredible sunsets.

        • April is especially hot along the coast and heralds the start of the infamous ‘east wind’ which blows from late autumn and continues intermittently throughout the winter. As air descends from the interior it heats up, and by the time it reaches the coast it can push temperatures above 35°C. When these winds hit The Skeleton Coast, they bring dust and sand with them, and fierce sandstorms can wreak havoc..

        • Although not yet ideal for wildlife viewing, the April shoulder-season is known for its crisp, dust-free skies, scattered thunderstorms and gradually cooling days. Damaraland and Kaokoland can be fantastic in April, when it’s slightly cooler and greener. Beware of flash floods if you’re camping in the dry riverbeds.

        • In the north and in the Zambezi Region, birding is at its peak. By May many will have left for the Northern Hemisphere summer. Fishing on the Zambezi is still not at its best, but the high-water levels allow access to channels that are unnavigable later in the year.

      • May
        • May is the start of the dry season and there’s rarely any rain anywhere in Namibia. If there are any late showers they’ll most likely be in the south and you might experience a few thunderstorms along the Orange and Fish Rivers. For those wishing to do the Fish River Canyon hike, this incredible multi-day trail opens on 1 May and runs until mid-September. Hikers must be completely self-sufficient as they navigate the canyon floor from Hobas to Ai-Ais. There are no facilities at all along the 90 km route.

        • Although not quite optimal game viewing season, May is nevertheless an excellent month to visit Namibia, especially if you’re heading into Damaraland and Kaokoland which are at their best from April to September. By May, temperatures across the interior are dropping, but the desert nights have yet to freeze. The hottest parts of the country are now on the sea and the warm ‘east wind’ brings occasional sandstorms to The Skeleton Coast.

        • In Etosha National Park the surface water is receding, and if the rains have been poor, wildlife will already be gathering at the permanent waterholes. May is still a bit hit and miss with regards to wildlife viewing. If there are late rains the animals might still be scattered and the waterholes less productive.By the end of the month, the waters in the Zambezi have begun to retreat and the smaller fish species move into the main channels where they are preyed on by tigerfish. June is generally considered the start of the tiger fish season, but late May can still be very worthwhile.



      • June
        drakensberg snow
        • June and July are the coldest months in the interior and temperatures can drop below zero in the centre and the south. In the north, dry, pleasant days are followed by cold, but not freezing nights, while on the coast it can still get very hot during the day, with average temperatures above 30°C, dropping below 10°C at night. There’s morning fog along The Skeleton Coast throughout the year, but it’s generally thicker in winter and there’s a chance of sandstorms in the afternoon.

        • By June, any last surface water is rapidly disappearing and the wildlife becomes increasingly reliant on permanent water sources. In Etosha National Park the animals congregate at the waterholes in greater and greater numbers and June to October are considered the best months to see game. Sossusvlei, Etosha and the Fish River Canyon all get busier from the end of June, as the schools break for winter in neighbouring South Africa. The holidays usually cover the last week in June and the first two weeks in July, making early June an ideal time to balance great wildlife with the fewest crowds.

        • Although tigerfish can be caught year-round, June, July and August are considered some of the best months, and this is a good time for wildlife across the Zambezi Region too. Large herds of buffalo and elephant gather along the rivers and there are plenty of hippos and crocodiles in the water. There are lions throughout the region as well, although they can be hard to find.

      • July
        breaching whale
        • July to October is peak season in Namibia. There’s practically no rainfall across the country and although the coasts remain hot during the day, inland temperatures are at their lowest and the nights regularly drop below zero in the interior. Although Etosha and Sossusvlei can be busy, the rest of Namibia is so vast it rarely feels crowded elsewhere.

        • July remains a good time to explore Damaraland and Kaokoland, which are also at their best during the cooler months. By July, any remaining greenery will have faded, but the riverbeds will be completely dry and navigable.

        • In Etosha National Park the animals are now completely reliant on the permanent pools, and large herds of elephant, zebra, giraffe and oryx can be seen crowding the waterholes as they all try to drink at once. With such easy pickings, the lions and other predators are seldom far away. Things can get very lively when they get hungry, or also need a drink.

        • In the Zambezi Region, the water level continues to drop and conditions for tiger fishing remain excellent. Wildlife viewing is also at its best from June to September. The thicker vegetation makes the animals harder to spot than in Etosha, but at this time of year the bush is at its thinnest and you’re sure to see elephant, giraffe, hippo and buffalo, as well as large herds of zebra and numerous species of antelope. Predators are less common than in Etosha, but the appeal of the Zambezi Region is its wild isolation. There’s a feeling of being immersed in a true wilderness that you won’t find on the pans.

        • July remains a good time to explore Damaraland and Kaokoland, which are also at their best during the cooler months. By July, any remaining greenery will have faded, but the riverbeds will be completely dry and navigable.

