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 Namibia travel tips!

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GirlChild
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PostSubject: Namibia travel tips!   Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:28 am

HI everyone!

We are just finishing off a fantastic 5 weeks in Namibia, and I’d like to leave some thoughts with everyone as we turn our attention to Zambia.

Namibia is very popular with European tourists!! We saw hundreds and hundreds of Dutch, German and Swiss tourists in rented 4x4s – more so than ever seen in South Africa. As such, the 4x4 rental market in Namibia is more competitive than the 4x4 rental market in South Africa, and I would suggest using a Namibian rental company.

We only saw about 2 or 3 Bushlore vehicles, but saw many from the following: Asco Car Rental, Value Car Rental, AfricanSun Car Hire, Caprivi Car Hire, Africamper, African Tracks 4x4 Car Hire, Camping Car Hire. A Swiss couple we met told us they had paid 2,500 euros for 4 weeks rental with Asco. We met a Dutch tour operator on our travels who was out visiting Namibia. He only uses Asco Car hire for his clients. He said Asco has 1 and 2 year old vehicles – primarily Toyota Hilux double cabs from what we have seen – and then the vehicles are passed to Value Car Rental for years 3 and 4, when they are retired from the fleet.

As for your sleeping, I would strongly recommend asking your hire company about the mattresses in the roof top tents. From what I have seen, EeziAwn are made to be light weight (as much as you can for a roof top tent). It seems to me they are less sturdily made than, say, Howling Moon and Hannibal. Also, it seems that to save weight they have opted for a 2 inch mattress rather than a 3 inch mattress. It seems like a tiny different, but one I am sure your body will notice quickly. Again, from what we have seen, Asco tends to go with Howling Moon.

The busy time in Namibia is during Namibian and South African school holidays. During these times it may well be necessary to book accommodation, otherwise we never had a problem with our first choice camp for the night. Namibia is very different to Botswana in that there is much more variety of activities than Botswana, where you are pretty much there to see wildlife. As such, it seems to me that there is a much wider variety of accommodation too. It is not unusual for one establishment to have a Lodge, 2 bed chalets, luxury tents and camping. So, if you feel that you really don’t want to camp, there are other inexpensive options for a proper bed, not just a room in a lodge.

Camping is luxurious by any standards!! Most campsites have most of the following: water pipe at the site, area to make a fire to cook (braai area), washing up sink (normally cold water), electricity, some have private ablutions but otherwise very nice communal ablutions with hot showers and flushing toilets. About half the places (or just less) had wifi – you don’t need to be in a lodge for there to be wifi! If there is a lodge as well, there is usually a bar area for drinks and sitting around the bonfire. We have camped every night in Namibia because it is so easy! If we really wanted to see a lodge, we would stop there at lunch time and have a drink: you get all the beauty of the views for the cost of a coke!

I really would suggest not pre-booking an itinerary. Our most memorable moments were from passing somewhere unexpected along the way and stopping. Sometimes pre-booking doesn’t give you this time to stop and look. The only place that might be worth booking beforehand is Etosha – you absolutely don’t want to miss that one out! That said, even there there were empty campsites each night, so in off season you may still be OK. For a 2 or 3 week holiday, I wouldn’t worry about going into Caprivi – it is 800km from Grootfontein to Katima Mulilio through the strip, and then 800 back again. Stick to the main part of the country for more sites per mile Wink

Transnamib can add his thoughts, and Gemini too! I think they have probably spent more time there than we have. We absolutely love it and would definitely visit again.

Hopefully this info will help you plan Namibia – happy to answer any other questions you may have!

(Tom, please feel free to move this post if there is a better home for it ...)

rgds
African GirlChild



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African GirlChild

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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: Namibia travel tips!   Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:27 pm

As good a place as any I'd say. Useful info. thumbsup

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PostSubject: Re: Namibia travel tips!   Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:56 am

Good info thanks planing a trip there for 2015 with a group of about 6 truck rental, been following you , and can not wait
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JorgeSC
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PostSubject: Re: Namibia travel tips!   Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:17 am

Another piece of advise on Namibia driving:

Never pass 80 km/h on the gravel roads.
After driving on one of the many endless roads for hours it's easy to build up on speed. All the suddenly, a tight curve or a hole or o hump, and you're gone.

