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Preparation trip to Namibia | Best travel time, packing list and more

Located in Southern Africa is Namibia an ideal destination for a tour. Before you get on the plane to Namibia, some preparation is needed. Be well prepared for your trip to Namibia to enjoy it to the fullest. To help you on your way, a packing list has been compiled in this article with things that you should not forget and other important things that are important for traveling through Namibia. Are you traveling with us?

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Best time to travel

First of all you need to decide when you want to go. The country of Namibia is located in southern Africa in the southern hemisphere, which means that it can get very hot in the Namibian summer (Dutch winter). Especially in the desert areas of Namibia, temperatures of up to 40 degrees are no exception. December is on average the warmest month of the year with average temperatures above 35 degrees. From February to April there is an increasing chance of heavy rain or thunderstorms, which in turn brings some cooling.

After the rainy season in April, Etosha National Park is relatively green
After the rainy season in April, Etosha National Park is relatively green

In our experience, the best time to travel to Namibia is from mid-April to mid-December. June to October are the best months for spotting wildlife because the animals can often be found at the waterholes after a long period of drought. The temperatures are also pleasant.

The well-known Oryx of Namibia
The well-known Oryx of Namibia

However, this period falls in the high season for foreign tourists. By mid July to mid October it is busy in Namibia and often many popular accommodations are already fully booked. Prices are usually a lot higher during this period.

Tip:: In the Namibian winter (Dutch summer) it is an average temperature of 25 degrees during the day, while the mercury can drop to freezing point at night. Keep this in mind if you are going to travel with a (roof) tent.

Determine travel route

In order to be able to make a good preparation, a global travel route through Namibia be determined. This of course depends entirely on how much time and money is available. The biggest places of interest in Namibia are: Etosha National Park, Twyfelfontein, Sossusvlei, Kolmanskop, Capri Strip en Fish River Canyon.

The famous Dead Vlei located near Sossusvlei
The famous Dead Vlei located near Sossusvlei

Due to the ideal location of Namibia, a tour can easily be combined with neighboring countries Botswana en South Africa† At the rent a car you must indicate in advance that you may be crossing the border. You usually pay an additional price for this.

Also read: Itineraries Namibia in 2, 3, 4 or 5 weeks | Must sees and example routes

Transport, accommodation and organized tours

Getting to Namibia

To get to Namibia it gives the possibility between plane or car. At the international airport of Windhoek a flight arrives from Frankfurt several times a week. Flights from surrounding countries also arrive here. From Amsterdam you can fly to Johannesburg (South Africa) and then continue to Windhoek. This can often be done for less than 600 euros! Read our extensive Skyscanner article to find these deals the smart way.

Also read: Skyscanner | How to save (a lot of) money on flights

You can reach Namibia by road via Botswana, Angola, Zambia and South Africa. The border crossings are fairly strict and can sometimes take some time. Make sure you meet all the conditions in advance to be allowed to enter Namibia and also take a lot of patience with you.

Rent a car

Namibia is best explored using a rental car. With a normal 2-wheel drive you can explore most of the country well enough. The unpaved roads in Namibia are also usually well maintained. We speak from experience!

Malou for the 2wd van we traveled around Namibia with
Malou for the 2wd van we traveled around Namibia with

If you want to get off the road and go deeper into the wilderness and really drive in loose sand / desert, you will need a 4×4. With a 4×4 you have the ultimate freedom and you can really get anywhere. Regular 4×4's can be rented through parties like Sunnycars, rental cars, Rentalcars en Discover cars.

Rent a 4×4 with roof tent

If you want the ultimate Namibia experience, it's best to get one Rent a 4×4 with roof tent. This allows you to explore the bush without limits and camp in the most incredible places - often among wild animals! To find these deals you need to do the following: go to sunnycars.nl and then search for 'Windhoek'with the filter'tent package'. You will then be shown a selection of 4×4s with roof top tent and full camping equipment.

Tours and Activities

Besides the beautiful national parks of Namibia, there are many other fun activities to do. How about a buggy or quad tour through the desert or looking for whales off the coast? Whether you are looking for a cultural township tour in Windhoek or prefer to jump out of a plane in Swakopmund, there are countless great activities to undertake. On this page you will find a selection of the most popular tours and activities in Namibia.

