The south African company "Intercape" have buslines through the south western part of Africa. One of the buslines goes from Windhoek to Victoria Falls, through the Khomas region, Otjozondjupa region, Okavango region, caprivo region. It is 1250 km on the Caprivo highway. The main stop before the Zambian border is Katima Mulilo.
Departure from Windhoek every second day. Book your ticket some hours in advance at the Windhoek office/garage. The bus will leave from the garage 04 PM, but will stand still and wait for passengers at the parking area in front of the Supreme Court before it leaves at 5.30 PM. Arrival at Shell station in Katima Mulio, 09.10 AM. The price is 400 N$. It's a luxury bus with OK seats and a toalet.
There are some few stops on the way at petrol stations where you can buy something, but there are many other people standing in queue. It's best to buy some food and drinks before you leave Windhoek.
You will enter Caprivo region in the morning. This is a game reserve with a lot of elephants. Have your camera ready.
Air Namibia is the national airline. It's a little airline with only one inter-continental route to Frankfurt, Germany (Airbus 340-300). The rest are routes to the bordering countries Angola, South-Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe.
I can recommend www.advancedcarhire.com
Michael which is the owner took good care of us, we been picked up from the airport and also back to our return flight. The car was perfect, almost new, and when we return it there was no hassle what's so ever.
Ask to have two spare tyres just in case, we had one puncture during our trip which is about the average :)
Many people find it safe enough to hire a vehicle and drive Namibia themselves. The roads are not bad at all and it is a relatively safe country at the moment. The dangerous areas have forbidden access and permits are needed for other areas.
I therefore booked a tour and would highly recommend it.
The company was SWA Safaris based in Windhouk and they took care of everything.
Our guide Sylke, was professional and gave us good insight into the country and it's wildlife.
Only downside is that you have to spend near enough 24/7 with the tour group, eating meals together etc.
Before you get really excited about travelling around Namibia by train, let me lower your expectations now. The train system is primarily designed for shipping freight and agricultural products. They travel VERY slowly and don’t go to many places. You may need more than one book to read. Notably they do go to Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, and Tsumeb. Unless you have a lot of time you may want to hire a car or take a bus instead.
*WRITTEN IN RESPONSE TO A TRAVEL FORUM QUESTION*
Namibia’s main International Airport (Windhoek Hosea Kutako International) lies about 45 kilometres from the city of Windhoek. It has the flowing Airlines and destinations
Air Namibia (Cape Town, Frankfurt, Johannesburg, London-Gatwick, Luanda, Maun, Victoria Falls)
Air Botswana (Gaborone)
British Airways operated by Comair (Johannesburg)
LTU International (Düsseldorf, Munich)
South African Airways (Johannesburg)
South African Airways operated by South African Express (Cape Town)
TAAG Angola Airlines (Luanda, Lubango)
The terminal has a few shops, 1 restaurant, tourist information and ATM’s that dispense Namibian Dollars.
Airside is a VIP and a Business Lounge, Duty Free shop, gift shop, jewellery shop, a cafe and VAT refund.
The following car rental companies can be found when you arrive:
Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Imperial
Check out the car beforehand to make sure everything works. One consideration that may save you from a fine is to make sure the insurance, registration and license are all up to date and in order before leaving the rental compound. We got a fine leaving Lesotho for expired something or other, which other places let go.
This is similar to South Africa and anywhere in southern Africa...
In cars, SUVs and especially motorcycles, you really have to be aware of animals on the road... and in the air above the road. While horses, cows, elephants, impalas and other barnyard animals aren't much more common than encountering people on the roads, you need to watch out for them. Goats are quite common. Keep in mind also that many people walk along the sides of the road, and they don't seem to fully appreciate what damage a car doing 120kph could do. So we have to watch out for them. Animals can be encountered any time on any road. One of the problems we had with animals were birds who weren't bright enough to get out of the way fast enough. Total birds killed in our wake here: 5.
They didn't break anything, but we had feathers where feathers don't belong.
This should be straightforward, but its not. The most direct roads between the 2 are not paved and are a hard hard drive. If you are not experienced on long stretches of gravel I would suggest you stay on the sealed roads to get to the beach from Windhoek. Take the B1 North and then the B2 West. This is certainly not the country to try and learn how to drive on gravel. I met a guy who flipped his car and put a passenger in hospital. Drive to stay alive and take the long way round. It’s a good road.
