12 things to know before you go to Namibia

What you should know about Namibia

I spent 12 days in Namibia, the desert of Africa with red sand dunes, salt mines and the only place in the world where the Ocean meets the desert.  I wanted to be off the grid of sorts… totally unplug and do my version of glamping.   With Namibia being a desert for the most part full of dirt and rocky roads it truly feels like you are in the outback.  Tourists have the option of outdoor camping at campgrounds, camping with tents on top of 4×4’s, traditional hotels, lodges and glamp-camps as I’ll call them.  I chose a mixture of traditional hotel with a lot of glamp-camping.


Is it self drivable?  Absolutely!   TIP:  there are agencies that will curate self driving itineraries for a fee. You are completely off the grid and wifi/internet access is hit or miss.  With that being said here’s some things you should know.

  1. Most places accept all forms of credit cards
  2. Download offline maps ( internet is hit or miss)
  3. Bring lots of sunscreen ( it’s the Desert and it’s HOT)
  4. Is it safe to drive solo?  Sure.  I chose to have a driver because I had no idea what or where I was going.
  5. Drones are for the most part illegal UNLESS you have insurance.  Drones are NOT allowed in National Parks
  6. Make sure your rental car is Reliable as fuel stations and mechanics are far and few between.  TIP: every time you see a petrol station…fuel up. 
  7. Use your judgement.  If something feels off or wrong … it probably is.
  8. NEVER pay all fees in full in advance… people can be shady.  Take it from me… I had an incident and learned this lesson the hard way.
  9. If you have paid a tour company in advance, do yourself a favor and TRIPLE confirm ALL your reservations ( hotels, rental cars) etc. in advance of flying out.
  10. Sim cards are available at the airport, even with a SIM internet service WILL be sporadic.
  11. Don’t underestimate the power of emergency tools for your vehicle.  This is the desert and cars are known for being stuck in the soft desert sand.  Having roadside assistance equipment is important.
  12. Eat hearty and pack snacks and lots of water.  As I mentioned before… restaurants, fuel stations, etc. are far and few between.  Your travel days may be as long as 4-5 in between locations consisting of just you and the not so frequent car on the opposite side of the road.


This trip was my longest journey ever at the time.  My usual timeframe is max 7 days.  What made this trip different and special is that I wanted to see several things and figured it would be a once and a lifetime trip ( meaning I’ll probably never go back).. not because it wasn’t AMAZING but once you’ve seen it you’re good.   However now that I think about it.. this trip could be the most romantic trip ever too.  Hmmm.   I also had read about the long days of just driving which meant you’d need to factor that in as well as exploration time.  For a full itinerary click here  12 days in Namibia Itinerary 


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