      • August
        male lions
        • Namibia stays completely dry in August, but although it’s definitely still winter, temperatures are already beginning to rise. In the centre and south the nights can still fall close to freezing, but now seldom drop below. Daytime temperatures are coolest along the Orange River, averaging around 25°C. This gradually increases as you head north, with Etosha and beyond averaging around 30°C by the end of the month.

        • August, like July, is a busy time of year in Etosha National Park. By now there has been no rain for months and pressure around the permanent waterholes is intense. There’s nowhere else for the animals to find water and they congregate in large numbers – elephant, giraffe, antelope and others, all pressing in for their daily drink. Needless to say, the lion and other predators are never far away.

        • Along The Skeleton Coast you can expect thick fog in the mornings and warm, clear afternoons. Occasional dust storms may sweep down from the interior, but a fresh sea breeze is more common. Damaraland and Kaokoland are dry in August, with warm to hot days and cold nights. It’s a popular time for these areas as well, and the south can even feel a little busy – you might actually see a few other cars.

        • August in the Zambezi Region continues to offer good winter game viewing. Water levels are now nearing their lowest point and only the main channels remain open. Tigerfish can still be caught, as well as large numbers of catfish in the Upper Zambezi’s Kasai Channel.Namibian school holidays are usually around the last 10 days of August and European summer holidays run from mid-July to early September. Coupled with the excellent game-viewing conditions, this makes late August the busiest time of year, especially in Etosha.

      • September
        west coast in full bloom
        • September is an ideal time for visiting Namibia: day time temperatures are still pleasant, and nights are a bit warmer. It’s still dry, so game viewing is excellent. Early to mid-September is the last time you can hike the Fish River Canyon before it gets too hot, and it’s also the last month to catch the wild spring flowers in |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park.

      • October
        zebra
        • October is still considered peak season for wildlife viewing, but only if you’re comfortable with the heat. In Etosha, the animals remain packed around the permanent waterholes, but the land is now at its most barren and there can be a lot of dust in the air.

        • By end of the month, migrant birds are beginning to return to the Zambezi Region and there may be a few big thunderstorms. Water levels are still low in the upper Zambezi River, with the best fishing in the far east around Impalila Island.



      • November
        • November is the beginning of the rainy season in northern Namibia. Temperatures usually drop slightly as the rains begin, but can still hit 40°C on the hottest days. Humidity is high, but the atmosphere slowly clears as the rain pulls dust from the air. Along the coast, conditions remain relatively mild, with morning fog, a fresh sea breeze and average daytime temperatures of around 30°C. In the centre and the south, temperatures continue to rise. Daily averages are closer to 35°C and you may experience the occasional – but very impressive – afternoon thunderstorm.

        • November is not the best time to visit Etosha National Park. If the rains are late, there may still be good game viewing, but it’ll be very hot, desolate and – until the rains fall – extremely dusty.

        • The rains usually come earlier and heavier along the Zambezi Region and by November there’ll likely be rain every other day. Game viewing will still be fair, until the vegetation begins to regrow, but expect very hot and humid conditions, with increased mosquito activity and higher risk of Malaria. November can still be good for tigerfish as the waters gradually rise and birding is also productive with the return of the summer migrants.

        • November is a good month for The Skeleton Coast where conditions are milder than in the interior. The hot days in the south are ideal for lounging in the water so it’s also a beautiful time to paddle canoes and camp along the Orange River.

      • December
        sailing in table bay
        • December is summertime in Namibia and locals head to the coast to escape the heat. As Christmas approaches, the seaside resorts fill up, and Swakopmund can get especially busy. Daytime temperatures on the coast are usually below 30°C, with partly-cloudy skies and a fresh sea breeze. This is in stark contrast with the interior, where average temperatures are around 35°C and can climb over 40°C in the central deserts and further south. The Zambezi Region tends to cool off slightly during the peak summer rains, but the entire north, including Etosha, can still get very hot and humid, with average daytime temperatures well above 30°C.

        • Namibia can be visited at any time of year, but December is probably not the best month anywhere. The coast is cooler, but at its most busy, and the far north is hot and humid, with the animals already well dispersed from the permanent waterholes.

        • On the plus side, the rains return some of the colour to the landscape and in good years the desert will be starting to bloom. There’s also still good fishing to be had on the Zambezi, and the migrant birds have now returned in force.

        • In Sossusvlei and further south, the daytime temperatures can be extreme, but the nights are usually warm and clear, and it’s a good time for star-gazing and late nights around the campfire. Summer is the best time for canoeing on the Orange River, although it can get busy from mid-December to mid-January, during the South African school holidays.



