Self-drive in Namibia is one of the most rewarding ways to explore Namibia’s contrasting landscapes. If you are happy to drive on the left hand side of the road, without much traffic around, and on gravel (as opposed to tar) roads, then self-drive in Namibia is very do-able for many international visitors.
It helps if you can change a tire, too. Punctures are not uncommon on gravel!
It is also one of the more economical ways to enjoy a Namibia safari trip. Private escorted tours are pretty expensive because of the vast distances involved and guides in Namibia are well-educated, skilled workers.
On the other hand, many scheduled departure group tours travel at a pretty brisk pace, to see the country's highlights in a very short period of time. Also, they often stay at larger, less interesting, hotels and lodges.
Tips for Self Drive Namibia
- Ideally you need to enjoy driving, and view the road trip as part of the whole adventure. Namibia is a vast country and its marvels are spread throughout the country rather than conveniently located close to each other!
- Preferably two people would share the driving.
- Similarly, make sure that you have set aside enough time. We reckon on 3 weeks to see the highlights in both the north and the south. If you only have 2 weeks, you'll need to leave some places out. Or risk needing another holiday to recover from this one!
- Why not mix some self-drive in Namibia with other modes of transport? For example, you could fly in and out of Sossusvlei by scenic charter flight. Then pick up a car in Swakopmund to continue on. We recommend this if you're short on time.
Do you need a 4 x 4 for a self-drive in Namibia?
What little rain the desert country of Namibia does get falls during the southern hemisphere summer months from November to March. (And mainly January to mid March.) So during this latter time we do recommend a 4x4 vehicle. But, at other times of the year, an SUV with high clearance will do just fine.
It’s important to work with an expert when planning a self drive tour to Namibia. Driving in Namibia takes longer than you might expect. So it's vital to know how far you can happily travel in enjoyment, rather than in exasperation. We provide detailed directions and a comprehensive itinerary for you.
- Self-drive gives you the freedom to explore, to immerse yourself in the landscape and to to set the pace so that you enjoy the landscapes as you travel through.
- It’s most affordable way to see the country.
- Driving is on the left in Namibia. And the excellent road network carries little traffic in this sparsely-populated country.
A quite outstanding holiday"We have just returned from a quite outstanding holiday. Milandi listened to what we wanted and organised it perfectly. The standard of the whole trip was even better than we expected and the itinerary was interesting, enjoyable, relaxing and fun in exactly the right proportions. " Mr Allan Cole
I would only want to book through Cedarberg"Thank you so much for booking this experience for us, Mari. Everything was so well organized and went so smoothly, from car rental and driving and hotel directions, to lodge details, inclusions, exclusions, etc. The link you gave us with all the details on the locations we were going to as well as the detailed itinerary and pre-departure information was very helpful. We’re grateful for your efforts and for making this an outstanding experience for us. I have already sent your details to friends in case they’re interested in booking a trip of their own, and now that Tom has seen the beauty of Africa I know I won’t have to convince him to head back there again. I’m dreaming of safari in Namibia next time, and I would only want to book it through Cedarberg. " Mrs Michelle B
Outstanding holiday"The arrangements worked well. Many thanks for all the hard work. " Mr Bund, UK
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- RoadsVast majority of Namibia roads are gravel
- SpeedsAssume 100km/hr for tar roads but only 60km/hr for gravel