Malou and Chris | Crossing the sand dunes of Namibia with a buggy
Malou and Chris | Crossing the sand dunes of Namibia with a buggy

Organized trips

There are many options for Namibia. You can choose to make a self-catered tour independently, but you can also choose to join a group tour. Compare tours and group travel you do, among other things:

Don't forget to request full quotes from these parties so that you get a good insight into the differences and total costs of the trip.

Solitaire, Namibia
Solitaire, Namibia

Tip:: curious what I shoot with? Then view the display below.

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Compile your own trip

A new way of traveling that is rapidly gaining popularity. You can join Rickshawtravel Namibia put together your own individual journey through Namibia with different building blocks. This way you decide how long you want to stay away and you can decide for yourself what you want to add to your trip or not. This gives you a lot of flexibility and the ability to drive exactly the route you want without 'wasting time' on places you may have already seen or that don't interest you that much.

Backpacking and traveling by bus

With the big bus organization Intercape you can get to the bigger cities but the national parks of Namibia visiting will be challenging. There is also a possibility to hitchhike, so you can often get quite far. Many backpackers therefore often choose to travel from city to city by bus. From your hostel or hotel you can, for example, spend a day or part of a day renting a car to explore the national parks. This keeps costs low and if you've made some friends along the way, you can even share these costs with a few people.

The famous gravel roads of Namibia
The famous gravel roads of Namibia


Travel insurance and vaccinations

There are good hospitals, dentists and pharmacies in Namibia. These are mostly run by German companies. If you unexpectedly end up here (an accident is in a small corner), you can expect a hefty bill. It is therefore important to have a good one Travel Insurance to fall back on in the event of unforeseen situations and/or accidents. Care for additional medical coverage and when you go out in a (rental) car, you can also call in roadside assistance. Allianz is a good and reliable (worldwide!) travel insurer with excellent conditions for a relatively low price.

Sossusvlei, Namibia
Sossusvlei, Namibia

Another important point is your vaccinations. We strongly advise anyone traveling to a country or area where Malaria or another nasty disease may occur (including Namibia) not to draw conclusions from this or other articles. Always make an appointment with one of the specialists of the GGD. The information they have is always up-to-date and that is why they can advise you specifically based on the specific travel plans you have.

Also read: Vaccinations for a World Trip | Everything you need to know


In various parts of Namibia, malaria still occurs at certain times of the year. Consult with a medical expert from the GGD before departure and then determine whether you will take malaria tablets or whether you will not enter the malaria area. It is important that you frequently rub or spray yourself with DEET in a malaria area so that the mosquitoes stay at a distance. Prevention is better than cure!

Also read: Travel and Malaria | Everything you need to know about malaria pills

Note: Mosquitoes can often be found near water
Note: Mosquitoes can often be found near water

Protect yourself from mosquitoes and sun

Be especially careful with the mosquitoes in Namibia and especially in the areas where malaria can occur. So always lubricate well with DEET and wear long-sleeved (thin) clothing as much as possible in the morning and evening so that mosquitoes have less chance of biting you.

Tip:: Be aware that mosquitoes can just pierce through leggings and polyester pants. You are really better off with pants made of a somewhat firmer material.

Furthermore, the sun shines almost every day in Namibia and it burns brightly, so that our Dutch skin burns fairly quickly. Apply sunscreen very well and preferably with the highest possible factor. Wear sunglasses and a cap to protect yourself from the sun. Remember that in Namibia you are close to the equator. The UV radiation is seriously something to take into account in the sweltering desert.

Malou in the desert of Namibia
Malou in the desert of Namibia

The drinking water of Namibia

The tap water in Namibia is safe and easy to drink, especially in Windhoek and other major cities. Water that is pumped up in the middle of nowhere is also safe to drink in most cases. It is best to filter this water with a lifestraw. The Lifestraw is a cheap and very effective option to quickly filter the water anywhere in the world before you drink it… Better be safe than sorry! You can of course also buy regular drinking water - although this is usually a lot more expensive and is bad for the environment due to the many plastic bottles that you then just throw away.