It is against the law in Namibia to drive while holding a telephone. It is also mandatory that all passengers wear belts and children be in appropriate seats. This is not just the law, it’s smart. In Windhoek and Swakopmund you risk a fine from the Police and it’s very easy to detect when your are violating either of these laws. Across the rest of Namibia violating either of these laws could easily get everyone seriously injured or dead. Roads can be rough and suddenly dip. Train crossings have no gates. And then there are animals. Wild animals love to run out in front of cars, especially at night. These are the big ones that can destroy cars and you. Don’t do it. Drive safe and smart and stay alive.
The best way to see Namibia is in a private vehicle with a guide that knows people, places and animals. You can go on your own game drives and stay in lodges or tent camps off the between path (i.e., away from crowds). Also, if you hire a professional guide they will have a safe vehicle appropriate to the terrain and camping equipment (stoves etc.) saving you the trouble of hauling it through Africa.
You get 3 unbeatable advantages - 1. your guide will know the safe way to travel through the country (e.g., certain parts of the country (the best parts) are unfenced, therefore night driving is too dangerous - you'll hit an animal.) 2. your guide knows the people in the lodges etc. so you get to hang out and talk with people when you stop at night. 3. your guide will know a lot about the animals and, I can't stress this enough - they are experts at finding animals so you get to see all kinds of things.
Share with a group of people and the cost is very very reasonable. We hooked up with a South African guide/driver and 4 others - 2 from Australia, 2 from Malta - for 2 weeks and had a great time. We used a safari company to book (website below), but if you pick out a guide on your own make sure they are licensed -- this helps you vet them on your own. Plus be specific about where they have entry-rights into national and game parks.
One of the joys of a holiday in Namibia is that you can drive yourself - perfect if, like us, you prefer to be able to stop when, where and for as long as you please. And you don't need a four-wheel drive for most of the main roads, although as almost all of them are gravel rather than tar you need to drive carefully. It’s all too easy to skid and spin the car, as we found out!
If you book a hire car you’ll be given a map, and as there are relatively few roads it would be quite difficult to get lost. There are also relatively few petrol (gas) stations, so we were pleased that our map indicated where these were. Our car had one of those in-built computers that estimate how many more miles you can drive on what you have in the tank which, although not 100% reliable, was a reassuring extra.
Make sure your car comes with a good spare tyre, tools and a fuel tank too – we didn’t have any problems but with the rough roads and wide empty spaces it’s best to be prepared.
When you collect your car at the airport the hire company assistant will check it over with you – make sure he/she marks down all existing marks and scratches (of which there will be plenty) on the appropriate form. The car will be checked again when you return it and you don’t want to get blamed, and charged, for any damage you didn’t cause. But don’t worry too much about the odd scratch – these companies understand that you can’t drive these gravel roads without getting a few!
As mentioned, the roads are usually good. In tar roads you can drive well over 100-120 km/h.
On gravel roads you can drive even 100km/h on some but I would be more careful and would not drive more then 80km/h. Depends on your experience, be very very careful, especially on the curves, gravel roads always intend to slide you off the road and using the breaks will be too late when losing control, it is almost like driving on the snow in Finland, but not exactly the same ;-) On some of the smaller roads you cannot drive even more then 30-40km/h, so be patient. On park roads the speed limit is 60km/h.
Best way to get to Namibia if you are not living in the neighbouring country is to fly, and that would probably be to the Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport. It is located about half an hour drive from Windhoek. Nice small airport, no need to queue, no hassle and even nice duty free store to spend your last local currency.
I do not think that public transport is a good way to travel and see Namibia as I did not see any. if you do not want to drive your own, I guess the other option is to join a safari tour, this way you do not need to worry about finding your way or miss any special attraction, but you will be compromise on your comfortability and flexibility.
We only stayed for one night sadly, as on our return to Windhoek we travelled on to a game farm. But...more
If you want a good campsite at Sossusvlei (Sesriem campsite) you need to book in Windhoek and/or...more
the hotel was well located and the rooms that I had to pass by on the way to mine looked good. Mine...more
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