Camping in Namibia
Namibia is an exceptional country for a camping holiday. Nevertheless it is not impossible and that the extraordinary can be extremely exciting, show Nadine and Frank from Dinky-Land. They talk about their experiences, give tips and help for camping in Namibia.
Namibia Roadtrip – experiences and planning help for camping in Namibia
Namibia is located in southern Africa and what you can experience there on a road trip with the camper and camping, you will learn below.
An overview of tips and experiences when camping in Namibia:
- Why should I travel to Namibia?
- Choice of vehicle for Namibia
- Refuelling in Namibia
- Shopping on the Road / Supermarkets in Namibia
- Money in Namibia
- Choice of route through Namibia
- Choice of pitches in Namibia
- The conclusion of our journey
- What should I never miss in Namibia?
Why should I travel to Namibia?
If you are thinking of a motorhome road trip, which regions do you think of first? Surely countries like the USA, Canada, Norway or maybe New Zealand come to your mind first, don’t you? But how about travelling to a country in Africa with a camper? We had already been infected with the African virus on our travels through South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania. During these holidays we had lived in lodges and comfortable tent camps and had traveled by car or had a driver drive us in a jeep.
At some point the desire manifested itself to travel through Africa more independently, independently and as close as possible to nature. And so inevitably the question arose whether a self-planned camper trip through an African country would be feasible. When choosing the country, we were not only interested in the diversity of the landscape, but also in a proper infrastructure.
Namibia seemed to be the most suitable country for our first tour. The country offers unbelievable landscapes, a great animal world, a politically stable environment, passable streets, good shopping possibilities and even a large variety of camping sites.
The flight connections to Namibia are sufficiently frequent. Direct flights are currently offered by Air Namibia and Air Berlin several times a week from Frankfurt to Windhoek. Windhoek is the only international airport in the country. Thus, the start and destination of our trip were quickly found.
Choice of vehicle for Namibia
During our search for a suitable vehicle, we found almost exclusively converted all-wheel drive vehicles with all suppliers. Normal camper vans, as you know them from the USA, were only very sporadically in the offer and are also not really recommendable, because the road network consists mostly of jerky gravel roads. After all, you want to get ahead and not crawl towards your destination at a speed of 30.
In the end, we had the choice between an all-wheel drive car with a roof tent or a pickup truck with a fixed cabin on the loading area. Quickly it was clear to us: the vacation is not comparable with the tours through the USA, with which we had resided in a spacious 25 foot camper.
It will rather be a simple vacation, without big luxury. The roof tent was however fast out of the race, since it seemed to us for the time being too adventurous and spartan. You have to slowly get your feet wet! After some comparison and consideration we decided for a Toyota Hilux Pickup with a small, functional cabin on the loading area.
Decisive for us were, beside the good price and the consistently positive contact to the landlord, the following points:
- The firm walls of the cabin, which offer protection from rain, wind and wild animals
- The two bed-like flatbeds that make the night’s rest a little more comfortable
In any case, our vehicle favorite would have been the Discoverer X, a really chic off-road motorhome with seating area, small kitchenette, comfortable bed, large water tank, refrigerator with freezer compartment and pop-up roof. Unfortunately, this dream car exceeded our budget at the time.
The Toyota Hilux Campervan selected by us from the rental company
“African Tracks” offered a price-performance ratio with which we could live well. The living cabin was equipped with the already mentioned sleeping platforms and several storage compartments for clothes and food. There was no sitting area or kitchenette, but a roof that could be folded up so that one could stand upright in the camper.
The camping equipment (table, chairs, crockery, cooking utensils, grill etc.), a large cool box, a gas bottle with cooking attachment and bed linen were available at no extra cost. All we booked was a portable toilet (Porta-Potje) and a solar shower. In retrospect, we found the solar shower to be superfluous, as there were proper showers at almost all campsites. However, the mobile toilet makes it easier to go to the toilet, especially at night on unfenced campsites.
We found it very positive that the rental company African Tracks already included all necessary transfers in the rental price. So there was already a driver at our arrival in Windhoek, who brought us to the head office of the landlord. After delivery of the vehicle a transfer to the airport or hotel was natural. Contrary to the regulation in the USA, which says that one may take over the camper only on the day after the journey, one can receive the camper in Namibia already on the day of the journey in receipt and drive off directly. We were also absolutely satisfied with the introduction to the vehicle by an employee of African Tracks.
Refuelling in Namibia
After we had taken over the vehicle, we were able to jet straight away. Our first stop was the nearby gas station, where we filled the car and the two spare cans. In Namibia there is generally a petrol service. So you can sit comfortably and pay at the gas station attendant. He only accepts cash, so always make sure to bring enough cash! We had set ourselves the goal to take advantage of every possible fuel option on the way. With that we were very well advised, because between the individual villages there was seldom a possibility to refuel.
Shopping on the way / Supermarkets in Namibia
We bought the first stock of food in Windhoek in the Maerua Mall, where there is an extremely well sorted SuperSpar. We didn’t expect such a great selection. We even found some German products like Nutella and Miracoli, which of course went straight into our shopping cart. We have to emphasize the great sausage products from Hartlief, which were available at the refrigerated counter in a large selection…. you really got everything here, starting from the salami and mortadella over normal grill sausages up to the hearty country hunter.