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 road (as opposed to tar), then self-drive in Namibia is very do-able for many international visitors.
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 or three 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.
It helps if you can change a tire, too. Punctures are not uncommon on gravel!
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.
Ginny's advice was spot on"Ginny’s advice was spot on – the locations, pace of trip and quality of accommodation was superb. The 2 slightly different safari areas also worked out well and it was great that our best viewing was at the second to end the trip on a high. " Mr Matthew Campbell
WHAT AN AMAZING SAFARI! An outstanding job!"WHAT AN AMAZING SAFARI! What an outstanding job you did! From the arrival of the guests to the end of the safari. I’ll speak on my behalf and let the other guests speak for themselves and give their own opinions. Let me just say the Safari amazing…., The team did an outstanding job, from the day of arrival at the airport with ground handlers to the drivers, to the departure day. Everything went smoothly and without this team, I do believe the experience would have been different. Africa is known for being slow, especially being punctual (as we call it, African time). The team changed all that. Everything ran according to the schedule and on time. They made us feel at ease, stress-free, and truly on vacation. It indeed made me feel proud of my country, proud to be a Kenyan, and proud of the people. There was UBUNTU all around, everywhere we went people were respectful, polite, and kind (apart from the one or two individuals who would hassle us to buy something and especially when they see Mzungu) and for that, I thank you, THOMAS, and the team. Excellent work. A hand of applause to Mari; Thank you to Mari, it all started with you. Thank you for planning and organizing the Safari it will forever be in our memories. The accommodation and the food were fantastic. Amboseli was stunning, although it would have been great to see Mt Kilimanjaro it was cloudy. Eka Hotel was great, and the breakfast was delicious. At the Keekorok, zebras visited us behind our cabins and could hear the call of the hippos. And finally, the Voyager hotel in Mombasa was fun and relaxing and the food was fantastic. Overall, the hospitality everywhere was fantastic. Couldn’t have asked for more. Lastly, a big thank you to my safari team (Resa, Anette, Pete, Jim, Pat, Sarah and Mike) for being seasoned travelers, easy going and went with the flow. The Safari wouldn’t have been the same without great travelers like you. I enjoyed spending time with you all. THANK YOU, GUYS. Sincerely, I thank you ALL. " Mrs Carol Ndungu
Very good value"Peter was very helpful and clearly paid attention to our thoughts and ideas – we really valued his recommendations " Ms Winter, UK
Africa Travel Specialist
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- RoadsVast majority of Namibia roads are gravel
- SpeedsAssume 100km/hr for tar roads but only 60km/hr for gravel