      Trip Styles

      Holiday Styles

      • A beach and bush holiday

        self-drive

        Namibia has well over a thousand kilometres of coastline, but much of it is off limits to self-drive visitors. South of Lüderitz, the Sperrgebiet is a restricted diamond mining region. To the town’s north, the coastal dunes of the Namib Desert are protected all the way to Walvis Bay. Namibia’s main public beaches lie between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. From there it’s essentially one long public beach all the way past Swakopmund to the Skeleton Coast National Park, where access is once again restricted from Terrace Bay to the Angolan border.

        Namibia’s most spectacular stretch of shoreline has to be the magical coastal dunes between Lüderitz and Walvis Bay. These beautiful red dunes are rightly protected, and can only be accessed under strict supervision. Usually this means a guided, self-drive 4×4 safari where guests drive their own vehicles in a small convoy. Multi-day tours run between Lüderitz and Walvis Bay, but they can be pricey. Dune and beach driving is also not for the inexperienced and there’s always a risk of seriously damaging your vehicle.

        To get a taste of the Namib’s dunes without doing a full tour, you can do a one-day, guided excursion south of Walvis Bay to Sandwich Harbour. It’s an easier, less expensive option with some beach driving and the chance to immerse yourself in endless rolling dunes.

        For the best beach and bush experience in a single holiday, drive a rough triangle between Windhoek, Etosha National Park and Swakopmund. Other than the Sandwich Harbour tour, Walvis Bay doesn’t have many beaches, but there are beach resorts between there and Swakopmund, and better beaches in Swakopmund itself.

        You’ll probably start your journey in Windhoek and it doesn’t really matter whether you head to Etosha or the coast first. Between Windhoek and the sea, look out for the excellent wild campsites at Blutkuppe, Mirabib and Homeb. There are no facilities and you’ll need to take everything with you, including your camping permits. These must be purchased at a Ministry of Environment and Tourism office in either Windhoek or Swakopmund, before you leave.

        Between Etosha and Swakopmund, make sure you stop at Twyfelfontein to see the incredible stone etchings that date back 6000 years. The dry rivers and valleys around Twyfelfontein are wonderful and you can camp wild in any secluded corner. Further south you’ll find Divorce Pass and the Ugab River Rhino Camp. This whole area is 4×4 only – Divorce Pass in particular is one of the most challenging roads in Namibia. Other highlights include the Messum Crater, Spitzkoppe and the Skeleton Coast National Park, and just behind Swakopmund is the famous ‘Moon Landscape’ and ancient welwitschia fields.

        The whole triangle can be driven comfortably in two weeks, but a few extra days will give you more time in Etosha National Park – Namibia’s best park for wildlife viewing.

      • A Romantic Holiday

        Everyone will have their own definition of romance, but long drives, dusty roads and shower-less campsites are not at the top of every list. That’s not to say modern 4x4s and motorhomes can’t be extremely comfortable – luxurious even – but they can’t compete with a few pampered nights at a beautiful lodge.

        Namibia has some fantastic luxury lodges, usually situated in the most pristine parts of the country. Some are in areas that are otherwise very hard to reach, or off limits to self-drivers entirely. Lodges range from the ultra-luxurious to those with simpler comforts, but all of them can seem incredibly lavish in such a remote wilderness.

        At over $1000 a night, the high-end lodges are out of the reach of many, but there are still some excellent luxury experiences to be had in the $150 to $200 range. Remember that most prices include meals, drinks, game drives and other activities and the initial outlay may not look so bad once everything is factored in.

        Hot air balloon rides are top of the list of romantic activities. They’re mostly found in and around Sossusvlei and the NamibRand Nature Reserve, where you can float high up above the red Namib dunes. Namibia’s landscapes are at their most romantic at sunset and whether you’re soaring in a balloon or sitting around a campfire, it’s a fairy-tale experience watching the pastel colours slowly fade.

        Namibia’s vast landscapes and sense of wild isolation are what makes it such a romantic destination. Luxury lodges offer a very special experience, but if you don’t mind a bit of dust you’ll still find plenty of romance in every remote campsite and on every deserted beach. With basic comforts, such as a fridge/freezer, table, chairs and electric lighting you can make yourself at home anywhere. Roof-top tents are also very comfortable and it’s truly wonderful to wake up in an immense wilderness, with nobody for miles around, and peek out of your tent window to behold a desert sunrise.

        sunsets
      • A family holiday in Namibia

        Namibia’s best wildlife viewing is in the north. There are three main regions: Northern Damaraland and Kaokoland, Etosha National Park, and The Zambezi Region. Of the three, Etosha is the most accessible and contained, and the best destination for a short visit. Damaraland and Kaokoland are enormous areas, with scattered populations of desert-adapted animals: rhino, elephant and lion in particular. In the relatively lush Zambezi Region, a number of small parks lie close together and there’s good game and bird viewing, plus the opportunity to angle for tigerfish on the Zambezi River.

