Namibia is to date one of our most beautiful trips. On board our 4×4, we explored its vast wilderness, its incredible wildlife and its geological wonders.
This country totally enchanted us, we felt lucky to discover it every day of our stay. Our first experience in a rooftop tent gave us an immense feeling of freedom.
Namibia is a country where it is easy to travel independently. Many of you have asked us questions about the organization of our trip, we answer them below!
- 1. Is Namibia a dangerous country?
- 2. When to go to Namibia ?
- 3. Why go to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia?
- 4. What to do in Namibia: our 6 must-dos
- 5. Road trip: our 3 weeks tour [carte]
- 6. Organize your stay with Evaneos
- 7. Practical information (flight, travel, accommodation and budget)
1. Is Namibia a dangerous country?
When we have a destination in mind, we systematically consult the diplomatie.gouv website.
For Namibia, the site is reassuring since the first lines indicate that it is a“country that benefits from a relatively stable political situation and has infrastructure“.
In 3 weeks of travel, we never felt insecure. I even walked around Windhoek by myself in the middle of the day.
It is important to keep in mind that during your trip you will have the opportunity to travel in remote and sparsely populated areas you should still take some precautions.
- The risk of theft: as everywhere, you must be vigilant in the big cities, Windhoek, Swakopmund… Avoid carrying valuables, going out at night and leaving your vehicle unattended.
When we went shopping we always looked for a supermarket with a parking lot reserved for customers. Usually a guard watches over all the customers’ vehicles, so you can do your shopping with a free mind!
2. Transportation Risks : You will quickly realize that paved roads are rare. You will ride mostly on long dusty tracks. Most of the trails are in good condition and passable with a conventional vehicle.
We advise you to avoid driving at night because you will have less visibility on the few holes on the road and the wild animals.
Our first day, with the fatigue of the trip, the shopping… we had miscalculated our travel time. We preferred to change campsite for our first night instead of driving an hour at night.
3. Wild animal risk: many of the roads and trails are fenced off so that animals do not leave private parks or areas.
Nevertheless we came across an impala that had managed to escape, which was unfortunately stuck on the track.
We had to drive at a walking pace to avoid touching him and we signaled his position when we came across rangers.
Driving at night is not recommended. Please note thatwild camping is forbidden in this country.
2. When to go to Namibia ?
The seasons are reversed compared to France. The year is divided into two seasons, the dry season and the rainy season. It is possible to travel all year round in Namibia because each season has its advantages to discover the country.
- The dry season The dry season, from May to September, is dry and the nights are cool. In the parks the animals gather at the few remaining water holes so you will have more opportunity to see many animals.
We left in August, we observed by ourselves a great number of animals and birds.
During the day, the temperature is very pleasant between 25-30 degrees, the nights are cooler about ten degrees. We rented a second comforter to add as a blanket for the cooler nights.
- The wet season of November to April, temperatures are hot with many storms depending on the region. You can observe the migratory birds (pink flamingos…). The vegetation is more important, the parks are flowery and green, but the animals are more difficult to observe!
➡️ Note thatOctober located between the two seasons is a good month to travel in Namibia because temperatures are warm and rain is still rare!
3. Why go to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia?
Windhoek is the capital of Namibia with about 300 thousand inhabitants . You will certainly spend and stay there for several reasons:
- Place of arrival and departure of your flight It is the only international airport in the country!
- Location of your car rental All agencies are located near the airport. The recovery time of a 4×4 is longer than that of a conventional vehicle.
- Where to buy groceries If you are outside the cities, you can only buy groceries at the gas stations or in the parks. So we did two big race sessions, one in Windhoeck and a second one in Swakopmund.
- Place to visit We slept there one night when we came back, so we took advantage of this time to walk around the city.
Accommodation: we strongly recommend the MonteBello Guesthouse, the rooms are spacious and pleasant. The indoor and outdoor common areas (with swimming pool) are great!
There is a shared kitchen for you to eat or you can have it delivered following the advice of your hosts. The carrot cake is amazing!