Tip: The Lifestraw water filter is for sale here via bol.com.

Practical issues

Passport and Visa

To enter Namibia you need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your trip. There must also be at least 1 blank page in your passport to obtain a visa. In practice, there is a third rule that you must comply with as a traveler, namely: you must look neat, show respect and look reasonably wealthy. These are of course rather vague concepts, but it is wise to arrive at the border or at the airport with at least some care.

Preparation Namibia | Your passport must be valid long enough
Preparation Namibia | Your passport must be valid long enough

Also read: Study in Namibia | A blog about universities and student life

As a Dutch citizen you can get a 90 day visa for holidays or visits. This is not the case for all nationalities, so check before departure whether you can also get a 90-day visa for your nationality. This 90 day visa is free and you get it when you enter the country. Importantly, the 90 days have not expired when you leave the country.


Before you go to Namibia, it is useful to read through a travel guide. There are many different travel guides. The most famous is of course the Lonely Planet. This not only discusses Namibia, but also Botswana, so you only need to take 1 travel guide with you on a tour through both countries. Personally, I am a big fan of Bradt's Namibia travel guide (Namibia | Bradt Guides – for sale here at bol.com), it is only available in English. There are still many publishers of travel guides about Namibia, so choose a travel guide that suits you. Other Dutch travel guides for Namibia are for sale here.

Preparation Namibia | My favorite travel guide
Preparation Namibia | My favorite travel guide

Money and Cost

In Namibia, payment is made with the Namibian Dollar and 1 to 1 is equal to the South African Rand. In Namibia you can pay well with the South African Rand, the other way around is not the case. Namibian Dollars can only be obtained in the country itself and cannot be obtained in advance at a foreign exchange office. The Namibian Dollar can be obtained here in Namibia from ATMs in larger towns. You can take the South African Rand with you from home in advance. The Namibian dollar consists of 200, 100, 50, 30, 20, 10 and coins.

Nambian Dollars
Nambian Dollars

The costs in Namibia for daily food are at the same level as in The Netherlands† What is a lot cheaper are the petrol costs and costs for a SIM card with mobile internet. Keep in mind that the further you are from Windhoek, there are fewer gas stations and supermarkets, so prices can sometimes be higher.

Buy SIM card in Namibia

Although most websites still tell you that you can 'just' buy a SIM card in Namibia, we unfortunately have to disappoint you. Since 1 January 2023, the rules have been tightened considerably. You can still buy a SIM card at the airport or in one of the many shops of MTC, the largest provider. You can also buy data vouchers to use the internet almost everywhere – you top these up via simple SMS codes.

The problem, however, is that the government has set strict rules for using the network to "stop criminals using the network for illegal activities." If you want to activate your SIM card, you have to be yourself first officially registered with the authorities with a copy of your passport. For the time being, this process can only be done in the larger MTC stores and can sometimes take hours due to crowds. After filling out a large form and signing it, it is handed over to the local authorities. There is also a time limit: you can use this SIM card for a maximum of 4 weeks - after that it will expire.

Packing List for Namibia

To go prepared for a trip to Namibia you need to pack a few essentials:

  • World plug or travel plug for Namibia.
  • Headlight
  • Mini First Aid Kit
  • Namibia Travel Guide
  • Good road map of Namibia (or download offline maps via Google Maps)
  • Malaria tablets (For sale at the GGD)
  • Sunburn
  • Sunglasses
  • Cap or other headgear
  • (prepaid) Credit card with worldwide coverage.
  • Bring both Euros and US Dollars in case the ATM is empty and there is an exchange office.
  • International driver's license
  • Vaccination certificate / Yellow booklet
  • DEET or other mosquito repellent
  • Passport that is still valid 6 months after returning home
  • Warm clothes for the evening
  • solid (hiking boots
Sunset in Namibia
Sunset in Namibia

Are you ready to travel to Namibia? Now you can enjoy a wonderful and carefree holiday. Enjoy your trip!

Plan your holiday to Africa here

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