        Etosha is a 4.5-hour drive from Windhoek and is the easiest safari destination in Namibia. The road from Windhoek is paved and inside the park the dirt roads around the pan are well-graded and suitable for all types of vehicle. Once in the park you barely have to move to have incredible wildlife sightings. Each camp is built near a large waterhole and during the dry winter months (from May to October) the animals gather in large numbers to drink.

        The waterhole at Okaukuejo Camp is famous, a large pool with raised seats on one side and floodlights for night-time viewing. Thousands of animals frequent the waterhole each day and it’s an excellent place to see elephants playing in the water just metres away. If you arrive at any waterhole in the park and it’s quiet, that may mean there are lions about. Always have a thorough look around before moving on.

        • Highlights

          Etosha is ideal for a short visit of up to a week. If you have time, you can then head west into Northern Damaraland or east to the Zambezi Region. Namibia’s ultimate wildlife safari route takes in both, first driving west through Etosha’s Galton Gate, across to the Palmwag Concession, then up through Kaokoland to the Kunene River, before turning back east for a final few days along the Zambezi. This wonderful circuit requires at least three weeks and combines guaranteed sightings in Etosha, the prospect of rare desert wildlife in Damaraland and Kaokoland, and the prolific animals, birds and tigerfish in the Zambezi Region.

          monkeyland

          Northern Kaokoland, however, should not be attempted lightly. It’s an extremely remote region without supplies or water. Much of Damaraland and all of Kaokoland is 4×4 only and you’ll need to be completely self-sufficient to travel here. There are very few public campsites and even fewer lodges so be prepared to wild camp as you go.

      Budgeting

      What are my self-drive options?

      • The cost of a camping holiday in Namibia


        Travelling through Namibia in a motorhome has most of the same cost implications as with a 4×4. Namibia is very camping-orientated and camping is significantly cheaper than staying in self-catering cottages, hotels or lodges. Motorhomes can also be much more comfortable along the coast where morning fog is common, and during the desert winters when temperatures can drop below freezing. The more remote areas will be off limits in a non-4×4 motorhome, but as with a regular car, you can still see many of Namibia’s most famous attractions, including The Skeleton Coast, Sossusvlei, Fish River Canyon and Etosha National Park.
        Unfortunately, most of Namibia’ campsites charge per person not per stand, so there’s usually no discount available for groups. If the cost of hiring a motorhome works out about the same as a 4×4, then consider the 4×4 to be better value as it’ll allow you to explore wilder areas where campsites are cheaper or you can camp wild for free.
        If total isolation is not for you, then a motorhome is much more comfortable and practical than a regular car. You’ll have to offset this against the increased fuel consumption and hire cost, but if you camp and self-cater every night then all other costs are equal and it’s just a question of how long you plan to stay at Etosha, and the other more expensive national parks.

        Try our range of camper vans
      • What are my options if I’m travelling by 4x4 through Namibia?

        4x4

        Namibia is best in a 4×4. They’re more expensive to hire and run, but the ability to drive anywhere opens the country up and grants access not just to the public campsites which are so much cheaper than lodges and hotels, but also to huge wilderness areas where you can camp completely wild, for free.
        To get the most out of a 4×4 it needs to be properly equipped for self-sufficient camping. Beyond the usual roof-top tent, fridge/freezer, table and chairs, make sure you have long-range fuel tanks, or a way to carry extra fuel, as well as tanks or jerry cans for extra water. With this in place you can go just about anywhere and can take full advantage of a country that is 100% geared towards self-drive camping.
        If you’re hiring a 4×4 then plan to use it every day. There’s little point staying in a lodge or hotel while your expensive 4×4 sits unused outside. Some lodges and hotels also have campsites attached so it’s often possible to stay in the camping area, but still make use of any other facilities, such as a pool or restaurant.
        Campsite restaurants are not very common however. You’ll definitely be cooking most meals yourself, often on an open fire under the stars. Make sure your 4×4 is set up for self-catering, with pots, pans, utensils, etc. – or bring/buy the basics when you arrive. The ability to self-cater will save on costs, and Namibia has good fresh produce and excellent meat. All the major cities have large, well-stocked supermarkets, and most of the smaller towns have some form of grocery or general supply store too.

        Try our 4x4 vehicles for hire
      • What is great about travelling through Namibia in a car?

        explore namibia by car
        Explore Namibia in the freedom of your own car

        A regular car will get you between Namibia’s major cities and to most of the attractions in the centre and the south. There are good paved roads from the southern border with South Africa, through Windhoek to Etosha National Park, and along the length of the Zambezi Region. Paved roads also connect Lüderitz, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay with the interior.

        The Orange River, Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei, The Skeleton Coast and Etosha National Park can all be visited in a regular car.Normally a 4×4’s extra height is better for game viewing, but in Etosha the sparse, low vegetation the height advantage less important. There are no paved roads to Sesriem, the gateway to Sossusvlei, but the road is paved from Windhoek to Maltahohe, and it’s good gravel the rest of the way. There’s a short stretch of tar between Sesriem Camp and Sossusvlei itself, except for the last 4 km which is very thick sand and strictly 4×4 only. There’s a carpark where the sand begins and a 4×4 shuttle service to the end. If you’re only planning to visit these main attractions, then a car will be fine.