4. What to do in Namibia: our 6 must-dos
1. Etosha national park: an unforgettable safari ❤❤❤
Our safari in Etosha Park is our favorite part of our trip in Namibia. It is one of the largest reserves in Africa that you can explore in 4×4 with a guide or in total autonomy. We keep images full of head of our first safari.
In the dry season, from May to September, the concentration of animals is impressive. We didn’t expect to see so many!
You will observe in the park or at the watering holes of the lodgings, impalas, oryx, giraffes, lions, elephants, rhinoceroses… and many birds!
If you want to observe as many animals as possible in a short time, we advise you to book an excursion with an expert 4×4 guide. Local guides spot wild animals more easily than we do, some of which camouflage themselves very well, for example we could have seen lions and panthers if we had opted for an excursion.
2. Sesriem and Sossusvlei: the Namib Desert ❤❤❤
The road to Sesriem is already bewitching. As you get closer to the site, the landscape around you will be transformed into huge sand dunes with incredible colors.
There are many points of interest on the site, and it takes two days to explore them all:
- Deadvlei ” dead swamp “: is a clay basin on which lies dead and sun-dried trees. It is a unique place in the mode and photogenic as you can see on the photos below!
- Big Daddy : it is the biggest dune of Namibia, count 1h30 for its ascent in the morning, once at the top you will enjoy a panoramic view on the desert.
- Big Mama: this dune is also a must, it will offer you a panoramic view on the whole site.
3. Swakopmund and Walvis bay: between desert and ocean ❤❤
Another surprising place in Namibia! Swakopmund is a very nice little coastal town, built by German colonists. You will love to stroll in the streets and observe the old colonial buildings.
Then head to Walvis Bay where thousands of flamingos have found refuge. This is the biggest concentration we have seen in our lives.
Then continue your way, at the level of the lighthouse a huge colony of sea lions has elected residence.
Make sure you drive on dry sand, we helped a Dutch family whose 4WD got sandy (they drove too close to the water). They were very scared and were very happy to see us.
It is also a good place for water activities and desert tours. We have selected, below, 3 ideas of activities to fully explore the region. A catamaran excursion to observe the largest marine animals or to travel through the dunes on a quad or 4×4!
4. Damaraland: an incredible region ❤❤
We loved to explore this region by 4×4, because the landscapes are splendid. It is an ancient volcanic region. The flat mountains with their reddish colors will make you think of the American far-west scenery!
In this region, if you take your time you will come across many animals on the road. We preferred short distances to have time to explore the area.
We advise you to take the alternate routes to hope to come face to face with animals.
We observed a herd of giraffe between Brangberg and Palmwag and then a lone giraffe between Palmwag and Kamanjab on the way to Etosha.
5. Spitzkoppe: the rock formations ❤ ❤
Still in Damaraland, we loved the site of Spitzkoppe, which means“pointed hat“, it is a mountain of orange stones rising to 1728 m.
The rock formations inside the site are incredible. You can walk around the park and explore the different sites.
6. Waterberg: the plateau of many colors ❤
The Waterberg site, a huge plateau with magnificent colors, composed ofa range of red thanks to the stone that constitutes it. On the ground, the ochre earth and the green landscapes will surprise you!
The lodges offer many hikes on the plateau. You will also be able to observe some animals in the wild, including Impalas and Oryx. This site is easily accessible as it is halfway between Etosha and Windhoek.
5. Road trip: our 3 weeks tour [carte]
Here is the itinerary of our 3 weeks trip:
- Day 1 – Windhoek recovery of Namvicou our 4×4 and shopping for half of the stay – accommodation Solitaire in camping because we had miscalculated the driving time so we had to stop earlier than expected!
