Getting Around Namibia

  • Transportation
    by lotharscheer
  • Transportation
    by lotharscheer
  • Transportation
    by lotharscheer

Most Viewed Transportation in Namibia

  • smirnofforiginal's Profile Photo

    taking that ride to nowhere, we'll take that ride!

    by smirnofforiginal Written Dec 30, 2009

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    Firstly this is a country where you simply MUST drive yourself. It is that simple and it is that easy and it is incredible!

    You really want a 4x4. But, if for whatever reason you don't get one or cannot get one then you certainly want a high clearance 2-wheel drive and a tow rope. The roads are not a total disaster but it is better to be over prepared than stuck in the middle of nowhere ill equipped! Likewise ensure you do have at least one spare tyre. I never needed it but I bet had it I would have done!!!

    You can take a hired car from Namibia into Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe because they all share the same insurance. However, mention Zimbabwe and all companies go into melt down and say NO NO NO! If you beg very nicely they will agree to you taking the car across to Zimbabwe to the town of Victoria Falls ONLY and on a strict NO OVERNIGHT POLICY!

    Fill up with petrol at EVERY given opportunity... really, you can NEVER have enough petrol in your tank!

    Always carry more water than you will ever be able to drink and foods that are not going to perish are a good thing to have about you too.... just in case.

    Never get cockey on the roads... they really are all mostly dirt roads, built with uber German efficency but in vary states and just because you feel comfortable, you never know and can never see when that next KABOOMP in the road is going to be. You can never predict which animal will run out suddenly in front of you. It is impossible to realise that the next section of roads is heavily sanded and therefore twice as slippy.... GO EASY! I shall admit now to spinning my car a lovely 100 degrees much to the horror of my 9 year old son. My husband managed to take us on a little unintentional off-roading because he lost control on a particularly sandy bit of road. It happens!

    The driving is LONG LONG LONG... and despite being a most wonderful and beautiful country, hours and hours across a desert and same-same looking landscapes can grow tedious. Coupled with the various states of the roads... be realistic in how far you can get in a day. The longest drive I did was a 7 hour killer... it was ncessary but not something I would recommend!

    MAPS - Make sure you have a good map. I used one by a company called Mapstudio and it was perfect - totally up to date with most roads marked.
    SATNAV - I had downloaded the whole of Southern Africa onto my TomTom, never having used it abroad befoer I thought it would be a prudent accessory for our mammoth journey... I probably relied a lot more heavily on the road maps than "Sheila" as we called her who got a little confused at times and didn't seem to know all the roads. Overall, a mixture of Sheila and map worked nicely.

    we're on the road to nowhere ;-)
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  • georeiser's Profile Photo

    Bus from Windhoek to Botswana

    by georeiser Updated Oct 9, 2009

    The trans Kalahari line departs at 06 AM. This is the main bus from Windhoek to Johannesburg via the Kalahari desert. The route: Windhoek-Gobabis-Boitepos (Botswana border)-Ghanzi (people to Maun can go off and change bus here)-Gaborone-Johannesburg.

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  • georeiser's Profile Photo

    Bus from Windhoek to Katima Mulio

    by georeiser Written Oct 7, 2009

    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.

    Bus from Windhoek to Katima Mulio Bus from Windhoek to Katima Mulio
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  • georeiser's Profile Photo

    Air Namibia

    by georeiser Updated Oct 6, 2009

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    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.

    Air Namibia in Windhoek Hosea Kutako airport Air Namibia in Windhoek Hosea Kutako airport Air Namibia in Windhoek Hosea Kutako airport
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  • Gili_S's Profile Photo

    Car Rental

    by Gili_S Written Feb 26, 2009

    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 :)

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  • nigelw6443's Profile Photo

    SWA Safaris

    by nigelw6443 Written Feb 10, 2009

    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.

    Lunch stop Gunab Drive through Welwitschia country Finally Etosha Tsumeb Tanking up
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  • DAO's Profile Photo

    THE VERY VERY SLOW TRAIN

    by DAO Updated Jan 21, 2009

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    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*

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  • DAO's Profile Photo

    THE MAIN AIRPORT

    by DAO Written May 5, 2008

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    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
    British Airways operated by Comair (Johannesburg)
    Kulula.com (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

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  • John195123's Profile Photo

    Car Hire/Rental

    by John195123 Written Mar 14, 2008

    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.

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  • John195123's Profile Photo

    Birds

    by John195123 Written Mar 14, 2008

    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.

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  • DAO's Profile Photo

    WINDHOEK TO SWAKOPMUND

    by DAO Updated Mar 10, 2008

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    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.

    B1 NORTH THEN B2 WEST PAVED PAEVED ROAD TO WALVIS BAY GRAVEL ROAD
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  • DAO's Profile Photo

    HAND HELD TELEPHONES AND SEAT BELTS

    by DAO Written Feb 25, 2008

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    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.

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  • janineanderson's Profile Photo

    Get a guide and a car

    by janineanderson Updated Jul 29, 2007

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    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.

    Packing up in the morning
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  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Drive yourself

    by toonsarah Updated Dec 22, 2006

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    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!

    On the road in Namibia On the road in Namibia
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  • Gili_S's Profile Photo

    The roads

    by Gili_S Written Nov 16, 2006

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    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.

    Main road Good gravel road Small desert road

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