        Although ‘C’ roads are generally sedan-friendly, care should always be taken when driving on gravel, especially through dips when the car can bounce and lose traction. Long, straight stretches can be mesmerising and it’s not always clear when a sudden turn or drop is approaching. Keep a close watch for stray rocks and drifts of wind-blown sand, even on paved roads, and don’t drive at night when animals can stray onto the road.

        Always carry a full spare tyre. The temporary ‘biscuit’ spares that some vehicles provide won’t last long on Namibian gravel so make sure your spare is a proper road tyre. With all the loose gravel, flying stones from passing vehicles can be an issue. It’s a very good idea to get full insurance against paint chips and windscreen damage.

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      The Basics

      • Travelling to Namibia

        When planning a holiday to Namibia, your first and most important consideration should be how you’re going to get around. First decide what kind of experiences you want to have and then choose your vehicle accordingly. Many of the highlights can be visited in a regular car (such as the Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei, Etosha and The Skeleton Coast), but large areas are 4×4 only and it’s these remote wilderness regions that make Namibia so special and in many respects, unique

        Namibia is a huge, outdoors-orientated country and you’ll be doing a lot of driving and, probably, a lot of camping. The more confident you feel on and off road, and the easier it is to set and break camp, the better time you’ll have. A self-drive holiday will mean many hours spent in your vehicle, but keep distances manageable and try not to drive for more than five or six hours a day – and definitely never at night. Build some redundancy into your itinerary. There’s always the chance of a puncture or some other delay hampering your plans.

        elephants

        Small local campsites are common and usually don’t need to be booked, but be aware that popular places like Etosha National Park get very busy during peak season and these definitely need advanced booking, especially if your dates aren’t flexible.

      • Road conditions in Namibia

        Namibia has roughly 45,000 km of official roads, plus many hundreds of kilometres of rough 4×4 tracks and sandy riverbeds, which service the most remote regions. Paved roads – designated ‘B’ roads by the Namibian Roads Authority – connect the major cities and extend up to Etosha National Park and the Zambezi Region. ‘C’ roads are occasionally paved, but more often they’re well-maintained gravel and suitable for any type of vehicle. The ‘C’ roads along The Skeleton Coast are smooth, hard-packed salt – a very comfortable ride, but the surface can get slippery when wet. ‘D’ roads are not suitable for low-clearance vehicles, and the tracks and riverbeds are strictly 4×4 only.

        The most difficult road conditions are in the north where 4×4 tracks and dry riverbeds are essential conduits through Damaraland, Kaokoland and the Zambezi Region in particular. Here you’ll encounter a mix of deep sand and sharp rocks and, during the summer rains along the Zambezi, plenty of water and mud too.

      • Wildlife in Namibia

        Etosha National Park is Namibia’s most famous and popular wildlife destination. The park has no buffalo and so cannot claim the Big Five, but the other four are abundant and can frequently be seen drinking at the same waterhole in a single morning. During the winter months (from May to October), water is extremely scarce and all animals, predator and prey alike, must share the same few water sources. This makes for excellent game viewing and some often very lively animal interactions.

        In the northeast, the Zambezi Region is lush and green in comparison. There are a handful of parks and reserves along this 450-kilometre strip of land, and although there are no rhinos remaining, the rest of the Big Five can be found. Fishing for tigerfish on the Zambezi River is one of the area’s major attractions. Even if you’re not into fishing, just being out on the river is a fantastic experience. The birdlife and views are phenomenal.

        african wild dog

        Other places to see Namibia’s wildlife include the eastern edge of the Namib Desert, in particular the NamibRand Nature Reserve, and across the huge semi-desert wilderness of Kaokoland and northern Damaraland.

        zebra

        The NamibRand Nature Reserve is known for its stunning landscapes, hot-air ballooning and walking trails. The wildlife is not prolific, but there are large herds of antelope, giraffe, and a number of smaller predators such as hyena, jackal, foxes, and wildcat. There are leopards around too, although sightings are very rare.

        Further north, Damaraland and Kaokoland support herds of oryx and springbok, as well as small numbers of elephant, rhino, cheetah and desert lion. These animals roam freely over hundreds of kilometres and stumbling on them is a question of luck unless you’re with a knowledgeable guide.

      • Namibia cultural nuances
        • There are many different cultures in Namibia, from German-speaking farmers to indigenous Himba, Damara, Herero, and San tribes.

