Being it your first time or no, travellng with a camping car it’s always a new experience.
In this article I thought of leaving you some pieces of advice on choosing the car, driving and camping which I hope will make your journey through the deserts of Namibia much smoother and stress-free.
Choosing the car!
- Bring Passport, Credit Card and International Driving Licence
- Choose 4×4: on your way, you’ll find paved, gravel, tar & sand roads; if you don’t want to get stuck in the middle of nowhere choose to pick a full-traction 4×4 vehicle;
- Choose automatic: as a European, I mostly enjoy driving manual, but I found out 4×4 automatic cars to be much more stress-free to use on a long bumpy road;
- Get an Insurance: reliable companies normally offer good insurances, but better to inform yourself before reaching the country to stay on the safe side;
- Check your camping gear: Tent, mattress, cooking tools, bbq, cutlery, water tank, fridge, table, chairs, etc. Be sure to have everything for your journey, there’s no going back once you’re off!
- Clarify Doubts: if you have any questions about the vehicle, be sure to ask the company before leaving their place.
- Drive on the left! (Just to be sure xD)
- Tank whenever possible: gas station are scattered long ways from one another, so to avoid getting stranded in the middle of nowhere you’re better tank whenever you get the chance;
- Watch out for Animals: on the side of straight Namibian roads there’s often a wide area of short grass, that is to allow you to better watch out for wild animals crossing. In fact, the main cause of car accidents in Namibia is due to animals crossing; so better keep your eyes always open!
- Stop and change tyre pressure whenever necessary: in your vehicle, you should have a small compressor and a tool to measure tyre pressure; depending on the road pavement, adjust the pressure following your company’s recommendations (it’s better to waste 5 minutes adjusting the pressure than flatting the tyres)
- Beware of Potholes: although camping cars are made to withstand most rough terrains, keeping an eye on major potholes (especially around Sesriem or in Etosha) is a good practice to safeguard the integrity of your vehicle
- Keep your map close! Mistaking a crossroad in Namibia likely means wasting a couple of hours and running way longer distances (we’ve been there twice if you’re not sure about a road just stop and analyse the map!)
- Drive during warm hours: driving in the afternoons is a good way to escape the scorching Namibian heat.
- NEVER drive at night: roads get even more dangerous at night as animals crossing, potholes and curves become harder to see (nights in Namibia are VERY dark)
- Close your windows: as the climate is arid it also gets very dusty, you don’t want all your bags to get full of sand!
- Be sure to close your vehicle in cities: cities may be more dangerous than the countryside; when you need to park in a city try to spot a safe-place, remember to close all doors of your car and do not leave valuables inside.
- Rent Camping Spots for Few Bucks: campings around Namibia are cheap, but also extremely clean and well-kept. It is definitely better to pay a little fee and having a toilet, shower, electricity plug, Bbq and sometimes also a nice gazebo in addition to the piece of mind of being safe and away from wild animals. If you think campings will bring you away from the wildest nature think again: most “campings” are nothing more than a fenced area with few basic facilities and the likelihood of being the only one around it’s pretty high!
- Get to your Camping at least 30 minutes before sunset: Better even would be one hour. Mounting the tent and setting up the camps requires time, cooking with just the basic lights may be troublesome.
- Stock Up! : You may pass days without seeing a supermarket, so make your calculation and get everything you need for camping before driving!
- Bring some Charcoal: as vegetation sometimes is scarce, having some charcoal with you will make your BBQs faster and easier.
- Don’t forget Lighter and Bottle-Opener (one for your camping’s fire and the other for lightning up that burning fire within you with a sweet bottle of wine 😉
- Tap water is safe to drink: in all campings we stayed, water was safe to drink (this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring your emergency big bottles with you)
- Days are hot, Nights are chill: be prepared to change clothes after sunset.
- Wash your cloth in the camp; if you need to wash something, use the water from the camping (also good for washing dishes)
- Sleep early, to wake up early: once the light is down (around 7 pm), the Namibian countryside gets very dark. Our suggestion is to wake up early (also 5 am in Namibia is totally fine) to enjoy touring during the first light hours when the temperature is still pleasurable. Sleeping early will then become a routine as your body will get used to the sun circle (also there’s not much to do during the night in Namibia (except for watching the majestic starry sky!)
- Close your Trash: once finished eating, don’t forget to close your trash (as the smell may attract wild animals). Dispose of it in the proper bins or carry it with you in case bins are not available.
- Take breaks from camping: at least once, we suggest taking a break and enjoy 1-2 nights in a proper hotel. As beautiful as it is, camping every day for the whole journey can also be pretty tiring.
- Forget the Internet: if you find one, you’re very very lucky; but wi-fi is absolutely not the norm in camping. I know it can be hard (to me it was incredible!) but see it as a chance to enjoy the nature around you without distractions 😉
All right, you’re set up for your trip!
Let’s move to the next step!
Did you like my article and found it useful? Do you have any question or would you like to leave further information?
Leave a comment below and let’s get in touch! 🙂
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