As steam rose in the tarmac and mirages presented themselves within the far distance, our truck’s engine nearly boiled over. We drove through empty Namib Desert in 40°C (104°F) heat with all the windows down and also heat on full blast to cool down the it off. Traveling around a sparsely populated desert country in Africa presents its challenges! Despite our desert adventures, we loved traveling around Namibia and think it’s an excellent African destination to understand more about, for first-time travelers towards the continent.
We saw the sun's rays rise on the largest sand dunes on earth in Sossusvlei and heard thousands of seals give birth for the Cape Cross Seal Colony. Just driving round the country without traversing to a single other individual for hours made us sense that we were on another planet. Namibia is really a special place that many on this planet have never even heard about. Compared to South Africa, it’s less visited by tourists, specially those traveling by themselves and not on the tour. But we found america easy to visit and affordable.
How much should it cost to search around Namibia?
Namibia is among the cheapest countries in Africa. It uses the Namibian dollar (NAD), which can be 1:1 while using South African rand, and all sorts of prices are about on par with South Africa . Depending on your favorite method of transport and accommodation preference, Namibia can easily be done inexepensively. We averaged about $45 USD (600 NAD) every day per person for campsites, food, beer, and transportation, which has a majority of that gonna fuel (our Land Cruiser was thirsty - 6km per liter/14 miles per gallon - and distances are long). Here are a handful of average prices: · Campsite - $6 (80 NAD) per person per night · Dorm bed - $8 (100 NAD) per person per night · Private double room - $45-$60 (600-750 NAD) per night · National park fees - $6 (80 NAD) · Petrol - $0.80 (10 NAD) per liter · A cook-your-own-pasta meal from your supermarket - $2.50 (30 NAD) · Salad at a café - $4 (55 NAD) · Bottle of Windhoek beer - $1.10 (15 NAD) · Cup of coffee - $2 (25 NAD) So should you be staying in dorm beds, making the train, and cooking your own meals, you have access to by within a strict budget of $20-30 per day. However, if you would like camp and obtain outside the main cities, you simply must take a tour or have your vehicle, that will up your costs to about $45 (to self-drive with four passengers) to $90 (for just a tour) daily.
How to acquire around Namibia
There is not any official public bus system in Namibia, but you will find local buses that connect the majority of the major towns and cities. The most efficient bus option in Namibia will be the Intercape bus service <http://www.intercape.co.za/>. They are generally in good shape and safe, and in many cases provide ac.
Intercape buses don't run every single day and don’t have some of stops, so it’s vital that you look for the website for routes and schedule. Prices vary according on the distance traveled: a bus from Windhoek to Livingstone, Zambia, costs roughly $50 USD with respect to the exchange rate, while a bus to Springbok, South Africa, from Windhoek costs $31 USD.
This could be the most popular way of traveling in Namibia. The rental truck industry in Windhoek, the main town, is booming! With wide-open desert roads, towering sand dunes, no one around, a excursion in Namibia could be the perfect way to search exploring. Rates for just a rental truck stocked with everything you will need for camping plus a pop-up tent vary with regards to the season. In low season (January-July), it is possible to pick up a two-person Hilux for $75 USD each day; inside the high season (July-December), it'll go for around $130 USD daily. The more features you add on to your rental, the greater the cost gets. When we last visited in November, your entire country was sold-out of rental trucks using what was traditionally the shoulder season, making it highly advised to book before hand.
We mentioned overland tours previously. There is really a really number of ways in which you can perform tour in Namibia. The least expensive option is to look with certainly one of the many overland tour companies including Oasis, Nomad, Acacia, or Intrepid. Tours are perfect for solo travelers trying to meet people, as well as for those that want maximum fun with minimal planning effort. Overland tours in Namibia start with an average of $87 USD per person each day. These tours cover all transport within Namibia, activities, camping, and quite a few meals.
The TransNamib passenger train makes only some stops, nonetheless it definitely provides interesting views of the desert country your window. Trains mostly operate through the night, for those times you plan to use the train you really should be prepared to sleep in a very first-class seat or economy reclining seat. There aren't any sleeping cabins aside in the Keetmanshoop-Windhoek train. Tickets consist of $6 to $15 USD for economy and business-class seats, respectively. The Desert Express can be another train service geared toward more the luxury-minded tourist, with prices starting at $230 USD per ticket.
There is apparently an increasing number of vagabonds in Africa who're getting themselves into dangerous situations and counting on strangers to bail them out. We would not recommend hitchhiking in Namibia, as being the population is sparse also it could be hours between passing cars.
Tips for driving Namibia
Traveling around Namibia is reasonably straightforward. Here are ten tricks to keep in mind on your trip there.
Learn how you can change a tire - Namibian roads are incredibly rough on cars. They are badly corrugated and dry and dusty. Make sure you know how you can change a tire just in case you get a flat or else you may be waiting on the streets for some hours.
Avoid night driving - Whether self-driving, upon an overland tour, or taking buses, we will advise against just about any night driving. There work just like streetlights on Namibian roads, and cattle roam freely to them.
Don’t make use of the internet - We found the Wi-Fi in Namibia to get passable at best, and in many cases if you acquire a SIM card, don’t expect results anywhere but from the cities and towns. Much of the united states is empty desert where you will find no cellphone towers.
Stay full and hydrated - No matter what type of transport you utilize, it’s important to refill on food and water, although Western-style supermarkets come in Windhoek, Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, Luderitz, along with relatively large towns.
ATMs is only able to be found in leading cities and towns - You will be able to withdraw profit Windhoek, Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, and Luderitz, but we might be wary about having the capacity to in other places. Make sure to own enough money on you to get to your next major destination, as bank cards aren’t widely accepted. Almost all places in Namibia accept the South African rand at the same time.
Prebook inside high season - Namibia’s high season runs from mid-May to mid-November, so we will recommend booking the place for these months before hand. Even the campsites book program overlanders. We visited in November and ran into problems some times with hotels staying at capacity.
Stay safe - Namibia is considered one of the safest countries in Africa. However, it is always a developing nation, and common sense must be utilized, especially inside the capital of Windhoek, which in recent times has seen a growth in crime. Don’t show symptoms of wealth, use vigilance during the night, and many types of should be OK.
Namibian national parks are affordable - We discovered that Namibia has many of the cheapest national parks in Africa. Etosha National Park, for instance, may be the largest and easily most recognized park inside the country, with entrance fees costing less than 80 NAD ($6 USD)! The wildlife spottings are fantastic from the dry season likewise.
Take good care of your electronics - The desert heat is not any joke, and neither could be the sand. Cameras, laptops, and in many cases cellphones really should be well protected from your dry air and mud that can locate its way into the little crevices of the valuables.
When people ask us what country they need to visit in Africa, Namibia is always in the top of our list. There is just something about seeing the celebs twinkle from the desert night with no soul around. Even though we a month from the country, we still felt we might have delved way deeper into your remote parts and explored more. The country is vast and has now so many interesting what to offer, we can’t wait another! Natasha and Cameron run your blog The World Pursuit, emphasizing adventure and cultural travel. The two of them met inside the film industry before they chosen to abandon the American lifestyle and travel the entire world together. They’ve been traveling together for three years across 55 countries and six continents. They recently got a new 4×4 on the tip of Africa and so are traversing the continent while documenting their story on Instagram and Facebook. We hope these Namibia travel trips prove useful. If you've visited, and have absolutely something to feature, let us know from the comments below!