Travelling in Namibia is still one of our fondest memories. Aboard our 4×4 rental, we explored its vast wilderness, incredible wildlife and geological wonders.
We were totally enchanted by this country, and felt lucky to discover it every day of our road trip. Our first experience in a rooftop tent gave us an immense sense of freedom.
Namibia is a country where it is easy to travel independently. To fully enjoy your trip, you will have toorganize it in advance and book your accommodations and your vehicle as soon as possible. Many of you have asked us questions on Instagram about the organization of our trip, and we’ve answered them in this blog post and given you all our tips!
- 1. Is Namibia a dangerous country?
- 2. When to go to Namibia ?
- 3. Why go to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia?
- What to do in Namibia: our 6 must-dos
- Road trip: our 3-week tour [carte]
- Organize your stay with Evaneos
- Do I need travel health insurance?
- 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 with a relatively stable political situation and infrastructure“.
In 3 weeks of travel, we never felt insecure. I even walked around Windhoek by myself in the middle of the day.
It’s important to bear in mind that you’ll be traveling in remote, sparsely populated areas, so you’ll need to take a few precautions.
- The risk of theft: as everywhere else, you’ll need to be vigilant in the major 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 customer parking. A security guard usually watches over all customer vehicles, so you can shop with peace of mind!
2. Transportation risks: you‘ll quickly realize that tarmac roads are a rarity. 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, as 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.
Nos essentiels pour visiter La Namibie
3. Wild animal risk : many of the roads and trails are fenced off so that animals do not leave the parks or private areas.
Nevertheless, we came across an impala that had managed to escape, which was unfortunately stuck on the track.
We had to walk at a sn ail’s pace to avoid hitting him, and signalled his position when we came across some reserve guards.
Driving at night is not recommended. Wild camping is forbidden in this country.
2. When to go to Namibia ?
The seasons are reversed compared to the northern hemisphere. The year is divided into two seasons, the dry season and the rainy season. It’s possible to travel all year round in Namibia, as each season has its own advantages for discovering the country.
- The dry season From May to September, the climate is dry and the nights cool. In the parks, the animals gather at the few remaining waterholes, so you’ll have more opportunity to see many animals.
We went in August, and saw a lot of animals and birds for ourselves.
Daytime temperatures are a pleasant 25-30 degrees Celsius, while nights are cooler, around 10 degrees Celsius. We rented a second comforter to add as a blanket for the cooler nights.
- The wet season From November to April, temperatures are hot with many storms depending on the region. You will be able to observe migratory birds (pink flamingos…). The vegetation is more important, the parks are flowery and green, but the animals are more difficult to observe!
➡️ The month ofOctober, located between the two seasons, is an ideal month to travel to Namibia, as 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 for a 4×4 is longer than for a conventional vehicle, so take a margin.
Where to buy groceries
If you’re out of town, you’ll only be able to buy groceries at gas stations or parks. So we did two big race sessions, one in Windhoeck and a second 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.
Nous vous recommandons fortement l’Hotel Uhland les chambres sont spacieuses et agréables. Les espaces communs intérieurs comme extérieurs (avec piscine) sont top ! Vous vous sentirez comme à la maison.
De nombreux restaurants sont situés à proximité où vous pourrez vous faire livrer en suivant les conseils de vos hôtes qui sont adorables. Situé à 20 minutes à pied du centre. Bref un hôtel idéal à petit prix !
What to do in Namibia: our 6 must-dos
1. Etosha national park: an unforgettable safari ❤❤❤
Our safari in Etosha Park is the highlight of our trip to 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!
Before arriving in the park, we advise you to stay at the Etosha Village lodge, ideally located at the entrance of the park.
Si vous souhaitez observer un maximum d’animaux en peu de temps, nous vous conseillons de réserver une excursion avec un guide expert en 4×4. Les guides locaux repèrent plus facilement que nous les animaux sauvages qui pour certains se camouflent très bien, nous aurions par exemple pu voir des lions et des panthères si nous avions opté pour une 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 site, and you should allow two days to explore them all:
- Deadvlei: 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 : Namibia’s biggest dune, it takes 1h30 to climb early in the morning. Once at the top, you’ll enjoy a panoramic view of 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’ll love strolling through the streets and admiring the old colonial buildings.