Note that in case of an accident or malfunction of the car (or if you're injured or incapacitated for some reason) you might be there for hours, before someone came...

Allways inform people where are you going and the ETA. Tell those people that you will call upon your arrival. Ask for them to call the police if you don't. ( you can do this in the lodge where you're departing from. You will see that people will comply, they are used to this procedure)

If possible, take a satellite phone with you.

Never, never drive OffRoad or in gravel roads by night ( or any other roads). Besides de risk to be there until the next day, there is wild life in Namibia, and they also hunt by night. Should you, for some reason, be in the wild by night, sleep in the roof tent or inside the car.

Keeping this in mind, you will have fun and enjoy Namibia!!thumbsup 


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Mudslingger
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PostSubject: Re: Namibia travel tips!   Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:24 pm

Starting to plan a route for about 15 nights any one got any must see things there want to visit etoshi and up north for zyle pass but any other places or routes avoiding the Tarmac would be good, anyone know what rules there are to driving off road
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GirlChild
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PostSubject: Re: Namibia travel tips!   Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:39 pm

JorgeSC wrote:
Another piece of advise on Namibia driving:

Never pass 80 km/h on the gravel roads.
After driving on one of the many endless roads for hours it's easy to build up on speed. All the suddenly, a tight curve or a hole or o hump, and you're gone.

Note that in case of an accident or malfunction of the car (or if you're injured or incapacitated for some reason) you might be there for hours, before someone came...

Allways inform people where are you going and the ETA. Tell those people that you will call upon your arrival. Ask for them to call the police if you don't. ( you can do this in the lodge where you're departing from. You will see that people will comply, they are used to this procedure)

If possible, take a satellite phone with you.

Never, never drive OffRoad or in gravel roads by night ( or any other roads). Besides de risk to be there until the next day, there is wild life in Namibia, and they also hunt by night. Should you, for some reason, be in the wild by night, sleep in the roof tent or inside the car.

Keeping this in mind, you will have fun and enjoy Namibia!!thumbsup 

Please keep everything in perspective too - there was almost nowhere in Nambia where we didn't have another car pass us - and we tried pretty hard to get far off the beaten track!!  So many tourists Wink

While I appreciate that it is important to tell people where you are going and ETA - we just made things up as we went along and never had a problem! It is such a safe country we had no issues. Not sure who we could have told where we were going: the campsite we just left, or the one we were going to but didn't know where that was or what time we'd !!! And then you spend the whole holiday calling people ...

I loved Namibia because it is very very civilised - camping, car rental, supermarkets, doctors, pharmacies etc - but at the same time beautiful nature everywhere and lots to see and do.

It is no more difficult to travel in, say Morocco ... or southern Spain!!

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African GirlChild

Website: www.kapp2cape.net
Blog: www.kapp2cape-blog.net
Overland from Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas
The adventure begins in October 2012!
Departure: Adventure Overland Show, 7th October 2012
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GirlChild
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PostSubject: Re: Namibia travel tips!   Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:57 pm

Mudslingger wrote:
Starting to plan a route for about 15 nights any one got any must see things there want to visit etoshi and up north for zyle pass but any other places or routes avoiding the Tarmac would be good, anyone know what rules there are to driving off road
Mudslinger - please check our blog out: lots of info on Namibia.

Driving offroad - actually, discouraged in Namibia as it destroys the very very fragile environment. However, with 30,000km of gravel and dirt roads, you can certainly visit some very beautiful places ... which are not reachable by tar.

Also, PM me with your email address and I can send you our Fact Sheet for Namibia, which is about to be loaded on the blog and onto the website. That should help you with planning.

I'll put some other thoughts together - how many vehicles and how many people are going? What sort of ages - i.e. any young children?

rgds

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African GirlChild

Website: www.kapp2cape.net
Blog: www.kapp2cape-blog.net
Overland from Nordkapp to Cape Agulhas
The adventure begins in October 2012!
Departure: Adventure Overland Show, 7th October 2012
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