        • In the major cities, people tend to be open and friendly and the general culture will be familiar to anyone from Europe or North America. If you want to visit one of the indigenous tribes, there are various ‘living museums’ across Namibia, for example the Damara living museum near Twyfelfontein. These take the form of ‘mock villages’ which are run by local communities to show visitors what life used to be like, and to some extent, is still like in their society.

        • For a more authentic experience it’s best to contact the local lodges in the area and see if they can organise a guide. A guide will be able to instruct you on any cultural nuances and can arrange a ‘real’ village visit without disturbing the community.

      • Languages in Namibia

        English is Namibia’s only official language, but less than 4% of the country speaks it as their mother tongue. Many Namibians speak two or more languages and although English is not the most widely spoken it is generally well-understood, especially in cities and tourist areas. Oshiwambo is the most common first language, accounting for almost 50% of the population. Other indigenous languages make up another 35%, including Khoisan languages with their characteristic clicks. Around 10% of the country speaks Afrikaans (related to Dutch) at home, and many more speak it as a second language. Most locals of European decent will speak German, Afrikaans and/or English to a conversational level. About 1% of Namibians speak German as their first language.

      • Is Namibia safe?
        maintaining safety in Nam

        In terms of criminality, Namibia is very safe. There is some petty crime in the cities so don’t leave valuables visible in your car, and park in secure places overnight. Otherwise there’s nothing to worry about.:

        • Out on the road, the greatest dangers are road accidents (often involving blow-outs or collisions with stray animals rather than other vehicles), breakdowns in isolated places and, very occasionally, wild animals and creepy-crawlies. Drive cautiously, carry spares or the ability to request assistance (eg. a satellite phone for very remote areas) and wear closed shoes at night for the occasional scorpion. Give wild animals space and respect and you shouldn’t have any trouble.

      • Changing money in Namibia
        money in namibia

        The Namibian dollar is linked to the South African rand and international exchange rates are the same for both. Rands are accepted for cash transactions across Namibia, but Namibian dollars are not recognised in South Africa. You can pay by Visa and MasterCard in urban areas, but outside the cities it’s best to carry cash.


        Expect to have to pay cash for local campsites, fuel in rural areas (and occasionally in cities too), and for roadside snacks and souvenirs. Tipping for meals and other services is not mandatory, but is typically around 10%.



      Travel Advice

      The best practical advice for your trip

        • General Road Conditions

          Namibia has roughly 45,000 km of official roads, plus many hundreds of kilometres of rough 4×4 tracks and sandy riverbeds, which service the most remote regions. Paved roads – designated ‘B’ roads by the Namibian Roads Authority – connect the major cities and extend up to Etosha National Park and the Zambezi Region. ‘C’ roads are occasionally paved, but more often they’re well-maintained gravel and suitable for any type of vehicle. The ‘C’ roads along The Skeleton Coast are smooth, hard-packed salt – a very comfortable ride, but the surface can get slippery when wet. ‘D’ roads are not suitable for low-clearance vehicles, and the tracks and riverbeds are strictly 4×4 only.
          The most difficult road conditions are in the north where 4×4 tracks and dry riverbeds are essential conduits through Damaraland, Kaokoland and the Zambezi Region in particular. Here you’ll encounter a mix of deep sand and sharp rocks and, during the summer rains along the Zambezi, plenty of water and mud too. .

        • 4x4 Tips
          • When planning a holiday to Namibia, your first and most important consideration should be how you’re going to get around. First decide what kind of experiences you want to have and then choose your vehicle accordingly. Many of the highlights can be visited in a regular car (such as the Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei, Etosha and The Skeleton Coast), but large areas are 4x4 only and it’s these remote wilderness regions that make Namibia so special and in many respects, unique.
          • Namibia is a huge, outdoors-orientated country and you’ll be doing a lot of driving and, probably, a lot of camping. The more confident you feel on and off road, and the easier it is to set and break camp, the better time you’ll have. A self-drive holiday will mean many hours spent in your vehicle, but keep distances manageable and try not to drive for more than five or six hours a day – and definitely never at night. Build some redundancy into your itinerary. There’s always the chance of a puncture or some other delay hampering your plans.
          • Small local campsites are common and usually don’t need to be booked, but be aware that popular places like Etosha National Park get very busy during peak season and these definitely need advanced booking, especially if your dates aren’t flexible.
        • The Best Vehicle Type

          By far the best vehicle for Namibia is a 4×4 that’s fully-equipped for self-sufficient camping. Second best would be a sturdy, high-clearance 2×4 or motorhome, and third choice, a regular car. A 4×4 grants access to everything Namibia has to offer and the ability to camp anywhere saves on accommodation costs and allows you to experience the remote parts of Damaraland, Kaokoland and the Zambezi Region, not to mention the Namib Dunes. Four-wheel-drive is not 100% necessary elsewhere, but there are still local areas across the country where a 4×4 will get you to places a regular car will not.

