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.
Exceeded all expectations"Cedarberg was professional, responsive, and personable. All flights, all transfers, all accommodation, all activities, and the safari itself went exactly to plan. The experience, end-to-end, exceeded all expectations. " Mr Michael Barnard
Fabulous time"I can only say we had a fabulous time!!! The organisation from your side was great. Everyone turned up on time and everything was organised as planned. I have to say we were very encouraged about how well though of Cedarberg were with the travel providers and accordingly, we were extremely well looked after. Do thank Gloria for all her help in South Africa, and particular thanks to you and the Cedarberg staff in London for organizing such a great trip – our third with you! " Dolman & Kerr Family
Rwanda was inspiring"My wife and I approached Cederberg requesting a draft itinerary and recommendations for a visit to Rwanda. We received prompt, well-informed assistance, and a final itinerary which was absolutely perfect. Our tour of the country was well-structured in terms of acclimatisation, pace and variety. On the second last day of our visit, we met up with another group who had opted for a different tour agency, and were exhausted by the disproportionate amount of time spent on the road rather than enjoying the delights of their respective destinations. " Mr David, USA
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- RoadsVast majority of Namibia roads are gravel
- SpeedsAssume 100km/hr for tar roads but only 60km/hr for gravel