Namibia Driving Advice and Car Hire Info
Driving In Namibia
In my opinion, Namibia is one of the worlds great ‘driving abroad’ destinations. 4WD vehicles may make the trip smoother but aren’t vital (I drove much of the country in a VW Polo!). Roads are in generally Okay condition though you will be driving on a lot of gravel roads so take it slowly if you aren’t used to this- most accidents happen with inexperienced drivers on gravel. Also be aware that gravel roads will deteriorate after rain. Roads in Etosha National Park are nearly all paved and are in good condition as are roads in the main towns. Obviously when driving in Etosha and other non urban areas, be alert for animals at all times .Windhoek is a manageable City to drive in and shouldn’t pose many problems. The Skeleton Coast is a fantastic 300km self drive adventure. The road is salt and gravel surfaced and is a pretty unique driving experience. Mirages are common and when I drove the road it was impossible to see where road, sea and sky merged. There is absolutely nothing on this road and you will see few other vehicles. If you break down, wait with your vehicle until you can flag down a vehicle and get a lift back to civilisation. Try to avoid doing what I did and blowing a tyre just before entering Skeleton Coast National Park and having to drive 200 km with no spare! More detail on the Skeleton Coast can be found on my classic roadtrip page.
A potential scam to watch out for is scattering of nails or other sharp objects near remote tyre repair shops. Usually denoted by a painted tyre, my advice is to slow down and look carefully at the road as you approach a tyre shop. Avoid driving in sand, even in a 4WD as it could be deep and in remote areas you will wait a long time for someone to pull you out.
Namibia Car Rental -
Hertz, Europcar, Alamo, National, Avis,Budget, Dollar, Thrifty, have outlets here. Also usually features on Car rental broker sites such as Argus Car Rental and Web discount sites such as ebookers.com. or Expedia
Many companies also offer camping gear in addition to vehicle rental such as this one..
And companies like this who offer vehicles with a tent on the roof so you can camp in the wild safe in the knowledge that you can enjoy the wildlife without the wildlife enjoying you! The first company quoted come recommended by a site user.
This company can arrange self drive safaris throughout Southern African countries including South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland & Lesotho
Namibia Self Drive Rules-
Most of the big companies will allow cars to be driven into South Africa, Swaziland , Lesotho and Botswana. Some will allow one way rentals to SA (Hertz will for a charge). There are likely to be restrictions on taking the car into other neighbouring countries – it will probably be allowed but you may need to pay a lot more for insurance. You can drive on an EU Photo passport but will need to bring the paper copy too to rent a car.