        • Navigation

          f you’re only visiting the major cities and key attractions, such as Etosha National Park or Sossusvlei, then you almost don’t need any navigation tools at all. The main roads are well signposted and tend to make a direct line between points A and B. As soon as you head off road, however, it’s vital to have a GPS and map book, and if you’re driving through Kaokoland then a satellite phone is also a good idea.

        • What to Pack?

          If you’re in a 4×4 vehicle it should have a comprehensive recovery kit, plus basic tools and spares. Whatever vehicle you’re driving you should also be fully-equipped for self-catering camping. There’s usually little or no lighting at campsites, so bring a torch – a head torch will be particularly useful. Don’t forget binoculars and your camera, as well as spare battery and memory cards. Now would be an ideal time to buy a wide-angle lens to capture the Namibian star- and landscapes. Namibia uses the same electrical plug sockets as South Africa. The 2-pins are EU-standard, but most wall-sockets use a circular 3-pin that’s not common elsewhere. Whatever you do, don’t forget your sunglasses. Pack clothing for extreme heat and cold, and include a high-factor sunscreen whatever the season. A light rain jacket may be useful in the Zambezi Region in summer, but otherwise you can leave your rain gear at home. It’s important to have a good sun hat with a full, wide brim, and light, long-sleeved clothing provides both sun and mosquito protection. Take comfortable walking shoes and flip-flops or sandals. You’ll almost certainly find scorpions in the more remote campsites so wearing shoes at night is recommended.

        • What should I do if I break down in Namibia
          • Make sure you know where your jack and tyre tools are, and speak to your rental company about what to do if you break down completely. If you can phone them they’ll probably be able to send someone to assist you, no matter where you are. It’s a good idea to have a local sim card with calling credit. Roaming calls can be very expensive.
            • Private towing companies operate in certain areas and they can be a nuisance when trying to get business. Tell them you have a rental and that help is on the way, and don’t take no for an answer.
            • If you break down at night, deploy your reflective triangle to warn traffic. Long-haul trucks often pull into the hard shoulder to allow other vehicles to pass – give them at least 100m warning if you can.
            • If you feel unsafe for any reason you can and should call the police. But don’t panic, there’s seldom cause for alarm, just inconvenience. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from locals. They’ll usually assist you in any way they can.
        • Campsites in Namibia?
          • Driving off road is banned in all national parks and you may only park your vehicle in specified parking areas. No vehicles are allowed on park roads at night, with the exception of Sossusvlei. In winter, Sesriem Camp opens its dune-access gates just before dawn to allow visitors to drive in for sunrise. Only guests at Sesriem Camp (or at one of the private lodges inside the park) are allowed access to the dunes before dawn.
          • Tools and Accessories needed for your trip Full set of spanners (ring and socket) Various screwdrivers Allen keys Cable ties Side cutters Pliers Long nose pliers Vice grips Hammer Swiss army knife Multi tool Scissors Wire brush Steel file Saw Spare blades Nails Rope Binding wire Jump cables Lubricant Electric cable Nuts and bolts Duct tape Insulation tape Two part putty
          • An African Safari should be on every travellers bucket list! We have just the advice you need for your trip through Namibia, although most travellers opt book a vehicle with 4×4 hire South Africa to accommodation their travel plans.
        • Parks and Reserves in Namibia?
          • Namibia's flagship reserve may lack the presence of buffalo (though they are in the nearby Waterberg Plateau and Caprivi Strip) but the abundance of elephant and lion more than makes up for it. Etosha is also the best place in Africa to see black rhino; stake out waterholes at night and check them again during the day - both lions and leopards often use them as ambush points.
          • Etosha is a stunning park by any stretch of the imagination, both in size the amount of extraordinary African wildlife that it contains. The park is so large that it can easily be seen from outer space, and astronauts have been known to photograph it as they zoom over. How amazing is that? To give another comparison, Etosha National Wildlife Park is as large as the country of Switzerland. It also contains a very large salt pan which covers over 20% of the area, so in the rainy season parts of it become a shallow lake.
            • You can visit any time of the year, but winter May to September is the dry season, which means animals have to visit the water holes regularly and you can park up and “spy” on them easier. It’s also a bit cooler for humans who don’t like sweltering in heat. However, that is not to say you should avoid taking a Namibian holiday at other times of the year.
            • Namibia, and Etosha especially, has one of the largest populations of Black rhino left in the world, and is one of the few countries that has both Black and White Rhinos.
            • For the chance to see Cape buffalo and hippopotamus you will need to travel to the northwest to the Caprivi Strip which reaches all the way to the Victoria Falls. The north is also on the edge of malaria territory, so while it is not likely, it is possible to be exposed to mosquitoes that may carry the disease. Take precautions by wearing dark covered clothing (they prefer lighter colors) and use repellent while there.
        • Food and tipping
          • Namibia has well-stocked grocery stores in all the major cities and larger towns, but big towns are few and far between so stock up whenever you can. Local meat is excellent and you’ll often find exotic venison for sale, such as springbok, eland or kudu. These usually come from nearby game farms and ranches, and the quality is generally very good.
        • What visas are required?
          • If you’re from Western Europe, North America, Scandinavia, Russia, Brazil, Australia or New Zealand you can stay in Namibia for up to three months without a needing to get a visa in advance. Providing your passport is valid for at least six months from your date of entry (one year is recommended), you’ll be granted free access at the border. The same also applies to foreign nationals from neighbouring countries in Southern Africa.
            • sitors from other parts of the world will need to check with their nearest Namibian Embassy before travelling.
        • Clothing and Washing in Namibia?
          • Long, loose-fitting clothing provides protection from both the sun and mosquitos. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to shade your face and neck, and pack a high-factor sunscreen, even in winter. Summer temperatures can reach 40°C and above, and winter days can still top 30°C. Winter nights, especially in the south and the interior, often drop below freezing, so be prepared for extremes, regardless of the season.
            • One thing you can almost certainly leave behind, however, is your rain gear. A light rain jacket might be useful in the Zambezi Region in summer, but when rain does fall in Namibia it’s usually concentrated and brief, and things dry up quickly afterwards..
            • A self-drive holiday will mean lots of time on gravel roads and in dusty campsites, so expect your clothing to get dirty quickly. Greys and khakis show up the dirt and dust less, and muted colours are also better on safari as they’re less conspicuous and less likely to disturb the animals. All lodges and hotels will have their own laundry facilities, but they can be expensive and most are only available to guests. If you’re predominantly camping, you’ll need to wait until you reach a major town where you can make use of a local laundrette.
        • Border crossing in Namibia

