Find out everything you need to know about hiring a vehicle for a self-drive safari in Namibia.
With most hire vehicles, you will need to leave a credit card authorisation when you collect the car, and this acts as a guarantee to the hire company that you will pay up to a specified amount should there be any damage to the vehicle before it is returned. This amount varies and we will let you know the amount on your personal hire vehicle. Most vehicles also include unlimited kilometres as the distances are so vast here!
When you collect the vehicle, you should check that the spare wheel tyre is in good condition and that you have the necessary tools to change the tyre. You should also check the condition of the other tyres, glass and engine to avoid being charged for damage that is a result of normal wear and tear.
Once on the road you should make sure that you fill up with fuel frequently to allow for any detours, unexpected lack of supply (this does not happen often) or getting lost. In addition you should carry emergency supplies of water and basic food. You should also check your tyre pressure, oil and water every morning before setting out on your day’s journey. The speed limits vary in different countries, but in Namibia, Botswana and South Africa it is 120km per hour on tar roads and 80km per hour on gravel/ dirt roads. To ensure maximum safety, you should not exceed these limits, especially on gravel roads that offer unpredictable conditions.
Do not, unless in an emergency, drive after dark as the roads can be very dangerous with many animals and poor lighting!
We have compiled some tips for driving in Namibia below:
On any road surface other than tar, never exceed 80km/hour.
Normal range is 60km – 80km/h
Tar road max speed on open road is 120km
BREAKING ON DIRT ROADS
Never break hard, especially going into a corner, allow the road to lead you around the bend
Roads north of Swakop tend to dissolve in mist and get slippery – they may look like tar, but they’re not!
In dusty conditions it is advisable to switch on the headlights of the vehicle to be more easily observed by other road-users.
Never drive after dark out of town. Animals often sleep on the warm tar & gravel and are responsible for many accidents. Your insurance won’t cover you for this.
Stop car, engage 4x4, drive. Disengage after crossing.
Observe road traffic signs, particularly those that indicate gentle or sharp curve ahead.
In the case of a warning sign indicating a gentle curve ahead, reduce speed by at least one third of the cruising speed before commencing the turn.
In the case of a warning sign indicating a sharp curve, reduce speed to at least half the cruising speed before commencing the turn.
Always look out for animals, especially warthog as they tend to forage on road sides
Drive with your lights on
Tropical down pours – pull well off the road, keep lights on and wait
Ephemeral rivers spring up quickly – wait until the flow subsides, or if flow is very slow, walk the route first.
Toyota 4x4 hi-lux double cab: Tar roads 2.2 bar, gravel roads 2.0bar, sand (Sesriem) etc 1.8bar
Always use the safety triangle provided and find a flat place to change a tyre, with rocks behind/in front of the three remaining wheels
LEFT HAND SIDE
We drive on the left hand side of the road (same as the UK)
The driver, as well as all passengers in the vehicle need to wear their seat belts at all times whilst travelling in the car. The fines are currently NAD 2,000.00 per occurrence for non-compliance.
Be clear on how to engage the 4x4 function of your car. If you struggle to get out of 4 wheel drive, it sometimes helps to reverse the vehicle before changing.
Ensure wherever possible that you have two insured drivers
We do our utmost to ensure that daily average drive time shouldn’t exceed 5 hours with regular breaks.
Please carry enough cash to pay for fuel as most filling stations only accept cash.
POLICE ROAD BLOCK
If fined for any offence, insist on a receipt