A Self-Drive Guide from South Africa to Namibia: A Series of Travel Blogs.
Namibia Itinerary and Travel Blog in 2021
The Namibian Coast Touching the Atlantic Ocean
During the pandemic, travel has changed. Previously what would have been a quick 2-hour flight to Namibia turned into a three-week-long journey, allowing us to embrace Namibia’s beauty. Namibia is a country of contrasting landscapes, giant dunes kissing the Atlantic Ocean, a melting pot of cultures with plenty of outdoor activities.
From June to August, when temperatures dip slightly, travel becomes very comfortable in the desert. In our upcoming blogs, we will share where to stay and must-see destinations in Namibia. Follow our journey here!
(Disclaimer: GTA strongly advises travellers to consult the relevant COVID-19 safety regulations and government restrictions at the time of travelling. Visitors to Namibia should fact-check this with the current COVID-19 situation.)
1. Plan Your Route
As steam rose from the tarred roads and mirages appeared in the distance, we drove towards the Namibian border. This is the route we decided on doing: N7 > Noordoewer > Grunau > Keetmanshoop > Mariental > Rehoboth > Windhoek > Okahandja > Swakopmund > Hentiesbaai > Spitzkoppe > Walvis Bay > Soussusvlei > Fish River Canyon > Noordoewer.
It took us three weeks while taking leisurely stops for a few days at a time.
We suggest allocating time to appreciate this diverse country. Some of the most beautiful places we’ve discovered in Namibia are on off the tar roads, so allow yourself time to roam free. Don’t worry. If you get lost, let the anthills guide you as their nose cones point South
An Off-Road Trip Through the Namibian Desert
3. Fuel Up!
Namibia is sparsely populated, with only certain regions occupied so often we travelled 200km with only springbok and gemsbok as companions. As Namibia is a land of vast distances and open spaces, we advise fueling in each town.
The Vast Namibian Landscapes Without Towns Insight.
4. Bring cash
As cash is king in Namibia, ATMs are easy to find in towns. When travelling inland, it is essential to carry cash so that you can spend money with locals who live alongside the roads selling their wares. The exchange rate between the South African Rand (ZAR) and Namibian Dollar (NAD) is 1:1, so businesses accept both currencies. Spend your dollars before you leave as you cannot use them in RSA.
Namibian Wildlife In Their Natural Environment
5. Buy a Namibian Sim Card.
Once in Namibia, be sure to buy a local Sim card. The rates are affordable, and it will save you money by not roaming on your South African Sim. You can buy Sim cards at petrol stations and shops.
Pack Everything You’ll Need.
Some of our no brainer essentials would be a sarong for the warm weather, an outside canvas waterbag to cool down your water
6. Keep Hydrated take extra water
When you are packing, there are some unique items that we highly recommend you to take. Some of our no brainer ideas are to take a sarong for the warm weather, an outside canvas water bag to keep your water cold and to ensure that you don’t get dehyrated, a well as padkos (fruit, snacks, sandwiches) while driving the hot, dusty roads!
A kudu whistle is advisable to use while driving at night. It can be attached to the front grill of your vehicle to warn wandering animals. Many animals are roaming free throughout Namibia, and driving at night which can be attached. All South African cars must display a ‘ZA’ Namibia sticker on their vehicle upon entering Namibia.
Ettienne and his family are stopping to take in the view and stock the car.
Before leaving for Namibia, we took a CPR test which is valid for 72 hours from taking the test. We left the following day, heading halfway to Namibia, when we received our CPR results. At the border, officials checked our CPR test results, car registrations, passports, and other required documents. The entire process took approximately an hour and a half before they sent us on our exciting adventure. Once we cleared the border post at Vioolsdrift, the iconic stone desert and 27°C weather welcomed us and we were on our way.