          Crossing in and out of Namibia is generally straightforward and not something to worry about. If you’re driving a rental vehicle, you’ll need to have your rental papers in order, including a copy of the vehicle registration papers, and a letter from the rental company listing you as the driver, and giving you permission to take the vehicle across the border. There will also be a small fee if you’re bringing a non-Namibian registered vehicle into the country – carry about N$300 in cash to be safe. There’s no fee to leave Namibia, but neighbouring countries will have their own fees and taxes. It’s about 150 pula to enter Botswana, for example, and they often don’t accept Namibian dollars at the border. You’ll need to pay in Botswanan pula, or cross at one of the busier border posts which – assuming their systems are working on the day – also accept major credit cards.

        • Road and Traffic Rules?

          In and around the southern diamond-mining region of Sperrgebiet, certain roads are completely restricted or access controlled. There’s a checkpoint along the Orange River near Sendelingsdrif where you’ll be asked for your vehicle papers and Namibian Road Fund Administration permit. Don’t lose this permit, which you’ll have received from your company, or when entering at the border. You’ll be asked to produce it whenever you’re stopped by officials. Otherwise be aware that Namibia’s roads can be dangerous, and many accidents often involve only one vehicle. The gravel roads are often so straight, wide and empty that it’s tempting to drive too fast. Sudden dips, turns and changes to the road surface catch out many drivers. Stray animals are also an issue and for this reason in particular you should never drive at night.

        • Medical Emergencies in Namibia

          Check with your health insurance company before you travel and make sure you’re aware of any specific procedures they may wish you to follow. Emergency assistance within Namibia will almost certainly be provided by a private medical company, probably one of either International SOS Namibia, E-Med Rescue 24, Namibia Private Ambulance Services, or LifeLink. Dialling 10111 will usually put you through to the local police service, but there is no unified medical emergency number in Namibia. Make sure you have the telephone number of one or all of the private emergency services in your phone, with enough credit to place a call.

        • Vaccinations

          Besides routine vaccinations (tetanus, MMR etc.), it’s worth considering inoculation against rabies, hepatitis A and typhoid, particularly if you plan to visit and stay in the towns and cities. Outside urban areas, the risk of infection is very low, but you should always consult your doctor before you travel. There’s no malaria in Windhoek, along The Skeleton Coast or anywhere in the centre or south of Namibia. North of Windhoek, the risk gradually increases with the highest risk areas in the north-eastern Zambezi Region. Etosha National Park is in the malaria zone, and malaria prophylaxis is advisable when travelling anywhere in the north, but especially during the summer rainy season which runs from November to March.

        • Medical Emergencies in Namibia
          • Check with your health insurance company before you travel and make sure you’re aware of any specific procedures they may wish you to follow. Emergency assistance within Namibia will almost certainly be provided by a private medical company, probably one of either International SOS Namibia, E-Med Rescue 24, Namibia Private Ambulance Services, or LifeLink.
            • Dialling 10111 will usually put you through to the local police service, but there is no unified medical emergency number in Namibia. Make sure you have the telephone number of one or all of the private emergency services in your phone, with enough credit to place a call.