Namibia :: Central Namibia
:: Windhoek Area
Category: Places :: Country
TOP ATTRACTION: Twyfelfontein World Heritage Site
TOP ATTRACTION: Waterberg Plateau
TOP ATTRACTION: Welwitschia Plains 4WD-Trail
TOP ATTRACTION: Brandberg White Lady Painting
TOP ATTRACTION: Spitzkoppe
TOP ATTRACTION: Sossusvlei
TOP ATTRACTION: Sesriem Canyon
TOP ATTRACTION: San Living Museums
TOP ATTRACTION: Petrified Forests
TOP ATTRACTION: Organ Pipes
TOP ATTRACTION: Namib-Naukluft National Park
TOP ATTRACTION: Kolmanskuppe/Kolmanskop (Ghost Town)
TOP ATTRACTION: Heroes Acre
TOP ATTRACTION: Genocide Memorial
TOP ATTRACTION: Garub Pan
TOP ATTRACTION: Fish River Canyon
TOP ATTRACTION: Felsenkirche
TOP ATTRACTION: Etosha National Park
TOP ATTRACTION: Epupa Falls
TOP ATTRACTION: Duwisib Castle
TOP ATTRACTION: Christuskirche
TOP ATTRACTION: Cape Cross Seal Reserve
TOP ATTRACTION: Arnhem Cave
TOP ATTRACTION: Ai-Ais Hot Springs Resort
Most visitors to Namibia are drawn by its natural beauty, vast open spaces and clear, starry skies. Another part of its attraction is its low population density and the general sense that the country is unspoilt. Besides the lush Caprivi Strip in the north, the rest of Namibia is mostly dry, with much fascinating topography and interesting rock formations. Memorable places include the majestic Fish River Canyon; at 160 km long and up to 27 km wide, it’s the largest canyon in Africa. And don’t forget the Namib, one of the world’s oldest deserts, which features towering orange sand dunes.
The Skeleton Coast is an extremely wild, remote and desolate stretch of land where the Namib Desert and the Atlantic Ocean meet. The Skeleton Coast most probably derives its name from the whale and seal skeletons, as well as the numerous shipwrecks along this coastline.
As one of the last remaining wilderness areas in Southern Africa, Kaokoland is a bucket list attraction for self-sufficient and experienced 4x4 travellers. This remote region in the extreme north-western corner of Namibia offers landscapes ranging from sweeping plains, to rugged mountains and dry riverbeds seamed with lush riparian bush.
Namibia has a number of national parks, including the iconic Etosha. This park has 86 springs, fountains and waterholes (some natural and some fed by boreholes), which lure large numbers of game. What adds to Etosha’s allure is that it’s malaria-free, offers good facilities and is accessible by sedan.
Distances between major towns can be considerable so travellers must be well prepared when they explore remote areas like Kaokoland. In spite of this, Namibia is ideal for self-drive travellers as it has an excellent road network and facilities, with a variety of accommodation options. Best of all, you don’t have to stick to the protected areas to enjoy Namibia’s beauty, the variation in landscape is quite extraordinary.
The locals are friendly and welcoming. The Boesmanland region in north-eastern Namibia has the largest remaining group of Bushmen or San people who still live on their ancestral land, the Nyae Nyae Conservancy.
Windhoek, the capital, boasts a mix of modern and colonial architecture; many of the tourist attractions in the town centre date back to the German occupation of the 1900s. This hilly city is lush and clean, certainly well worth a two or three day stay – there’s lots to see and do!
Namibian dollar (NAD) & South African rand (ZAR) (1:1 exchange rate).
DRIVING IN NAMIBIA:
Drive on the left-hand side of the road and adhere to British driving rules. Namibia has a very good road network. Even though all national highways (B-routes) and national roads are tarred, almost 90% of the roads in Namibia are gravel roads. Namibia’s gravel roads are world famous for their quality, they’re mostly of an excellent standard and are very well maintained.
Roads classified as C-routes, whether they are paved or unpaved, can usually be driven with any sedan vehicle, but a vehicle with high ground clearance is recommended. These roads are well-constructed and well-maintained, but might be in a bad condition after heavy rains.
D-routes may also be accessible by sedan. However, unlike the C-routes, they do not have bridges at river crossings therefore they are more vulnerable to rain damage. Be aware that the salt-surfaced roads near the coast are extremely slippery all year round.