- Day 2 – Tsauchab River, Olive trail trek 11km – Tsauchab River accommodation
- Day 3-4-5-6 – Sesriem and Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, Big Daddy, Big Mama, Elim Dream…. – Accommodation 3 nights at Sesriem campsite and 1 night at Hoodia Desert lodge
- Day 7 and 8 – Namibrand reserve, this is a private reserve, which we were looking forward to. However, we were a little disappointed because we only saw a few zebras after two hours of driving. The price of a night’s camping is extremely high. – accommodation Namibrand reserve
- Day 9 – Rostock ritz lodge, for a break on the way north – accommodation Rostock ritz lodge
- Day 10 and 11 – Swakopmund and Walvis bay, city walk and game viewing – Airbnb accommodation
- Day 12 – Spitzkoppe walk in the park to discover the rock formations – accommodation Spitzkoppe campsite
- Day 13 – Brandberg exploration of the area by 4×4 in search of elephants (untraceable) – accommodation Brandberg White Lady Lodge in camping
- Day 14 – Grootberg – accommodation Grootberg ecological lodge
- Day 15-16-17-18 – Etosha national park, click here to find all our tips for visiting this incredible park – accommodation 1 night at Etosha Village lodge and 3 nights in the park campsites
- Day 19 – Waterberg Plateau – accommodation at Waterberg campsite
- Day 20 – Windhoek – return to France for Matt and accommodation at MonteBello Guesthouse for me as I then joined a friend in Montenegro
If you have ten days on the spot : prefer Sesriem/Sossusvlei, Swakopmund/Walvis bay then Etosha . Be prepared to ride for many hours on the trails as the distances between these three points of interest are significant!
6. Organize your stay with Evaneos
As you can see from this article, organizing a trip to Namibia takes time and energy to find all the information!
If you wish to organize your stay with an organization, we recommend the French organization Evanéos. We advise you to contact a local expert to ask for a free and non-binding quote, in order to save time in the preparation of your trip and give you plenty of ideas for activities and itineraries!
7. Practical information (flight, travel, accommodation and budget)
How to come to Namibia?
From Paris, with a stopover, count on average 14 hours of travel to get to Windhoek, the capital (we did not find a direct flight). We traveled with Lufthansa and South African airlines.
Depuis la France, vous pouvez trouver des vols à partir de 600€.
Nous vous conseillons le site Skyscanner, que nous utilisons généralement, pour comparer les prix des différentes compagnies aériennes et trouver votre vol au meilleur prix.
The price of flights varies greatly depending on the number of stopovers and the day of departure and return.
As always, we advise you to compare prices between several days. If necessary and if possible, you can slightly shift your vacations to get a really good price.
How to get around in Namibia?
We advise you to rent a 4×4 with a roof tent, it is an incredible and unforgettable experience.
You will be free to move around and explore the parks on your own, so you can take photo breaks whenever you want.
The roof tent can be set up and taken down in just a few minutes– it’s child’s play!
Rental of the 4×4 with roof tent and equipment: we have followed the advice of many blogs, we have gone through the Namvic organization, which you can contact at the following email address: email@example.com. Count around 70€ per day in August.
We met other travelers who went through Avis for a slightly lower price. To compare rental prices, we recommend the RentalCars site to find a car at the best price.
Where to sleep?
It will depend on your budget! The lodges in Namibia are beautiful but expensive.
The campsites, outside the national parks, are well equipped. You will usually have your own cooking area and private bathroom. This is luxury camping!
So we tried to alternate, three nights in camping and 1 night in a lodge. Honestly after a few nights in tents we were happy to be back in a nice soft bed !
When we talk about this trip, we often hear“a safari in Africa is expensive, right?“. Before we started our research for this trip, we didn’t think we had the budget for this type of trip.
Some tips to reduce the overall budget:
- Limit the number of nights in a lodge
- Prepare all your own meals
- Limit the number of parks, we did not enter Naukluft
- In the cities, choose Airbnb or cheap accommodation
- Do the excursions independently and rely on the help of other travelers to show you the location of animals or sites to see!
It is indeed our most expensive trip to date but it is also the most incredible!
Budget for 20 days
|Lodging||1 129 €|
|Airplane||1 350 €|
|Car||1 467 €|
|Life on site||950 €|
|Total for two people||4 896 €|
|Total per person||2 448 €|
|Total per person per day||122 €|
We loved this trip and we recommend it to you with our eyes closed!
Have a good trip in Namibia ! Don’t hesitate to leave us a note below to tell us if you are planning this trip, or to ask any questions you may have, we will answer you with great pleasure 🙂