Regular cars are the most affordable to hire and they’ll get you to Namibia’s most well-known highlights. If you’re hiring, or driving your own car, you’ll be able to visit the Orange River, Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei, The Skeleton Coast and Etosha National Park, as well as all four major cities: Lüderitz, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Windhoek. That covers a huge part of the country and you’ll certainly get a good sense of what Namibia has to offer.
Hiring a car may be least expensive, but accommodation in Namibia tends to jump from camping to luxury lodge, with few middle-range options in between. There are reasonably-priced hotels in the cities, and you’ll find self-catering cottages and some more affordable lodges scattered here and there, but if you’re visiting on a budget, the cost of lodge and self-catering accommodation can quickly exceed any savings made by not hiring a motorhome or 4x4.
Camping in official national park campsites can cost anything from $15 per person per night along the Skeleton Coast, to $30 per night in Etosha National Park. That may seem a lot for camping, but a basic double room in Etosha starts at $125 per person sharing during peak season. Private campsites in the rest of the country tend to be significantly cheaper, and in the northwest and other more remote areas it’s possible to camp wild and for free – but these regions are only accessible with a 4x4.
The most cost-effective way to see Namibia is in a regular car with a ground tent and whatever cooking equipment you need to self-cater. Parts of the country will be off limits, but plenty of wonderful areas are still accessible.
On a larger budget, Namibia also has some truly excellent luxury camps and lodges. Some (though not all) can be reached by regular car and have their own 4x4 vehicles for game and wilderness drives once there. Lodge accommodation starts in the range of $150 to $200 per person per night, and can go well over $1000 a night for more exclusive luxury. Most daily rates include meals and may also include game drives and other activities.
Most travellers opt for booking a rental vehicle with car rental Namibia to accommodate their travel plans.