Namibia: 6 Truly Life-Saving Tips

Wilderness is the haunting beauty but also the hidden danger of Namibia. Crossing deserts with no human soul in sight is not a walk in the park and you better be well prepared to avoid unpleasant surprises.

In this article I share with you 5 Life-Saving Tips to make your Namibian roadtrip as safe and enjoyable as possible.

Let’s get started!


1. Don’t save on your car

Your camping car will be both your transportation and your home during your whole journey through Namibia; so it better be excellent!

Said that trust me: try to economize on neither the car nor the insurance! Make sure to have a sturdy and powerful vehicle and to be totally covered as car accidents, flat tires, and anything in between is very common.

A small difference in the price of 10-20Euro/day can make a HUGE difference in terms of comfort and safety.

Be sure the company you’re renting from is reliable and has good online reviews, check the whole vehicle/gear before leaving the shop, and ask for clarifications and instructions on anything you don’t understand (serious companies give courses without even having to ask).

Quality service comes with a higher cost but here is totally worth it. Saving a few euros may be the difference between an awesome experience and getting stranded alone in the middle of nowhere, so why risking it?


2. Drive Slowly

The Golden Rule to stay safe. It cannot be stressed enough.

In Namibia, there is no traffic. When you’re outside of main cities it is an event to meet someone on your way and still, you’ll likely know someone is their way before meeting the other car due to the tall sand-tail flying behind them.

Without the stress of other cars, it is easy to become relaxed and feel comfortable in accelerating more than necessary; and here comes the danger. Roads are bumpy, filled with plotholes, stones, slippery, and crossed by animals. 

As the environment around you is peaceful, as roads are mostly eternal and desertic straight lines and as the panoramas become more and more breathtaking; it is easy to lose concentration and get lost in your thoughts. So, be aware of this and drive slowly!

Stay safe, take your time, and don’t be in hurry, you’re in Africa! Follow the local culture and don’t stress too much about your timetable, living in Namibia is also a chance to live life slower.


3. Stock up!


Being it gas, petrol, water, food or beer you better stock up whenever possible! (Especially the beer! 😉

Supermarkets are rare and if you don’t have enough food with you, you may be forced to go to the only restaurant in the area and having to deal with their monopolistic prices. Gas stations are scattered, and in some places (Sossusvlei I am looking at you!) if you don’t tank it’s not sure you’ll reach the next station. 

A special note on alcohol: on weekends most supermarkets won’t sell alcoholic beverages because of religious reasons; so that’s also something to take into consideration. On a Sunday, I was able to buy only 2% Windhoek Beer (which didn’t taste too bad after all); the sale of anything above that alcohol percentage was forbidden.

In general, as you’ll have lot of space in the back of your camping car, USE IT!



 4. Get yourself an Old-School Paper Map

Downloading one or two off-line maps is a good idea before arriving in the country (we used Maps.Me and worked sufficiently well).

Still, we would strongly advise you to buy one of the paper-maps that are normally sold in accommodation or from your rental company (cost a few euros) and here’s why.

Roads quality in Namibia changes widely: you have concrete roads, gravel roads, tar roads, and sand roads. The driving times on each one of those differ tremendously and online apps, in addition to not being reliable for calculating the fastest route, won’t show you the details of the road pavements.

The advantage of paper maps is that they show you the category of each road (normally also through different colors) and so they give you that additional important information that can help you plan your way according to your preference.

Last but not least, paper maps work without a battery; so even when you won’t have an electrical plug they will be loyally there for you 😉


5. Don’t Challange the Wildlife

Especially important within Etosha but also everywhere you may spot or feel natural wildlife.

Animals in Namibia roam freely and they are dangerous! You may seem in control but you’re never sure 100% that some wild animal is not hiding somewhere near. When you’re within the park, keep your windows shut and don’t leave your car for no reason. 

Know that if you exit your car to attempt dangerous photo-shoots that is on your own total risk! Every year there are reports of tourists injured or killed by predators, so don’t play stupid and don’t challange the wildlife.

Observe from a distance and be respectful of the animals’ territory. Be good with them and they will with you.


namibia roadtrip tips

6. You won’t find Many Shops, so Think Ahead!

Namibia is one of the countries with the least population density on Earth! That means, that most of the time you will be just alone, lost in the middle of nature, with nobody around.

On the long Namibian roads, you might not find signs of human life for hours, shops are rare, and even in the cities they usually offer a very limited choice of items.

Because of that, it is important to plan: comfy shoes, hats for the sun, solar cream, medicines, books… anything you might need for your road trip, you better get it on board before leaving Windhoek, as along the way it’s won’t be easy at all.

Last but not least, be sure to carry desert and hot weather clothing, if you plan to walk during the day: temperatures can get extremely hot (beyond 40°) and it’s essential to dress as smart as possible to both protect yourself from the strong sun rays and annoying insects, while at the same time stay fresh and comfortable during your daily excursions. 



And here we are at the conclusion of this article 🙂 These were 6 life-saving tips that we believe will make your life on the road in Namibia much easier and more enjoyable 😀

Did you like my article and found it useful? Do you have any question or would you like to leave further information? Have you been in Namibia before and you would like to share your experience?

Leave a comment below and let’s get in touch! 🙂

Thanks for reading, and see you in the next article! 


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