Then head to Walvis Bay where thousands of flamingos have found refuge. It’s the biggest concentration we’ve ever seen.
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 4×4 was silted up (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!
L’hôtel Swakopmund Sands est idéalement placé au calme à 2 minutes à pied de l’océan et des restaurants de la jetée de Swakopmund. L’hôtel est mignon et propose un bon petit-déjeuner.
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’ll come across many animals along the way. 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 giraffes between Brangberg and Palmwag , then a solitary giraffe between Palmwag and Kamanjab on the way to Etosha.
5. Spitzkoppe: the rock formations ❤ ❤
Still in Damaraland, we loved the Spitzkoppe site, which means“pointed hat“; it’s a mountain of orange stones rising to 1,728m.
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.
Road trip: our 3-week 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 We Kebi Safari Lodge
- Day 7 and 8 – Namibrand reserve, this is a private reserve, which we were looking forward to. However, we were a little disappointed, as we only saw a few zebras after a two-hour ride. 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 – accommodation Swakopmund Sands
- 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 at park campsites
- Day 19 – Waterberg Plateau – accommodation at Waterberg campsite
- Day 20 – Windhoek – return to France for Matt and accommodation at theHotel Uhland 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
. Be prepared to ride for many hours on the trails as the distances between these three points of interest are significant!
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 would like to organize your stay with an organization, we recommend the French organization Evaneos. We recommend that you contact a local expert for a free, no-obligation quote, to save you time preparing your trip and give you plenty of ideas for activities and itineraries!
Do I need travel health insurance?
It is now essential to travel to Jordan with a travel insurance with COVID fees included. Some bank cards will be able to provide you with a certificate, make sure that the mention COVID 19 appears on it. Don’t panic if your credit card doesn’t cover this, you can take out travel health insurance.
We still advise you to subscribe to a travel health insurancein order to leave with a light spirit on vacation or on a trip, because theinsurance included with your credit card offers you very low coverage, the ceilings are lower than with a classic travel health insurance and does not cover all sports activities abroad.
For our vacations and our two long trips (backpacking around the world and touring Europe in a camper van), we used the Chapka organization. For vacations, the most appropriate contract is Cap Assistance 24h/24.
We advise you to inquire about the terms and conditions of this insurance or to get a free quote (about 20 Euro per person for 1 week). S
f you subscribe via the link below, you can benefit from an immediate -5% discount by clicking on the link below (when you click on quote / subscribe, the discount is automatically applied, indicated at the bottom of the page).
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.
Flight prices vary enormously 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.
This gives you the freedom to explore the parks on your own, so you can take photo breaks whenever you like.
The roof tent can be set up and taken down in just a few minutes– it’s child’s play!
Location du 4×4 avec tente de toit et équipements : nous avons suivi le conseil de nombreux blogs, nous sommes passés par l’organisme Namvic, que vous pouvez contacter à l’adresse mail suivante : email@example.com. Comptez environ 70€ par jour au mois d’août.
Nous avons rencontré d’autres voyageurs qui sont passés par Avis pour un prix légèrement inférieur. Pour comparer les prix des locations, nous vous conseillons le site RentalCars pour trouver une voiture au meilleur prix.
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!
We advise you to book your accommodation several months in advance, as there are few offers in Namibia, and good hotels fill up very quickly.
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:
- Prepare your own meals
- Limit the number of parks, we didn’t get into Naukluft
- Do the excursions on your own, relying on the help of other travellers to tell you where to find the animals or sites you want to see!
It is indeed our most expensive trip to date but it is also the most incredible!
Budget for 20 days
|1 129 €
|1 350 €
|1 467 €
|Expenses on site (food, park entrance…)
|Travel health insurance
|Total for two people
|5 011 €
|Total per person
|2 505 €
|Total per person per day
We loved this trip and recommend it with our eyes closed! If this article has helped you, don’t hesitate to add 5 stars below.
Have a good trip in Namibia ! Don’t hesitate to drop us a line below, to let us know if you’re planning this trip, to ask any questions you may have, here or on Instagram, we’ll be delighted to get back to you.