During the rainy season roads can become very slippery and roads passing through river beds can be flooded. The smallest stream can turn into a raging torrent of water. Do not cross these streams unless you are absolutely sure how deep they are and how strongly they flow. Water levels drop just as quickly as they rise, so you should rather wait a few hours or at most a day when you’re stuck in this way.
You should pay special attention to warnings of antelope, warthog and even elephants, as they often graze along the verges of the road and can be unpredictable. Even though most roads are fenced, wildlife, donkeys, goats and cattle may still cross your path, even on the main tar roads in remote areas. Always be on the lookout for animals beside the road and do not drive at night.
When approaching a slower vehicle from behind, the driver of the front vehicle will sometimes signal if it’s safe to overtake. Trucks especially, will often use their right indicator to signal that it’s safe to overtake; but be extremely cautious – as this could also be an indication of the driver’s intention to turn right!
The speed limit is 60 km/h in urban areas and 120 km/h on tarred roads outside urban areas. On gravel roads, it is 100 km/h. Speed limits are enforced by means of manned speed cameras which are set up in different places, but often closer to major towns.
The driver and all passengers must wear safety belts and the use of a cell phone without a hands-free set while driving is illegal. In Namibia it’s a legal requirement to drive with your headlights on at all times. 4-Way stops (indicated by a red STOP sign with the number 4 below it) are commonly found at the quieter intersections – the first vehicle to arrive has priority. On roundabouts, give way to the right and proceed with caution.
Fuel is usually available in most towns and generally speaking is reliable and of good quality. It is a very good rule, however, to fill up if you pass a fuel station, regardless of how full your tank is. The distances between towns can be big and sometimes towns can run out of fuel or the fuel pumps might be out of order. This is especially true when the demand for fuel is highest, like during the holiday season when small settlements need more fuel than normal. For this reason it is best to always carry at least 40 litres of extra fuel if you don’t have a long-range fuel tank. Keep in mind that low sulphur diesel (50 ppm) is not available everywhere. You will only find it in the main centres.
Any person injured in a road crash or a dependent of anyone killed in a road crash in Namibia can claim for assistance from the MVA Fund which derives its income from the fuel levy. Medical Benefits, Injury Grants, Funeral Grants, Loss of Income and Loss of Support can be claimed by visiting the MVA Fund website (www.mvafund.com.na).
GMT+2 Central Africa Time.
TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN:
Due to an increase in child trafficking, parents who travel with children under the age of 18 are advised to carry their full birth certificates in addition to their passports. Adults travelling with children that are not their biological children should provide an affidavit from the biological parents or legal guardians that the children are travelling with their consent. You should also have the contact details of the parents/guardians available. If a child is travelling with only one parent, the other parent must give consent for the child to travel with the other parent. Spot checks may be done therefore it is best to have this documentation ready.
You should always have a good quality high-volume compressor and a pressure gauge with you so you can adjust tyre pressure as needed. Before you leave on your trip for the day, ensure that your vehicle’s tyre pressure is correct for the kind of roads you plan on travelling, as well as the weight that you will be carrying.
If at all possible, carry two spare tyres; especially if you plan on travelling remote areas like Kaokoland. A tyre repair kit is essential.
Nationals from the countries listed below are NOT required to obtain a visa when travelling to Namibia (90 day maximum stay): Angola, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau (SAR), Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritius, Moldova, Mozambique, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russian Federation, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Nationals of the following countries qualify to receive a visa upon arrival: Belarus, Benin, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic (CAR), Chad, Chile, Comoros, Cote d’ Ivore, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Hungary, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Nicaragua, Niger, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, South Korea, Togo, Tunisia, Western Sahara Republic, Uganda, Venezuela, Vietnam, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Ukraine.
Ports of entry where visas will be issued on arrival are Hosea Kutoka International Airport, Walvis Bay Airport and Katima Mulilo, Noordoewer, Ariamsvlei, Oshikango, Transkalahari and Oranjemund border posts.
If you don’t have any 4WD experience, you should do a course before you venture into remote areas.
Due to the risk of burning out your vehicle (due to long grass collecting near or on your exhaust) you should always carry a fire extinguisher.
Be the first to leave a comment.
Be the first to submit a link or media file